In times of economic trouble, business leaders often sharpen their pencils and look for areas of waste to strike from their bills.
Such an exercise is worthwhile as cloud contact centers often pay annual fees for idle resources.
Yet, the much more significant savings typically come from an investment in innovation.
Here are four excellent examples that every contact center should consider.
Get Smarter Around Call Deflection
Many consider call deflection the art of sending phone calls to bots, live chat, or another digital channel to reduce the amount of phone calls agents handle.
After all, many operations have found that voice is the most expensive channel for handling customer queries.
Yet, in creating call deflection strategies, many businesses risk lowering customer satisfaction, increasing customer complaints, and – ultimately – jeopardizing customer retention.
As Pierce Buckley, CEO & Co-Founder of babelforce, summarizes:
“You don’t want to invite Aunt Nellie to your wedding, but you also don’t want her and her folks trash-talking you behind your back, and you definitely still want the wedding present.”
So, how can the contact center strike this balance? First, consider the trade-offs.
Instead of sending every customer following a particular IVR input to a bot, think about when customers would benefit from automation.
An example of this is offering customers the option to interact with a bot when wait times exceed a specific threshold.
Then, consider where it is best to implement those bots. Making a list of the most common, transactional ticket types and working from the top down ensures the business applies conversational AI in the most fruitful places.
Finally, list the routine processes agents follow when handling contacts and how often they appear in tickets. Handling times fall, and cost savings soar by picking one to three to automate.
Just be careful in choosing the best-placed architecture and methodology to apply. After all, implementing the appropriate integrations and ensuring configuration control requires a lot of thought so success continues after the first project, and the business can optimize afterward.
Automate the First 45 Seconds of Every Call
Contact centers that deal with 150,000 inbound calls a month can save $500,000 annually by automating the first 45 seconds of every call.
Doing so involves adding natural dialogue to the IVR, capturing customer information – including their contact reason – upfront, and filtering that through to the agent.
With this context, the rep can get a head start on the call, lead the customer through it at pace, and cut handling times significantly.
Such a strategy may also include automating identification and verification (ID&V) processes before the call – which again saves agents significant time.
Buckley delves deeper into this cost-cutting strategy in the video below.
Why automate the first 45s of your calls using AI from babelforce GmbH on Vimeo.
Offer Callbacks on the Web or In-App
When a customer uses their app or website, a company can follow their journey. As a result, the contact center has much more customer context than it does for most other inbound queries.
Such context may include the customer’s lifetime value, the value of the purchase they are looking at, and whether they have tried to cancel their account.
If it does seem valuable to engage them with a rep, the contact center can also gather data on who is the ideal agent for them to speak to and when they are available.
Now, it is an entirely different ball game to waiting for an inbound query, where the contact center has no control over when it occurs and whether they have the capacity to fulfill it.
With all the information at the service team’s disposal, they can dynamically decide on the optimal opportunities to offer a call.
After making this point, Buckley added:
“Our experience shows that this can add millions to your revenue while cutting costs at the same time.”
Unfortunately, most contact centers avoid such opportunities, citing difficulties in gathering the right data and context to make real-time decisions.
Indeed, companies have tried to take shortcuts on this and implemented a poor man’s version of web or in-app callbacks, not achieving the anticipated results.
“Contact centers cannot sit on the fence with this. Once they plan to make hard promises like callbacks, then they must keep those. Otherwise, they’ve just made it worse,” concludes Buckley.
Luckily, it is possible to do this well and fast nowadays. For instance, babelforce has pre-built all the necessary blocks of components, logic, and integrations to make sure cloud contact centers can create the algorithms required to optimize the dynamic flows.
Fix Broken Agent Workflows
Uber has invested as much in the driver experience as it has in the user experience. Why? Because customers suffer when reps cannot work efficiently.
Unfortunately, when it comes to designing an efficient agent experience in contact centers, there are several stumbling blocks IT teams can fall into.
One of those is failing to understand the iceberg principle applies – according to Buckley.
“10 percent of the solution is in the UI, 90 percent is below the surface in the data flows and algorithms that drive efficiency,” he says.
“I’ve been creating these flows for 22 years, and I still meet teams who have bought – essentially – a UI, before they very quickly reached the end of the road in terms of optimization.”
Yet, every contact center is unique, and each agent team has different needs, meaning that businesses must combine desktop processes with data flows in different ways.
Indeed, this is often the case whether agents work from a unified desktop, CRM, or an in-house system. Buckley adds:
“We typically see 20 to 40 percent improvements in efficiency from assisting agents in their workflows. This means cutting 30 to 60 seconds on average from customer contacts.”
As a result, businesses can achieve millions in savings, even in small contact centers.
Bring These Initiatives to Life with babelforce
babelforce supports contact centers in delivering each of these four cost-cutting initiatives while maximizing the value of the technology they already have.
“We see ourselves as working with our customers to create the best possible version of their contact centers,” says Buckley.
In doing so, the business listens to its customers, figures out what they need, and makes it crystal clear who will do what and when.
After, it puts together a team that can do whatever is necessary to make the project successful.
To learn more, visit: www.babelforce.com