The Real Cost of the Broken Customer Service Chain

The Real Cost of the Broken Customer Service Chain image easset upload file938 53219 eThe Real Cost of the Broken Customer Service Chain

Most customer service and contact center software professionals are very familiar with the concept of First Contact Resolution (otherwise known as FCR) and how this process improves efficiency and creates a better customer experience. Some argue it’s the ‘holy grail’ of customer service.

The idea is that it’s better to find the best resource the first time, even if that means you sacrifice another ‘holy grail’ like Average time to Answer or Average Speed of Answer (ASA). Quickly finding an employee does improve ASA scores, but potentially results in a second or even third contact occurrence for the same customer request. In the long run this metric is less cost effective and increases customer effort.

The “Invisible”FCR
So far, First Contact Resolution has been primarily relegated to the contact center, but what many organizations do not realize is that the problem also exists on a larger scale across the enterprise. Why?  FCR is invisible across all enterprise silos – companies ultimately lack an ‘Enterprise View’ of the customer experience.

Each touch point (front office, back office, branch office, outsourcer or retail store) are optimized within their own silo. The trick is to analyze the end-to-end customer experience and reduce inefficiencies across the entire customer service chain.

For example, a work item (such as an insurance claim, medical application or simple address change) not handled efficiently or correctly might result in the customer contacting your organization multiple times to understand what is going on with their request. This singular event has a negative ripple effect across the company.

Today, customers interact with your organization through multiple touch points. Failing to eliminate inefficiencies across the service chain imposes a large cost on your organization. And, this cost is much larger than you might think.

By understanding the total cost of the service chain, companies quickly realize that the financial return could be a factor of 3x or 4x compared to ‘just’ addressing the contact center alone.

Typically there are two types of costs: obvious costs and hidden costs. The ‘obvious’ costs are associated with the employees required to handle repeat work, and the inefficiencies introduced when work is transferred throughout the organization.

So what do we mean by hidden costs?
Hidden cost are indirectly related to inefficiencies and a poor customer experience and can include:

  • Additional facilities and work space for the additional resources
  • Lost revenue as customers leave for the competition
  • Lost revenue as your customers tell others about their experience with you
  • Employee churn and onboarding of new employees
  • Additional management and organizational overhead

If you add up all these factors, the sum of these avoidable costs could equate to 20% of your total annual operating budget. What if you could understand the customer context and find the right employee the first time, even if they sit outside the borders of your contact center? You would be able to eliminate a large portion of the obvious and hidden costs.

Now, imagine what this means for customers. No more transfers, interacting with employees who can’t help them and being asked to contact this ‘other department’.To learn more about how Genesys can provide you with a common platform for managing interactions and work, please click here.

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