How Contact Centers Benefit Other Departments
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How Contact Centers Benefit Other Departments

Contact centers have enormous potential to provide other business units with valuable insight and support. This can include input on customers, products, services and processes—information that, when captured and used, can transform an organization's ability to innovate, meet customer expectations, and provide great experiences.  

Cross Departmental Meeting

The benefits to the broader organization can be significant and varied. Consider the value to functional areas (and the potential return on investment) when the contact center:

  • Helps operational areas or manufacturing units pinpoint and fix quality problems, which boosts customer satisfaction and repeat purchases, reduces costs associated with warranties and repairs, and prevents unnecessary contacts to the organization. (A related benefit of this effort is that you’ll discover how your contact center is annoying customers—and ways to fix them.)
  • Assists marketing in developing more effective campaigns. For example, having a better understanding of what customers need and want can improve personalization and response rates, reduce relative marketing costs, and help the organization boost market share.
  • Serves as an early warning system for potential legal troubles. Product defects, reactions to food or prescription drugs, security holes in an app or website, inaccuracies in warranty statements or customer invoices—the list can go on and on, and the contact center is often first to hear of these issues. Having strong, collaborative ties to other areas of the organization is a prerequisite to handling them quickly and effectively.
  • Helps research and development (R&D) identify customer needs and the organization's competitive advantages. In many ways, focus groups, market research and traditional broad-based surveys are no match for the insight the contact center can capture through interactions with hundreds or even thousands of prospects and customers. This input helps the organization provide better products and services—favorably influencing costs, revenues, market share and the organization's reputation and brand. And it’s often a big boost to employee engagement.
  • Enables the organization to improve self-service and knowledge management based on the assistance the contact center provides to customers who opt out of or need help with systems or apps. This improves and lowers the costs of providing service, boosts customer satisfaction, and ensures that the center has the capacity to focus on issues that really require or benefit from agent involvement. In short, to the degree your contact center management team has an eye on the larger implications of quality and innovation, you will have a positive impact on the entire organization's workload, productivity and quality.

Here’s a checklist—a conversation starter—of potential benefits by functional area:

Sales and Marketing


  • Provides detailed information on customer demographics
  • Tracks trends (purchases, service and support issues) and response rates
  • Enables permission-based targeted sales and marketing
  • Supports segmentation, branding and personalization
  • Provides customer input on competitors
  • Provides customer surveys and feedback

Financial


  • Captures cost and revenue information by customer segment
  • Contributes to the control of overall costs
  • Serves as an early warning system (positive and negative)
  • Is essential to successful mergers and acquisitions
  • Contributes to shareholder value through strategic value contributions
  • Is essential in establishing budgetary strategy and priorities

HR/Training


  • Contributes to recruiting and hiring initiatives
  • Contributes to skill and career path development
  • Contributes to coaching and mentoring processes and expertise
  • Helps foster a learning organization (e.g., through systems, processes and pooled expertise on products and customers)
  • Contributes to training and HR expertise and processes

Manufacturing/Operations


  • Pinpoints quality and production problems
  • Provides input on products' and services' usability and clarity
  • Contributes to product documentation and procedures
  • Highlights distribution problems and opportunities
  • Facilitates communication related to capacity or production problems

Research and Development (R&D)/Design


  • Provides information on competitive direction and trends
  • Highlights product compatibility issues and opportunities
  • Provides customer feedback on usability
  • Differentiates between features and benefits from the customer's perspective
  • Identifies product and service differentiation opportunities

IT/Telecom


  • Furthers organizationwide infrastructure development
  • Furthers self-service usage and system design
  • Provides a concentrated technology learning ground
  • Provides the essential human bridge between diverse processes and systems
  • Is a driver of innovation in IT/Telecom advancements

Legal


  • Enables consistent and accurate customer communications and policies
  • Serves as an early warning system for quality problems
  • Identifies and addresses impending customer problems
  • Provides a rapid response to news/media reports
  • Contributes to internal communication
  • Serves as a training ground for customer service policies


Topics: Strategy & Planning, Site Operations

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Does your contact center have a policy regarding allowing agents who wish to apply for internal company positions outside the contact center?

No, we don’t have a formal policy
Yes, agents must work in the contact center for at least 1 year before applying for other positions
Yes, agents must work in the contact center for at least 6 months before applying for other positions
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