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Earlier this month we were very honoured to host the South East Contact Centre Forum at our headquarters in Basingstoke. The Forum has over 100 members including some of the biggest across the region including a wide range of public and private sector industries.

We ran a couple of breakout sessions during the day where we asked attendees to discuss social media influence and customer effort as a method of routing or prioritising callers into the contact centre.

Customer Effort

The concept of customer effort routing suggests that if a customer calls your contact centre three times in a week then they probably have a significant or recurring problem. It might be appropriate to recognise this caller and deliver them a personalised experience:

“We recognise that you have contacted us a number of times recently. We are prioritising your call and directing you to one of our trouble shooters to get your issue resolved today.”

We asked attendees at the Forum to discuss in groups whether anyone was already using customer effort in their call plans, and if not, whether they should and how it might be implemented.

None of the attendees were currently taking previous call history into account when routing calls, although many felt it had merits. What was clear across all the attendees was that it was overly simplistic to route on the number or frequency of previous calls. In one case an overly enthusiastic customer was calling in multiple times a day to provide ‘suggestions’ and ‘advice’. Should this person receive preferential treatment?

Social Media Influence

Secondly we asked attendees to look at the concept of social media influence and whether call plans should take this into account. For many, Klout scores and Twitter followers are a new language. They infer how much influence someone has on social networks, for example Stephen Fry has a Klout score of 89 and approaching 5 million Twitter followers. He has an ability to spread any dissatisfaction with a supplier far and wide.

But because you could deliver Stephen Fry a different experience because of his social influence does that mean you should?

The attendees felt not on its own. Social influence needs to be taken in context with the type of customer, what products they have and how much they spend – routing needs to be due to the value of the customer and not purely as a damage limitation exercise.

It was fantastic to get such great input from the leading contact centres in the region. Do you route on either customer effort or social media influence? Do you plan to in the future?

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