In order to meet key performance indicators (KPIs), maintain service levels and absorb additional volume, contact center operations managers should consider four things: efficiency, process changes, self-service, and technological upgrades. In this blog post, we will explore each of these four topics in more detail and provide examples of how companies have been able to cut costs in call center operations without sacrificing quality or increasing employee turnover rate.
Efficiencies in Contact Center Operations
To improve efficiency in contact centers, managers should focus on accurate routing of calls to the most-skilled agent available at the time, as well as efficient use of time-saving tools. For example, certain tools can be used to reduce time spent manually filling in forms or data entry, allowing agents to spend time solving the problem instead.
Providing an option for agents to call back customers instead of leaving them waiting on hold decreases customer frustration while allowing agents to be more efficient in their call handling. Most importantly, focusing on first-call resolution will increase customer satisfaction while making sure your agents are not stuck dealing with compounding issues.
Evaluate process changes
Process changes can also help reduce costs in contact center operations. Streamlining processes and automating labor-intensive tasks such as data entry or report generation will lead to a more efficient contact center environment, which helps cut costs in the long run. Additionally, implementing self-service options that require little effort from the customer will reduce call handling times, resulting in cost savings and increased customer satisfaction.
Nothing can decrease customer satisfaction and increase the cost of a call more than when several agents handling the same call. Blind call assignments can lead to customers hopping among agents until they are lucky enough to find one with enough knowledge to solve their problems.
Similarly, real-time call monitoring can help capture where operations may be failing the customer. Additional training needs and time traps that slow down contact center operations while frustrating the customer can be highlighted and reviewed.
When it comes to self-service options, efficient implementation can make a big difference. Agents should be trained to efficiently guide customers through self-service processes and provide useful tips as needed. Additionally, contact centers should provide easy-to-use options that do not require customers to learn complicated navigation processes. Common self-service options include menus and automated responses.
Also, educating customers via informative hold messages can help build knowledge for customers to handle issues themselves. More customers prefer handling issues via internet or other methods over calling into an agent. Providing knowledge and resources allows customers to help themselves, decreasing call volume.
Finally, technological upgrades can help reduce costs while increasing customer satisfaction. New technologies such as AI-powered chatbots or virtual agents can automate mundane tasks such as collecting customer information and provide efficient, automated responses. Chatbots are becoming a strong contender for customer resolution. As mentioned, more customers prefer to help themselves. In fact, millennials prefer using FAQs and chatbots over phone calls. While it may be easy to discount the importance of chatbots, well-designed language-adaptive chatbots and artificial intelligence technology can resolve issues faster than agents, and with more customer satisfaction.
In addition, contact centers should consider using tools such as analytics software to monitor customer sentiment and agent performance in real-time, allowing for faster course corrections and more efficient operations. Lastly, speech analysis technology can quickly assess the tone of a conversation and provide agents with tailored advice on how to more effectively resolve customer issues.
To increase efficiency and lower costs in contact centers, efficient processes, self-service options and technological upgrades should be a priority. By reviewing current processes and finding ways to streamline them with emerging technologies, contact centers can stay ahead of the competition. Focusing on first-call resolution will ensure customers are satisfied and will prevent the cost of additional calls. Utilizing efficient self-service options, intelligent routing and automated processes can help improve customer experience while reducing costs in contact center operations. In short, efficient operations and technological upgrades will be key to improving customer satisfaction and reducing costs in contact center operations.
When making the decision to outsource, Call Center Power will be with you every step of the way. Working with companies of all sizes, we always bring multiple call center partners to the table for you to review, each of which is scored and ranked based on a strong set of criteria. The best part is, we do not charge our client’s for our call center partner referral services. Contact us today or get matched with your call center partner now by using our Call Center Matchmaker tool.