Most companies code their calls and use that data to understand what type of calls they receive, however few of them actually categorise their contacts in a way that they understand and can act on what customers want. Knowing why a customer contacts the company should be the most basic diagnostic of your company.


A simple grid can help you refine your strategy, operational tactics and get buy-in from the rest of the business.  Plotting what customers say they want when they contact the company on a simple 2-by-2 grid with the customer on one axis, the company on the other identify the irritating things customers want, that don’t have value in agent engagement, and should be automated, questions such as: “Where’s my stuff?”

The grid will clearly show in the value/value quadrant the things to resource fully with smart people who have more time now they have fewer irritating things to handle, such as: “Can I have an overdraft?”, an opportunity to offer loans, alternative accounts or rates.

If the contact is valuable to the customer but not to the company, this is where the benefit means customers are most likely to work through your automation. For example, “What’s my balance?” If the contact is valuable to your company, but not to the customer, then it must be simplified as much as possible. For example, “I don’t understand my annual statement letter”.

By quantifying each contact reason, the company now has a clear direction and targets and the owner accountable is the person who creates the demand, not the one who handles the demand. For example, if my statement letter is not clear, it isn’t the contact centre’s fault. It’s the department who wrote an unclear letter.

Few companies collect the data for why customers had to call, which is powerful data to indicate improvement within the contact centre and company as a whole.

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