Downsizing Jobs in a Call Centre Environment

MyCustomer.com
2

I would like to find out what effects other companies have felt
when CRM Customer Care Units in a Call Centre Environment have cut human capital in an effort to save
money. Our company expanded very fast and did not manage personnel
expenses well, which have been 50%
higher than our business plan the
last three years. Our management
has said enough and is going to cut
our new CRM Unit and jobs in our
Customer Care Department. Our management group is going to go forward with these cuts knowing that serving our customers and their accounts the way they should
be serviced is not going to happen. Intially we will have
longer hold times, more abandoned
calls, and then finally, the
defection of customers to other
companies who will provide the
service our customers want and
deserve.

Can anyone tell me if they have experienced similiar kinds of
situations and what happened with
customers? Our company controller
who is behind this decision has
little regard ofr CRM and the ROI
that CRM brings, not to mention the revenue lost by losing customers to competitors. If any
one has data to share, I would very much appreciate it.

Thanks, Tim
Tim Favero

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11th Nov 2002 12:15

You do not mention if your customer base is still growing and by how much - assuming it is, I haven't seen exactly this situation: downsizing customer services while demand for such grows. There are, however plenty of examples around with similar implications:
- outsourcing the function to locatios with lower labour cost. I tend to remain unconvinced by promises of sustained service levels: managing outsourced operations is difficult enough, add another country/culture and the unshakable logic that 'you get what you pay for'.
- expanding customer service by far less than a fast growing customer base (like 3% more staff for next year to handle a subscriber base expanding by 15% a month, in a recent example).

All these are mechanical responses to the current economic climate and have nothing to do with customer centricity. Please note that the latter is not necessarily everyone's strategic objective and competitive discipline. Companies that have chosen to excel in operational efficiency and compete on cost (certain airlines spring to mind) would probably get away with such downsizing for quite some time. Problems may come when everyone becomes 'low cost', reaching the bottom of costs (the model can easily be copied), and competitive differentiation disappears.

Mere size, on the other hand, is not the only key to efficiency, definitely not the main key. A look into end-to-end customer proceses, workflow, enabling intelligent systems, self-service and, most of all, differentiated service levels according to customer value and needs would reveal a lot more opportunities to improve efficiency without impairing the experiance of those customers that matter.

It may be a good idea to look into such opportunities when presenting a business case to your management: it will still achieve their desired resource optimisation, while allowing your company to aim for customer centricity.

Thanks (0)
avatar
11th Nov 2002 12:15

You do not mention if your customer base is still growing and by how much - assuming it is, I haven't seen exactly this situation: downsizing customer services while demand for such grows. There are, however plenty of examples around with similar implications:
- outsourcing the function to locatios with lower labour cost. I tend to remain unconvinced by promises of sustained service levels: managing outsourced operations is difficult enough, add another country/culture and the unshakable logic that 'you get what you pay for'.
- expanding customer service by far less than a fast growing customer base (like 3% more staff for next year to handle a subscriber base expanding by 15% a month, in a recent example).

All these are mechanical responses to the current economic climate and have nothing to do with customer centricity. Please note that the latter is not necessarily everyone's strategic objective and competitive discipline. Companies that have chosen to excel in operational efficiency and compete on cost (certain airlines spring to mind) would probably get away with such downsizing for quite some time. Problems may come when everyone becomes 'low cost', reaching the bottom of costs (the model can easily be copied), and competitive differentiation disappears.

Mere size, on the other hand, is not the only key to efficiency, definitely not the main key. A look into end-to-end customer proceses, workflow, enabling intelligent systems, self-service and, most of all, differentiated service levels according to customer value and needs would reveal a lot more opportunities to improve efficiency without impairing the experiance of those customers that matter.

It may be a good idea to look into such opportunities when presenting a business case to your management: it will still achieve their desired resource optimisation, while allowing your company to aim for customer centricity.

Thanks (0)