• November 1, 2013
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Xerox: The Customer Service Company

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For years, Xerox has been known as "The Document Company," but that's only half of what the firm, which last year saw $22 billion in revenue, has to offer.

Lynn Blodgett, president of Xerox Services since January 2012, hosted a customer care briefing in Xerox's New York offices on September 3. During the media event, he spelled out just how big the company's contact center services business is: It employs more than 54,000 agents who handle roughly 1.6 million customer interactions around the world every day. Customer care generates more than $1 billion a year in revenue for Xerox.

Blodgett, who came to Xerox from Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), a business process outsourcing and IT services firm that Xerox acquired in February 2010, said that Xerox has been in the customer care business since 1990.

"Customer care is important, and it's a place where [Xerox] can be a real competitor," Blodgett said.

Xerox also acquired WDS, another business process and contact center outsourcing provider, a year ago. The ACS and WDS acquisitions account for the bulk of Xerox's current professional services business.

The overall services business generates roughly half ($11.8 billion) of Xerox's annual revenue. It includes not only the contact center business but also IT outsourcing, document outsourcing, finance and accounting services, human resource management, and payment services.

Xerox's contact centers specialize in customer support, retention and loyalty management, tech support, social media monitoring and analysis, and inbound and outbound sales. Many of its customers are in the financial services, government, health insurance, telecommunications, and technology verticals.

Recently, the company has seen attention shift in the contact center from transaction-based metrics to outcome-based metrics. Success, according to WDS' Doug Overton, is not measured by service-level agreements, average handling time, or first call resolution, but by overall customer health and loyalty.

For Xerox, as in the rest of the industry, contact centers are also no longer just about phone calls. Agents handle a lot of chat, email, and social media interactions today, according to David Foulkes-Jones, CEO of WDS.

"There will always be agents, but their role will change because the number of transactions that they can handle will grow," he said. "In the next three to five years, you'll see a reduction in the number of people handling calls."

That's why Xerox is moving to consolidate all of its customer interactions onto one platform and system of record, where agents can handle email, phone, chat, social media, and surveys. "Our goal is [to be able] to manage all communications, regardless of where they're coming from, age, demographics, emerging markets, etc.," said R.G. Conlee, chief innovation officer at Xerox Services.

At the New York City customer briefing, Blodgett summed up the company's stance on customer service and support in one sentence: "We love customer care, and we're glad we entered the business."

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