How to Cash in on Contact Center Failures

This is not some get rich quick scheme. If you’ve manage an aging contact center, then you’ve probably identified several inefficiencies which limit your success. Maybe it’s high agent turnover or absenteeism.  Maybe its call volumes that exceed contact center capacity. Whatever the reason, when troubles reduce the contact center to nothing more than a tightly managed expense, it becomes very difficult to ask for improvements. Responsible business leaders will always want to know how a big investment will either bring in more revenue or contribute to more profit. And herein lies the opportunity. When you transform contact center inefficiencies into proficiencies you are transforming money “wasted” into money saved. These savings can then be applied to contact center improvements. Improvements which increase customer lifetime value (more revenue) and lower operating costs (more profit). Here is one of many suggestions for how to do this.

One of the leading complaints contact center managers have is the lack of visibility into contact center operations. This is often caused by systems not designed to deliver management reporting. However, you can imagine the problems this creates for managers who are unable to analyze call volumes or determine how effective agents are in doing their work. This is further exasperated when you consider the impact of adding new digital channels like email and chat.

When using older contact center systems, you are likely to find inefficiencies in the areas of average handle times (AHT), first call resolution (FCR), and agent occupancy. Here is an example* of how improving these KPI’s can lead to big savings. Assume you can make a 15% improvement to average handle time, first call resolution, self-service rate and schedule adherence. The net effect of making these improvements would yield combined annual savings of over $150K. Plus, there are other potential gains by improving other KPI’s measuring cost, productivity, quality, efficiency, compliance, and customer satisfaction! These savings go along way to offsetting the cost of acquiring a new, modern contact center. Think of the possibilities.

To be clear, your results will vary. However, the concept is powerfully accurate. Small changes in efficiency can lead to big savings. So, if you want to make a compelling case to business leaders for modernizing your contact center, be prepared to show how improvements will translate into revenue and profit.

For more information on standardized contact center KPI’s and how to construct a modernization business case, consider reviewing these articles “Top KPIs for Managing Customer Service, Sales and Collections Contact Centers” and “Building a Business Case for Cloud-based Contact Center Solutions”.

*Our example is based on a hypothetical, 15-seat contact center servicing roughly 3,000 weekly interactions. Current AHT is 9.65 min, 74% FCR, 80% Schedule Adherence and a 15% Self-service rate -- plus too many other variables to document here.