Does Your Call Center Produce Revenue?


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Since it has been so many years since call centers could be linked to customer data, I had assumed that most companies would have linked customer service to improved retention and lifetime customer value. Yet this article by Mila D’Antonio, suggests that companies remain largely mired in the traditional efficiency-based method of managing the call center.

My experiences on hold lead me to believe the same, don’t yours?

What is the problem? Why aren’t companies investing in improving their customer experience on the phone, rather than just managing costs and efficiencies? It is combination of culture and technology that are the problem:

1. Lack of innovation in management. Call centers are managed by customer service instead of marketing. The old-time customer service vets are used to defending their budgets on efficiencies and traditional metrics.

2. Lack of cross-sell. Few call centers are capable of selling additional products and services to customers who call, even if those customers want to buy those services in the first place.

3. Lack of measurement. Due to lack of integration of call centers with customer transaction data, call centers do not track future behavior of customers who call, to see which customers have been successfully saved and the implication on lifetime customer value.

As you might guess, the road to reinventing the call center is not an easy or smooth one. Check out this article for more insight.

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Companies often get into the rut of overanalyzing efficiency metrics. A more insightful approach is to analyze performance-oriented measures that reveal opportunities for customer retention and growth.

Kate Leggett, senior analyst, customer service, at Forrester Research, is witnessing more of the status quo when it comes to actual practice in many contact centers. “I see a lot of talk about new metrics, but when you walk into a call center, it’s all about call rates, number of escalations, escalations in the queue, loading, productivity metrics, and attendance metrics,” Leggett says. “It’s very much a reactive, bottoms-up driven culture of measuring and slicing and dicing all the measurements from handle time to close time to productivity.”

Leggett explains that correlating operational metrics with customer service levels is difficult to achieve in most industries because it requires entire organizations to be responsible for moving the Net Promoter Score (NPS) or similar measures and involves executive alignment and buy-in to the high-level business performance indicators that help to tie all activities to customer-focused KPIs.

Forward-thinking companies, Leggett explains, are in fact trying to align business outcomes with NPS, as well as deploying sentiment analysis. “In a down economy, companies have to move the needle [on NPS],” she says. “Focusing on the customer experience and focusing on customer satisfaction is of paramount importance in keeping your customer base loyal.”


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Republished with author's permission from original post.

Mark Price
Mark Price is the managing partner and founder of LiftPoint Consulting (, a consulting firm that specializes in customer analysis and relationship marketing. He is responsible for leading client engagements, e-commerce and database marketing, and talent acquisition. Mark is also a RetailWire Brain Trust Panelist, a blogger at and a monthly contributor to the blog of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Marketing Association.


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