How do you cut contact centre costs? The contact centre 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 centre and improve business return.
Cut Contact Centre Costs
The contact centre is a major cost in your organisation. The costs are typically split into the following areas:
- Office Space
We’d like to share some practical tips to reduce each of these areas and cut contact centre costs overall.
Staffing costs are by far the highest cost component of a contact centre. Without addressing staffing, it is very difficult to cut contact centre costs. The key to cutting these costs is to increase the efficiency of your staff. Making your staff more efficient and productive sets you ahead of the competition. As a result of improved efficiency and productivity, your staff feel more valued and deliver a higher customer service.
Key techniques include:
- Process Optimisation – Simple tools can improve efficiency by as much as 30%. For example, removing the need to move between multiple applications on the agent’s desktop.
- Self Service – Market research indicates that many customers prefer self-service rather than waiting on hold. However, self-service IVR applications are clunky and customers get frustrated when their chosen option doesn’t get them to their desired destination. Mobile apps and SMS functions are just a start here.
- Channel Switch – Moving customers from a call to a web chat, email or SMS allows one member of staff to service multiple customers. This saves the customer repeating themselves to another member of your business.
- Prioritise – Configure your contact centre to prioritise your high priority and valued customers. If appropriate, you can move low value customers to more appropriate channels like your website.
- Training – A considerable amount of time is wasted by under skilled employees. Modern technology and self-help empowers the employee.
Cut Office Costs
Office space has increased dramatically in recent years. For many contact centre 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, systems and security.
With home agents, many are prepared to be highly flexible. For example, working for two hours during a peak period – impractical if they have to travel to an office.
Remote working does have its challenges. However, these are well understood and solutions are well developed in the contact centre field. So moving people out of the office is a key cost saving option.
Cut Technology Costs
Traditionally contact centre systems have been expensive. But the market has changed dramatically in recent years, with the cost of contact centre technology falling. Many organisations still have large contact centre systems installed within their premises – which represents a major cost saving opportunity. It is not uncommon to reduce technology costs by as much as 40%, simply by moving to a cloud contact centre.
AI is a major trend in customer service, but very few organisations have implemented it. AI has the ability to transform your contact centre, move to 24/7 operation and extend your range of services, all whilst reducing your costs.
AI is the single biggest trend we have seen in customer service for decades. StableLogic are actively working with our clients to introduce AI into the contact centre – transforming both cost and service levels.Joel Barnett, StableLogic Consultant
For more information on how to cut contact centre costs, please contact us.