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Calls Handled by Financial Services Contact Centers are Subject to Failure Demand

August 17, 2009

Customer and change management company Customer Consulting officials estimate that 40 percent of all calls to contact centers, "especially those in the financial services sector," are the result of failure demand.

"Failure demand," CCL officials said, occurs "where an organization fails to deliver clear and timely information about a product or a service to a customer." That failure generates a demand for customer service.
“In my experience, an average of 40 per cent of all calls to a contact center could be prevented," said Brian Jopling, CCL associate director, in a statement.

CCL’s managing director Simon Rustom said that failure demand "results in more costs for the business because of the time and resources spent in responding to additional customer enquiries and complaints as a result of processes that do not work."
For example, CCL officials said a product doesn’t get to a customer on time, or the customer’s bill is incorrect. Naturally, the customer telephones the supplier to find out what the deal is. Or when a standard letter sent to a customer doesn't jibe with what they customer was told on the phone, she's on the phone again.

Not only are these costs hidden within the operating costs of the contact center, he says, but "they mask the real problems that the organization is facing in not meeting customers’ wants and needs first time... organizations find it hard getting to grips with this area of wastage."

In March, First Great Western, one of the U.K.’s train operating companies, announced they would implement a "customer information during disruption" program across the company, designed by CCL.

Starting with a detailed cross departmental fact-find during February 2008, CCL spent three months developing a plan designed to "enhance the flow of customer information across the organization, taking all of the different users of information into account," company officials said at the time:
"CCL then mobilized and worked with an internal team to develop the customer information flow processes and procedures from which they could enhance the flow of information delivered to staff and to their customers,” officials said. “During the second half of 2008, CCL worked closely with FGW to map out the processes and detailed procedures required to deliver clear, concise, timely, accurate information to the correct destinations when it was most needed; gaining buy-in at all levels to create the necessary sustainable change."

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David Sims is a contributing editor for ContactCenterSolutions. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for ContactCenterSolutions here.

Edited by Amy Tierney