Today, the hot word in marketing is “influence.” The voices that influence customers’ buying decisions and marketing impressions are “influencers,” and cultivating those voices has become the overriding goal of marketing. Social media has helped with the growth of influence marketing, as companies perceive that individuals with power – a reputation as knowledgeable or fashionable who has many social media contacts – can help spread their message organically and virally.
While they have a point – influence marketing can be very effective – many companies are missing the most important “voices” in their organization in the pursuit of celebrity influencers. These are the people who customers talk to the most, often on a weekly or monthly basis. They are contact center agents, and they’re more influential than anyone else, according to a recent blog post by Monet Software (News - Alert) CEO chuck Ciarlo.
“Each one of your agents may speak directly to dozens of your customers every day,” he wrote. “For companies that sell primarily online, theirs may be the only voice a customer will associate with your brand. And according to a survey conducted by a company called Mattersight, 70 percent of consumers will cut ties with a brand after just one bad experience.”
As it’s indisputable that agents have a lot of power to make or break your brand, it’s vital that you’re dedicating enough resources to enable them to do their jobs easily. It’s NOT their job to make sure that there are enough agents working at any given time, or that the resources to answer questions are available. Without supporting technologies such as workforce management, updated and easy-to-find databases of information, easy-to-navigate desktops and the power to really solve problems (instead of read scripts), agents won’t be able to make a great impression on your customer.
By ensuring that agents are supported both with ample time and resources, call center management can help agents make customers feel valued with personalized attention.
“Personalized marketing campaigns attempt this by crafting messages designed to appeal to a consumer’s specific needs,” wrote Ciarlo. “But that kind of personalization is easier to achieve in a one-to-one conversation. With a workforce management solution, agents can pull up past purchases, the caller’s location and previous contacts. With speech analytics, agents will be in a better position to tailor each call to a customer’s preferences. And by using analytics, raw call data such as recordings can be fashioned into actionable insight.”
When the customer hangs up or logs off, how he or she feels about your organization will be directly tied up with how the call or contact went. Anything but a wholly positive experience is not only a sales opportunity missed, but also a marketing opportunity.
“By providing experienced agents with the right technology solutions, your call center can serve as one of your most effective marketing outreach efforts,” wrote Ciarlo.
The next time your marketing team gathers to discuss “influence,” be sure they’re not leaving out discussion of the most important influencers of all.