In the customer care and servicing space, contact centers handle millions of calls every year. However, it’s the harsh truth that most client organizations have lost customer visibility, since they are being serviced in the outsourced environment globally. With a changing world and growing competition, businesses need to know what their customers are buying, how they are using their products, how they are reacting to competitors’ pitches … and more. In this challenging environment, a sharp focus on customer experience and loyalty is assuming increasing importance for all sellers of goods and services. It is no longer just “Voice of the Customer”, but “Voice of the Business”.
Today’s customers have incomparable access to information (e.g. pricing, product, competition, your process gaps etc.). They are better connected via social and other media, and demand more from the companies that they do business with. They have higher levels of expectations and multiple channels to voice their views and opinions. We are in fact in the midst of a customer information revolution.
Keeping in mind the connect that the outsourcing contact center now enjoys with such next generation customers and their behavior, the solution provider has a growing role to play in deciphering and managing customer interactions on behalf of the client. In fact, smart providers are today partnering with enterprise CMOs and service functions to devise customer lifecycle management strategies that create multiple touch point opportunities and proactive “engagements” across the customer lifecycle.
Every business process outsourcing (BPO) provider must thus proactively step up to provide enhanced “customer visibility” to clients. Contact centers will of course need to invest in and set up the necessary tools and methodologies to generate analytics that capture the “Voice of the Customer”. Customer relationship associates should be trained to converse with customers to not only improve the latter’s interaction experience, but also obtain valuable data points with the help of a few additional questions, such as:
- What do you like or dislike about our products/services?
- How do you use our products/services?
- What benefits have you found from the use the products/services?
- Given a choice, what changes would you like to see in our products/services?
- Do you refer to competition while looking for products/availing services from us?
These kinds of questions help capture and make available customer insights that can be looped back into the product development cycle, customer service processes, and marketing, sales and distribution strategies and tactics. Engaging customers directly provides a value improvement in customer experience.
Clearly there is a significant opportunity for BPO providers to not only overcome the loss of their clients’ direct customer connect, but more importantly, to add value that enterprises themselves cannot realize on their own. As partners they can help drive sharper focus and deeper insight to the client by investing in tools, developing intellectual property (IP) and the required platforms. In fact, the opportunity extends to developing a full offering that engages with customers, through all touch points, obtains information, analyzes it and provides the enterprise with strategic and tactical insights that enable it to better understand customer expectations, preferences and aversions. Helping the client grow sales and impact their top line cannot but be welcome! No wonder, a value added “Voice of the Customer” based approach has the potential to become a game changer for contact centers.