A new name, a new look, and a new focus has come to The HotLine. Re-launched as The HotLine Magazine, the new layout and graphics have strongly increased the accessibility of the articles and content. But the crucial difference is more fundamental. The focus has changed from optimizing center operations over to producing strategically significant, and sustainable, levels of contributions to overall corporate profitability. And the same needs to happen to the old role of Support / Service and the customer contact center. It's indeed time for something new.
Many companies these days want to be perceived as being "Customer Centric." The rewards of customer loyalty supposedly to be gained through attaining such status certainly seem impressive. It's understandable that senior management teams and contact center executives would want to jump on the bandwagon and talk of customer centricity initiatives of their own. Unfortunately, the moves being made and the path being followed are mostly transaction centric rather than truly being about a mutually profitable and therefore continuing relationship between company and customer.
Depending upon who you talk to, and how you define it, the failure rate for selecting and installing customer contact center technology can range between sobering and terrifying. The ultimate outcome can include anything from expensive "shelfware" that was bought and implemented but never used to tools that cost more than expected while returning less than the hoped-for benefits. And everything in between. With all that has become known about the perils of the Vendor/Product Selection process over the past 20 years, why do most procurement projects go awry?
In any organization, Power Follows Money. One of the principal reasons why the Customer Support/Service department is low on the corporate pecking order is the lack of clarity about its contribution to overall company profitability. That needs to change. Start by producing a verifiable Cost Per Operational Minute value, and build your profitability picture from that beginning.