A trend is emerging at West with more and more marketers getting in touch to talk about our cloud contact center technology. And they’re asking some very interesting questions. The conversations with marketers tend to share a common theme; how can contact center software help them create better customer experiences.
The Customer Experience Battleground
A recent Gartner survey found that 89 percent of marketers expect customer experience to be their primary differentiator in 2017. That’s compared to just 36 percent four years ago. This shift is bound to bring organizational change with ownership of the customer experience is being transferred to the marketing department. Gartner also predicts that this year, the CMO will spend more on technology than the CIO.
Further supporting this news, the Salesforce 2016 State of Marketing report found that marketers are increasingly shifting their focus into new territories, including customer experience, journey mapping and social media engagement. The need to deliver a seamless dialogue has marketers’ priorities evolving and increasingly they are looking to technology for answers. Yet marketing technology alone will not address the shift to multichannel customer communications.
Customers Just Want Effective Interactions
Your customers don’t really care who owns their experience, but they do want to be able to have effective and meaningful interactions with your brand. By rights, the contact center should be the axis of the customer-centric business model. It is the most common two-way touch point customers have with most businesses. Yet, in most organizations, it is still disjointed with the rest of the business, sitting apart in a separate silo and perceived as a cost center that exists purely to manage incoming customer inquiries and complaints.
Integrating Marketing Into the Contact Center
If you believe (like we do at West) that your overall marketing model and approach should be customer-centric, then it makes more an more sense place the contact center right in the middle of your marketing plan. The contact center is the closest channel to the customer, and as such can give a marketing team touch points and insights it can't get anywhere else. Here is a diagram of what a customer-centric marketing model looks like when integrating the contact center:
Many forward-thinking brands are already taking the lead by integrating marketing with the contact center. In West’s model of a customer-centric universe, the contact center works in harmony with your marketing strategy so that:
- Marketing campaigns are included with customer communications. Inbound and outbound calls, email and social media should all working in unison to create a seamless customer dialogue.
- The contact center is able to blend inbound and outbound contact. Your team should be able to respond to incoming contacts generated by marketing campaigns, as well as providing resources for outbound telemarketing campaigns to ensure increased return on investment for every marketing dollar you spend.
- Communication is personalized to the customer’s needs and preference. This enables you to deliver an outstanding customer experience that contributes to building long-term loyalty and ultimately increasing sales.
How can you achieve this vision? Our marketing led contact center manifesto suggests five rules for merging marketing and the contact center to create a customer-centric organization.
Read the Marketing Led Contact Center Manifesto Today