Even in the face of the rising usage of online self-service, the voice channel is still the preferred channel of choice for many customers. In fact; a survey from Forrester found that well over half of customers prefer to interact with a customer service representative via the phone. Contact centers field an average of 45.4 billion calls per year-that’s a lot of one-on-one interactions! For most contact centers the average cost of an inbound call is just under $6. That means call centers are spending around $270 BILLION dollars a year just to keep the phone lines going.

Many enterprises are looking for a way to offset these operating costs and turn the call center into a profit center and they are turning to partnership marketing networks to help them do just that.

Now the cornerstone of any great marketing partnership is relevancy. It doesn’t matter if you’re a local dog walker that partners with a nearby pet store or American Airlines partnering with Hertz-if the partnership isn’t relevant than it won’t be a successful relationship for either party.

Here are 3 relevancy factors that can help your contact center find the right partners:

1. Products and Services.

Companies that exist in similar, but not directly competing markets often sell complementary products. For instance, American Airlines sells flight tickets, which means that their customers are travelling. What other products and services might a traveler need—a rental car, a hotel room, tickets to local attractions and so forth. When you have a customer on the phone that is in the mindset to buy and you can offer other products and services to enhance the customer experience your partners’ offers become that much more relevant.

2. Customer Demographics.

Let’s say your business sells organic supplements and vitamins. What kind of customer buys your products? A relevant partner would be someone who is targeting the same kind of audience but selling a different product—a gym or personal fitness company, maybe a brand that sells organic workout gear or an all-natural diet plan. Both you and your partner are targeting health-conscious individuals. This means your contact center becomes a valuable lead source for your partners, and your partners in turn pay your company for those live transfer leads, augmenting your company’s income.

3. Decision Trigger Events.

Buying a home is a big trigger event and the fallout is even bigger, which means the potential for marketing partners is also bigger. For example, when someone purchases a home through they might need to talk to a mortgage lender, a moving company, a contractor, home security and alarm system retailer and more. That one trigger event (buying a home) created a whole new set of customer needs, which means opportunity for both you and your marketing partners to offer relevant services right then and there.

At the end of the day you want to align your contact center with partners that add value to your brand and support your brand interests. Relevancy is crucial to establishing the right kind of marketing partnerships that are going to last and provide the most value and opportunity for each partner.