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Identifying VIP or high-value customers in the call center

Expert Don Peppers explains how call centers can be identifying VIP or high-value customers who call.

Is there any way to prioritize call center calls by type of customer value? For example, if 10 calls are coming in, we want a VIP or high-value customer call to land first. Is there software or methodology for these particular calls to let us know who's calling? What do you think of this strategy?
I think that strategy makes a great deal of sense. Martha Rogers and I advocate this strategy to call centers all the time. There are a lot of ways to identify high-value or VIP customers who call. Obviously if the caller is calling from home and you can identify the phone number, then all you really need to do is link that with the database you have, and if you've ranked your customer, you know you have a high-value customer.

It's a little more problematic if a high-value customer is calling from the office or from some other non-home...

or non-mobile phone number and you can't simply identify them from the caller ID information. Sometimes you can gate your VIP customer callers by giving them special numbers. So if you're an airline, the platinum and gold fliers get to call a special number and that gates the call into a high-value customer area.

There are software firms that offer applications that have very sophisticated ways to parse calls up and distribute them, taking consideration of the value of the customer in the call distribution process. We're not technologists, Martha and I, and I can't name these providers -- I know for a fact however that Chordiant has been doing this for years, almost since its founding. So my suggestion is to get a list of other software providers that have this VIP customer call feature and I think many of them do. Talk to your Gartner or your Forrester rep.

Hear more in Creating Customer Value, a SearchCRM.com monthly podcast series with Peppers and Rogers.

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