As the contact center becomes more strategic, some companies are using their service organization to help promote their brand. This doesn't necessarily occur only through the service delivery itself. It's more about contact center agents representing the company as a brand ambassador in other ways, says Jonas Nicholson, executive vice president of Direct Interactions. For example, companies such as Comcast hire at-home agents like disabled workers and wounded veterans, which extends their brand promise of being socially responsible. Others are using at-home agents, modifying their physical centers, or providing carbon offsets to make their centers more environmentally friendly. Each of these efforts goes a long way to build on the brand's reputation.
"The trend is moving toward brand ambassadors in the call center," Nicholson says. "Companies are looking for more than just nameless, faceless agents. They are informing their customers that they are being socially or environmentally responsible" in press releases, advertisements, customer communications, and activity in programs like the Wounded Warrior Project. "Social responsibility is something that can tip the competitive scale."
Nicholson recommends that companies take every available opportunity the contact center presents to build goodwill with customers. "People may stick with a vendor because of the brand ambassador in the call center."