Investing for Efficient and Effective Customer Service
By: Brett LaDove

A plight that often affects customer service groups is that they often lack the support or investment required to achieve a satisfactory level of effectiveness and efficiency within their function.

Because service managers are often driven by a passion to provide the best customer service they can, they will often do whatever it takes to make it happen day in and day out. In a sad irony, however, this determination in some cases may actually result in a prolonged state of agony for the function and that very manager. Because the manager is reluctance to sacrifice the customer experience for process improvement investments along the way, they end up managing a function that is largely inefficient. Senior managers who feel that the function is generally effective but costly, then try in vain to improve cost efficiency by simply cutting costs, and hoping the manager will figure out a way to make it work. The sad part of this, all too common story, is that the outcome of this approach is a more stressed out service function that is increasingly cost inefficient.

Achieving efficiency in any function requires investments in process refinements and technology. Service functions generally have significant elements of repetition. Even mere seconds of an inefficient processes multiplied many times can add up to significant waste.

Senior managers need to start taking a more long term perspective of customer service. Appropriate investments up front will save money and result in better service in the future. The number of times that I hear of customer service functions that are struggling year after year, to hold their department together, is truly sad – it really doesn’t need to be this way.

About The Author

Brett LaDove is a management consultant focusing on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Customer Care. He has provided insight and support to a variety of Fortune 1000 companies, and aided them in their quests to achieve customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.

For additional insights on Customer Relationship Management and Customer Care, visit

This article was posted on October 10, 2006
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