Why is marketing integration critical to the digital experience at the contact center?

Digital Business Transformation

We know we have silos. We know they are not useful. As leaders, we must insist the customer service (the contact center) and marketing align their functions.

As call center agents are on the front lines and make their living speaking to customers and prospects, they know first-hand which words and phrases resonate. Efficiency of interactions is critical for agents, and as such they are keenly aware of what works and what does not when trying to explain products and services over the phone. It is an art form, and experienced agents are masters at their crafts. We all know this.

So how do you integrate this talent within the corporate marketing functions? Start small, but think big. 

Begin with a complicated message and then help marketing simplify. Reps are uniquely qualified to breakdown complex concepts and deliver it in such a way that it is easily digestible. They know…

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Yes, we can use customer (big) data!

digital_customerOne of the main challenge of a successful digital transformation is customer centricity: understanding what the customer wants at every second and be ready to deliver him the best service accordingly. To achieve this, companies need to know better their customer, implying for them to gather more information about him, or at least in a more effective way.

That is where the famous “Big Data” idiom pops up immediately, bringing with it at the same time the challenges of volume handling and data quality on one hand, and the privacy aspect on the other hand. Recent news about China hackers having stolen indentifying information of 4 million US federal workers makes the topic very actual by the way. As a consequence, a company using obviously customers data could be very quickly seen as “big brother” and would suffer of a negative image.

On the other hand, we see the value of Big data while improving daily life of smartcities inhabitants like in Songdo or savings lives by using social media info to react more accurately during natural catastrophies. So, why not profiting from them as individual in our daily consumer life as well?

We then reach a dilemma: should we use customer data to offer him better service, or shouldn’t we? Is it by the way profitable? Continue reading

Digital transformation: just a trend or a reality?

IT has been subject of many trends in the past 15 years.

Some were effective and had a deep effect on the way companies are using it. Usage of email as first communication factor has been a very good example even if Today some, like Atos, are thinking of replacing it by social media platforms.

ballet_etourneauxSome others were more like fashions pushing many CEOs and CIOs to adopt from day to day the strategies that strong gurus were predicting to be unavoidable. It has been funny for instance to notice how outsourcing was “the way to go” 15 years ago, then being neglected (see particularly 2006 conference of Prof Strassmann: “Is Outsourcing Profitable?“) and now coming back again.
Were companies having deeply outsourced their IT more successful than the ones having kept their know-how in-house? Difficult to say. There are success stories on both sides.

All in all, we may understand that, after the Y2K issue that required strong attention of business to their IT, new subjects popped up on a very regular basis driving budget choices, sometimes with expected ROI that were slightly theoretical.

And now, for about 2 years, a new topic has risen up: Digital Transformation !

But what do we actually mean by this? And how CFOs and CEOs can be sure that the expensive changes such approach requires are a necessity for their company growth?

Continue reading