Everyone wants to reduce operating costs.  All over the web, TV, & social media, we see companies touting the savings that can be had from a few minutes of your time. Seldom are these statements viable, but their darn catchy slogans.  However, in some cases adding a little bit of time back to peoples’ day can have serious financial impacts. This is most clear in the cases of large-scale, widespread corporate growth.

A Success Story

One of our customers experienced 300% growth last year. This year, it looked like their internal software would limit continued growth.

To help them overcome this unacceptable barrier, our team & theirs invested significant time evaluating their second largest cost center & biggest growth inhibitor: Customer Service Representatives.

In consumer services organizations, Customer Care is vital – yet due to size & number of interactions, they can be a very expensive group. Additionally, when processes are not finely tuned they tend to grow in proportion to your overall corporate growth. For anyone in the medical, education, or services markets growing your business with a scalable customer facing team can be a daunting challenge. A challenge that can spell the difference between success and failure.

Often times, these large groups can also be the source of significant savings. With a bit of effort, the development & user experience team was able to help this customer identify a few processes that were very costly. As a result, the following was occurring:

  1. The intake of new service requests required re-keying
  2. Long conversations between CSRs & customers, and most importantly
  3. A large, expensive staff.

Action Plan

To help this customer overcome their growth barriers we focused very tightly in this area. Their Product Owner evaluated ever action, every step, & even every keystroke. Together we crafted ways of getting data from the customer to the system faster. None of the suggestions were rocket science, but all had value. For instance:

  • Automatically copying key customer data from screen to screen as opposed to retyping it allowed the CSRs to spend less time touching a keyboard.
  • Re-structuring lists of data to minimize the amount of data on a single screen to only that which is needed 80%+ of the time, reduced the time it takes to understand the customer's core needs.
  • Allowing the CSR to review & quickly update/correct data reduced time wasted on processing errors & re-work.

To many of us, this may not sound like much. However, for an organization that is dependent on the people serving their customers (Their CSRs), this is life changing stuff (or at least more efficient).

In the case of this customer, these changes above saved their CSR's a recorded 2 minutes per inbound phone call. Based on their call volume, this reduced the need for additional staff in many areas. If they were flat-lined, this may have resulted in a few terminations. However, since this company had clear growth plans in mind, it simply leads to efficient growth.

This year alone, these changes to their growth trajectory are on track to save them over $900,000 PER YEAR. As they grow their business, these savings will grow in line with their corporate growth.

Reduce Operating Costs Summary

In about 3 clicks and two minutes, these types of simple changes enabled growth & saved over a million dollars in real monetary value. It’s amazing how little changes can have big impacts.


About Oakwood

Since 1981, Oakwood has been helping companies of all sizes, across all industries, solve their business problems.  We bring world-class consultants to architect, design and deploy technology solutions to move your company forward.   Our proven approach guarantees better business outcomes.  With flexible engagement options, your project is delivered on-time and on budget.  11,000 satisfied clients can’t be wrong.

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