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Customer Experience, Contact Center Solutions and the Move to 'Constant Personal Attention'

August 29, 2012

 For those of you who follow me, hopefully you read my recent article titled, “Survey Reveals most Americans could use Better Education on Cloud Computing.” Along with reviewing the results of a recent Citrix survey that highlighted the industry’s need to better educate the average consumer about all things cloud, it mentioned my introduction to a new term that really is a grabber, ”Constant Personal Attention.” 

In thinking about the evolution of the language we use to describe new spaces in the tech world, it struck me that this is one worth socializing. Assuming you agree, your help would be appreciated. The only caveat is that the term does not get shortened to CPA. We have enough of them.

The transformation of customer experiences and contact centers

There has been recognition in recent years that after decades of business as usual, call centers have become contact centers. And, as such, contact centers have been viewed as not only as the front end of enterprise supply chains, but also as immensely valuable customer engagement centers. They have morphed from being viewed by C-levels as necessary evil cost centers to being the front lines of how to:

  • Create trusted relationships
  • Solve problems that reduce churn
  •  Generate customers satisfaction and up-selling opportunities
  •  Leverage multi-channel capabilities to enhance brand recognition and reputation and hopefully turn customers into advocates
  •  Mine business intelligence that can be shared across the enterprise and used to create  competitive advantage and drive business process automation

In short, they have come to in many ways define, given management focus on improving customer experiences, truly “mission critical” assets. They are no longer technology investment afterthoughts.

This transformation we are going through is merely transitional. It is rolling thunder. Call it Customer Relationship Management (CRM) 3.0 just for grins. Where contact center solutions and the entire evolving CRM space at a high level is going is beyond mere inbound and outbound contact based on periodic campaigns or fielding inquiries. It is steadily moving toward enabling enterprises in a non-intrusive, permission-based way to enhance customer intimacy. It does so by enabling those who sell things to provide a virtual environment that is not only reactive or “pushy” but friendly, proactive and considerate of the fact that we all want what we want, the way we want it, when we want it, and at a perceived value that is in our zone of reasonableness.

The last sentence is the long way of saying that the ultimate customer experience is constant personal attention. It is the creation of an “E”vironment that not only responds to our immediate needs, but opens us to the genius of the late Steve Jobs (News - Alert) whose goal was to expose us to things we had not imagined that quickly become necessities. It expands not just the depth of our knowledge but also our horizons.

Will this next phase of dynamic transformation of contact centers happen over night? Hardly! Statistics show we are still early in the adoption curve of the current metamorphosis. However, the powerful and inexorable trends of markets devolving to Alvin Toffler’s “market of one” are afoot. They are being accelerated by a proliferation of ingenious apps and ubiquitous access that enable us to be educated consumers. The reality is that we want to be appreciated. In fact, we want to be pampered. However, we want pampering in a manner that accommodates our personal terms and conditions and not just those of people who would like our business. We even now have the tools to quickly punish those who are not appropriately sensitive to those terms of engagement.

As noted at the top, it appears that the term constant personal attention has legs. Just think, nobody knew what the cloud was just a few years ago and now we cannot escape it. This could have that kind of potential. I look forward to your thoughts. 

Interactive Intelligence (News - Alert) is a Platinum Level sponsor of ITEXPO West 2012. To be held Oct. 2-5 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX, ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. For more information on ITEXPO, click here




Edited by Jamie Epstein

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