smith+co on
customer experience
Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Jul 21 2008

Customer Experience Management (CEM): The new frontier for the Contact Centre

We at smith+co have just made a significant global announcement with Cincom (see press release under ‘News’ on the right). Our joint initiative finally brings a proven Customer Experience Management methodology to the contact centre (or ‘center’ if you are reading this in the US).

The Contact Center Experience

If we look at how markets evolve over time we see a shift from competing primarily on the basis of product functionality and efficiency of distribution, through to winning business through added- value services and marketing activity and finally offering differentiated experiences that create an emotional pay-off for the customer and create ‘share of mind’. I suggest that contact centres and the technology that supports them are following a similar path.

Interaction Management to CRM to CEM

We are seeing a shift from Interaction Management (handling inbound transactions) to CRM (managing outbound sales) to CEM (integrated call centre experiences). Some organisations, and energy companies are the worst, remain stuck at stage one; many have made the transition to stage two (many telco’s use CRM primarily to poach customers from competitors).

I predict that this is the future for those organizations wishing to move their operation from being a cost-centre or marketing-engine to one that is an integral and value-adding touch-point in the complete customer experience. Dimension Data concluded in their 2007 contact centre benchmarking report ‘The majority of contact centers are still run as cost centers, not as strategic business units’.

I’ve written an article which helps you get to grips with how to move to managing the Customer Experience in the contact centre. The above is partly extracted from it. You can find the full article as a downloadable pdf over on the right, near the top of the column, under the ‘Articles’ heading.

If designing a distinctive Customer Experience into your contact centre is a priority for you - and I have to say it should be in these hyper-competitive times - do contact us to find out more.