Top 5 Issues Impacting Contact Centers Nationwide
Part 3: LACK OF PROACTIVE CUSTOMER OUTREACH AND/OR FEEDBACK
A Year in Review – Planning for 2018
By Chris Recio, Director of Contact Center and Advanced Applications
With the Customer Experience on the forefront of every Contact Center’s mind, I am continually surprised at just how many operations lack the fundamental communication of a feedback loop with their customers.
We can run reports. We can be happy with our results. But nothing is as important as what the customer has to say. Sure… you look great on paper, but what is your customer really thinking?
The percentage of operations I visit that lack this communication is astounding, and there is absolutely no reason for the lack of this process.
There are many available options for providing a customer feedback channel. Some operations have deployed After-Call Survey processes, but far too many stops there.
Let’s be realistic: if your customer is calling you, they are likely not calling to tell you what a great job you’ve done or how great your service has been. The fact of life is that many reach out to the Contact Center because they cannot find the information they need on your website, or, they are dissatisfied with an experience or product – you all know this.
The proportion of customers contact centers hear from or that even take the time to reach out is low compared to the number of actual customers you may have.
The need for ongoing and proactive outreach is here now. This is no longer an option in today’s competitive business. The Contact Center should make this a key strategy in their endeavors to keep pace with the ever-changing customer demands.
In my opinion, every Contact Center should place “creating a customer feedback channel” as a key strategy within their operation.
We are all, by now, familiar with the After-Call Survey, but being proactive about all facets of the customer experience and the business should be part of your forward strategy.
For Example: We often spend a great deal of time, and in some cases, we are asked to wait a couple of weeks, especially when booking an appointment with a doctor or dentist.
Today, my healthcare provider and my dentist proactively send me an SMS message directly to confirm my appt 24–48 hours before my appointment. I simply reply Y for Yes, R to Reschedule, C to Cancel.
This does three things:
- Reminds me to confirm and arrive on time or asks me to reschedule.
- Frees up time and reduces lost revenue opportunities for the practitioner.
- Reinforces my experience with quick and easy communication.
While simultaneously providing their customers with valuable customer service, this process also ensures predictable resource management and revenue for the business, or in some cases, allows another patient to fill the spot if a need to reschedule or cancel the appointment is required.
I also receive friendly reminders from creditors and banks – typically 15 days prior – that a payment is due shortly. I can make my payment at that time or simply as I usually would do.
This proactive effort increases probable revenue and reduces delinquencies, and this too becomes a predictor of ongoing performance.
Today, you cannot afford to be less than proactive. Developing an outreach strategy keeps you close to your customers and drives business consistency. Expanding these options as part of the Contact Center strategy is becoming pervasive in the Customer Experience game. This trend will continue moving forward at a rapid pace. Not keeping pace will widen the gap in your ability to keep pace with the industry and customer demands.
This is the part 3 of a 5-part series of blog posts about the Top 5 Issues impacting most, if not all, Contact Centers in the industry. In this series, we will cover each of the issues in greater detail. If you missed any of them, be sure to catch up by clicking on their name below.
- OUT-OF-DATE, UNDERUTILIZED & ADVANCING TECHNOLOGY click here to read
- LACK OF ACCESS TO DATA & UNDERUTILIZED REPORTING OPPORTUNITIES click here to read
- LACK OF PROACTIVE CUSTOMER OUTREACH AND/OR FEEDBACK
- MAKING CONTACT CENTER CULTURE A PRIORITY stay tuned
- AGENT RETENTION & TURNOVER stay tuned
The Contact Center of the future is here now. Those that take this to heart will be far ahead of those that do not. The gap between these two groups will become wider as proactive operations outpace reactive operations.
As businesses review their year and prepare for 2018, it is very important to mitigate what’s ahead. We spend a great deal of time working with clients at deeper levels in their contact center operation through our CCSM (Contact Center Success Manager) program and found that their struggles boil down to the 5 issues to be pointed and discussed in this series. Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks!