The personal contact person
For years, companies have been optimizing their customer service by eliminating unnecessary contact, simplifying disruptive contact, and automating necessary but low-value contact. Recently, the fourth action dimension of Bill Price’s value-irritant matrix has come to the fore: leveraging personal dialogue through a particular contact person. However, this must first be sensibly integrated into the service architecture…
When it has to be good
Sometimes it pays to provide intensive customer care through a personal contact person. On the one hand, there is the intense and permanent support of vital, regular customers. For example, in B2B relationships, personal contact with your most crucial trade or craft partners helps to keep them close. Or when you’re looking to differentiate from competitors in highly competitive markets such as insurance. Or in highly complex relationships that require intensive employee training, which can often take weeks or months.
Availability and service efficiency have long been measured in large customer hotlines. Input channels are optimized and can actively be controlled through smart routing and distribution logic. However, corresponding mechanisms and tools are often missing among employees whose workplace is not organized as part of the contact center but rather as back-office processing. In consulting and tendering, we are increasingly confronted with the question of how the availability of employees, including the arrangement of representatives, can be technically realized and included in customer service reporting. The challenge here is that contact center systems are not optimized for this particular application!
An important starting point is often initially the conscious separation of the employee’s contact data from the contact data in his or her role as a customer service contact person, with a separate telephone number and e-mail address. In this way, more personal communication with colleagues and family can be separated and managed differently from customer service communication. The next step is to implement the individual requirements through appropriate scripting and reporting – whereby contacts can be forwarded according to a corresponding set of rules, including forwarding and timeout. Customers may be forwarded first to direct deputies, then to an entire team if necessary, and finally to a contact center. In this way, the company and its customers benefit equally from personal customer service and optimized, controlled, and measured availability.