There’s Customer Feedback Gold In Your Contact Center

I recently examined Forrester’s data to find out how consumers provide feedback about bad service experiences. (For my full analysis, see: "How Consumers Complain About Poor Service.") The big takeaway is that consumers are much more likely to provide feedback directly to companies through relatively traditional channels (surveys, phone calls, email, surface mail) than provide feedback publicly through social channels (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, review sites). More specifically, 71% of US consumers provided feedback through at least one traditional channel (including email), while only 16% provided feedback through any of the social channels we asked about.

This may not be a huge shocker, but it is hugely important for customer experience leaders building out voice of the customer (VoC) programs. Most companies already use surveys extensively, and social media is now a hotbed of VoC activity. Yet the contact center is still largely untapped. That’s a shame, considering the mountains of valuable unstructured and unsolicited customer feedback buried in calls, emails, and letters.

Customer experience leaders need to step back for a minute to align their VoC efforts with their customers’ feedback behaviors. If there’s customer feedback gold in your contact center — and there probably is — you should mine that resource.


I couldn't agree more with

I couldn't agree more with the perspective above. In fact the thought needs to be taken further by emphasizing the need to create a Customer Experience strategy that is truly "cross-channel" versus one that is channel-specific.

If we consider the Retail industry, contact centers are a critical channel for delivering Sales and Service capabilities. However, most retailers restrict the use these contact centers as components of the "Direct" channel (which also includes the Web) versus taking a more holistic view point. I'll illustrate this holistic view with an example - Lets say that a shopper had a poor in-store experience and lodges a complaint with the contact center through a phone call and an email. Next time the same shopper enters the retailer's store again (same location or any other location), wouldn't it be nice if at the checkout counter a store associate checks with the shopper whether she found "todays" experience better and whether her original issue was resolved. You can be certain that the shopper feels good about the fact that she has been heard and that she received "personal" attention. That is the key to improving customer loyalty.

For this to work, it is critical for the Customer Experience executives to think critically about the technology investments needed in the contact centers to drive deep analytics for mining the customer feedback "gold". This will inform differentiated/ targeted customer engagement strategies across channels - thereby driving increased customer loyalty and hence revenue uplift. However, this will require a shift in mindset where in contact centers are considered more than just a cost center asset, which need to either outsourced, offshored or near-shored.


You couldn’t be more correct.

You couldn’t be more correct. The call center is a treasure trove of information for improving customer service, loyalty and even the products we offer. As this article ( points out, customer service leadership can help companies stand out from the pack. The information that comes into the call center can help a business glean what’s needed to lead in its field.