5 Ways Contact Centers Can Improve Marketing Performance
Customers today are speaking up in countless ways, and marketers are scrambling to keep up. They're learning how best to listen and interact on social media, including doing more than ever to proactively tune into customer attitudes and desires. Brands have established voice-of-the-customer programs to gather a myriad of data to improve marketing performance.
Are you listening now?
While these efforts are necessary and laudable, there may be a huge gap. Are you listening to one of your most valuable sources for customer feedback, the contact center? When a customer calls your contact center, it could be one of the most important times they speak up.
Unfortunately, many marketers overlook the contact center as both a critical point of interaction and a rich information source. If you're not currently engaged with your contact center, you may be missing out on insights that could dramatically improve marketing performance. With this in mind, here are five ways to tap into your contact center:
1. Listen to customer calls. It's smart for marketers to participate in sales calls, observe focus groups and meet customers at events, so why not listen to contact-center interactions? It's convenient, efficient, inexpensive and effective.
Let's say you've just launched a new product. Shouldn't you be listening to customer calls about said product? Customers’ questions, feedback, complaints, etc., could be critical to the product's long-term success. You may be surprised by the feedback. It could prompt you to consider changes in your campaign or even the product itself. Perhaps you'll decide to conduct additional research to help determine the best next steps.
2. Provide script input and campaign briefings. Let's continue with the new product launch example. Consider what could happen if you introduce a carefully planned multimedia campaign and your contact-center representatives aren't informed. Instead, the representatives operate off of general scripts and know little about the new product's benefits.
That customer interaction could be much improved if marketing provided customer persona-driven scripts and briefed representatives on product benefits and the campaign. The more your contact center knows about customer needs and marketing's efforts, the better each customer interaction will be. With marketing's up-front involvement, the launch's impact will be enhanced.
3. Conduct surveys. Many contact centers conduct post-call surveys to measure customer service satisfaction. You could use this tool to gather feedback on that just-launched product. Taking it a step further, you could use contact-center surveys to help develop new products, improve current offerings and learn more about what contributes to customer loyalty.
4. Integrate social interaction. By bringing your contact center into the loop with this hypothetical product launch, you're now paying attention to a critical point of customer interaction. Don't forget to integrate other points of customer inquiry and feedback into the loop, including social media.
As I addressed in my last article, customers want the flexibility to reach you via a multitude of channels, whether by phone, online chat, text message, mobile applications or social media. Therefore, it's important to harmonize communications. If this integration sounds daunting, consider a cloud-based solution.
5. Leverage insights. Now that you're engaged with your contact center, it's time to leverage what you've learned. Qualitative and quantitative findings can help you enhance customer personas, strengthen positioning and messaging, develop targeted content for different buying stages, and improve customer cross-selling and loyalty programs. In essence, by tapping into the value your contact center has to offer, you're closing the loop with your customers.
The contact center is a font of knowledge. It's where real customer conversations take place, where problems are solved, relationships are solidified, brand loyalty is developed, and profitability boosted. Marketing would be remiss in skipping over the contact center. Don't miss out; tap into your contact center today.