Should We Shut Down our Call Centers?

If we care so much about controlling customer service costs, why don’t we just shut down call centers? Asking ridiculous questions often forces you to deeply consider why you engage in certain activities.

Customer service is not just about cost. It’s about a tight balance of four key performance indicators — the customer satisfaction with each interaction; the revenue that’s generated through the interaction; the cost of the interaction; and the level of compliance with company and governmental policies (think HIPAA).

Each company has their own KPIs that they drive towards. For a retail company whose brand is “do-it-yourself”, the most important KPI may be cost of an interaction which can be kept low with good self-service tools. For a high-touch brand who is focused on repeat purchases, the most important KPI may be customer satisfaction which can be kept high with personalized phone or in-store service. However, it still cannot be cost at any price – cost does come into the equation at some point.

What is important is that you understand what your KPI drivers are, and which one is the most important to you. You must also be able to measure your KPIs, and react if they are out of whack so that you keep your customer service objectives aligned with your customer’s expectations and company’s business goals.

So, what ridiculous statement can you make about your business? What does it make you think through?