Friday, 11 September 2015

Trouble on Double Time

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I would have my pension banked already, just based on someone paying me £500 every time I have heard people tell me "we really need to Channel Shift Tony".  Unfortunately I smiled and offered advice, so I won't be upping sticks to retire out to Tenerife just yet.

Since the recent 'emergency budget' including that great Easter egg surprise of a 1% rent cut for social housing rents over the next five years, I am hearing it a lot more. Now regular readers of this blog will know that in conjunction with my fave comms' buddies Ade Capon & Brett Sadler, earlier in the year we explored where #ukhousing was with channel shift and customer self service. See

Still many people are to my eyes, missing the point.

I have worked with a number of clients looking for direction in this area. Many considered technical innovations such as 'live chat'. What a great innovation. Or not. the point of channel shifting is to provide extended service, 24/7, and cut our costs, to contribute to the missing 1%. Live chat is helpful, but still needs a customer service person at our end, ready to chat. Encouraging it, just shifts the transaction up the line.

Another massive missed opportunity is integration. Mess up in this area and we double up the transaction. It takes me back to the early days of IF, the old Halifax internet bank, from about 1999. This was slick on line, but according to a partner of a old school friend of 'er indoors, all those transactions were printed out, (yes on music ruled folding paper...) and re-keyed into the back-end mainframe every morning. How crazy, we wouldn't do that would we?

Some channel shifting is truly rubbish, it might be how much you spend or how much into the detail you go. I am convinced that the "march of the machines", will be led by the self checkout machines in Morrisons. They are by far the worst out there, followed closely on their heels by the ones in the Co-op food.  I am available to review said machines if anyone would like to engage me, however, I am sure I can make a bigger change in social housing. That would make me feel far more righteous.

Well, if our website self-services don't integrate directly into our backend applications, you know for repairs, rents, ASB etc, we are actually doing just the same as the Halifax sixteen years ago. If when your tenants and other customers participate on line, if your staff are just receiving an email, with stuff to key in, you have failed my friend. You had one job and you (or your visionary managers) messed it up.

Stop the doubling up, because it's just trouble. Your efficiencies are not being fully realised, don't kid yourself they are, unless your incoming call total each month and staff head count are not going southwards. That is not to say, dear reader, that those displaced persons should not be redeployed in higher value roles. I am advocating increased efficiency and productivity here, not necessarily crude staff cost savings.        

Related Post: Have a plan with outcomes and stick to it -What can we learn from the shabby Universal Credit Roll Out?


I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.

Free - Trouble On Double TimeFree - Trouble On Double Time.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting 07854-655009

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