3 Tips for Reducing Contact Center Costs - Los Angeles Post-ExaminerLos Angeles Post-Examiner

3 Tips for Reducing Contact Center Costs

If we lived in an ideal world, you would be able to put all your time and effort into making your employees and customers happy. In the real world, you have to make every decision a balance of those two factors plus the elephant in the room: the costs.

Annoying as that might be at times, it would be a mistake to think of the following issues as perpetually at odds. Here are a few ways to cut down on costs without sacrificing the employee or customer experience.

The trinity of success

In reality, customer satisfaction, employee happiness, and overall costs are tightly linked. An efficient contact center presents you with real value; it’s also more likely to make your customers happy. Pleased customers make for happier employees.

Coming full circle, the more job satisfaction your employees experience, the more efficiently they will work. Efficient work is good for your bottom line. With all that mind, how can you best reduce contact center costs while still providing great customer service and keeping your people?

Use a virtual call center

By using a virtual call center rather than trying to build your own onsite, you can get all the advantages of having one without investing in the infrastructure, rent, and full-time employee costs that go into such centers.

Instead of paying for infrastructure and rent, you simply pay for the software and tech support. These costs are a lot less than rent and building costs, especially for small and medium-sized businesses.

And instead of paying for full-time employees, you can choose freelancers and hourly-wage workers who work from the comfort of home while logged into your system. You can have people working 24/7 for the same or less than having working-hours only staff on site. Your customers, in turn, will appreciate being able to get in contact with someone at any time.

Target your first call resolution metrics

First call resolution is a key metric in determining how cost-effective your contact center is. The more customers you are taking care of the first time around, the lower your overall costs will be. When customers don’t have to make a second, third, or even fourth call to get an issue resolved, your per-minute costs go down and you save on labor.

As an added bonus, few things are better for your customer service numbers than swiftly dealing with customer issues!
 To improve call resolution, you need to invest in good agent training. Training should address real call issues and help agents feel competent to resolve them.

The next step is to give your agents the tools to fix problems, starting with good call software that routes questions to the right agents the first time. This minimizes frustration, improves customer satisfaction, and lowers costs all at

Slow the attrition rate

Call centers are notorious for their high attrition rates. While it’s tempting to look at employees and be most concerned about wasted time, lack of focus, or other losses, it’s important to remember that replacing an employee is very costly.

A call center needs somewhere close to $10,000 to recruit and train each new agent. In most cases, it’s wise to keep the people you have, and the lower your attrition rate, the lower your overall costs.

Addressing attrition rates starts with understanding the problem and the true cost of attrition. The two greatest contributors to call center attrition are poor compensation and enormous stress. Better call software and a positive environment can go a long way to helping with stress.

As for compensation, it’s not always necessary to raise hourly wages. Bonuses are a great way to motivate, as are cash incentives. Offer benefits rather than cash can be a cost-effective way of helping employees feel better compensated for their effort.

About the author

Claire Peters

Claire Peters is a contributor to the Los Angeles Post-Examiner and Baltimore Post-Examiner. Contact the author.

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