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Four Ways that Contact Centers Can Foster a Customer-Centric Organizational Culture

talkingAll businesses exist for the same reason – customers. Despite this vital fact, many teams and organizations neglect the customer’s role in their operations and culture. Even if you offer the best products or services, if you don’t have a customer-centric culture within your team or organization, your organization will not be as successful as it could be. Lacking customer-centricity, the chances an organization leaps to new levels of success are slim.

When seen as a valuable strategic function, contact centers can help with fostering a customer-centric culture within an organization. Here’s how:

Demonstrate Commitment to the Customer Experience

As the team closest to the customer, the contact center exudes passion and commitment to supporting customers. Leading by example, the contact center and its leadership team need to represent the voice of the customer, advocating cross-functionally on their behalf whenever possible. Customer advocacy is at the core of a contact center’s function.

Passion for delivering a superb customer experience consistently must come from the staff of the contact center. Everyone on the team must believe that the customer is central to every decision made on the team and in the organization. Superstar contact center agents recognize that they must lead the way, doing whatever it takes to satisfy and even wow customers.

One of the missions of contact center leaders is to highlight the contact center’s accomplishments, especially when there is an excellent example of being focused on the customer.

Align Processes Around the Customer

Processes are essential to ensure operationally that everything is efficient and things get accomplished. Armed with the right documented procedure, everyone should have the clarity to do what’s expected of them daily.

While many people use processes to ensure standardized work and output, it shouldn’t be at the expense of the customer experience. Just because a process makes things easier for an employee doesn’t mean it translates to making it easier for the customer.

The contact center needs to use customer feedback to highlight where processes are breaking down and falling short of providing an optimal experience. Processes should first focus on the customer, removing whatever process or step that fail to provide value for customers.

Utilizing customer feedback, CSAT surveys, and case notes, contact center leaders have a plethora of data available to share with the business about improvement opportunities. There’s bound to be processes that could be refined or eliminated, and that can add more value to the customer.

Invest in Building and Maintaining Customer Relationships

A customer-centric organization builds and maintains relationships with its customers. The contact center can help with doing that better than any other group. The key to any relationship is communication. The more that the contact center can provide valuable communication to customers, the better the impact.

In some organizations, members of the contact center team could prioritize connecting with customers periodically to proactively follow up on opportunities. If there is nothing to sell or offer, you never know what might come from the conversation. Even just a reminder that the company exists and cares about them can lead to new business.

When fully utilized, a company’s or individual’s CRM record should also be regularly kept up to date. Any interesting facts or critical pieces of information should be collected by the contact center to help personalize the customer experience. If the contact center partners with the Sales and Marketing teams in leveraging CRM, the overall relationship with customers could be strengthened by adding details that help the organization seem more connected.

Contact Centers Want to Know Their Customers

If an organization wants to be customer-centric, they need to express an interest in trying to find out what customers want. It could be as simple as a phone call or formal survey over email that allows for feedback to be captured. Use these moments to learn what customers like about your business and, more importantly, what they don’t. Feedback, good or bad, should be looked at as a gift. Whenever a customer takes the time and effort to provide you with insight, the contact center team should follow up and at a minimum, thank the customer. If the feedback provided, leads to change, let them know and find a unique way to acknowledge their effort, too. You’re sure to gain a more engaged customer in the process.

Customer-centric organizations are incredibly successful. If the contact center is fully utilized as a strategic partner, customer-centricity is possible, and the business will be stronger because of it. Remember, the more that decisions and processes are focused on the customer, the more that the work completed is of strategic value.