Customer Intelligence is the new BLACK

Mar 12, 2015

Contact centers represent the 'tip of the spear' in global customer interactions. With the latest customer intelligence tools, organizations can:

  • Better respond to customer needs and demands
  • Fully understand customer sentiments and emotions
  • Detect changes in customer behavior across channels
  • Enhance the customer relationship and create 'brand ambassadors'
  • Integrate seamlessly with modern workforce optimization tools to drive information to the right people at the right time

Cost-to-Serve and Customer Effort Defined

For contact center transactions, Frost & Sullivan defines Cost-to-Serve (CTS) as the total cost across all channels to resolve customer issues. It is important to understand the total cost of servicing customers at a product and service level. Companies can then map the appropriate technology and agent resources to the right customer.

The overarching aim with CTS and CE analysis is to drive profitable customer interactions for the organization. Cost- to-serve drivers in customer interaction management can include:

  1. General inbound call handling
  2. Technical support inquiries
  3. Lost or abandoned sales calls
  4. Order processing errors
  5. Unnecessary callbacks

Customer Effort (CE), on the other hand, is the cumulative number of attempts made by customers to resolve problems or successfully purchase products or services across multiple channels. Generally speaking, web interactions cause the least effort. Voice and e-mail interactions tend to cause the most customer effort. Frost & Sullivan believes that while organizations should create omni-channel world for their customers, the main focus should be to reduce customer effort across these channels. Customer Effort Scoring (CES) is a nascent science but will gain traction in the near future, as a complementary method of measuring overall customer satisfaction.

Customer expectations for excellent service delivery are extremely high - regardless of the industry segment. Customer intelligence is the new black. Teaming with an experienced partner is critical to success in the market. We recommend First Customer Intelligence (FCI), as an easy-to-deploy solution that produces valuable insights into customer emotions, behaviors and buying patterns.

Michael DeSalles


DeSalles has 25 years of contact center operational experience. He combines this with 10 years of research and analytical expertise in: Emerging trends, convergence, collapse and disruptive technologies in the contact center industry; Insight into site management, supervision and agent development; Customer care outsourcing; Skills based routing; BPO Near shore deployment; Home based agents

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