In today’s competitive contact center services market, providers need to take advantage of all opportunities to communicate their value proposition to prospective clients. Obviously, there are many avenues that outsourcers can use to better position their brand, but one approach that should be front of mind for executives is influencer engagement. Going into H2 2017 and beyond, contact center service vendors need to be proactive with thought-leaders in this space. Such a strategy will lead to more market visibility, if the relationships are managed correctly.
An obvious starting point in this discussion relates to what constitutes an industry influencer. From a forty thousand-foot view, influencers come in several different forms. Broadly speaking, these can include (but are not limited to) industry analysts of repute, noted journalists covering the contact center sector, bloggers that have a customer experience focus or consultants that work alongside enterprises and providers of CRM services. But, the element unifying these roles is that each can have a direct impact on how outsourcers position their offerings and the manner by which buyers make decisions on which providers to use.
To date, the influencer community’s importance within contact center services has been recognized by some of the sector’s most important providers. Over the years, numerous forward-looking outsourcers have used these relationships to educate influencers on their respective front-office BPO offerings. This has been crucial in helping the influencing community develop a practical understanding of individual providers, which then feeds directly into strategic research, social media posts, vendor rankings, awards, articles and anecdotal discussions.
A positive trend of late has been the growing number of outsourcers that have begun engaging with influencers. In many cases, these are smaller to medium sized providers aiming to make a name for themselves in the contact center services market, and whose executives understand the long-term value of proactive engagement with individuals that can impact buying decisions. What is beautiful about the approach so many of these companies are taking is that it need not be resource-heavy, but the benefits can be substantial. And for contact center outsourcers, influencer engagement can take many forms. Along with in-person events, using the right social networks is also a way for vendors to ensure visibility with connected thought leaders.
Outsourcers wishing to develop and maintain a strong degree of visibility in the current marketplace need to make influencer engagement a centerpiece of their outreach efforts. By designating team members to put in place relationships with the journalists, bloggers, analysts and consultants most relevant to their operations, BPO executives are unlikely to be disappointed in the results that such an initiative yields. At the very least, they will be well positioned to provide influencers with insight into what makes their respective firms stand out in the current crowded market. This is an important first step in validating specific offerings in the eyes of thought-leaders. There are many options available to kick off an influencer engagement strategy, but the key for front office BPO providers is to take the initiative now.