IS COST OF PERFORMANCE THE UNDISCOVERED X FACTOR ?
A Q & A WITH WISEROWL FOUNDER , ROBERT BRADSHAW
Robert Bradshaw is the co-founder and president of WiserOwl , a US-based company helping contact centers dramatically improve performance and the customer experience while saving money .
Contact Center Pipeline recently spoke with Robert about how viewing operations through financial efficiency enhances control over performance and the customer experience . You can read more about this in his new report , “ How cost of performance
is the undiscovered X factor in contact centers ”.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE POSITION MOST CONTACT CENTERS ARE IN RIGHT NOW ?
I ’ ve never seen contact centers in the hot seat like they are today . Not only are they tasked with maintaining peak performance in a rapidly changing market , but they must handle them with downward spending pressure .
We all know companies invest heavily in their contact centers to preserve and improve the customer experience . But , despite those investments , the American Customer Satisfaction Index ( ACSI ) shows little improvement in customer satisfaction ratings . This indicates that even when companies are investing in ways to preserve and improve the customer experience , they ’ re still not satisfying customer expectations .
To their credit , every contact center leadership team I ’ ve spoken with is actively working to solve this issue . But , based on the results we ’ ve witnessed , many of their initiatives will fall short .
And this is the position many contact centers find themselves in — trying to preserve and improve the customer experience with less . Others have it even tougher , supporting a growing business without spending more .
WHY DO YOU THINK MANY INITIATIVES ARE FALLING SHORT ?
It ’ s not like people aren ’ t trying to succeed . Technology is better than ever , and for someone like me who has been in business for 30 + years , the innovation going on right now is unprecedented .
But after consulting with contact centers ranging from 10 to more than 5,000 agents , I learned their senior leaders all shared the same blue-sky desires :
1 ) The power to know the cost of problems before having to decide on solutions
2 ) The ability to speak contact center operations in a financial language that senior leadership understands and trusts
3 ) The visibility for all managers to see that their decisions have a cost , and for them to take ownership over their part of the cost of decision making
But complicated costs and technologies get in the way . And as a result , none of the leaders were in a position to achieve their desires .
Let me give you an example . Not long ago I witnessed a client make an expensive decision to improve efficiency across multiple contact centers before we ’ d deployed WiserOwl . Now , they ’ re smart folks and did all the right due diligence . But because they did not have visibility into the root cost of this efficiency issue , there was no way to know in advance if the solution was aligned with their goals .
In the end , it turned out to be a costly lateral move . And it did not win any friends or supporters at the top who had approved this spending based on promised financial benefits . That ’ s a tough spot , both for contact center leadership and the technology vendor , whose solution is a good one .
I see this happen all the time — a lack of financial clarity causing contact center leadership to spend $ 10 to solve a $ 5 problem . This often leads to incorrectly prioritizing initiatives that do little to preserve or improve the customer experience .
IS SEEING THE COST OF PERFORMANCE THE UNDISCOVERED X FACTOR ?
It is . We ’ ve learned that contact centers cannot speak the financial language of executives , because they often struggle to answer three questions that are fundamental to the C-suite and every other revenue-impacting business unit :
• Before committing , how will your decisions save or make money , where , when , and how much , and with real-time updates ?
• How efficiently is money working down to any decision , process , channel , and agent ?
• How will you empower and retain staff without spending more money ?
Let me explain why this is such a big deal for contact centers .
Customer experience is influenced by an agent ’ s attitude , and that can make or break an engagement . We all know how to do our jobs , and our attitude affects how we carry out tasks . A positive person will create positive outcomes , even if they don ’ t thoroughly understand every piece of a detailed process .
16 CONTACT CENTER PIPELINE