- Keeping agents motivated and well-trained can avoid wasted time on the job.
- Implementing advanced technology can streamline contact center workflows and reduce operational costs.
- Adopting a cloud-based phone system can optimize contact center interactions with customers and keep costs down.
Like any other type of business, contact centers should always be looking for ways to cut costs. While there are plenty of ways to boost profits, there are just as many ways to reduce expenses to keep revenues healthy.
For contact centers, the bulk of costs come from labor expenses. Slashing costs typically involves managing your agent workforce optimally and using the correct technologies to help your agents do their jobs in the best way possible.
Here are nine useful ways to cut down on contact center costs.
1. Upgrade software
Technology has transformed just about every aspect of life, and that includes the modern contact center. Contact center technology continues to evolve with the aim of improving efficiency, cutting costs,and still maintaining high customer satisfaction scores. Innovative software can minimize agent burnout and improve the customer experience.
To cut down on your contact center’s costs, be sure to pinpoint any outdated technology that might still exist and swap it for a more cutting-edge software that incorporates cloud-based calling, intelligent call-routing, and enhanced reporting tools. With such technology, you have the tools available at your fingertips to better understand where things are working well and where things could use some improvement.
2. Offer enhanced self-service options
Not only do self-service options help improve efficiency and thereby slash contact center costs, but they also boost customer satisfaction. Today’s customers have come to expect well-designed self-service tools to help them resolve an issue on their own without having to go through the traditional contact center channels.
Adopting such features will both ensure that your contact center is meeting customer expectations and help keep costs low by reducing the need to rely on live agents.
3. Incorporate AI solutions
Progressive contact centers have already adopted some level of artificial intelligence (AI). This innovative technology has become a key component of an efficient contact center thanks to its ability to assist live agents and take the place of an agent in appropriate situations.
This frees up agents’ time to tackle other high-priority duties that may require a human touch, thereby reducing costs that otherwise would have been wasted on unnecessary agent downtime.
4. Cut down on second-time calls
If a customer is calling back a second time, that means their first phone call wasn’t entirely successful. To reduce the odds of a second-time call, carefully monitor first contact resolution (FCR). This is a very useful key performance indicator (KPI) that can accurately assess customer service and contact center efficiency.
When you train agents to aim at better first-call resolution stats, customers won’t be as likely to make a return phone call regarding the same issue. In turn, customer satisfaction increases by resolving an issue the first time around, and the cost of customer support declines.
5. Provide ongoing agent training
While agents need entry-level training when they first start their jobs, they require regular ongoing training to ensure that they’re up-to-date on the evolving contact center environment. Many factors constantly change, including technology, how to handle calls, and what customers expect. Agents should be on the ball at all times to ensure they’re fulfilling their duties to the best of their knowledge and ability.
This requires continuing education sessions. A well-trained agent means a more cost-effective contact center, along with better customer service. Investing in ongoing training for your agents will increase your returns through a reduction in costly errors and a boost in the number of calls each agent can handle.
6. Keep agents motivated
Contact center morale is a key factor in agent work efficiency and productivity. Ultimately, agents who make good use of their time cost contact centers less relative to output. Agents who lack engagement on the job are less likely to perform efficiently.
Keeping agents motivated and engaged to do well at work can foster a more positive work environment and inevitably boost performance, reduce burnout, and thereby cut down on costs. Switching up desk locations, changing scripts, or assigning different tasks can keep agents on their toes while breaking up the monotony.
For remote agents, motivation may be an even bigger challenge. Ensure that you have programs in place to keep remote workers in the loop and help them feel a part of your contact center culture with well-designed engagement strategies.
7. Reduce agent turnover
Keeping agents engaged and motivated ultimately helps to cut down on agent turnover, which can be a huge cost for contact centers. Depending on the size of a contact center and the number of agents employed, contact centers can lose hundreds of thousands of dollars every year just on agent turnover alone.
It takes a sizable amount of money to recruit and train a new agent, and when agents are regularly quitting and being hired in a seemingly unending cycle, money is wasted. Given this cost, it makes sense for contact centers to take steps to ensure a positive work atmosphere to keep agents happy on the job so they stick around for the long haul.
8. Make use of automation
Automated workflows streamline tedious tasks. For instance, duties like sending out follow-up emails to customers, scheduling, processing agent availability, or generating data can be automated. Taking advantage of automation can boost productivity and optimize costs.
9. Adopt cloud telephone systems
Cloud telephone systems make use of the internet to make customer calls instead of traditional analog telephone connections. This technology allows agents to make calls that operate via cloud-based servers and are hosted online. In turn, this eliminates conventional and outdated telephone hardware and complex infrastructure.
It’s time for your contact center to move to the cloud, and RingCentral can help with state-of-the-art cloud-based technology, RingCentral can help contact centers improve agent-customer interactions that both enhance the customer experience and keep operating costs to a minimum.
Originally published Feb 02, 2022, updated Dec 30, 2022