Cut Contact Center Costs
How do you cut contact center costs? The contact center is key to both customer service and sales, but also represents a major cost overhead. This article considers the options to reduce costs across the contact center and improve business return.
Cut Contact Center Costs
The call or contact center is a major cost in most organisations. The costs are typically split into the following areas:
- Staff Costs
- Office Costs
- Technology Costs
In this article, we give some practical tips to reducing each of these areas and therefor cut contact center costs overall.
Staffing costs are by far the highest cost component of a contact center, without addressing staffing it is very difficult to cut contact center costs. The key to cutting these costs is to increase the efficiency of your staff, therefore reducing the numbers of staff required along with the associated recruitment, training and retention costs. As a result, your staff feel more valued and, as a result, deliver a higher customer service.
Key techniques include:
- Process Optimisation – Relatively simple tools can improve efficiency by as much as 30%. For example, stopping the need to move between multiple applications on the agent’s PC – but without a major software change.
- Self Service – Market research indicates that many customers prefer to self-serve rather than use a call center. However, self-service IVR applications are not very popular with consumers. Relatively low cost options, without a major software change include mobile apps and SMS self-service applications.
- Channel Switch – Moving customers from a call to a web chat session, email or SMS chat session allows one member of staff to service multiple customers.
- Prioritise – Configure your contact center to prioritise your high priority and valued customers, possibly even pushing low value customers to more appropriate channels, such as on-line.
- Training – Our studies show a considerable amount of time is wasted by under skilled employees.
Cut Office Costs
Office space is a significant cost which has increased dramatically in recent years. For many (although clearly not all) contact center agents there is absolutely no need for them to be located in a physical office. Remote or home working agents can operate in exactly the same way as they do in the office – with all the same metrics, quality measures and call recording.
With home working agents, many are prepared to be highly flexible, for example working for a couple of hours during a peak period – which would be impractical if they had to travel to an office.
Remote working does, of course, have its challenges – however, these are well understood and solutions are well developed in the contact center field. So moving people out of the office is a key cost saving option.
Cut Technology Costs
Traditionally call and contact center systems have never been cheap. But the market has changed dramatically in recent years with the cost of contact center technology falling. Many organisations still have large contact center systems installed within their premises – which represent a major cost saving opportunity. It is not uncommon to reduce technology costs by as much as 40%, simply by moving to a modern system on a new contract.
Artificial Intelligence or AI, is the current major trend in customer service, but very few organisations have implemented AI. AI has the ability to transform your contact center, move to 24/7 operation and extend your range of services, whilst reducing your costs.
AI is the single biggest trend we have seen in customer service in many years. StableLogic are pleased to be working alongside our clients to introduce AI into the contact center and transform both costs and service levels.Joel Barnett, StableLogic Consultant
For more information on how to cut contact center costs, please contact us.