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Could Customer Service Software be the Answer to the Separation between Marketing and Service?

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November 08, 2012

Could Customer Service Software be the Answer to the Separation between Marketing and Service?

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

What level of customer service do your customers expect when contacting your company? Is that experience consistent across all channels or is one more focused on the quality experience than another? If you’re not focused on an integrated channel approach with consistent service and proper monitoring, you could be missing out on key advantages possible with consistency. Fortunately, customer service software can help. 

A recent KANA blog highlighted the importance of customer service software and what it can do in a multichannel environment. The exciting thing is that you now have multiple options when it comes to engaging the customer in a value-added interaction. But, if one channel is controlled by one division within your organization while other channels are controlled by others, collaboration between the two must take place if the customer journey is to be completely understood. 

Research conducted by KANA and the CCA found that the marketing department and the contact center are not always on the same page when it comes to the customer experience. In fact, while social media is growing as a powerful customer service initiative, only 47 percent of respondents believe marketing directors have an increased role to play in making decisions regarding customer service software investments. 

Keeping in mind that participants were contact center employees, these results do suggest a disconnect between the two departments. While senior executives suggest that marketing understands the channels and the role they play within the organization, customer service is viewed as understanding the inbound channels and the customer. If this type of separation really exists, it’s critical for marketing and service to work together. If marketing is focused on new customers and service is focused on retention, however, how will their services overlap?

In all reality, the two departments will only work together if it is mandated by upper management as a requirement. Typically, the contact center gets mixed messages from its leaders, messages that tend to change with the tides. Customer service software can introduce a strategy to gain clarity, as long as all players are on board. KPIs (key performance indicators) must be realistic and support collaboration and reporting must be focused on initiatives that truly support the ultimate goal of the organization: optimizing the total customer experience. 

To accomplish this goal, customer service software needs to be deployed that allows for the development of a customer centric contact center where agents become customer advocates. These agents then need to be measured and compensated according to their work on behalf of the customer. In most environments, this would require a drastic, and potentially expensive, change, but one delivering significant benefits in the long run.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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