How to close the gap between your business and your buyers - Calabrio
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How to close the gap between your business and your buyers

Brands in 2021 compete on experiences, how well we deliver on our brand promise to customers.

As a marketer, I wholeheartedly believe the companies that win understand their buyers best, enabling them to adapt that customer experience accordingly.

That’s why I was thrilled to partner with Calabrio on a recent live webinar along with Mary Moilanen, Manager of Business Intelligence Initiatives to unpack how organizations are tapping into the unfiltered voice-of-the-customer (VoC) insights collected in a contact center.

These insights are in-demand and extremely valuable across the organization – most popular today within CX, IT, Marketing and HR, per Calabrio’s recent State of the Contact Center report.

With 90% of surveyed managers expecting this trend to continue long term, contact center leaders are a critical source of customer intelligence, the most requested being:

  1. Customer sentiment and satisfaction (45%)
  2. Customer problems and needs (43%)
  3. Most-needed products and services (43%)

VoC is like gold for marketing

This insight is like “gold” to marketing leaders, said David Flores, Director of Client Services and Program Performance at GreenPath Financial Wellness in our recent conversation.

He told me that when COVID-19 began, call volume began to increase from callers who were looking for a particular service influenced by the pandemic. He shared this surge in product demand with Marketing, who quickly issued a campaign to promote this offer, driving a 300% increase for that service across the broader market.

This insight reflected the real time needs of GreenPath’s customers, and David’s story reminds us all that our strongest marketing is built on a foundation of customer insights that allow our brand to be relevant, timely, and speak directly to current buyer pain points.

“The insights that we’re getting every day from our customers is informing our marketing.
More important than who is calling is why – what caused the client to actually pick up the phone and call us today?” – David Flores

Watch our full conversation below, where we discuss how his team works to close the gap between marketing and the call center:

 

Marketing’s core priority

No amount of good marketing can fix a bad product experience.

As management consultant Peter Drucker taught us, “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”

Marketing’s job has always been to speak to what is happening in the world of the customer – and today, that insight often sits under-utilized in call center data.

“Think about all the things customers are saying that are absolute gold to a marketing department, such as how they’re feeling about your brand and competitors, insights into negative experiences and how they impact customer satisfaction,” said Mary.

Determining how customers perceive our brand is a constant priority for marketing leaders. As the old adage goes, your brand isn’t what you say it is. It’s what buyers perceive it to be.

Traditionally, Mary shared on our recent webinar, “you’re measuring what customers think when prompted – those results can be influenced by sample bias (e.g. only asking those who regularly buys from the company), or how you phrase your question. In a call center, customers call in and talk about your brand all day long. By harvesting and harnessing that voice of customer data, you can get an idea of what your customers think and feel – unfiltered, unbiased, unprompted.”

Those insights are like a map that keeps our brand relevant, and allows us to gain clarity into what expectations customers have, where our efforts are falling short, and what opportunities we’re missing.

Do we deliver on our brand promise?

Everyone has a different definition of what marketing is – to me, it’s asking “do we live up to the promise that we’re setting with our brand?” To me, marketing is the steward of that brand promise, which comes to life in the experiences our buyers have in the call center.

Here, we’ve got a ready-made library of living and breathing customer intelligence. These powerful insights are the critical first step to becoming truly connected across an organization.

Ventana Research predicts that by 2022, one-third of organizations’ marketing departments will be larger users of VoC analytics than the contact center, in order to use sentiment and behavioral insights to target customers.

“Modern VoC is more ambitious, providing insight about customers/into customer behavior that can be acted upon to create more revenue opportunities. When interpreted properly, VoC insights point out where an organization can find moments of influence or leverage that impact the customer experience and, ultimately, customer behavior.” – Keith Dawson, Ventana Research

It’s no surprise that Calabrio’s research finds, from the pandemic alone, 87% of managers believe that the pandemic has increased the importance of their contact center in the long term.

I encourage my marketing colleagues to be part of this momentum, and close the gap between our teams and the contact center – whether it’s due to data or team silos, outdated technology, or process and culture.

Our North Star – a unified, consistent customer experience – depends on it!

Next steps:

  • Listen to my podcast with Dave Hoekstra where we discuss how (and why) to bridge the gap between marketing and a call center, dig into the dangers of Stockholm Syndrome among your teams, feeling understood by the rest of the business, and the difference between agile marketing and Mad Men thinking.
  • Watch my on-demand webinar with Mary Moilanen where we share 9 ways to connect the enterprise (not just marketing!) with VoC insights.
Named “one of the most interesting people in B2B marketing" and a top marketing voice on LinkedIn 3X, Katie has been a startup CMO, SaaS entrepreneur, communications consultant and startup “Director of Buzz.” She served as Executive Director of Boston Content, New England’s largest community of content professionals. With a distinct opinion and independent perspective, Katie is a frequent speaker and emcee at conferences in the US and internationally. She bats cleanup and plays third base on her modified softball team.
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