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Voice of the Customer: Your Key to Sales Growth
Voice of the Customer: Your Key to Sales Growth

By Jennifer LeClaire
December 14, 2013 11:21AM

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Managing your contact center for maximum profitability and productivity requires a hands-on approach with managing your people as well as your technology, and keeping customer satisfaction always top-of-mind. Seamless integration of all customer communication avenues is essential, as well as monitoring performance indicators and analytics.
 


Your marketing department can create the most impressive campaign, with all the right messaging, reach and frequency to put your message out there. But, in the end, it can be your sales team and contact center staff that make or break the bottom line.

Perhaps the most important key to success is remembering the old adage, "The customer is king," and these days, the voice of the customer resonates louder than ever, thanks to social media. Indeed, every single customer has the ability to spread the word -- whether good or bad -- about their experience with your company. And unfortunately, we all know that disgruntled customers tend to ensure that their voices are heard loud and clear. That's why it's so important to ensure that every customer contact is a positive one -- to the greatest extent possible.

For contact center managers, as well as sales and marketing managers, training your team to really listen to the customer is key. And, it's not just about the voice on the other end of the phone. It's about mining data from online contacts, web forms, and social sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, as well as customers reviews from sites like Amazon.com, Yelp, and so many others.

We spoke with some experts in customer service recently for their advice on how to ensure your team is best equipped to provide top-notch customer service, with each and every contact.

Optimize Your Contact Center Technology

With the rise of social and mobile communications channels, brands need to go where the customers go to ensure requests are being taken care of on consumers' channels of choice, says Marty Beard, president and CEO of LiveOps, a leading provider of online customer service agents. Effective customer service requires seamless integration of all available customer communication avenues.

"Aberdeen research shows that brands using integrated agent desktop technology see a 74 percent increase in year-over-year revenue compared to non-users," Beard said.

"By arming customer service agents with access to a multichannel, integrated agent desktop, contact center agents can better manage their workflow and resolve customer inquiries faster and with greater accuracy across all channels. Increased agent productivity increases customer satisfaction, which, in turn, increases revenue."

Leverage Social and Mobile Platforms

Social channels and mobile devices are great tools for reaching out to our customers, said Shana Duthie, VP of marketing and customer experience at MDLIVE, an online company that connects patients with a network of physicians and therapists through secure video, phone or email. (continued...)

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DAn H:

Posted: 2013-12-17 @ 6:26am PT
Brand loyalty in the digital age. How quickly can you lose a customer? You'd be surprised!

Luanne:

Posted: 2013-12-16 @ 10:00am PT
@Robert W: You are so right about Time Warner Cable and also so many other so-called 'service' providers.

It drives me crazy that companies like TWC and plenty of others still think it's ok to give a customer a window of say 8am-noon -- or even worse yet, 8am-5pm, for delivery or service. They expect working people to stay home from work half a day or sometimes all day, waiting for them to show up.

Now, I realize they don't always know how long a service or delivery call will take. But, they *do* know if you're the first one on the schedule or not. So, let's say they know that you're the 2nd or 3rd on the list for the morning. Why do they still make you have to wait for them from 8am? And if they know you're the last appointment of the day, why can't they give you a 2-hr window, say 3-5pm instead of making you wait 4 hours or more.

With cell phones, and GPS, and all the other technology available, why can't service companies provide better service in terms of not making their customers wait around for them?

Robert W.:

Posted: 2013-12-15 @ 7:55am PT
The importance of this advice can not be overstated. Now go tell AT&T and Time Warner Cable. They have a lot to learn.



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