'Mostly value is understood when we lose something'

The subject of how we value customer service in contact centres is in some ways an old chestnut, however the debate has reemerged with vigour recently.  Most people I speak to agree that we don't place enough value on our whole sector which for the most part is viewed as a cost to serve rather than a value creator in its own right. 
The most pronounced example of this is present in some BPO relationships.  Here it's worth noting that the overall market has remained static at c15% for the last 10 years.  Growth has been stunted, some would argue, by the recycling of existing contracts amongst competitors; often for less revenue.  E-bay auctions have even been used in some cases to buy contact centre services - surely a step too far?
What causes the kind of thinking where it is acceptable to use the same procurement process for buying stationery to that of engaging with people to represent a brand at the front line?
The importance of customer retention in this economic climate is causing a rethink about the value of great front line customer service skills - this can only be a good thing.
As organisations shift towards less transactional and more interpersonal calls we will surely end up with a more logical blend of better self serve and more empathetic conversations.  What does this mean for the value we place on this activity and crucially how bids for investment for better customer experience are won along the way?
This is the nub of our big debate in our future scenarios day at Convention on 6 November - hope to see you all there!
Have a great weekend!