Continuous Improvement: Contact Drivers v Contact Outcomes
Updated: Jan 6, 2020
For continuous improvement in modern business, being able to understand customer contact is pretty much the holy grail. Too many businesses think this is achieved simply by logging all the contacts, with the contact channel (or medium) and the outcome of that contact. This does undoubtedly give some useful information but it misses key details that would allow for a greater understanding of what is going on, and more importantly tell us where to focus for best results in terms of improvements.
Consider an example from an insurance company, vast amounts of contact have the outcome of sending a claims form to the customer. Logging this data can inform us how many claim forms are sent on the back of phone calls, live chats or emails but does it really tell us anything new? There are probably already reports in the business that tell how many claims forms are sent to customers.
If we switch from outcome to driver and instead log why the customer contacted us, then the picture can be far more interesting and informative. There will still be a number of contacts that are simply requesting a claim form, but that in itself is useful information because now we can confidently assign a volume and cost to people just requesting claim forms. We will also see many other reasons for contact, perhaps there is something wrong with the website and people are having to call up because they can't make a claim online, perhaps the individual is chasing a late payment, perhaps the call is to understand if something is covered on the plan. These scenarios could all easily have the outcome of sending a claim form, but tracking that means we lose out on knowing how many contacts are as a result of website issues, is there an increase in contact if we fall outside of SLA on paying claims, how well are T&C's understood by our costumers etc.
Once we start using contact drivers instead of contact outcomes we can supercharge Continuous Improvement models. You have the data to build business cases at your finger tips and once change has been implemented you can easily track the impact allowing for clear and easy articulation of benefit realisation.
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