You need to invest in digital channels in order to keep pace with the way your customers are communicating today. But, how do you justify the investment other than to say that you know that is what your customers prefer? How do you tie it to financial gains or operational improvements to get a proven ROI?
The major costs of operating a contact center revolve around agents and customers – at the most basic level it comes down to
- how many contacts come into your center (contact volumes)?
- how long it takes to handle them (average handle time)?
- how many people are required to respond (staffing)?
- what is the cost of the system to support the required communications (technology investments)?
These costs are linked together in that they directly influence each other. Call volume and longer handle times for example, are directly proportional to staffing and technology investments required.
While all these costs “matter” – we need to consider that customer satisfaction (CSAT) may be the most critical KPI. McKinsey finds that digitizing customer service can increase customer satisfaction by 33% and cut costs by as much as 35%. If that doesn’t get your attention, I don’t know what will!
Improving CSAT requires a focus on improving agent and customer capabilities as well as the systems required to support those improvements. It focuses employees on the importance of delivering on customer expectations – rather than just getting off the phone quickly. Consider that while this may increase AHT, it could, and likely will, reduce overall contact volumes by empowering agents to do what it takes to resolve the customer inquiry. And think about the resulting simultaneous cultural change.
There are a few key factors at play here.
- Let customers to contact you in their preferred way based on what they are trying to accomplish and the means of communications available to them at the time.
- Make it easy – which may be even more important than making it personal!
- Keep the human element even on digital channels!
- So how do you do all of that?Baby steps!Let’s say you are your customer, sitting at home in the evening trying to get a few things done, maybe paying some household bills.This all happens online.And now you’ve run across something that requires you to reach out to your bank… what’s the first way you try?For me, just don’t make me call you!Offer online chat … or better, give me a bot that solves my problem and doesn’t have me depending on anyone else to get it done.The epitome of self service (reduced cost) and a satisfied customer!Cha-ching!
To drive the highest levels of satisfaction you must be engaged on a human level with your customers. Make it an emotional experience. Drive more personalization and human-centric communication between your customers and your brand – across every channel, every time!
We’d love to show you what you can do to improve your business, cut costs, and raise efficiency while driving a great ROI. To learn more, join our webinar with Vit Horky, Senior Director of Digital Experience, The Cost-Benefit of a Digital-First Contact Center. In the meantime, learn about the importance of keeping your customers happy (aka increasing CSAT) and the power of emotion in customer service to achieve these goals!