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Customer Experience Management Turns Contact Center Managers Into Corporate Heroes 

Customer Experience Management Turns Contact Center Managers Into Corporate Heroes

Customer Experience Management Turns Contact Center Managers Into Corporate Heroes

1/7/2003
By Donna Fluss
ICCM Weekly

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Customer service and support organizations are often frustrated with the enterprise’s failure to recognize the importance of the vital customer information that is collected in the Contact Center. At the same time, marketing organizations are increasingly asking service organizations to collect specific information for them and are disappointed when customer service explains that there is a price tag associated with gathering this data. But, there is a solution for these problems, and its name is Customer Experience Management (CEM).

CEM closes the gaps between sales, marketing, customer service and the rest of an organization by extending and leveraging information gathered in the call and contact center to enterprise decision makers, senior management and sales and marketing departments. Once extended, this information can be used to increase revenue, improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, identify new trends and customer concerns and improve risk management.

CEM got its start in 2000 in the call center quality management market that was formed by the convergence of call center logging/recording and quality assurance (QA) technologies. Logging equipment records and archives raw customer interactions.

QA applications use the recordings to monitor and evaluate how well contact center agents are adhering to the policies and procedures of the organization. CEM provides the analytical tools to share this information on a timely basis with decision makers throughout the enterprise. And this creates an opportunity for contact center managers who want to extend their influence in the enterprise.

CEM provides analytical tools to arm contact center managers with the information that their peers in operations, sales, marketing and risk management want and need to improve profitability and reduce customer attrition. Using CEM tools, managers will gain a comprehensive understanding of specific customer likes and dislikes, as well as general product trends. Most organizations are increasingly frustrated by costly Customer Relationship Management (CRM) initiatives, 60% to 90% of which fail. Yet, the goal of CRM, gathering and using customer information to maximize the value of each customer relationship, remains valid. CEM facilitates achieving this goal at reasonable cost and can be implemented in only a few months.

Here’s what CEM can do for you:

1. Deflect calls with early problem detection – CEM tools identify and track systemic customer problems so that corporate decision makers can promptly act to resolve the root causes. This prevents small issues from growing out of control and becoming very costly.

2. Decrease inquiries about marketing campaigns – By collecting and reporting customer comments about specific marketing programs, CEM enables marketing organizations to better understand customer reactions so they can develop more personalized and effective offerings. A well-designed and tailored marketing campaign elicits fewer questions from customers.

3. Closing more sales – Marketing campaigns average only a 2% to 3% response rate. Marketing is increasingly turning to contact centers to obtain insights into what customers really want to improve these abysmal numbers. Without CEM, contact centers have to expend a great deal of time and money to gather and report essential customer information. CEM analytical applications automate the collection and reporting of this data.

A 1% increase in sales on a campaign sent to one million customers with a value of $30 per customer represents $300,000 in additional revenue to the enterprise. Better yet, with CEM, the cost of capturing the information required to make the campaign more effective is minimal.

4. Improve customer retention – In an economy where consumers view most products and services as virtually interchangeable, customer service plays a critical role in retaining customers. CEM tools reduce customer attrition by quickly identifying areas of customer dissatisfaction so that enterprises can make the necessary changes to avoid alienating and losing customers.

Formula for Success: Contact center managers who want to be well received by peers in sales and marketing and throughout the enterprise need to stop emphasizing limitations and costs and instead start providing other departments with valuable customer insights that translate into real dollars. The timely information contained in CEM reports lays the foundation for all customer-facing departments to work together to increase revenue and profitability for the enterprise.

Some recommended uses for CEM include:

  • Quickly identifying internal and external fraud risks to reduce losses
  • Gathering competitive information to make the enterprise more responsive to its customers
  • Pinpointing product problems that frustrate customers to prevent customer churn and increase customer satisfaction
  • Identifying “at-risk” customers to reduce customer attrition
  • Capturing specific customer wants and needs to enhance product development and recognize up-sell and cross-sell opportunities
  • Using customer reactions to assess the effectiveness of marketing campaigns in order to improve the success of future promotions.
  • Giving service representatives tools to detect policies and procedures that create customer dissatisfaction so modifications can be made to increase agent and customer satisfaction.

CEM is a tool set and strategy that must become a vital part of an enterprise’s business plan. Contact centers have always been the repositories of vast amounts of highly valuable customer data, but lacked formal vehicles for capturing and sharing this information with the appropriate internal decision makers on a timely basis. CEM provides an analytical framework for turning raw customer data and insights into new business opportunities. Contact center managers who catch the CEM wave and create processes to support these innovative applications will expand their influence as the information they provide becomes indispensable throughout the company.

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