Building out call center processes and marketing automation techniques can provide exponential benefits for your company.

When you hear "omni-channel" or "multichannel" marketing, what do you think of?

Perhaps, like many marketers, you think of combining your retail/in-store presence with your email program. Or, perhaps some of you think of incorporating multiple marketing approaches like email, direct mail and mobile push. Of course, these are all correct assumptions.

It's time to think beyond these traditional definitions, however. In today's competitive marketplace, where buyers expect individualized, targeted communications on all channels, it's necessary to think of innovative ways to create this ideal customer experience. The highest-impact multichannel initiative that you can implement could be found within another department in your own company. 

Consider combining the power of marketing with the skills, talents and processes of your business' call center. That's right, the call center. Think about it: This is the place where unhappy customers get turned around, where these callers can become raving fans. Or, it's the place where prospective customers call to get an answer to a specific question and where upsell and add-on revenue can happen with ease. It's time for the call center processes and marketing automation techniques to come together to provide exponential benefits for your company.

Worry not, I'm not suggesting that you combine organizations, but I am encouraging you to build out joint processes using scoring, automation, call prioritization, call routing and data enhancement. Of course to make this happen, you must integrate your digital marketing and call center databases. For this, you'll need to build out the rules for which fields need to be integrated and remember, not all fields have to be mapped to make for a fantastic combined workflow.

Below, I provide a few use cases to stimulate your thinking:

  • A (Read more...) user or prospective customer calls into the call center. Because the caller might not be in the marketing database, the call can be automatically routed to an agent assigned to new, unknown callers. From here, the agent can create a new record for the marketing database, capturing all the vital information. You can designate these new users to be automatically placed into an automated welcome or new user nurture program.
  • A high-value customer dials into the call center. Let's say the marketing department just sent out a great offer to only high-value customers and this offer prompted some of these customers to ring the call center. With an integrated marketing automation and call center solution, all of the relevant information about the mailing and the offer can be instantly known to the call center agent. They can have insight into what other products this high-value customer has, what mailings they have been sent and whether they have taken advantage of other offers. Plus, the caller can be automatically routed to the agent best suited to handle each customer's particular needs.
  • Call Anticipation. If marketing recently distributed a direct mail piece containing a special offer to a select group of customers inviting them to call in to take advantage of the limited time deal, the call center agent has insight into the details of the mailing and is able to base his/her conversation on this information. This kind of detailed insight sets up both parties for a great call - that will hopefully lead to an upsell or cross-sell!

I'm sure you can come up with even more examples in your company. Remember to start small and set up scenarios that are best suited for your business goals and needs. Keep in mind that the goal for these types of shared processes is improved customer experience, happier, more informed agents, enhanced call quality, agent productivity, and perhaps even increased revenues and cost savings.

To get the ball rolling, meet with your colleagues and management in the call center. Explain using your own use cases, the benefits of combining the data and processes of your two departments. Begin the integration work, then build out cross department campaigns and call routing rules. Done properly, you could be spearheading a project that could reap some stunning benefits for your company and your career.

If you have success stories integrating two departments within your own organization, please share them below!

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