Aligning the Contact Center with Corporate Goals
A 2012 survey by Knowlagent, unsurprisingly, shows that the top priority for call center managers is improving productivity. What’s the second priority? Alignment of contact center staff goals with corporate goals. This is a core tenet of what we try to elucidate with VoiceVision. Every corporation is different, and much of the strategic differences come from structural or market factors, not just the whim of the current executive staff. Let’s take a look at some of the potential areas for misalignment.
Value of the Customer
Value of the Customer is the antithesis of Cost per Contact. Are you selling commodities at dollars or cents per transaction, or are you selling capital assets worth thousands of dollars at a time? Does your corporate customer service strategy take this into account? Probably so. What about your IT strategy? It’s one thing to encourage a smile from your agents under normal circumstances, but what would happen to your reputation if your systems fail, and your lack of investment in a business continuity plan becomes apparent to your customers? If customer experience is a priority for you, align all your business processes in that regard.
Does your contact center handle your company social media responses? If it’s someone in marketing, what will happen when the marketing person goes “off script” and the contact center is inundated with people clamoring for undue promises? Keep your company’s proactive communications under one roof to avoid mixed messages. Social Media is just another channel.
Do you use idle agents for performing offline business processing tasks? If so, have you considered the impact on effectiveness in both directions? Can an agent provide the face you want her to provide if she’s dreading the stacks of claims forms awaiting her when she’s done with the call. Can she execute the backoffice process effectively, if the ever-present likelihood of an inbound call distracts her? Consider the desired quality level in both directions. Technology exists to help manage workload distribution in one queue, so consideration should be given to that as well.
True contact center efficiency is achieved when the maximum number of transactions that meet the target quality level is provided at the lowest cost. It’s a multivariable equation, that can only be solved when corporate leadership and strategy is clear and well communicated.