Inflationary pressures are detrimentally affecting business, and the contact center industry is not exempt from the effects. Higher expenditures and lower profitability have forced many companies to cut costs to survive.
Despite uncertain economic times, contact centers can save money by implementing the following four strategies focused on increasing efficiency without sacrificing customer experience.
Automation, such as Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVA), can handle routine inquiries, reduce agents’ workload, and free up their time to manage more complex customer issues.
To underscore this point, HFS Research found that automation is the number one initiative currently underway to support enterprises in meeting their strategic priorities.
Vistra Energy, one of the ten largest electric companies in the U.S., is one example. Vistra used an IVA to handle its large call volume, resulting in a 20% increase in call containment and reduced operation and IT costs.
Provide Self-Service Options
Self-service options reduce the need for customers to interact with an agent, saving the contact center money.
Such was the case with Salt River Project, a large public power utility. The company needed a flexible customer care solution to help reduce customer service costs. It deployed a conversational virtual solution that increased customer satisfaction, reduced dependence on costly seasonal live agents, and improved self-service rates to 35%.
Optimize Staffing Levels
Automation alone is insufficient to ensure excellent customer experience; humans are needed, too. However, contact centers can save money by optimizing staffing levels, ensuring enough agents are available to handle customer inquiries while minimizing the number of idle agents.
Improve Call Routing
Contact centers can use intelligent call routing to quickly direct calls to the most appropriate agent or department, reducing AHT and increasing CSAT.
The email marketing company, Constant Contact, needed a way to streamline their customer service queue and improve cost savings. The company implemented an IVA, which resulted in a 15 to 30 second decrease in AHT and freed agents to address more complex issues.
“This, too, shall pass” is a helpful mantra to remember during difficult economic times. Inflation is temporary. The economy will improve. In the meantime, contact centers can use these four strategies to save money and offer quality customer service.
Guest blog post written by Peter Mullen, Chief Marketing Officer, Interactions. To learn more about how Intelligent Virtual Assistants can save your company money, go to www.interactions.com.
Interactions provides Intelligent Virtual Assistants that seamlessly combine artificial intelligence and human understanding to enable businesses and consumers to engage in productive conversations.
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