In the land of CRM we often focus on the voice of the customer – and there is no way to overstate the importance of understanding what the customer thinks and needs. But this new blog will focus on equally important voices – the frontline employee and manager. I am talking about that employee that is responsible for the face-to-face, telephone or online interactions that occur millions of times daily. I am talking about the manager that is responsible for validating the success of those interactions.
Companies spend millions of dollars on technology to track and manage the relationship with their customers but not near as much on understanding the relationship with the employee. What makes them happy? What do they know about the customer? What makes one interaction successful and another similar to dragging your fingernails across a blackboard (remember those chalky versions of the whiteboard?)
If the National Contact Center Association is right, there are over 7.5 million contact center agents in the U.S. That sounds like a lot until you consider there are over 100 million enterprise workers that serve or interact with customers at some level. It is an industry that has not seen much innovation since the advent of CRM in the ’90s. Over the past 25 years there has been much innovation – especially with the impact that the internet has made. But, through it all, the one thing that has remained the same is the two to three minute “live” conversation that occurs between an agent and the customer.
So pull up a chair, bookmark the site and let’s share some information about the most important person in your company – the one that talks directly to your customers.