SOCAP International

Editor's Letter

This summer issue of CRM Magazine examines sourcing solutions. For most companies, sourcing issues are nothing new. For customer care professionals managing contact center operations in particular, finding the right sourcing solution, including how to sustain a productive relationship with a service provider (SOCAP calls them “Business Partners”) can be critical to ensuring a seamless customer experience for the brand.

There are a myriad of business questions related to sourcing such as: What’s the business ROI for sourcing? How does a company balance cost with quality? What’s the most effective solution—Offshore? On-shore? Near-shore? The articles in this issue take a deep dive into some of these strategic questions.  Additionally, we look at what companies are doing to promote customer engagement using social media and Big Data. We are also celebrating SOCAP’s 40th anniversary with an article featuring past and present leaders of the organizations sharing their perspectives on the growth of the customer care profession.

There are several articles in this issue that provide greater insight into sourcing solutions. In Keith McFarlane’s article, “WebRTC—The Final Frontier to a Truly Globalized Contact Center,” he offers ideas for using cloud computing as a tool to help organizations realize their global potential and to make their contact centers “scalable, agile and more efficient.” Tim Houlne of Working Solutions tackles cost and ROI in his article, “The Strategic Profitability of Great Customer Service.” Houlne shares best practices for balancing cost considerations with delivering great customer service. Stephen Ferber offers us a case study to shed light on how to choose an outsourced contact center provider in “When Defense Becomes Offense.”

Customer engagement, an evergreen topic for SOCAP members, is also addressed. We gain further insight into General Motors’ approach to connecting with its  customers through social engagement. In this article, Jim Moloney talks about how GM has redefined the company’s “passion for creating unrivaled customer experience” and the tangible steps involved in reaching this goal through a collaborative approach involving social media, brand marketing and communications. Deepening engagement is also addressed in “Leveraging Big Data: Five Steps to Getting It Right,” by Melissa Pippine of Clarabridge. She offers five practical steps for organizations to leverage Big Data to create success with customer experience. Finally, Christopher Palenik discusses what companies need to do to effectively handle foreignmatter consumer complaints (which ultimately improve customer confidence and overall brand engagement) under the new Food Safety Modernization Act regulations in his article, “Key Considerations for Consumer Complaint Sample Analysis.”

In honor of SOCAP’s 40th anniversary this year, CRM Magazine offers an article that includes interviews with current and past organization leaders. These leaders, interviewed by SOCAP President and CEO Matthew D’Uva, share wonderful insights about how the customer care profession has changed and evolved over the past 40 years. The interviews address the role of women in the profession as well as the impact of technology and globalization on the way companies engage with consumers. SOCAP is planning more article features and other special activities to honor our 40th birthday. 

We hope you enjoy this issue of CRM Magazine. As always, we welcome your ideas and feedback on the topics covered. Please share your comments through SOCAP’s online networking tool, mySOCAP. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Marjorie C. Bynum, CAE