Reaping the Rewards of a High-Performance Contact Center

At Dreamforce ’14, I had the distinguished pleasure to facilitate a session with two remarkable contact center professionals: Pam Lyra, vice president of Customer Service & SaaS Operations for Axcient (one of the top 100 most influential women in Silicon Valley 2014 and named to the 2014 “Power 100” List for CRM Women of the Channels), and Matt Clemenson, co-managing director and CTO for LesConcierges (a top provider of global concierge solutions and services headquartered in San Francisco with presence in 89 cities worldwide). Both Axcient and LesConcierges have used LiveOps’ solutions to support their multichannel, personalized contact centers for an enhanced customer experience. And these incredibly talented individuals have overcome multiple challenges to create impressive, high-performance contact centers at some of the world’s best managed companies. To learn more about what it takes to create a high-performance contact center, I strongly recommend that you take the time to watch this Dreamforce ’14 panel session – you will not be disappointed!

For my part, I opened the session with the latest contact center “good news” update:

– Seventy-seven percent of contact centers expect to maintain or grow in size in the next 12-24 months (Deloitte).

– By 2016, cloud-based contact centers will grow to 20 million seats (DMG Consulting).

– Since 2008, organizations adopting multichannel contact center solutions grew from 52 percent to 64 percent (Everest Group).

I reinforced the growing focus on multichannel contact centers, where according to the 2013 Deloitte survey of 35K IT decision makers:

– Ninety-two percent of organizations focusing on customer experience offer multiple contact channels.

– Eighty-five percent of respondent organizations support multichannel customer interactions.

– Today, 33 percent of contact centers provide social media contact channels.

While the 33 percent figure may seem low to some, it actually confirms a very sharp rise in just the past few years of the assimilation within the contact center of the social media channel. In fact, I predict that 80 percent of all contact centers will have integrated the social media channel by the end of 2017.

I closed by highlighting the importance of integrating contact center and CRM tools and techniques. It never ceases to amaze me – after spending 30 years in the CRM industry – how few companies understand or, even more importantly, truly appreciate the value of their contact centers agents; they are, after all, the true “front line” of an organization. All one needs to do is to spend a day with an organization’s contact center agents to come to this conclusion, during which time it will also become very apparent how important it is to provide these agents with the right contact center processes and tools.

In my forthcoming book, The Definitive Guide to Social CRM (Pearson, March 2015), I develop the following four-step approach for leveraging “social insight” into an integrated contact center/CRM system, which I see as the next big wave:

Definitive Guide to Social CRM

In a nutshell, more and more CRM vendors as well as social media platform vendors are now offering useful tools to bring what I call “social insight” from public and private social media communities into the customer profiles that should be housed within a company’s CRM system. Assuming contact center and CRM tools have been properly integrated, this in turn allows contact center agents to leverage the full CRM profile – now inclusive of “social insight” – to better engage with the customer through their channel of preference. Having done this successfully with several of ISM’s clients, I can confirm that the impact can be very meaningful: higher levels of customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy.

Is your contact center leading the way to become a high-performance contact center? If they are not, should they be?