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Is Your Contact Center Transitioning to An Engagement Center?

Question asked by scottkendrick Employee on Dec 2, 2015

We've been discussing this evolution from Call Center, to Contact Center, to now Customer Engagement Center, that is subject matter in Gartner Analyst Michael Maoz's blog where he outlines why they have renamed their magic quadrant for this space: The beginnings of the CRM Customer Engagement Center - Michael Maoz


We often use the following graphic to explain this evolution.  The narration that supports this graphic is as follows.


The  Call Center became the Contact Center when organizations began adding new channels for supporting customers, partly in an effort to reduce support costs but also arguably to give customer choice in how they wanted to interact. These new channels were, or have been for the most part, siloed - discrete independent methods of communicating with an organization.  As a result, calls became contacts and speech analytics expanded to interaction analytics. 


Today with social media the methods in which customers and organizations can communicate has risen dramatically.  There are several reports and surveys that indicate consumers expect the same level of response time and support regardless of channel, but organizations previously haven't been equipped to provide this level of support.  Often responsibility for at least LISTENing to social channels lives in Marketing, not in Customer Care, and Marketing who has traditionally focused on proactive and not reactive communication, is not equipped to respond to customer inquiries in the same fashion customer care responds to inquiries coming into the contact center. Marketing's listening was targeted towards understanding customer sentiment, brand loyalty, and of course, dealing with brand fires.  Often those brand fires were the result of a poor experience occurring within the contact center. Additional reports and surveys on consumer expectations indicate that the customer expects to be able to carry on a conversation across channels. Equally, organizations want to be able to use the appropriate channel for communicating back to the consumer.  Perhaps a phone call for maintenance issues leads to a text message with the address of the nearest retail outlet.


This defines a customer experience that is channel agnostic and the commonly used buzz term "omni-channel".  In order to meet customer expectations, organizations need to transition from multi-channel Contact Centers to omni-channel Customer Engagement Centers. This can have sweeping changes not only in the technology required to support this model, but even in organizational structure - where responsibility for customer and marketing may be merging under one roof. Being able to analyze and improve customer engagement will require analytics platforms that are both channel agnostic and able to analyze the entire customer journey.


I've written a lot to kick this discussion off but my main question is... does this hold true in your organization?

- Are you migrating to a customer engagement center as described above and for the reasons described?

- Are you seeing an integration of any sort between marketing and customer care (or has this already happened)?


Would love to hear your thoughts.