Closing the Customer Intelligence Loop in Contact Centers

The customer intelligence build is utilized within the corporation at diverse points – e.g. by the CEO to frame strategies and in decision making, the Product Development Manager in product designing, by the marketing team for data mining and modeling, finance for measuring customer profitability, and even IT for data provisioning and reports.

One of the functions where the quickest impact of operationalization of CI is in contact centers, where the customers interact directly and need an immediate response. They are generally the first and preferred points of contacts for customers to communicate with a company about their products/services. Their efficiency and strategies determine what impression is cast on the customer and how well he/she is served. With the advent of CI, the contacts centers have seen a change in their operations. They are now inching towards a more insight driven interaction system with segmented profiling.

What does closed-loop customer intelligence mean?

For a contact center, customer insights are critical so as to ensure that the customer interaction experience is in line with corporate marketing and thus have consistent messaging and business and profitability goals. For this to occur, the contact center managers should be able to:

  • Understand who is interacting: The first aspect is to understand the person calling, e-mailing, faxing or chatting. The contact center needs to understand the individual, business or group that the contact represents. This understanding goes beyond mere identification of the customer and is more about understanding the customer as a person – the needs, pain points, context of the contact etc. This understanding leads to correct segmentation and subsequent provision of an appropriate response.
  • Responding to the customer in the best possible way: Once comprehensive customer intelligence is built, it should be used to match each customer contact with the best possible customer service representative for specialized handling of the interaction. For example, a frequent caller is routed to a more skilled agent who specializes in handling similar contacts. Similarly, high value customers are routed to agents empowered with responding to such customers.
  • Empowering CSRs to drive business impact: Based on customer intelligence and the insights into the contact handling record of contact service representatives (CSRs), tailored coaching programs can be created to empower the CSRs to leverage customer intelligence and deal with specific segments of the customers. This is a very crucial method to achieve business results, such as increased customer satisfaction, reduced customer churn, reduced repeat calls rates and so on.
  • Monitoring and reporting call center KPIs: The contact center managers should monitor and report Customer Intelligence results to top management – CSAT scores, customer retention numbers, first call resolution rates (FCR), etc.
  • Utilize the close customer relation to provide useful inputs to the CI analytics. The CI analytics team should focus on the operational realities, such as the descriptor data points for customer identification, routing engines, mapping the descriptor data points for right action/ treatments and success metrics identification.

How does closed loop customer intelligence help?

Customer intelligence is essential for moving the customer contact center to a profit or loyalty based operation from cost or service oriented operation. By closing the customer intelligence loop, businesses gain the ability to identify the business-critical trends in customer experience and take necessary action in a timely manner. This also helps the business to leverage the contact center customer data in a strategic manner in order to gain a competitive advantage in the market. Closing the loop also leads to the best alignment of operations for delivering a delightful customer experience. It greatly reduces operational costs by removing inefficiencies.

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