Article week 08 – 2024

From Cost to Profit Center: The important Role of the Service Center in Business Transformation – Part II

As described in Part 1 of this article, transforming a service center from a cost- to a profit center requires a clear vision and strategy that go beyond simple operational changes. The evolution is based on a strong focus on operational excellence, the use of customer feedback for innovation, a clear proactive approach as opposed to a classic reactive approach and a clear commitment to taking on sales tasks. Implementing this vision requires organizational adjustments, technological enhancements, and extensive training.

This article highlights some of the issues you should consider in order to successfully manage the transition.

Transformation and technology:

  • Omnichannel integration (if not already in place) is the most important step. Finding the right platform for a 360-degree view of customer interactions, regardless of the channel used, and implementing it correctly is not easy, but it is a foundation for the success of the project. A unified communication platform that seamlessly integrates phone, email, chat and social media ensures a consistent customer experience.
  • Telephone system with automatic dialer to support outbound sales. Systems that monitor call analysis and sales performance are ideal.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) is integrated in a first step through chatbots, RPA and intelligent knowledge databases. In this way, routine inquiries can be processed automatically, freeing up agents to focus on more important tasks such as sales.
  • In the next step, voice and text analysis are relevant in order to extract valuable information from past and current customer interactions and use this for sales approaches in service.

Data Competence

It is important to understand that the development of data literacy is inextricably linked to the responsible management of customer data. A key aspect of this is strict compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and national data protection laws, as well as the systemic implementation of these requirements and the targeted training of employees in this area.

  • Business intelligence (BI) Tools effectively help to analyze data and enable decisions to be made on the basis of relevant facts. The integration of BI tools enables user-friendly analysis and visualization of data such as customer information, interaction histories and sales data.
  • Continuous analysis of customer feedback (VoC) and sales performance makes it possible to find weak points in the overall process. Process data mining tools are particularly suitable here.
  • Customer Journey Analysis Tools can be used to record all customer interactions.
  • The introduction of Predictive Analytics Tools, which aim to predict customer needs and optimize sales strategies, plays a crucial role in supporting optimal deployment planning. These tools lay the foundation for (hyper)personalized interaction and enable precise targeting of sales campaigns.

Sales expertise in the service-center

Driving the vision and aligning teams to sales targets requires managers with a clear sales focus. Building specific teams for sales support and using suitable trainers to improve sales skills are key to success.

Collaboration between sales, marketing, product and customer support and synchronization of all activities is also essential.

To make the transformation from support center to profit center a success, training measures must be implemented for the agents. This ensures that they are optimally prepared for their new tasks and can successfully implement the changes.

  • Training of the new vision for the service center will help employees to successfully master the tasks ahead while counteracting resistance.
  • Empathy and soft skills training will enable agents to build a strong connection with customers and better recognize their needs.
  • Intensive product training enables agents to present products convincingly and recognize cross-selling opportunities.

In summary, the transformation will only be successful if leadership, technology, and knowledge building are aligned to establish a proactive and customer-centric service center.

Let’s talk about what the specific approach could look like for your organization.

Carme Prats – Senior Consultant


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