On Wednesday this week I’ll be participating in a Webinar focused on how customer service is changing and how companies with expertise in delivering a great customer experience (CX) are developing a new role as partners to their clients. The webinar also features Amit Shankardass, who leads marketing for the Teleperformance English Speaking World, and the well-known industry analyst Peter Ryan from Ryan Strategic Advisory. The webinar is being chaired by the very able Guy Clapperton, editor of Professional Outsourcing magazine.
As a strategy, outsourcing has traditionally been used to deliver commoditised services. Think about the ‘core competence’ strategy that has been popular since the 1990s and suggested that company leaders should focus on what their company does differently and then just outsource all the other functions.
Naturally, this led to many companies outsourcing their contact centre to contact centre providers because answering calls was not seen as a core competence in many organisations.
However, this strategy depended on the relationship between customers and brands working in a certain, specified way. In the industry it’s called the ‘customer journey’ and it maps the way that a customer becomes aware about a product, finds out more, and then eventually makes a purchase. In a traditional customer journey the customer might see some advertising or a marketing campaign, they can go online to find out more information, then make a purchase, and eventually get in touch with the customer service team if they have a problem or question.
That is a linear step-by-step process that is easy to define and understand. Some companies still plan their marketing and customer service this way, but the reality is that customer expectations and behaviour are changing fast.
Customers today will expect brands to answer questions at any point in the customer journey and on any channel that they choose. They will publish blogs and opinion on social networks. They will read with that their friends have published. They will see online videos about your products. They will check price comparison sites. They will see how review sites, like Tripadvisor, aggregate the opinion of many into a score for your product or service. In short, the customer journey is entirely different and is now a non-linear processes where the customer can engage with brands at any time and can also get information from many different sources.
Staying on top of this is a complex business and many companies are struggling to move on from the idea of a customer service contact centre to an omnichannel customer relationship team that is not just offering a post-purchase customer service, but is actively building a better relationship with the customer – therefore this team is now also involved in sales and marketing efforts.
We will be discussing this change in the way that brands can work with CX experts on the webinar. Outsourcing in the CX environment has moved far beyond the delivery of commoditised services that are not within the core competence of the client. Outsourcing CX today is about finding a partner that can help your business to build a better long-term relationship with your customers.
For more information on how to participate in the webinar on Wednesday November 9 at 15:00-15:30 (London GMT) or 10:00-10:30 (NYC Eastern Time) please click here.
Curating your Omnichannel Customer Ecosystem