Call center executives are constantly under pressure to find cost-savings. Yet, according to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), “acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.” The key takeaway is that you cannot skimp on customer service. So, how do you reduce costs while not damaging your customer service function? Investing in the right technology can go a long way in reducing costs while actually improving the overall quality of customer service. From effortlessly providing customer support in any language to managing staffing requirements as a result of call volume spikes, implementing the right technology can be transformational.
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When it comes to contact center ‘best practices,’ the library runneth over: Hundreds of articles and reports have been written on the practical ways contact centers can reduce operating expenses without sacrificing quality. This is because senior management are typically reluctant to pump money into call centers, seeing them as a cost center and not a profit center. This in turn increases the pressure to identify ways to reduce cost. The challenge is that a majority of these “cost-reductions” lead to markedly poorer customer service quality. So, can you reduce contact center costs and improve customer service? To many contact center managers and executives, achieving this would be akin to finding the Holy Grail.
To achieve the kind of cost savings that truly impact the bottom line, contact center leaders need to reconsider the typical ho-hum tactics. Improving scripts and workflows to shorten calls will only get your organization so far. The answer? Invest in cost-saving technology that will reduce overheads and improve the quality of your customer care.
For most call centers, service level is a very important KPI.
It measures two parameters: 1) the availability of call center agents to assist customers; and 2) the speed with which agents resolve customer queries and concerns. Since any fluctuation in service levels can directly and significantly impact revenue, it’s understandable that call center executives are concerned with taking the necessary steps to consistently improve them. When it comes to service levels, leveraging the right technology can go a long way in improving declining service levels and, as a result, improve other important call center metrics such as CSAT.
Look around your call center; Do your agents seem tired, frustrated or fed up at work? A number of factors can lead to agent burnout and a disengaged workforce. One of the major reasons was brought to light in a national news publication. Vanessa Lu, a reporter for the Toronto Star, recently wrote an article about “customer rage” and the effect it has on call center agents. The piece stirred up a lot of emotions in the contact center community, and had people wondering how to prevent abuse, and how to handle it when it does happen.
That’s why we decided to partner with the Greater Toronto Area Contact Centre Association (GTACC) – a local organization bringing together the call center community – to look for answers. Continue reading →
Call centers have a bad reputation for being difficult places to work, specifically for front-line agents. The result is often high agent churn or disengaged employees who are simply not invested in their jobs. This can be a toxic environment for contact centers trying to provide a positive customer experience. If agents aren’t happy, customers won’t be happy. Continue reading →
Traditionally, delivering great customer service requires striking a balance between a good experience and affordability. Chat breaks that mold. Customers increasingly prefer it over other communication channels AND companies are seeing a much lower cost-per-contact. Hallelujah!
But now the industry is at a crossroad. Chat has a close cousin called “Messaging” that has similar strengths and is growing with impressive speed. These options may seem similar on the surface, but there are important differences if you look a bit deeper. This year we will see a dramatic showdown between the two – chat and messaging – and the winner will influence how customer service is delivered for decades to come.
89% of customers have stopped doing business with a company after a poor customer experience. While this is an alarming statistic, you should keep in mind that making simple changes to your call center can make all the difference. One obvious strategy for improving the customer experience is to address long hold-times, which is typically the result of unexpected spikes in call volume. Continue reading →
According to Deloitte, 62% of organizations view the customer experience provided through the contact center as a competitive differentiator. These companies understand that improving the customer experience is an ongoing process, one that is constantly changing and transforming how they do business. Accomplishing this task is a difficult one to manage and requires a real understanding of the latest industry trends. Continue reading →
Improving call center performance has always been an area of importance for credit unions. However, as the service industry grows with new technologies, it’s critical for professionals to see beyond the horizon. Aside from some of the traditional ways of boosting call center performance, what other methods can be employed? Continue reading →
The best way for a call center to stand out from the competition is by providing an excellent customer experience – we all know this, right? And yet, if you ask consumers what can ruin the call center experience for them, hold time is consistently at the top of the list.
It’s hard to deliver a great experience to callers after they’ve been put on hold. Most will lose patience quickly, resulting in either an angry caller or – worse – an abandoned call. Either way, the result is a poor customer experience, something no company can afford to take lightly. Continue reading →