In my last post, I set out why we in the outsourcing industry cannot afford to ignore the impact of service, given it is the biggest driver of brand value. And with consumer expectations ever increasing, we must continually innovate to deliver on that. All people really want are simple responsive services. Yet the market is typified by heavily invested suppliers focused on channels (voice, email, chat) who promise a lot but deliver little in reality.
“All people really want are simple responsive services”
But brands are wising up to the need for innovation, with Deloitte’s 2018 Global Outsourcing Survey telling us that 43% of businesses now want innovation as a key contractual deliverable from their outsourcing partner, a rate that has doubled in just two years. Furthermore, 37% of businesses are prepared to incentivise their partner to deliver; a reflection of the need for the outsourcing market to ‘up its game’ and release itself from the inertia of the previous decades.
In addition, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is seen as a key disruptor in the market. A significant 62% of businesses said they are considering RPA to improve their performance. By contrast only 44% said they were exploring RPA to reduce cost, a consideration that didn’t even make the top 5.
So perhaps the tide is beginning to turn on the focus on cost, but is it happening fast enough and is it ultimately achievable when the bottom line is still so critical?
In 2018, Opinion Matters found that the top driver of emotional connection to a brand is being able to contact the company via any channel. Despite this, NewVoiceMedia’s 2018 Serial Switchers Swayed by Sentiment found that 48% of customers still think that calls are the quickest way to resolve an issue. Email, social media and chat come a poor second, third and fourth at 13, 11% and 9% respectively, which is a sad indictment of how much work the service industry still has to do to capitalise on the potential of digital channel integration and a far cry from consumer expectation. I am not surprised by these statistics, as most people I speak to say they resort to voice when they need to sort a problem out quickly.
“48% of customers still think that calls are the quickest way to resolve an issue”
What’s more, as an industry, we have a terrible habit of measuring and “understanding” the wrong stuff, or not enough stuff, with more metrics than our brains can cope with. We do things ourselves that other experts (or machines) can do better.
And when we outsource we do it on a cost per person, per seat with AHTs, SLAs, KPIs, KFIs, TSAs and lots of other 3 letter acronyms that are impenetrable to regular humans and don’t really have that much bearing on how people feel. Remember, 48% of customers believe a call is the quickest way to solve an issue but around 65% of people would rather stick their head in the loo.
“We have a terrible habit of measuring the wrong stuff”
This lag in responsiveness, connectedness and innovation is a real problem. We are failing our brand clients and their customers and will only continue to do so when cost delivers the biggest points on a procurement scorecard.
In my next post, I’m going to look at the myths surrounding service delivery.