Recent research has provided further insight into some of the emerging customer service trends and ways in which organisations are working hard not only to keep up, but to try to get ahead and deliver exceptional service. Among the issues are the conflicting demands between cost (spend less time) and save money but make sure customers are happy (spend more time). The research included interviews with leading professionals who have contact centre responsibility. There are many different aspects of the research that we could highlight in a post like this, but there are two things that captured my attention.
• There are 13 named channels that are supported by contact centers (and an additional category of ‘other’)
• The role of the Marketing Director is still unclear, but 37% of respondents say brand reputation is part of the reason for listening
If you are a contact centre professional, practitioner or just an interested party and you take a look around the web you will see lots of interesting statistics. Concepts like customer service through Twitter and Facebook taking off. Even in our research, we see a grand 64% of organizations using Twitter for just this purpose. We highlight the number, as it is attractive and new. It is not as sexy to highlight the 50% who are using the fax as a supported channel or 80% who support an IVR. I could go out on a limb and suggest that more people use fax than Twitter, no?
How about this: the last official channel to be sunset (no longer in use) to be the telegraph. If we dig even further, but did not in our research, you will find that even though 64% do support Twitter and just below 60% support web self-service. Here is the ‘be careful part’ this is NOT the same as the number of customers who use a particular channel, just the companies that support it. Web self-service is used by a much greater number of customers on a daily basis than either Twitter or Facebook – even the Fax is used more, but this is not sexy to talk about.
Where does Marketing fit in?
What is the role of the Marketing director in the contact centre? This part of the research is was a bit of a shocker to me, frankly. If 37% of companies using Social Channels to monitor and engage customers for the purpose of protecting the brand, where is the Marketing director in the conversation. If our research findings are true and not even 10% of the organizations put Marketing on equal footing with the customer service team with regard to investment decisions and almost 37% use social channels are worried about the brand, how can that make sense? I would go out on a limb and suggest that if you took a survey and asked who the shepherds of the brand within the organization, Marketing would be near the top of the list, no? Am I wrong here?
Come on folks, Marketing and Customer service need to be on the same team, given the same level of respect regarding customer experience decisions. Yes, customer service and marketing efforts are both part of a larger story, your story. I will get off of my soapbox now and let you enjoy the rest of your day. Please take a look at the research and I am sure you will find some more ideas that do not quite make sense to you. That would be good, because the first thing to do is to identify the problems, then we can do something about them.
The two-page research summary is available now to download and the full whitepaper will be available in early November.