Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Executive Insights - January 2009

Effectiveness Vs Efficiency
By Chris Knop

Executive Committee Member
Marketing and Corporate Social Responsibility

Effectiveness and efficiency, what’s the difference?

The difference could be costing your company money and adversely effecting your daily operation.

Being efficient in your contact centre is easy. Follow your policies and procedures, hit your KPI’s and voila, you’re efficient! Maybe so in your mind, but it’s very possible your customers are experiencing quite the opposite. Remember, most customers don’t give feedback, they just don’t come back.

To explain what I’m getting at, think about “first contact resolution.” The term is widely thrown around and espoused by many in the industry, but what are we really doing about achieving it? It’s possible to be efficient in a customer transaction yet not provide the customer with first contact resolution. This results in further contacts, disgruntled customers and staff, and adds cost to your bottom line. All this equals a lack of effectiveness.

To be effective, a transaction should ensure that we in the industry get it right the first time and the customer’s needs are fulfilled.

So at this point you’re thinking, great Chris, tell me something I don’t already know, how do I become effective?

There are many ways and these are just some:

Your staff are the best source of providing effectiveness in your operation. Take a key group of your frontline staff and brainstorm with them. Ask them where the operation is doubling up on work or where things could be done better. Don’t wait for your next team meeting, do this randomly in the next few days, you’ll be surprised what improvements can be made immediately. Make this a regular session or even consider incentivizing for such ideas, kind of an “intrepreneur award.”

Revise all of your policies and procedures. All of us have them let’s face it, those policies and procedures that have been around for years, maybe even over a decade? It’s time they’re reviewed for their effectiveness. Go through them step by step and think outside the box as to where things can be improved. Sometimes it’s better not to reinvent the wheel, just make sure the tires are at the correct pressure!

Take your customer feedback onboard. Sounds obvious? Then why aren’t you doing it? Take a look at some of your most common complaints (oops did I call them complaints and not feedback?) Change the way you do things so these complaints are alleviated. You’ll save your staff time which will improve your service levels, save your operation money and make your customers happy resulting in more business.

So, there are three things you can do to become more effective and you can do them immediately! Come on, try it, it’s a new year and time to bring in new approaches to how we do business. Let’s face it, in these trying times any edge that improves your bottom line or brings in more business is “cutting edge.”

Write to me if you have feedback on this article or if you’ve done the above and it worked. I’d really like to hear from you!

Are you running an effective contact centre?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

An excellent article by Mr Knop.
Very enlightening and thought- provoking!