What is Contact Reduction?
In terms of customer service, contact reduction describes a company’s efforts and measures to reduce the total volume of its service contacts.
Reducing contacts is particularly interesting for large service centers, where large numbers of service requests are processed by phone, email or chat and service costs are high. To combat high contact volumes systematically is an effective way to reduce service costs in call centers for good.
Reduce customer contacts – but what about customer-centricity?
At first glance, contact reduction may sound like a contradiction while things like customer proximity and customer centricity are so widely talked about. It is important to differentiate:
Contact Reduction means avoiding the unnecessary and annoying contacts.
So it is not a question of reducing all customer contact to a minimum. Rather, it is the idea to filter out those service contacts that are irritant for companies and customers alike and to eliminate only them. In result a company can save service costs and improve the customer experience at the same time.
“The Best Service is No Service”
Most contacts in customer centers are an expression of defects, problems in the customer journey and often self-made problems that are very well known. Shouldn’t companies be able to learn from every customer contact and immediately resolve any problems that arise to prevent recurring issues?
The international bestseller by Bill Price & David Jaffe was created in 2008 with this basic idea in mind. Their methodology for contact reduction has its origins at Amazon and is still more than valid today.
Reducing Contacts – but where to start?
In order to control your own contact volume, a contact analysis is the key to get a strategic view on your contact structure. After all, the first thing to do is finding out which contacts really are superfluous and avoidable:
In the picture you see the so-called Value-Irritant-Matrix. It forms the basis for a contact reduction program by breaking down and quantifying contact reasons. If you want to know how to create your own matrix for your company with the help of a tool and then derive concrete measures for contact reduction, see here.