Table of contents
- How do you help managers understand that better CX leads to more spending?
- What are some common challenges contact centers should prepare for before making the move from a cost center to a profit center?
- What are some best practices to follow when making changes to the customer experience?
- Beyond investing in the right tools, what are the cultural changes and tweaks to agent training that need to be made before making the move from cost to profit center?
- How can contact center leaders salvage bad experiences and use those learnings as a launchpad for future growth?
- What are some tips for reframing the contact center as a profit center that will help make the case to leadership?
As a follow-up to our November 2021 webinar Making The Move From a Cost Center To a Profit Center, we sat down with guest speaker Forrester Principal Analyst Max Ball for a deeper dive into how to initiate this seismic organizational shift.
Watch the on-demand webinar to learn what a customer effort score is and how to improve it, as well as how to put customer data and intent to work for greater personalization.
The discussion presented a framework for increasing revenue through an improved customer experience. We outlined things like:
- The tech tools needed to enhance CX while tracking performance
- How to use speech analytics to uncover intents to drive upsell and cross-sell opportunities
- How digital channels can reduce support demand, leading to lower costs over time.
Below you’ll find Max’s suggestions for nailing the strategy and getting upper management on board.
How do you help managers understand that better CX leads to more spending?
In Forrester’s US Customer Experience Index for 2021 we found 78% of customers who have good experiences with a brand plan to stay customers, and 80% plan to spend more with the brand. Only 18% of customers with bad experiences say they will continue with the brand and only 18% plan to spend more. Statistics like these make the point that good customer service drives more spending.
Companies that can trace interactions and score their outcome are in a powerful position to show the effects of customer service in their organization by comparing the spend from customers who had positive experiences to those that had negative ones to those who did not have a customer service experience. Companies who can do this typically see higher spending among the customers with good experiences, lower spending among customers with bad experiences, and a slight downward drift of spending for customers who do not reach out to the company.
What are some common challenges contact centers should prepare for before making the move from a cost center to a profit center?
Getting upper management onboard is critical and data is the key to making that change. Set measurable goals and make sure that you can track your progress against those goals and then over-communicate your status and success. Within the contact center be aware that change is hard, and people resist change. Training and enablement are the most important things. Once agents are clear that they will be providing better experiences for their customers they are typically onboard and excited about the change.
What are some best practices to follow when making changes to the customer experience?
Be incremental, be experimental, and be willing to fail fast. With modern cloud-based contact center systems, it is easy to roll out changes and use them in small settings that allow you to A/B test your results. Try a new interaction to see how it goes over with your customers, if it is successful roll it out broadly, if not, move on to the next idea.
Beyond investing in the right tools, what are the cultural changes and tweaks to agent training that need to be made before making the move from cost to profit center?
This is the right question to be asking your organization, having a customer-obsessed mindset is critical to the success not just in customer service but in the customer experience across the board, and therefore to the success of your organization. Decide what is important to your customers and then promote that and overcommunicate it across your customer service team as well as your organization. Look hard at the metrics you are using to ensure they align with your broader goals and then double down on making sure you meet those goals. Train and coach your agents on what you are trying to do, why the metrics you are using are key and make very sure your agents understand how important what they are doing is to the success of your customers and your organization.
How can contact center leaders salvage bad experiences and use those learnings as a launchpad for future growth?
Bad experiences can be looked at as an opportunity for growth. Be proactive and reach out to customers when something has gone wrong. An interaction where you acknowledge what went wrong and work toward a solution with the customer is one of the most powerful ways to build loyalty. In addition, the feedback you get on these follow-up interactions can be transformative for your organization when the solutions are executed. This sort of follow-up requires investment, but the payback can be massive.
What are some tips for reframing the contact center as a profit center that will help make the case to leadership?
Always remember, you get what you measure. If your focus is solely on performance indicators such as average handle time or some variation of the good old 80/20 rule (80% of calls are answered within 20 seconds) you are going to get a cost-focused organization that does not understand the full impact your customer service has on your customers. Look to things like First Contact Resolution that focus more on customer outcomes than performance and efficiency. Survey your customers. In the end, the methodology is less important than the action. Choose a straight satisfaction survey, Net Promoter Score*, or Customer Effort Score, or any other tool to gather customer sentiment. What is important is to ask the questions, get the data and act on that information.
All of that said, performance indicators are still critical, and you need to measure them, you just need to broaden the scope of what you look at to include measures that get to the real customer experience.
DISCLAIMER:*Net Promoter, NPS, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered U.S. trademarks, and Net Promoter Score and Net Promoter System are service marks, of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.