The cost to an individual enterprise of not just of losing a customer but of winning a new one has highlighted an opportunity for the contact center outsourcing community. Vendors should no longer go to market with only a high-quality service offering, but also with strategies aimed at helping enterprises retain their end-user base via intelligent, proactive outreach, driven by analytics and via the right contact channel.
Customer experience means more than just good service
If the oft-cited statistic that it costs six times more to win a new customer than to hang on to an existing one is true, enterprises are truly under pressure to perform like never before. However, with CRM budgets expected to stay flat or to fall among the majority of enterprises over the next three years (according to Ovum's 2015 CRM Outsourcing Business Trends Survey), being able to maintain a loyal base of customers is vitally important. In Ovum's view, outsourcers need to take the lead in helping enterprise clients develop strategies to facilitate end-user stickiness; however, this will go beyond the traditional emphasis on high-quality interactions when a consumer happens to contact the enterprise. Rather, it will mean proactively reaching out to these same consumers, in order to demonstrate interest and to solicit feedback.
Many outsourcers have eschewed such business models over recent years, in many cases due to concern about not complying with do-not-call lists, for which rules can vary depending on jurisdiction. However, developing an approach in which outsourcers can engage with an enterprise's base of consumers in order to solicit feedback or indicate gratitude for a purchase is likely to go a long way to ensuring ongoing end-user loyalty and reducing the need for investment in winning new customers.
Use analytics to drive targeted interactions
One advantage that outsourcers can bring to the table is the provision of analytical tools and expertise, which enterprises are anxious to use but are often unable to invest in due to limited resources. By identifying inquiries, purchases, and follow-up interactions of individual consumers, outsourcers can target whom to speak with and for what purpose, thereby reducing the impression of cold-calling and emphasizing the fact that they are paying attention to each customer. To do so will likely mean a rise in not just the ability of enterprises to retain consumers, but increased stickiness between outsourcers and their clients.
Peter Ryan, Principal Analyst, IT Services