May 27, 2003, 12:00 AM

Customer service flaws cause contact centers to overspend by 30%

Unnecessary repeat contacts and answers that should be available on web are cited as major resource drains by respondents to a survey.

Flaws in the handling of customer service are causing customer contact centers to overspend by as much as 30%, according to a survey from Enkata Technologies, a technology company whose software analyzes service-focused business processes. 13% of the 177 senior executives, call center managers and IT managers surveyed cited information that should have been available through other channels including the web but was not as a key reason for contact center inefficiencies.

Repeat contacts from customer issues that were not resolved during the first contact were cited by 26% of those surveyed as a major drain on resources, while long e-mail exchanges and multiple calls about the same issue also contributed to unnecessary spending, according to those polled. Surprisingly, 25% of contact center executives and managers did not know the causes of inefficiency and overspending.

“The research shows that while specific problems within the contact center have been identified as financial drains, one-fourth of those responsible don’t even know where to begin to cut costs,” says Michael Chen, CEO of Enkata. “Organizations need to invest in solutions that reveal the root cause drivers behind these flaws. For example, they need to not only pinpoint the number of repeat contacts a customer makes, but also why the customer is making the contacts in the first place.”

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