Thursday, February 12, 2015

Customer Contact East Webinar Recap

By Lindsey Walker
Integrated Marketing Solutions Coordinator
Frost & Sullivan

On January 28, 2015, Frost & Sullivan’s Principal Analyst in Customer Contact, Michael DeSalles, led an engaging panel discussion titled: Dynamic Customer-Centric Strategies: 10 Strategies in 20 Minutes. Michael was joined by Cippy Seidler, the Call Center Director at Banner Health, and Sean Albertson, the Director of Performance and Technology at ViaSat. Both presenters delivered their insight on how to engage your customers, and interestingly enough, many of their tips started with engaging your employees first.  Below, are each speaker’s biggest takeaways from the webinar.

1.    Focus on the journey of your employees

Siedler’s main point was that any successful company and leadership team should focus on the journey of the employee by “engaging their hearts and minds,” helping them transition from an “agent” to an “ambassador,” while moving away from the “transitional job” stigma that call center jobs often carry. Creating a supportive employee environment, with an actively involved leadership program, is one of Siedler’s critical recommendations for supporting her employees. “By giving them the tools they need to be successful it provides a lot more opportunities down the road.” Siedler invests in the journey of her employees, and focuses primarily on creating trust and a sense of accountability by setting clear expectations for both sides. This, inherently leads to employees being more likely to participate in advanced training, peer training, and in turn, becoming an “ambassador, or role model,”  for their company.

2.    Capture the voice of your customer

Albertson’s insight provided another look at focusing on the customer experience, and capturing the true voice of the customer, while searching through an over-saturation of data in the information age. Albertson believes that sorting through the seemingly endless amounts of data “noise” to find value, is extremely important to understand and find the main voice of the customer. The key, is finding “anecdotal data at a human level” and “leveraging resources to support this data statistically” to add value to the business. An organization perceives the voice of the customer program differently amongst each department and sales channel, so it’s important to understand each department’s needs, and “report effectively” by bringing in real examples of customers’ specific stories. When simply using surveys, employees only get a broad overview of a customer’s level of satisfaction. With a little “elbow grease” to dig up the actual experiences and additional feedback from their customers, employees are able to see trends in what specific customers are looking for, and then to appropriately tailor their approaches to increase customer satisfaction and retention.

Visit to hear the rest of Cippy and Sean’s dynamic customer-centric strategies, in addition to their answers from the audience question and answer session!  Additionally, you can gain real world insight and experience by meeting  the presenters in person at the 11th Annual Customer Contact 2015 East: A Frost & Sullivan Executive MindXchange on April 12-15, 2015, in sunny, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Visit for more information and instructions for registering for the event.

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