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Call Center Week Highlights Customer Experience and Competitiveness

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As we close out Call Center Week 2013 in Las Vegas, I’d like to thank all the attendees ShoreTel had the opportunity to meet.  The week re-affirmed the importance of contact centers as the front door to an enterprise.

One trend I observed in my conversations was an increased awareness of the importance of “Customer Experience.”  This has become a bit of a buzzword of late, however it’s particularly relevant to those organizations which are attempting to differentiate based on service. I spoke with an insurance carrier who anticipated that the upcoming health care reform in the U.S. would lower the thresholds for customers to move from one carrier to another.  In such a market, being able to differentiate based on Customer Experience was crucial.

What does this mean to someone who is managing a contact center in such an environment?  Customers have several expectations.

Make it Easy for Me to Reach You
Customers want to be able to contact the organizations that serve them using the channel of their preference – a voice phone call, an e-mail, or a web chat.  They expect to be able to do so whenever they need to, and they expect the process to be easy.

Know Me
Customers want the organization to recognize them, know their preferences for communicating, and remember that they’ve communicated in the past on a particular issue.

Solve My Problem
Customers want the communication to result in a successful outcome.  Contact centers refer to this as First Call Resolution (FCR).  More importantly, it is this point of interaction that often has the most influence on whether a customer is inclined to be an advocate or promoter of the organization.  Enterprises measure this inclination with a Net Promoter Score (NPS). World class organizations (like ShoreTel) are using NPS as a key indicator of overall customer experience. ShoreTel’s NPS rating by its customers is among the highest. Stay tuned to the ShoreTel blog in the coming weeks for more information on our NPS.