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Business Process Mapping Part 4

Business Process Mapping Part 4
May 20, 2012
By: David L Butler, PhD
Executive Director, National Association of Call Centers
This is the fourth post of series. To see the first post in this series go to Business Process Mapping Part 1 on May 10, 2012, the second post Business Process Mapping Part 2 on May 13, 2012, or the third post Business Process Mapping Part 3 on May 14, 2012.
An article from January 12, 2012, titled, "Another e-retailer brings its call center back to the United States," caught my eye. These sorts of articles are nothing new. Most of the time when I talk with reporters about the industry one of the most common questions asked is, "Is it not true that most call centers are coming back from overseas?" I am less interested in whether or not eBags Inc. is bringing its call center back to the United States from the Philippines and more the reason given for bringing the call center back. The answer to the reason why eBags brought its call center back are multifold: customer service,  information technology improvements, fulfillment upgrades that reduced the need for 24 hour customer service calls, talent/skills of the American workforce, first call handling ability, and an increase in sales both volume and per order.
Embedded within the story is an unstated situation. The call center costs of a customer service company in the United States is going up. The manager or director of the call center/contact center does not have the skills, education or data to explain the value-added the call center brings to the full customer experience and thus the bottom line of the company. A third party call center company offers the executives of the company huge savings with the same or increased customer service. The company bites and then is faced with a overseas contract. The customers of this company begin to see declining customer service which is always followed by decreases in sales and revenue within the next few quarters. An executive, or an outside consultant, is hired to find out what is the matter with the company. The problem is found to be the customer experience. A decision is made to bring the call center operation back in house and back to the United States. However, and this the kicker, the call center cannot be brought back and put together again the way it was before it was offshored. Instead, it needs to be remade from top down and bottom up as a fully integrated piece of the company and when the call center succeeds with customer contact, the business improves.
It is not necessary to offshore your call center, lose market share, and spend weeks, months or years trying to figure out what is wrong. To skip this step you need to create a Business Process Mapping exercise, from top to bottom and bottom to top, and then once this is understood, fix it to they way it should be run rather than how it is currently managed and operated. Save your organization the headache and expense of the offshoring pain, make continuous improvements each year to the operations to meet the market and customer needs. To make these changes each year you need to understand your business and to understand your business you need to integrate process mapping as part of your strategy for success.
When creating Business Process Map of an organization the people in the organization need to support the exercise. More on that in Business Process Mapping in Part 5.
Copyright © 2012 David L. Butler

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