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But by NOT focusing foremost on the customer, organizations are missing out on a tremendous opportunity to differentiate the brand and to build a devoted customer base who will proactively rave to others. In fact, experts agree that customer experience management is the next frontier—the unique differentiator—for contact centers. Unfortunately for the customer, for the past 15 or so years, contact centers have been focused primarily on efficiency and cost reduction. Technologies that helped contact centers handle more interactions with fewer people or at lower costs were rapidly adopted. Because people (the agents on the phone) represent the largest operational cost in a contact center, it seemed logical to minimize the time they spent working with customers. This led to all sorts of approaches to cut costs: offshoring, IVRs, voice recognition and self-service.