June 10, 2013 @ 5:17 PM

21st-Century Performance Management Part One: Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty (Fujitsu)

By Gregory J. Robb

The call center industry is evolving to a customer-centric service model. Customer service representatives (CSRs) are addressing not only the issues that propel clients to reach a call center, but they are increasingly concerned with call expectations and experience. While key performance indicators (KPIs) drive call center productivity and profit, the competitive edges are now being defined by the extra value that call center agents can add to create a positive overall experience. Customer expectations are rising, call center technology is advancing and more call centers serve shrinking markets.

Is it any wonder, then, that the call center industry is striving as never before to serve customer relationship management (CRM) objectives? In fact, a new term is emerging as a player in call center Quality Assurance: customer experience management (CEM).

This is the first in a three part series dedicated to the dissemination of an influential industry case study entitled, “Case Study – Fujitsu Services: Designing Value.”

What They Found

As of March 31, 2012, the Fujitsu Group employed approximately 173,000 people all over the world.

Fujitsu requisitioned an internal study of its contact center environment in order to optimize its philosophy, concept and approach with its measurement system for contact center agents. The mass production call center service paradigm had been in place for decades, but Fujitsu recognized the break-neck pace of change. The company questioned if it was necessary to implement an alternative contact center performance measurement and management approach (Parry & Marr, 2004, p. 20).

The constraints of a mass-production call center system had created a wasteful amount of preventable demand on Fujitsu’s contact center customer service representatives (CSRs). The study discovered that between 40% and 90% of call contact center demand was preventable. Fujitsu, as with so many companies of this era, had measured customer satisfaction and call center efficacy on the company’s terms. In the rush to first-call resolution (FCR), average speed of answer (ASA) and average handling time (AHT), Fujitsu had neglected to recognize the benefit of eliminating the customers’ need to call (p. 21). The company learned of a need to shift its focus.

The New Normal

Fujitsu recognized the need to emphasize a new customer-centric service model: Sense and Respond.

“With the new approach, Fujitsu places the customer as the most important part of the service process. It also recognizes that true customer-knowledge…resides with front-line staff, as it is they who have the most contact with customers” (p. 21).

Fujitsu implemented a new system of Sense and Respond customer service to transform the knowledge and experience of customer into optimally-efficient organizational practice. Call “reduction”: a 21st-Century improvement on the 20th-Century mass production model of contact center customer service. By definition, Sense and Respond becomes a tool by which Fujitsu clients would participate in fulfilling their own wants and needs in contact with a call center.

Tune in to the next installment to discover the link between new-age performance management and contact center Speech Analytics.

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