What do you picture when someone says “contact center”? Rows of employees at computers with headsets? An office full of tiny cubicles? Personally, I picture a giant treasure chest overflowing with gold. No, I’m not insane… at least I don’t think so. But when I think of contact centers, the first thing that comes to mind is the massive amounts of data they generate every day. And that data is more valuable to your business than gold. Contact centers themselves have been embracing the value of this data for a while now, but did you know you can multiply the wealth by letting others in on the treasure?
The modern contact center is armed with voice of the customer (VoC) insights. As the main point of interaction between a company and its customers, the contact center is perfectly positioned to hear directly from customers, on their terms, on their thoughts and feelings about your brand. This data is invaluable, not just to the contact center but to departments all across your company. For marketing teams, sales leaders, HR partners, finance analysts and more, these insights can help steer the ship to the smartest, most informed decisions.
I get it. The contact center is often out on its own little island. But it’s time to lead others to the treasure. The rough seas of today’s business landscape are more challenging than ever, and departments need to cooperate and share the wealth to succeed in this brave new world.
Let’s take a look at how VoC and other contact center data can help across the enterprise.
Benefits to Marketing
Marketing departments and the contact center haven’t always worked hand in hand, but it’s time for that to change. As a department that thrives on understanding what motivates a potential customer, getting the words right out of the mouths of the people interacting with your brand is more valuable than all the gold doubloons in the sea. With analytics products able to directly capture the voice of the customer, along with business intelligence solutions that can aggregate the data in powerful ways, marketing teams can hear directly from customers to understand how their brand is perceived, what buyers love and loathe, new trends in demand and even how marketing campaigns are resonating.
For a real-world example, look at Greenpath Financial Wellness. With changing circumstances during the 2020 pandemic, the contact center began hearing more questions about programs for rental payment support and counseling. Thanks to an already-established relationship, the contact center was able to get this information to marketing right away, which, in turn, fast-tracked a campaign to highlight their rental counseling services, leading to a 300% increase in use.
Benefits to Sales
Just like marketing departments, sales teams flourish when they understand the needs of their customers. With the added understanding of how customers feel about certain products or services, a sales rep can craft pitches that zero in on real-world, current needs with laser-like precision. By understanding how customers are responding to pricing, sales teams can nimbly pivot to maximize profit, offering discounts when needed and decreasing their use where possible. An early glimpse at how interest in products and services is trending based on inquiries to the contact center can give sales teams a head start on pitching the next big thing.
Benefits to Human Resources
These days, companies know that a great customer experience starts with happy employees. While we’ve so far looked at contact center data as the hot spot for VoC insights, it’s also a great place to understand what’s happening with your agents and operations. Seeing constant understaffing in the afternoons? Maybe it’s time for HR to pivot to recruiting employees with different availability. Noticing a lag in how long it takes employees to get up to speed? Perhaps your onboarding program needs a tweak. Employers can even keep an eye on the potential for employee burnout by monitoring metrics and VoC data indicative of stressful calls or workloads. In an industry that often sees costly high turnover, managing burnout before it leads to resignations can save you more than just a headache.
Benefits to Finance
While the benefits of contact center-based insights may be more apparent for areas like marketing and sales, this data can also be used to help historically non-customer-facing roles to succeed. Many contact center interactions involve questions about billing. By getting the context around what’s driving these calls, the finance department can stave off issues as they emerge rather than letting them get out of hand. Examining billing issues in their full context can show opportunities to mitigate problems in less costly ways while keeping customers satisfied. Monitoring trends like inquiries about payment plans or deferred billing could highlight leading indicators of issues that have yet to hit your books, saving you from being caught off guard.
Benefits to the Contact Center
Let’s not forget about how the contact center can use its data to help itself. VoC insights, sentiment analysis, evaluation scores and more can all help a contact center understand areas where it’s wowing customers or where it may be missing the mark. Language about repeat contacts or speaking to a supervisor could indicate unfavorable trends in customer effort that need to be addressed. On the other hand, increasing script adherence and the use of empathetic words may show that your new agent training programs are paying off.
The best thing about all this treasure—sorry, I mean data—from the contact center? Its value just keeps growing. Sharing data between departments helps everyone to perform better. As companies navigate today’s rapidly changing customer service landscape, they should remember that they already know where to find the gold. No treasure map is needed.