Sunday, 5 October 2008

Human Interactive Marketing

Having spent an hour on the phone with Verizon yesterday, I was reminded that the contact (or call) centre is still the most poorly used interactive marketing channel in the whole panoply. All of the efforts we make in targeting and tailoring in the other channels are simply not being replicated in this the most human of touchpoints. There are, my opinion, a couple of reasons for that:
  • Marketers are daunted by the technological challenge of bringing together the different data sources that would arm the contact centre representative with the right information to have a meaningful conversation with the customer/prospect (transactional data coupled with behavioural and third party demographic feeds).
  • In this age of "listening" and "marketing as a conversation", the call centre representative is not trained to really listen and interpret the customers' requirements. This would better facilitate both up and cross sell opportunities as well as creating a rich seam of data (insight!) to be fed back into the marketing organisation.
These factors - by their nature - create few opportunities for optimisation. Compare that to my tracking your onsite behaviour for the slightest clue of your intentions so that I can present content that better meets your needs - I have you on the phone, most likely you are going to be pretty explicit about what you are there to do.
When will multi-channel marketing get even close to where it needs to be?

12 comments:

Douglas Karr said...

When modern phone systems can easily be integrated into your customer relationship management system, it is quite a disappointment. Simply by utilizing caller ID, these phone systems could open up your account information to the waiting call center attendee and provide them all the information they need to 'get to know you' before the call even begins.

Mark Taylor said...

Agreed. It seems that as marketers (and most agencies) we are focusing on a single channel at a time - be it email, search, face to face...

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