A Customer Contact revolution is happening right now, today, here.

Customer Contact = Cost. It always has done.

A necessary burden of doing business, the objective has always been to reduce it. Innovation, growth, disruption… all that comes from elsewhere.

Very few have been able to escape. Zappos, OVO Energy, First Direct have, but only by building their entire business around Customer Contact. For the rest of us, we only get onto the CEOs radar when something goes wrong.

This belief has held true for the last 30 years.

Today, it is broken.

3 major global shifts have completely redefined what Customer Contact means.

#1 The way we talk has changed

Today, I can chat with my car, my bank app, my travel software, my house. The opportunities are endless. New chat bot and virtual assistant platforms are redefining how brands form relationships with customers.

And who knows how to build relationships? The Customer Contact team does.

Brands that harness their Customer Contact expertise will be the winners on these disruptive new platforms.

#2 Purchases are now led by advocacy, not brand

Today, I can find a review of absolutely anything I want to purchase. The power of the phone in my pocket and the vast array of consumer reviews out there (Twitter, Trust Pilot anyone?) are now more effective than any brand or marketing activity.

And who knows how to build advocacy online? The Customer Contact team does.

Brands that are able to build advocacy online will be the winners in this new world of marketing.

#3 Listening is the new way to win

Today, the world we live in is dominated by change. Constant, disruptive change. Businesses grow, live and die at an unprecedented rate. In today’s world, staying relevant to shifting customer needs is vital. We simply won’t survive otherwise.

And who listens to thousands of customers every day? The Customer Contact team does.

Brands that truly listen to customers, understand their needs and frustrations, and translate these into new products and services, will be the winners in this era of constant change.

Today, Customer Contact ≠ Cost.

Today, Customer Contact = Innovation.

Today, Customer Contact = Growth.

Today, Customer Contact = Survival.

Philip Mace is a Customer Contact specialist at Market Gravity, a global innovation consultancy that has delivered dramatic change, in just 20 days, to Customer Contact functions at several blue chip UK businesses. Philip has worked with contact functions in the Financial, Legal, Utilities and Publishing sectors, and launched a Customer Contact start-up in the Events sector.