Controversial cost allocation

If you’re using an OSS/BSS and/or IVR in your role with a service provider, are you able to tell what’s causing customer contacts and why? For example, do you know which customer-facing products are leading to the highest proportion of calls into your contact centre? If so, are you able to determine why (eg recharge, fault, information, etc)?

Often contact centres and OSS/BSS are tasked with reducing the number of contacts (and therefore costs). Unfortunately, there’s generally only a small opportunity for improvement by the time OSS/BSS/IVR initiatives are instigated. The bigger opportunities generally lie further upstream (see the OSS pyramid of pain for more details).

I have a slightly controversial technique to run past you today – what if OSS, BSS and contact centres were not cost centres, but cost reallocation centres? ie If your OSS, BSS and IVR were able to determine the root cause of customer contacts (and associated costs) and could re-allocate those costs back to the business unit responsible, do you think you’d get their attention?

For example, products groups tend to only be measured on revenue, with little regard for the downstream costs on any of their products (because they aren’t currently accountable for those costs). But profitability is a better efficiency indicator than revenue, so cost reallocation centres might actually be able to reduce some of the complexity currently hitting our OSS/BSS.

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