Contact centres originally existed to service customer enquiries. They were built as a cost centre. Customer services was seen as one of those things you just needed to do, and efficiencies were around measuring calls handled by agents and little attention to outcomes unless you considered RFT (“Right First Time”).
The paradigm changed when it was realised that happier customers spent more and told their friends. This generates a tension between customer outcomes and cost to serve. Many are still in the transition. This second paradigm is enhanced by digital transformation where self-service and chat enable an easier experience for customers as well as efficiencies for operators.
Contact centres as CX early warning systems
The third paradigm is the realisation that the contact centre is not a separate entity to the business, but an inter-connected window into the operations of the business where customers have been motivated enough, for positive or negative reasons (and unfortunately mostly the latter) to contact the business to resolve some part of their customer experience. It can be seen as an equivalent of the ‘cost of quality’ for a manufacturing business. Let’s call it COD or Cost of Deviation from customer journey.
When viewed in this way, there are several opportunities for recognising the COD. For example if we think about a telco which has various enquiries, some service recovery will cost the business more than others and some will have more of an impact on customer satisfaction.