We’ve often heard that ‘time is money’. This statement takes a different meaning altogether when it comes to contact centres—where there is always a heavy influx of customers.
With cutting edge competition of the days, effective contact centre service is of utmost importance. The efficiency of a contact centre can directly be measured in terms of its clients’ experiences.
Through it all, ensuring cost-effective services are on a business’ high priority list. After all, it is a period of uncertainty. & with the global pandemic, companies are looking to trim costs, especially for contact centres with great human resource investments.
However, one should be mindful of a lot of things before aimlessly cutting down on expenses. For sometimes, it may do more harm than good. It is always better to win the trust of your employees & make them feel secure in their jobs.
There’s no need to sacrifice your workforce; we’ve got amazing tips for you to reduce costs while maintaining the staff.
If you’re looking for cost reduction strategies to implement at your contact centre, here is what you should keep in mind:
Solutions On The Go
One of the key performance indicators is how effectively an agent resolves a query as the first point of contact, a.k.a., the first contact resolution (FCR).
As the FCR improves, the need for customers to bounce around regarding the same issue reduces, thereby reducing the time & resources spent on a single user. This will ultimately minimize the overall cost of serving a particular customer.
According to a study by Customer Relationships Metrics, the average customer satisfaction ratings will drop by 35-45% if a consumer has to call the firm a second time around for the same problem.
Your contact centre, hence, should aim at providing an on-point first contact resolution. This will also eliminate the need to follow-up for the same issue that could have been solved the first time around, thereby saving time & resources.
Opt for Self-Serving Bots
With technology as advanced as it is in 2020, more often than not, customer problems can be solved even without human interactions. The right kind of investment in technology, such as self-serving bots, IVR services, etc., will lead to reduced operational costs along with a multitude of other benefits.
This solution also eliminates worries about the quality of interactions with the customers. Investing in bot technology will ensure round-the-clock services, even on holidays, without any dip in quality & without tiring too. This way, your agents can focus on more pressing issues that actually do require human intervention.
Using the latest technology will also help you customize services according to client needs & provide efficient redressal of problems.
Aim at Reducing AHT
AHT refers to average handle time, which measures the duration of the call between a customer & an agent. Therefore, it is directly proportional to the costs you incur. Ensuring a low handling time will let your employees take on more calls during their shift.
According to a McKinsey report, agents spend 20% of their time finding the information they need or asking their colleagues for aid to resolve a particular problem.
In order to reduce AHT, businesses should have a better understanding of the customers’ data & needs. The agent on call should have all the customer data ready with them as soon as the call connects. This will reduce the wait time of the caller as well as the business, benefiting both parties.
A handy guide to resolving certain recurring issues should also be accessible. Information about common issues that customers raise time & again should have a guide present, with previously worked solutions as well as protocols & cheat codes.
Swifter Services with AI-Based Solutions
Time & again, the significance of artificial intelligence (AI) in businesses has been brought forward. Aimed at easing the job of agents & cutting down on overheads, artificial intelligence can be put to great use by firms, if used efficiently.
Gathering, comprehending & analyzing large chunks of data is one such major advantage. AI helps gather regular analytics for constant improvement. It also helps reduce the interaction between the customers & agents, as the data of the customer reaches the agent way before the call is transferred. This helps in providing strategic & customized communication.
In some scenarios, AI does not require the aid of humans at all. Well-equipped bots can help customers solve basic problems with their effective directions. However, this requires an up-to-date & constantly evolving AI design. It also cuts down the waiting time for users, leading to happier clients & better service.
Focus on Staffing: Full-Time/Part-Time
In a contact centre, labour is one of the biggest expenses. Hence, careful evaluation & planning are the first & foremost step in saving costs. Make sure that your full-time employees are productive. If productivity is not ensured, you may be incurring unnecessary costs without any viable results.
Similarly, in order to handle the overflow of calls or inputs during peak hours or rush season, there is no need to get more full-time employees on board. Invest in part-time workers who will handle the heavy traffic while incurring lesser costs than full-time ones.
Additionally, before hiring new employees, do your ground research as to what type of staffing does your business need right now. If the requirement doesn’t call for either full or part-time employees, it may be a great idea to invest in remote staff.
With the global pandemic affecting the market, remote working may just be a thing for the longest time. Remote employees will help you save massively on the infrastructural costs, apart from saving on facilities like electricity & water, rent, parking, etc.
Opt for An Omnichannel Approach
In a bid to serve customers efficiently, a unidirectional approach is not very successful. Always think of various ways in which you can reach out to them & provide solutions to their problems, preferably proactively.
A truly beneficial aspect of cloud telephony services is the ability to undertake an omnichannel approach. Social media, IVR, AI support, live chats, chatbots, emails—all possible ways for customers to reach you—should be at their disposal. & we aren’t the only ones advocating a multichannel approach.
According to research by Aspect Survey, businesses with a significant omnichannel presence have far better customer retention rates than their counterparts.
Meticulous planning & its effective implementation are what will help businesses in the long run. Not only to save costs but also in their efficient functioning.
Looking out for business requirements & strategically planning the resources, both human & physical is imperative. The right kind of investment in human resource, staffing requirements, & leveraging the use of technology wherever possible will significantly determine the costs a business incurs.
Cloud telephony has made significant advancements in the last couple of years, & its various methods can help reduce business overheads. One just has to look in the right direction!