The Never-Ending Customer Journey

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TomGoodmansonIn this special guest feature, Tom Goodmanson and Michael Bragg of the Calabrio Executive Team, discuss why contact center data is so important to every member of the C-suite and how, when viewed comprehensively, the organization as a whole will benefit. Tom has more than 20 years of experience leading fast growing dynamic software and technology companies. Since assuming the CEO position in 2009, Tom is credited with reinventing the company and its culture around a strategy to expand value and reach through new, innovative products, and remarkable customer experiences. Prior to his role at Calabrio, Tom was a senior leader in several successful technology-based companies, including Gelco Information Network and Magenic Technologies. Tom has a B.S. degree in Accounting from St. Cloud State University.

The customer journey is a complex story, told by many disparate data points collected along the path to purchase. Analysis of this data provides a snapshot of customer behavior, informing all arms of the organization how to adjust sales, marketing and technology strategies to ensure that the company meets goals and projections. Yet, even with today’s sophisticated tracking and CRM tools, there are still gaps because important contact center data is being left on the table.

By analyzing post-purchase customer interaction data collected by the contact center, a company can make substantial progress towards closing those gaps, making the contact center invaluable. Now, everyone – from the CEO to the CMO to the Vice President of Sales – can use voice-of-the-customer data to drive customer experience strategies. Once they realize that the customer journey extends beyond the purchase—that it is actually never-ending—executives across the organization will finally understand the asset they have in contact center data.

The Contact Center’s Value

If organizations look at the contact center as a direct line to customer wants and needs, it completely changes the value and perception of the department. Traditionally, contact center data is analyzed in a vacuum, with the main objective being improved departmental operations. Agents are trained to handle complaints and resolve calls quickly so they can move on to the next inquiry.

However, the contact center is the only arm of the organization where executives can truly hear what customers want – directly from the customers themselves. Rather than simply churning through phone calls, the contact center can be leveraged to really listen to the customer, and develop strategies to create a larger impact. When organizations dig deeper into the contact center data to understand sentiment, spot trends and glean insights, they can see a complete view of the customer journey to make intelligent, data-driven decisions.

The Complete Journey

For any executive, it’s important to view the customer journey from brand awareness all the way to post-sale. With contact center data, executives can analyze post-purchase behaviors and customer sentiment to learn if customers are truly happy. By comparing resolution times with escalations, companies see when a customer issue was escalated, how long it took to get fixed, and customer satisfaction along the way. In addition, contact center data can be measured against the initiatives of other departments, such as the effectiveness of a marketing promotion or recurring operational or product issues. Companies can remove the guesswork and connect the dots because, when customers interact with the contact center, they are telling brands exactly what they want.

The First Next Step

The first step towards extracting value from the contact center is to see beyond the repository of recorded calls kept for compliance purposes. Just like any other department, contact center data can be tested, measured, and refined to gain a baseline understanding of customer wants and needs, and identify disconnects between words and actions. All of this information can be further mined for trends and insights to proactively drive product, marketing and operational strategies to satisfy customer demands. For example, companies can offer to send replacement products to customers who purchased one from a defective lot – all before they pick up the phone.

A good starting point to begin leveraging contact center data is to create a rotating “watch list” of customers and measure their levels of satisfaction, product issues or wants, implementation or training gaps, or any other sentiment indicators. This list should be representative of the entire customer base so a deep data analysis can be performed on a subset of customers to identify patterns and trends. Once analysis provides a clear picture, solutions can then be taken and applied to the entire organization.

The contact center plays a vital role in understanding and uncovering the complete view of the customer journey. Every department and executive can benefit from the data the contact center collects because it comes directly from the customer. With this information, companies can deliver what customers truly want. Now, companies can ensure they are providing the right customer experience throughout the entire journey, starting from brand awareness all the way through post purchase support.


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  1. The only argument I would say is that too much attention is paid to awareness and immediate post-sale (the top and middle of funnel). So much more happens in the middle of the journey.

    We write about this here: