The new customer experience battleground: why marketing is moving in on the contact centre

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We are seeing growing evidence of a new trend at Magnetic North; more and more marketers are getting in touch to talk about our contact centre technology. And they’re asking some very interesting questions. Many of our conversations with marketing people share a common theme; how can contact centre software help them create better customer experiences.

What is going on and what is driving this change?

A recent Gartner survey found that, by 2016, 89% of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience, as compared to just 36% four years ago. This is a huge shift and one that is bound to bring organisational change. And it seems that ownership of the customer experience is being given to the marketing department. In fact Gartner predicts that by 2017, the CMO will spend more on technology than the CIO.

If you were still in any doubt, Salesforce’s 2015 State of Marketing report found that marketers are increasingly shifting their focus into new territories, including customer experience, journey mapping and social media engagement. The need to deliver a seamless dialogue has ensured that marketers’ priorities have changed and increasingly they are looking to technology for answers. Yet marketing technology alone will not address the shift to multichannel customer communications.

Your customers don’t really care who owns their experience; but they do want to be able to have effective and meaningful interactions with your brand. By rights, the contact centre should be the axis of the customer centric business model. It is the most common two-way touch point customers have with most businesses.

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Yet, in most organisations it is still disjointed with the rest of the business, sitting apart in a separate silo, perceived as a cost centre that exists purely to manage incoming customer enquiries and complaints.

This needs to change and encouragingly many forward-thinking brands are already taking the lead here, by integrating marketing with the contact centre.

In Magnetic North’s model of a customer-centric universe, the contact centre works in harmony with your marketing strategy so that:

– Marketing campaigns are integrated with customer communications – with inbound and outbound calls, email and social media all working in unison to create a seamless customer dialogue;
– The contact centre is able to blend inbound and outbound contact so it can respond to incoming contacts generated by marketing campaigns, as well as providing the resource for outbound telemarketing campaigns to ensure increased Return on Investment for every marketing pound or dollar you spend;
– Communication is personalised to the customer’s needs and preference, delivering an outstanding customer experience that contributes to building long-term loyalty and ultimately increasing sales.

So how can you achieve this vision? Our marketing led contact centre manifesto suggests five rules for merging marketing and the contact centre to create a customer-centric organisation.

David Ford
I am an experienced engineer, director and corporate adviser with focus on technology sector. I now work as the Managing Director of Magnetic North. Magnetic North is leading the contact centre in the cloud revolution by providing organisations of every size with a high-availability, secure, enterprise-class solution at a fraction of the cost of the cost of traditional systems, together with transparent pricing, out-of-the-box integration and continuous product innovation.

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