Series: Contact center planning

Customer Experience Strategy (CES) is the contact center’s strategy. The CES is a blueprint for how your contact center aligns to the organization’s mission and strategy and defines how the contact center delivers service. It outlines contact center priorities regarding financial investments, new channels, and weak points or gaps in service.

A strong CES helps the contact center communicate more effectively with the senior leadership team. It also helps the team identify opportunities that improve effectiveness and efficiency, drive customer satisfaction, and eliminate or address gaps in service and potential revenue drains.

When creating the CES, contact center leadership defines:

  • Customer segmentation — Who is the customer? What is the customer’s defining characteristics and preferences? How can the company gain extra insight into the customer?
  • Priority and high-value customers — Does the company differentiate any segment of customers, either because they pay or have earned a differentiated service, or because they are more valuable to the organization? Are there ways to improve the service delivered to the high-value customer?
  • Contact reasons — Why does the customer contact the organization and the contact center? Does the customer generate revenue (an order call) or cost the organization (a complaint)? How can the company eliminate contacts that don’t generate revenue, drive customer satisfaction, or achieve some other strategic objective?
  • Contact channels — What are the current contact channels? Are the channels in alignment with customer preferences? What channels are being considered in the future, including self-service? Is the company adding channels that will improve efficiency, make it easier to do business with the company, and align with what customers want and use?
  • Hours of operation — What hours can a customer receive service? Does this time frame support customer preferences and the value of customer contacts? 
  • Customer experience measurements and objectives — How does the company measure the success of the customer experience strategy? What measurements best reflect the customer experience (customer satisfaction, customer effort, repeat calls) and the right objectives for our business?
  • Business and customer intelligence — What insight can the contact center gather and quantify in the course of daily contact that is meaningful to other business units within the organization? For instance, quantifying and analyzing customer complaints can lead to significant improvement in product research and development, packaging, shipping, and marketing.


Discuss the following questions with your team:

  • Does the company have a contact center-specific strategy that is customer-focused? Does it align with the organization’s strategy to ensure the contact center’s priorities drive organization success?
  • Is the contact center strategy customer-focused? This strategy can shift the view from being solely focused on driving down costs to increasing revenue and satisfaction.
  • Does the contact center Customer Experience Strategy receive senior management support? Are financial and organizational decisions made? Is planning done with the CES in mind?
  • Do customer and business intelligence exist that could help better know the customers and match service to preferences? Would insight into customer revenue, purchasing behaviors, and contact through other channels (self-service, physical locations, social media) help more?
  • What information can the company gather to benefit other business units and help improve the impact on the customer experience?


Take the following actions before moving forward in the planning phase:

Preparation Assigned to Complete date
Collaborate with stakeholders to define the ideal Customer Experience, and the strategy required across the organization and within the contact center to provide that experience. 
Compile this strategy in a CES document, and share findings with senior leadership to outline insights and gain agreement about opportunities that increase the contact center’s strategic contributions. 
Use the CES as the basis for how the contact center should run and to identify the best technology, the right measurements and objectives, and the hiring strategies that ensure the right talent is hired.


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