When you cut headcount is your customer experience bleeding?


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I recently had to call the post office’s customer service number regarding a change of address form that got screwed up. Monday I waited on hold for 15 minutes and finally hung up. Tuesday, the same deal. I finally physically went down to my local post office on Wednesday to deal with the mess in person. And there I waited in line for 20 minutes before finally getting it sorted out. There was one (!!!) person working at the post office window to deal with the many, many disgruntled people there. It sure makes it easy to see why they lose money each and every day they operate.

While I understand the reality of our economy, it’s too simple to say ‘cut headcount’. Most financial people making the decision to cut headcount are not very skilled or intelligent. They are not capable of looking at the entire picture. They are simply making quick cost savings in the short run, without considering their long-term savings and growth potential. Who ultimately pays the price for cuts in personnel? First the customers pay, then the company. Your once loyal product advocates get cast aside in the name of smaller overhead and a more manageable bottom line. So what’s the solution? How can you reevaluate your business AND the needs of your customers to come to a more appropriate cost savings solution than just slashing headcount?

You do it by analyzing the data you probably have already. These comments reveal how cutting headcount will come back to haunt you.

“Every time I open my statement there are more and more fees that no one told me about. And EVERY time I call the customer service number I never ever get a live customer service agent. You really don’t care about your customers.”

“Every time I go to your store there is one checkout clerk and the longest line! You’ve got me because there are no other toy stores nearby me, but your business must be booming, why not add another checkout clerk and add a little customer service while you’re at it.”

“I’ve tried to schedule a service appointment at my home for more than three weeks, and each time I call I’m told there are no repair people available for several more weeks. What am I supposed to do without my refrigerator for that long?”

Happy Monday!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jodie Monger
Jodie Monger, Ph.D. is the president of Customer Relationship Metrics (CRM) and a pioneer in business intelligence for the contact center industry. Dr. Jodie's work at CRM focuses on converting unstructured data into structured data for business action. Her research areas include customer experience, speech and operational analytics. Before founding CRM, she was the founding associate director of Purdue University's Center for Customer-Driven Quality.


  1. Jodie, fabulous post! In a short blog, you articulated not only your personal frustrations, but those of most consumers. As you said so well, companies are looking at today to save money and don’t realize how it directly affects tomorrow's revenues and profits. Richard Shapiro, The Center For Client Retention @richardrshapiro


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