Contact center solutions are no exception to the rule that time equals money. Globally, the average contact center cost per minute is roughly one dollar. However, this may differ from country to country. It may not seem like much but bear in mind that the prices increase with each call. If you can reduce the cost per minute by only ten cents, you will save $100 on every 1000 calls made. A simple improvement may sometimes result in considerable cost savings.
That sounds good, but is there a way to minimize contact center expenses while improving customer service? Or must one be sacrificed for the sake of the other?
Reducing contact center costs per call is usually a high goal for contact center managers and executives. However, employing cost-cutting techniques should never come at the price of customer service quality. Instead, lowering call costs requires balancing maximizing contact center resources, personnel, and customer service quality while being as lean as feasible. This blog article discusses cost per call and strategies for contact center cost-saving ideas without losing customer service quality. It is an excellent resource for managers and executives seeking to minimize contact center costs properly.
1. How to Determine the Cost of a Phone Call?
2. 11 Ideas to Save Expenses in your Contact Center
Knowing the average cost per call might help you save money in the long run. Here are some easy things to consider when calculating the fee per call at a call center.
Determine the period (monthly, quarterly, or annually) for which you wish to calculate your operating costs. Most estimates involve regular expenditures, but feel free to include one-time charges.
Budgets for hardware, furniture, and office supplies
The most-costly component of every call center is labor. The way you manage your workforce may have a significant influence on your contact center expenditures. One approach to saving expenses is excellent personnel management (WFM). It uses data, personality profiling, and other methods to identify which agents should work. It is advisable to examine your staffing ratio. Do you primarily employ full-time contact center agents?
If your call volumes change regularly, hiring full-time agents might be pricey for your company. You may save money if you have a high proportion of full-time employees yet your contact center is often silent during the day or at specific months/periods. It implies that some agents are not working to their maximum capacity since there aren't enough consumers for every agent at all times. To offset this, you may recruit additional part-time or flexible agents to satisfy demand as it arises without committing to full-time hours.
Machine learning (ML) helps increase efficiency and production in enterprises all around the globe. You may save expenses in your contact center by eliminating inefficiencies and working wisely to make the most of what you currently have.
One method is machine learning to examine your metric score and discover valuable insights. It will show how customer experience connects to your business and where you may improve. How much does a 5% increase in customer happiness, for example, affects your revenue? How much income is lost for every 1% decrease in customer satisfaction? How much does a fundamental technical problem cost the organization regarding increased call volume? Can you elaborate on this? You may use machine learning and data analysis to determine how much a technical issue with your product or service will affect your expenses. It can assist and advise support teams about how many hands are needed to address a problem when it arises. As per McKinsey, using customer intelligence in your contact center improves CSAT by up to 20%. It also supports an increase in revenue by up to around 15% and lower the cost of serving customers by around 20%.
Alternatively, automated interactions. Chatbots ensure that clients always get the assistance they need, even when an employee is unavailable. A successful chatbot may significantly reduce the workload on agents and potentially lead to the elimination of agents entirely.
You can quickly transform a 9-5 call center into a 24-hour contact center with chatbots. Agents may also employ automated interactions to swiftly answer frequent queries that don't need the agent to fill out the same response every time. It allows the agent to handle several requests at the same time.
Use data and patterns to predict when you will be busy and plan accordingly. Forecasting may also assist decrease expenses in a variety of different ways. During the conversation recovery time, a consumer contacts the company through the call center. You know how long each difficulty lasts and how long it takes to resolve. You may also discover which agents are the best at dealing with specific problems and split the duty accordingly. It all comes down to working smarter.
Call and contact centers are intricate enterprises with numerous moving components. At any one moment, several procedures and tasks must be accomplished. Some duties are essential to the effective operation of the contact center, but they are also repetitious. Automating processes for specific jobs becomes logical so that AI can handle repetitive tasks. If the agent needs to transfer data across computers or do anything similar manually, this is the wrong use of agent time.
It is not simply a waste of agent time; AI is superior at certain activities. When people do repeat actions, we eventually stop thinking about it. When we create a strong habit, it is because we engage a portion of the brain that is entirely different from those linked with memory recall. When it works well, this can be a wonderful thing. However, some people get fatigued or preoccupied while doing a job, and mistakes occur. Errors in a call center may be quite expensive. A typo in an email might drive the consumer to contact the agent again, much angrier than the first time. It is now significantly more difficult and time intensive to satisfy this consumer.
Knowledge bases are predicting what information a consumer could need and offering it to them. For example, suppose your contact center receives multiple daily calls from consumers who want to know how to modify their delivery address or utilize a particular feature of your product. In that case, you may generate content to address these difficulties.
Customers cannot be forced to read these articles, of course. Many consumers, however, may attempt to locate a solution online before contacting customer support. Customers seldom want to call customer service, which is the last option. Talking with an agent takes time out of the customer's day, which they want to avoid. They can tackle the issue themselves if they can find a straightforward solution online.
It's a good idea to list the most frequent issues through your contact center and write articles about them.
Unresolved tickets and problems may cost contact centers a lot of money. That is why contact centers strive to resolve issues as quickly as possible. It leads to happy clients, agents, and agents ready to handle new problems. Here are some ideas for increasing contact center resolution rates:
Moving between various platforms wastes significant time in contact centers. Everything can manage in one place and function flawlessly to provide agents with everything they need to complete their job using an omnichannel contact center solution. As we move away from multi-channel or siloed apps, omnichannel contact centers will be the way ahead for enterprises in the immediate future.
The longer an agent spends on a call. The more clients are waiting in line. However, any call handling time targets must monitor appropriately. It's not a brilliant idea to merely look at a call handling time and tell agents to spend less time on calls. It may lead to agents pushing consumers off the phone when they are not ready, lowering the overall quality of the conversations.
Instead, it would be preferable if you made an effort to investigate the causes of the short call handling time and identify ways to address them. For example, you may find that certain agents have less knowledge in specific areas and will take longer to resolve the issue. More straightforward tickets might assign to these agents. You may also discover that agents spend too much time on the introduction, and you may save time here.
Some agents are more suited to dealing with specific issues. Customers may be directed to the proper agent via intelligent call routing, resulting in improved customer satisfaction and faster resolution time. It is another example of how automation and artificial intelligence (AI) may employ in contact centers to increase productivity.
You must maintain the lights on, the functioning of the computer, and ensure that each agent has a workstation and enough room to accomplish their duties.
By 2022, we will have all the technologies needed to allow for more flexible working arrangements, which will help reduce the amount of office space required by a firm. Agents, for example, may operate remotely when equipped with the appropriate tools. You may set up a structure where agents work from home three days a week and come into the office the other two. It may restrict the number of agents in the office at any moment. You might even have agents who operate entirely remotely. Many firms have already migrated to this strategy with coronavirus, and expanding it up or continuing it in a post-pandemic future is a viable option.
Finding places where cost-cutting methods may adopt is vital to sustaining profitability, whether your contact center solution falls at the core operations of your organization or a supporting sector. While some cost savings are immediately identifiable via several expenditure reports, others are the consequence of indirect tactics that result in cost reductions using time-saving technologies and apps.
Author Bio: Akshay