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Better Customer Relationships Lead to Increased Sales and Profits
January 18, 2008
 
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Contact centers around the world often encounter a variety of reactions to customers when involved in an interaction over the phone. These reactions can greatly depend on the caller’s total experience before ever reaching the agent, as well as how the customer feels they are being treated by the agent.

While these contact center agents are likely well versed in the role that they play in serving the customer, they may not know just how important it is to establish a relationship with the customer.

The Economist Intelligence Unit conducted a global survey last year where it determined that the establishment of a deep connection with the customer is becoming increasingly important in the order to establish loyalty.

The survey, which was sponsored by Adobe Systems (News - Alert), found that eight in 10 executives felt that their companies were losing sales every year due to customers not being engaged. One in 10 estimated that insufficient customer engagements accounts for 50 to 75 percent of lost sales.

For companies who depend on sales revenues for their long-term success, losing sales every year at an increasing rate will mean the end of the business. For the contact center that has made specific changes to go from being a cost center to a sales center, failing to connect with the customer will defeat the purpose.

For those executives that were surveyed, 80 percent believed that stronger customer engagement would translate into improved customer loyalty; 76 percent believed that it would increase revenue; and 75 percent believed that it would increase profits.

The survey did well to highlight that customers today demand information and interaction from anywhere, at anytime and from any medium. Technology plays a vital role in customer engagement with technologies such as electronic forms, Web sites and multimedia gaining even more important in the coming years.

One effective way for the organization to help foster an environment where the customer feels they have a deeper relationship with the company is to capture data from customers within the contact center. That data is then plugged into the customer’s profile for future use when interacting with the customer.

While the organization can use this information to develop customized products and services for this customer and deems it another revenue source, the customer will view the process as the company caring enough to know what he or she likes, buying preferences, and so on.
By ensuring that contact center agents focus their efforts on providing the best possible experience for the customer, they will not only help to drive revenues within that particular interaction, they will help to make that customer a customer for life.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for eastbiz.com. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.
 
Mark your calendars! Internet Telephony (News - Alert) Conference & EXPO — the first major IP communications event of the year — is just days away. It’s not too late to register for the event, which takes place in Miami Beach, FL, January 23–25, 2008. The EXPO will feature three valuable days of exhibits, conferences and networking that you won’t want to miss. So what are you waiting for? Sign up now!
 
 

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