Another nice McKinsey piece today - Automated self-service comes to telcos (registration required). In particular it has some nice numbers:
- A typical call-center transaction costs $8 to $10; the same transaction online costs $0.15 to $0.80
- Printed bills cost four times as much as e-bills, and customers can be served online 24 hours a day without significant additional costs.
It goes on to use these numbers as part of a rationale for Telcos in particular to provide more automated options for customer service. It's a great article and it highlights some factors that I think should push you towards EDM-style decision automation in the call center.
- Personalized or tailored pitches work better and allow the automated system to do a better cross-sell and up-sell job.
- EDM is perfectly suited to this as using rules and analytic models to precisely target marketing offers is a well-honed science these days
- An EDM approach also means that these decisions can be re-used across the self-service and call center channels, improving the cross-sell/up-sell proficiency of (especially newer) call center staff while guaranteeing consistency
- Tailored pitches will tend to be more time-sensitive. The agility that comes with having a single point of decision management and the use of business rules management systems to make it easy to change the rules is invaluable in making your pitches timely.
- Interactive data capture to capture the right data from people to help them
- An opportunity to use rules-driven data capture forms if ever I heard one - check out the Smart Forms section.
- Segmentation into low potential and good potential opportunities
Obviously there is typically a lot of backend stuff to fix too and EDM is not good for everything they recommend but it seems like a good fit for a significant component. There's more on a similar vein here Boosting Call Center Performance with EDM where I comment on another McKinsey report.