Why Does Your Contact Center Exist?

The crucial role of the contact center in delivering a good customer experience.

By  |  May 31, 2017

Most organizations answer, “Because it’s an operational necessity. We need it to sell our product and provide customer support.”

Of course, this is a perfectly valid business reason. But if you want to advance your competitive positioning, you should also be thinking about another reason: to enhance your brand by providing an outstanding customer experience.

The crucial role of the contact center in delivering a good customer experience

Customer experience continues to soar in terms of importance to a brand’s success. In fact, a recent study by Walker found that by 2020, customer experience will be a more significant brand differentiator than both quality and pricing. Here’s why: With the ever-increasing competition in the global marketplace and the rise of everything-as-a-service (XaaS), consumers have almost unlimited choices. They can find quality, affordability, and even both if they just look long enough. But what will eventually motivate them to purchase from a specific brand is how that brand treats them.

For example, it’s easy to buy a new pair of sneakers online because it’s cheaper, faster, and you don’t have to go to the mall. Or you can install a smartphone-based home security app that’s much easier to set up and manage than a traditional security system.

But what happens if the sneakers are delivered in the wrong size or color? Or if you run into issues setting up the home security app on your phone? A company that provides a quick and convenient way to contact its support center and connects you to a knowledgeable agent who resolves your issue is going to make you feel valued. On the other hand, if a company has an automated troubleshooting feature that ultimately doesn’t offer a solution and then instructs you to report your situation via a contact form, you’re not likely to feel good about your purchase or the brand.

This is precisely why the interaction must be positive when a consumer or a business connects with a live person. They should be left with a sense of closure and confidence that their inquiry was handled properly and their issue was resolved. This sounds simple, but is the foundation of trust in future transactions with the company and building brand loyalty. 

Cost or quality?

Costs drive many considerations regarding contact centers, from location to technology to talent. However, to turn this operational necessity into a strategic advantage, it’s crucial to prioritize quality. Too often, in an attempt to cut costs, contact centers employ untrained or incapable agents and deploy overly impersonal technology. Unfortunately, this ultimately results in a subpar customer experience, has a negative impact on the brand, and can adversely affect the bottom line.

Your main consideration should be to provide a comprehensive support platform that can best represent you to your customers while simultaneously promoting your brand. Regardless of whether you set up your contact center yourself, hire external consultants to help, or choose an outsourcing partner, you should select your staff based on their ability to provide the right outcomes and customer experience. Make certain that whatever your solution becomes, it is connected to your culture and can emulate the same passion your organization has for its own products or services.  
When it comes to the technology, think from the customer perspective and choose your technology based on its capabilities to foster a memorable and positive experience.

Conclusion

In short, if having a contact center is an integral part of your business, then why not make that contact center great? It’s simply a smart business investment to connect the RIGHT employees, who have the necessary skills and passion, with a technology solution that enhances the customer support experience. Because when done well, your contact center can be one of the main drivers of your brand image—and that’s a critical component of your competitive advantage.

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