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Partnering for Life

Natalie Petouhoff, Ph.D has put together a report for Forrester detailing how organizations can improve customer experiences. An executive summary of Petouhoff's report is available at www.forrester.com/1to1cs

The report advocates repositioning the contact center as a strategic C-level business partner and offers six steps to improve the customer experience.

Step 1: Rethink service

Step 2: Define your customer strategy

Step 3: Use customer experience metrics

Step 4: Conduct a customer service gap analysis

Step 5: Implement customer service best practices

Step 6: Define who owns the customer experience

All of these steps are necessary for creating a successful customer experience. For many organizations, the contact center is regrettably viewed as a cost center where technology drives the center’s strategy.

It is imperative for any organization to truly understand the needs of the customer, create a customer driven strategy that drives the technology and satisfies the needs and wants of the customer.

However, assigning ownership is probably the most important and critical step. Often, the customer experience is “owned” by many groups within an organization. Without assigned ownership, contact centers are often caught between the competing interests of sales, marketing or customer service. In some cases, the lack of ownership leads to complete indifference.

In either scenario, the customer loses and you will drive down your customer lifetime value and reduce your bottom line.

And there isn't a company in this economy that can afford to do that.