Secrets to developing a great contact centre vendor and customer partnership

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There’s no shortage of technologies that purport to improve customer service quality.  There’s also no shortage of vendors selling contact centre technology solutions.  So how do you choose the technology vendors and solutions that best fit your needs?

Well it’s not just about the technology.

Given the complexity and fast changing nature of the contact centre environment, it is important that the vendor is capable of establishing a close working partnership with their customers to help them obtain the maximum return from their investment.

This involves a collaborative style of engagement whereby the vendor must engage closely with the customer to gain a thorough understanding of customer objectives and help meet them through the provision of products and services.

This partnership approach builds strong and trusting relationships resulting in benefits for customers in terms of more effective and relevant solutions, meeting both current and future requirements.

It means that the customer becomes part of the vendor’s ecosystem, and as a trusted partner is able to give constructive feedback on all aspects of the vendor’s engagement with the customer without the risk of damaging the relationship.

It means that the vendor can create their product roadmap incorporating customer requirements and deadlines for new features, as well as the vendor’s own vision of the future.

The benefits for the vendor of this type of customer relationship cannot be understated.  With this type of close working relationship, the customer will often feel a great sense of loyalty to the vendor and be willing to tolerate any problems that may arise with the product or service with more understanding and a helpful approach.   They are far more willing to recommend the vendor to others, and to participate in marketing initiatives.  They are also far less likely to leave the vendor for someone else.

All vendors should strive to work with customers in this way.  Besides offering innovative and technically advanced contact centre solutions, how vendors work in partnership with their customers really defines them as a supplier and is an essential ingredient to their growth and development.  It’s also a constant reminder that it is customers who matter most.

The best way to find out how a vendor interacts with its customers is not to ask the vendor!  It is to ask the customers.  Ask them what challenges they faced and how their vendor helped address them.  After all, it’s only when the going gets tough that the true nature of the relationship is exposed.  Find out how the vendor communicated with them, prioritised their issues and collaborated with them to produce solutions.

At Macfarlane, we are proud of our record of partnering with our customers.  You can find out here how we helped Serco London Cycle Hire gain recognition as an iconic initiative by delivering a first-class standard of customer care to London’s cyclists.  Read here how we developed a choice-based lettings (CBL) system and helped Northampton Borough Council transform its customer service. Click here to discover how Macfarlane helped London Borough of Richmond-Upon-Thames deliver an award-winning service through our close and collaborative engagement.

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