By: Chris Dellen On: May 05, 2016 In: Contact Center Comments: 0

A concept that has always intrigued me is uncovering ways to reduce customer support costs and yet at the same time increase customer satisfaction. Or as I like to put it “double dipping”. Yes, it truly is possible. No, I’m not crazy!

So how do you do it? Let’s walk through a couple of high-level concepts:

Think about the ways your organization interacts with customers today. What is your cost-per-interaction by channel ((Direct + Indirect Costs) / # of Interactions)?

  • In-Person Visit (higher cost-per-interaction)
  • Phone Call
  • Fax
  • Email
  • Web Chat
  • SMS
  • Social
  • IVR
  • Website/knowledgebase
  • Proactive Communication (Lower cost-per-interaction)

If you are like most organizations, you will see a wide range of costs-per-interaction which obviously can vary by different types of organizations. That is why it’s important to calculate your organization’s costs. As a rule of thumb, in-person visits and phone calls are generally higher cost interactions while self-service options such as a knowledgebase and proactive communications are generally the lowest cost-per-interaction.

So, from your organization’s financial standpoint, it is beneficial to encourage customers to adopt tools like a knowledgebase to lower your organizations overall cost per interaction and overall support costs.

The good news is that often, a lower cost interaction channel can actually provider a higher level of customer satisfaction…a prime “double dip” opportunity.

An example: Have you noticed that Amazon has an option to provide real-time shipping information updates via SMS/text messages. Why? First, it provides a better experience by keeping their customers informed, in real-time, where their packages are in the shipping process. Secondly, by proactively informing the customer where the package is, Amazon benefits from significantly reducing the number of phone calls and emails they receive for tracking updates.

The good news is there are a lot of opportunities to achieve similar results in your center.

The question I would like to challenge you with today is: Is there an opportunity for you to improve customer experience, reduce customer effort, speed time to resolution, improve customer satisfaction, and drive loyalty by guiding customers to a lower cost communication channel?

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. And, if you have examples of how your organization is achieving a similar result to the Amazon example, please post in the comments section.