When it comes to contact center software solutions, it is always advisable to devise strategies which work to your advantage. The field of call center business runs mainly on strategies and ideas than anything else. The whole concept of customer care revolves around one goal – to satisfy the needs of the customer. Consequently, every strategy is developed accordingly. Every plan, every campaign, every policy has only one priority which must be upheld under all circumstances.
But if it really is all about strategies, do you see how complicated the arena actually is? It might seem pretty simple and straightforward to you. Customers call you up at the customer care helpline number and speak to your agents about the peculiar problem they are facing. Simple? Well, not really. As it turns out, there’s a lot more to this one teeny tiny call than meets the eye. Think about the workforce behind this one call. Or the usage of the best contact center software to make the call a pleasant experience for the customer. You probably already know what we are getting at. Yes, the cost behind it all.
You see, running a call center can be a pricey affair. Every aspect of the business demands a steady flow of cash being poured in. Otherwise, how do you get the best results? You need the best possible talent working for you, you want to grab the latest version of contact center software for yourself, you need the best available infrastructure and so on.
All this burns a hole in your pocket. So what do you do? Do you wash your hands off the matter and just settle for what you have? The answer is no. In this highly competitive business, you cannot compromise. Because compromising on this would mean compromising on your quality of customer service.
Instead, you come up with strategies that help you cut down on cost. Like we said, the entire business runs on a bunch of good ideas. It is innovative ideas like these which can help bring down the overhead cost at your call center. Do you feel that your call center has been spending more money than the average revenue being generated? In that case, it is time to cut down on expenses. We have come up with twenty ideas or tips which can help reduce your expenses:
1. Audit your finances at regular intervals. Basically, an audit would tell you exactly how much you’re spending, what you’re spending it on and whether the expenditure has been of any use or not. It will give you the ratio of your cost to productivity. Are you getting back as much as you’re putting in? Also, get your finances audited by a reputed firm or organisation. Impartiality is always appreciated.
2. There are several workforce optimisation strategies that you can make use of. As the very name suggests, the strategies would help you understand where you are lagging behind in terms of your agents and the work they’re putting in. These are integrated into your contact center CRM software. It would also help you understand where there’s scope for improvement and how to work on it. Basically, such strategies would help you get the most out of your workforce.
3. Have you taken adequate steps to reduce attrition? Basically, call centers have a tendency to pour a lot of money into the training and recruitment process of new agents. Now while it is important to go all out when it comes to recruitment, you need to cut down on attrition. Most call centers make this grave mistake and attrition increases to a great extent. Before you even start the process, you need to take this into account.
4. How do you reduce attrition related to hiring of new employees? That must be the question on your minds. The answer is simple – through employee retention. If you are able to retain more employees, you wouldn’t have to scour every nook or cranny for new ones. Invest in employee retention strategies or employee engagement policies. These will actually cost you much less than the recruitment and hiring process would.
5. You would think that outsourcing your outbound contact center software solutions would cost you more money. Well, it is often seen that outsourcing your call center solutions would actually help bring down costs. When you hand over your customer care (or just a part of it) to another firm or organisation, how the costs are managed becomes their headache.
6. Also, cloud based models are much cheaper than your other models. These cloud based contact center management software would be a great way to bring down call center costs. Have you been using the same old versions of complex software for your call centers? Maybe that is why your costs have been building up. Instead, you could just upgrade your system to the new cloud system and make the most of it.
7. Remote agents could be one great way of reducing costs at your call centers. You see, when you have a large team of agents working for you at your call center, it requires a lot of maintenance costs. But with remote agents, you just have to worry about hiring the most responsible and experienced agents for your call center. That’s about it because the rest is up to the agent in question.
8. Use various tools offered to you by different software for contact centers. There are tools like video conferencing which would not only make communication much simpler and hassle free but would also help you cut down on expenses. Meeting face to face with clients can cost you money and is no less than vexation. Instead, you could just communicate with them via video conferencing.
9. You need to set benchmarks in your operations in order to reduce costs. Some examples of benchmarks would include the cost per call, the amount spent on each transaction and the amount spent on each call. You will also have to break them down into the various departments. There has to be an internal benchmarking system which helps you reduce costs.
10. There are different kinds of staff members working at a call center, some full time and some part time. If your full time staff members are not giving you the desired results, then that could prove to be costly for you. And why should you spend money on something that isn’t productive enough? In that case, it would be advisable to hire efficient and responsible part time workers so that you can cut down on costs.
11. Also, you should have clear demarcations in your training sessions. Some agents would take part in the training sessions and then extend that to training on the job. But that only ends up wasting time and money for you. Make sure that your agents make the most of their training sessions and learn all that they are supposed to during that very time. That saves both time and money.
12. Certain unneeded processes could be costing you more than they should. What you could do is get hold of a quality review process. This will go through all your processes and analyse them. If there are some unneeded processes that are clogging up the system, then the quality assessment would point that out. Based on that, you can come up with cost effective strategies to help you out.
13. Also, make sure your team members stick to the schedule. At your call center, you must be having a strict schedule that you follow in order to meet your targets and your goals. The moment your team members deviate from the schedule, it starts costing you money. Adhering to the schedule that has been drawn up is something that your agents must learn and stick to as well.
14. Having worked in the field of call centers, you should be knowing what a service level review is. Basically, it is a review of the level of service you provide to your customers. What service level are you on and are you functioning at that level or at a level lower than that? If that is the case, then this is costing you more money than you can imagine. This service level review is something you should do.
15. There is specialised contact center reporting software that comes equipped with integrated voice recognition. There has been a great deal of talk about how voice recognition is bad for your call center business. But the reality is somewhat different. As a matter of fact, the voice recognition software could help you save a great deal of money as well.
16. Some call centers make the grave mistake of having too many prompts and branches as part of the call. However, this could be costing you money. The customer is bound to get irritated with your incessant prompting and that increases your telecom charges. To bring down your telecom charges you need to start working on the quality of the call as well. By monitoring that, you can not only enhance the quality but also reduce your call charges.
17. As you must be knowing, there are certain peak seasons for all companies, even call centers. During this particular time, you get the maximum number of calls and to say that this is a busy time for you would be an understatement. In such situations, you need to come up with certain cost effective measures. One way would be divided labour. This actually works best for everyone. This way, your agents wouldn’t be overworked nor would it cost you almost twice as much.
18. During the peak season, you could obviously go for shared labour as we just explained. However, there is something else you could do. You could even hire an agency for your peak season. That will definitely bring down the work load as the burden gets shared between two companies. Also, how that agency handles calls and customers will be up to them. It is no longer your headache. That immediately brings down your costs.
19. Your agents can be the best PR agents for your company. They are the ones who directly interact with your customers and naturally have more hold over your customers. If trained right, they could be the best sales team you have ever had. Your agents should know how to sell your products to the customers. They should have the experience and the knowledge required to handle specific clients. This would definitely save a lot of money in the long run.
20. It is very important to listen in on the calls. Find out why your customers are calling. Is it because of the same old doubts and queries or is it because of certain specific issues that you have noticed a surge in the number of calls? If the latter is true in your case, then that’s one aspect of your call center operations that need to be fixed. Who knows, that could be increasing your expenses. Fixing this would help you bring down your expenditure.
The case study
We know that providing call center solutions is not only complicated but also pretty expensive; this is more poignant for smaller businesses. That is why we have come up with a well researched case study that tells you exactly how to proceed with your cost effective strategies. As you know already from the twenty tips provided above, cost effective strategies are a must for any kind of business.
The same goes for AMJ Technologies, a company providing IT solutions based in Nevada. The company had noticed a sudden surge in their expenses and wasn’t able to pinpoint where they were going wrong. The company is basically responsible for installing multiplatform desktop visualization software in various call centers. Thus, obviously cost is an important factor in the company. it was thus important to come up with a cost effective virtual desktop infrastructure which would provide quality service but at the same time bring down costs.
The final outcome
In other words, AMJ Technologies thus came up with a brand new software system that allowed you to bring down costs. For example, the new software came with the following features: a centralized management system through web apps on any device, drag and drop simplicity for businesses with limited IT skills, a number of devices and platforms being used for those using cloud and so on.
Also, as a call center you must be having a certain vision for the future. You must have plans to expand your business in the near future. This brand new software allows you to do that seamlessly and in a cost effective manner. All you actually have to do is add a simple and cheap server. That’s about it. Once you do, you can scale your business any how you want to.
The new software supports the use of multiple platforms and is very versatile and flexible. With a software like this, it becomes easier to carry out all your functions in a seamless and apparently effortless manner. Obviously, with operations going as smoothly as this, your costs are going to go down.
Not only AMJ Technologies, you too could cut down on your expenses which seem to be ever increasing. All you have to do is follow these tips and strategies down to the last detail!