Like many of their counterparts in a company’s corporate functions, those running the customer service team are probably asking themselves right now, “How do I stop the leadership team from cutting my budget, let alone get them to invest?”
Corporate leadership often treats service like a cost center. If budgets fall across the company, so too is the customer service budget cut, even though call volumes might remain the same or grow. And – a double whammy – if customer service excels in performance in spite of monetary constraints, budgets are often then slashed in the name of efficiency.
Here are three ways to prove the service center’s value to the company.
1. Provide irrefutable data to prove your worth: Decide what case senior leaders will find most compelling — is it a successful service-to-sales program or a metric that proves how much a 1% improvement in customer satisfaction scores will affect overall revenue? Customer service managers should explain why the function is valuable in terms the business understands.
2. Build mutually-beneficial relationships with your peers: Developing professional, amiable relationships with other departments is essential to winning allies and champions.
Get in touch with and ask others, “How can we help make your job easier?” This way, customer service teams can help break through interdepartmental barriers. Marketing, Sales, Operations, and IT departments are the most common areas where customer service teams have built collaborative relationships.
3. Talk about your most important asset — the voice of the customer: Customer service teams can often be the canary in the coalmine for their company. The words reps hear on the phone, see on chat screens, or read in commentary are first-hand accounts of what customers are feeling at a time when they are likely to make lasting decisions about a company or brand.
Use voice-of-the-customer data to show the senior leadership team that you know better than anyone else how customers interact with the company’s products and services. That should make them sit up and listen.