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Senior Vice President, Client Services, Frank is responsible for overseeing all the company's client services activities, including client applications development and scheduling.

Tips for Protecting Your Goldmine

via D'Arcy Norman on Flickr

Have you been considering an outreach program to your customers or prospects to tell them about your products or services but just aren’t sure about the customer experience? Good for you!

Your customer database is a goldmine when handled correctly.

In the wrong hands, that investment could disappear. What things should you consider before collaborating with an outsource contact center? What controls should they have in place to make you confident before you begin outsourcing your customer interactions with them?

Any contact service provider should make you feel secure that:

  • Your customers will enjoy the interaction ( leading to increased loyalty and profitability).
  • Your company will be represented professionally.
  • Your brand will be protected and enhanced.

In any industry, it only takes a few bad players to wreak havoc on public perception. Fortunately, many legitimate companies know the right way to do things and understand the long-term, inter-relationship impact, contact centers have for the client and the customer. We conduct each call with great respect for the customer experience, and we do it hundreds of thousands of times a day. In my role, I am responsible to our clients for delivering those services in a way that meets these same goals and objectives. I regularly discuss this very issue with prospective clients and here are a few tips I urge them to consider in the selection process.

  • It IS your call – Make sure you are in the “driver’s seat” when it comes to how your company is identified and represented. From the caller ID display to the final close, you should have access and input into the process so your brand and customer’s experience is a positive one. Make sure you are able to visit the facility and audit the customer interaction. Beware of practices that keep you out of the loop. 
  • Stay out of jail – Make sure the company has a legitimate compliance process and a clean track record. There are national and state compliance laws and regulations, as well as industry standards that should be followed. There are complex requirements that cover everything from the Do Not Call lists, to credit card security, to licensing and appointments of agents and representatives. Look for companies with a solid track record in your area of interest and for industry compliance certification like ATA-SRO and PCI-DSS. Ask about previous violations or fines and be wary of the few small operators who are here today and gone tomorrow (to open somewhere else).
  • Take a test drive – If you are unsure of the best approach and want to try different offers and messaging, make sure the company has a process to conduct a “trial” or “test” prior to full implementation. This lets you observe the customer experience and tweak the results to determine the most effective process before implementing on a full scale. An unwillingness to test, or to properly scale a program, may indicate a lack of confidence or inexperience with similar programs. Stick with a group having real experience to back up any ideas or adjustments your program might need to increase success.

This is just a start. If you want to hear more, contact us!

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