As we step into 2020, we see companies investing more in Customer Experience (CX) initiatives than ever. There is a clear business case to invest and improve CX – happy customers buy more, are easy to service and bring in new customers through recommendations. And, contact centers, being customer interaction hubs, are getting more preference and priority when it comes to CX investments.
While this is great news, contact center leaders are still faced with the hard challenge of identifying the right areas to invest. The solution is not straight forward and is never a one size fits all approach. The economic climate and business needs dictate the unique approach companies have to take in building their budget plans and justifying investments.
Here is a framework of looking at company modes and planning investments based on the business cycle.
- Growth – This mode is characterized by companies experiencing rapid growth in terms of revenue. Their contact centers typically see a higher year-over-year operating budget and there is appetite to invest more to improve CX. Companies in these categories should really look at investing in leading edge technologies around analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to lead creating exceptional CX. They have to be more predictive of customer behavior and take real-time actions based on customer interaction data. And, they need to be investing in more proactive customer service, one that is reaching out to customers before the customers reach out to them.
- Static - Contact centers in these companies are typically dealing with flat budget and probably having to do more with less. The focus gets shifted to agent efficiency and productivity without compromising CX. A unified desktop is a key investment to consider – one where all channels as well as data across multiple enterprise apps like CRM, order management, billing systems etc are brought together to deliver true omnichannel experience. Also, being more proactive with training and performance management with comprehensive quality management helps identify skills gap and train agents more efficiently.
- Shrinking – Companies in this mode see revenues and profits dipping down. Contact centers are not just witnessing shrinking budgets but also see headcount cuts. Contact centers are typically looking at big cost containment levers like outsourced call centers with low cost BPOs and implementing self-service options to avoid agent cost.
As you plan your investments in 2020, see where your company falls today and pick the right areas for investment. Join us on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at 1:00pm ET for our Can’t Miss Investments for the 2020 Contact Center webinar to learn more about these models and plan better for 2020.