OSS expendables

When looking at a telco org chart, where does the highest staff turnover tend to occur? Contact centres? Network Operations?

The fact that these two groups tend to have the highest turnover indicates that their employers see them as expendable resources. They’ll never come out and say it directly, but actions speak louder than words. If these resources were valued more highly, more effort would be made on their retention.

Now, what do you notice on the diagram below?
The pyramid of pain

The diagram below is taken from an earlier post entitled “The pyramid of OSS pain.” It’s an over-simplification of where the source of OSS complexity (ie pain) tends to originate from, but who bears the brunt of all the upstream complexity generated within a service provider? Yes, the contact centres and network operations centres.

This can’t be a coincidence can it? The teams bearing the brunt of complexity have the highest turnover.

But how can this be allowed? If those are the roles dealing with most complexity, why do we tend to have our least experienced operators there? And why are we allowing their accrued knowledge for handling that complexity to walk out the door as expendable resources?

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Ryan

    It’s deep in the culture. I’ve seen so many OSS business cases which pivot around reduction of FTE, and guess where? This is sad for so many reasons IMO:

    1. They are viewed at the highest level (well – the purse strings) as expendable. Maybe this “secret” leaks down and the contact centre room sports a ready axe on its walls.

    2. It’s an easy execution. When the self fulfilling high burn rate pushes down numbers, you don’t need to fire anyone to make your dreams come true.

    3. But your dreams don’t come true. Is that because you lose the good ones and need more learners? Or is it because the business case was a “crock” (how often does anyone check whether the BC benefits were ever realised? – in theory, the contact centre should be empty if you sum all the BCs).

    Maybe more benefits could be realised from up-skilling and nurturing the lower level team (even tweak the OSS to their requirements). Might get better customer service, less churn, market segment growth. We did start out wanting that, didn’t we?

  2. Hi Steve,
    So true!
    I find it so amusing that CSPs talk about customer experience metrics like NPS but then treat contact centre and NOC staff as expendable. But apart from staff in retail stores, who tend to be the only other people at the coalface dealing with customers? Yep, the contact centre and NOC staff!
    That’s not expendable (or shouldn’t be), that’s core business!

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