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Outsourcing and the KPI fraud

Editorial Staff

Customer Response Centres (CRCs) are the point of contact for every disgruntled customer. They are the public face of the enterprise. They are also often far (in both management and geography) removed from the company that the customer thinks he is dealing with. Performance is measured and the amount paid to the CRC operator depends on achieving defined Key Performance Indicators, or KPI. However, some CRCs are producing false KPIs which, because they are what payment depends upon, are in fact false accounting and fraud. Here's how it's happening.

Case study 1.

A customer of an internet marketing platform complained that, of three items delivered from different suppliers, one was defective and should be returned. His complaint was accompanied by photographs showing the product. Leaving aside the poor service element (e-mails were answered with stock responses)

Then this arrived: "We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this had caused you and the problem was not resolved within 48 Hours. However, We will create a new case in this concern to avoid the aging of this case and we will close this case."

Clearly the KPI requires that matters are dealt with within 48 hours and, having wasted time sending irrelevant stock replies, the CRC had decided to create a new ticket.

This defrauds the CRC's client because a) there is now an additional case which suggests a higher workload than the CRC is in fact handling and b) it pretends that the complaint had been dealt with within the target time.

Case two.

A customer bought a bottle of scotch at an airport. When he reached home, he found that the bottle had leaked and that, inside its sealed, plastic duty free bag, the box was soaked. He complained and was told that the matter was being referred to the correct department. Despite reminders, nothing happened until a month later when an e-mail arrived giving him two mobile phone numbers immediately followed by an email saying "Please be informed that your case has been responded and resolved."

That is patently not true and in order to fake the closing of the account, the suggestion is that the customer takes it outside the recording / reporting system. Clearly, there is an attempt to establish that the case has been concluded when it has not.

These are not simple failures in dealing with enquiries (like the following from a major UK retailer "Thank?you?for?contacting?us.



That's just annoying, in addition to causing harm to the client's reputation.

In this case, the concern is that cases are being marked as closed, then re-opened under another number, if at all, so that CRCs can report that they have met KPIs and, in doing so, ensure that they do not suffer penalties.

That's fraud and companies should audit cases to ensure that this trend does not grow.