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Change Starts With Visibility, And Visibility Starts With The Contact Center
Tom Goodmanson, President and CEO, Calabrio, [email protected]

TomGoodmansonIf it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? That’s how many business leaders view change, and despite implementing digital transformation efforts, organizations are still failing to give customers what they want. Even with an influx of new technology and data, many executives and other key decision makers don’t have the full picture, which can stifle customer experience efforts. According to a new report, 68 percent of executives admit to avoiding making major changes unless there’s a problem. 

And more concerning, oftentimes C-suite leaders aren’t using all of the data available to them to make decisions, so they don’t know what’s really going on in the business. Though digital transformation remains a top priority for many organizations, netting a return on customer experience investment requires a deeper understanding of customer needs. That can only be achieved with better data, and better data comes from the contact center. With insights from the contact center, business leaders can finally gain the visibility they need to drive real business results and make the right changes to give customers what they really want.
Is digital transformation truly successful?
Digital transformation is happening, and it’s expensive. Sixty percent of survey respondents say they have made significant sales or marketing changes in the past 12-18 months, and IDC estimates that by 2019, businesses will spend upwards of $2 trillion on digital transformation efforts. 
But, more often than not, those changes stem from revenue fluctuations rather than direct customer feedback and insight. It’s no wonder that 59 percent of business leaders admit that they’ve led unsuccessful change initiatives that don’t deliver what customers want. This lack of customer satisfaction leaves executives stuck in an Instant Pot—they must rethink their approach to move beyond simply fixing problems and instead capitalize on opportunities.
What about all that data?
So how do companies make customer-focused efforts successful? The answer is by looking at the complete picture. The majority of executives (85 percent) know that data and analytics are important, but many remain firmly within their comfort zones. In fact, 39 percent of respondents admit that they rely too heavily on one data point, and revenue and social media feedback are their benchmarks of choice. On their own, those numbers give a skewed sense of customer sentiment and don’t tell the daily story of customer concerns, wants and needs. 
When contact center data is integrated with those other sources, organizations can finally gain a comprehensive understanding of customer behavior. Unfortunately, only 12 percent of executives are looking to contact center data to drive customer experience strategies. With customer data streaming in across all channels—social, email, webchat, phone and more—the contact center is a rich source of insights coming directly from the people companies are trying to serve.
Driving change from the contact center
To drive proactive business change, contact center analytics must become a primary source of customer information, and that means taking the complexity out of data. Many executives are aware that looking at one data point is not enough, but that doesn’t mean they’ll change their approach. There are a number of barriers that prevent that change, including the perception that the data is too complex (24 percent), there are too many sources (20 percent) or that it’s simply not valuable (19 percent).
When contact centers are backed by robust technology and priorities are aligned with overarching business goals, managers can design initiatives and implement the right analytics tools to deliver the insights that business leaders need. Then, with the right omnichannel strategies, contact centers can collect, analyze and understand why customers are saying what they do and get to the underlying sentiment. Only then will organizations have a complete view of the customer that will allow executives to make informed decisions before things become broken. 
It’s certainly true that change is hard, but without it, companies are missing out on valuable opportunities to build customer loyalty. With digital transformation continuing to drive significant evolution across organizations of all sizes, it’s important to cut through the noise to harness the right data and insights to give customers what they want. By listening to the voice of the customer and understanding the sentiment behind customer words and actions, business leaders can proactively make the right changes to build brand loyalty and, ultimately, benefit the bottom line.
Tom Goodmanson, President and CEO of Calabrio, has more than 20 years of experience leading fast growing dynamic software and technology companies. Since assuming the CEO position in 2009, Tom is credited with reinventing the company and its culture around a strategy to expand value and reach through new, innovative products, and remarkable customer experiences. Addressing the market need for simpler solutions to complex customer interaction challenges, Tom’s vision to redefine the standard for software ease-of-use has been instrumental in making Calabrio one of the fastest growing companies in the industry.
Prior to his role at Calabrio, Tom was a senior leader in several successful technology-based companies, including Gelco Information Network and Magenic Technologies. Tom currently holds a board seat at Virteva.
Tom has a B.S. degree in Accounting from St. Cloud State University.
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