Whether your contact center is the core operations of your business or a supportive segment, finding areas where cost reduction strategies can be implemented is an important part of maintaining profitability.
While some cost savings can be easily recognized through line item expense reports, other savings are a result from implementing indirect strategies that cause reductions in costs through the use of time saving tools and applications.
Here are five strategies your contact center can use to start reducing costs and ultimately achieve a greater ROI.
Cut IT Overhead Costs with Hosted Contact Center Environments
Administrative tasks such as performing system and software upgrades, routine maintenance, researching and acquiring hardware purchases, and onsite troubleshooting all add up in minutes and hours.
And time = $$.
With a cloud based contact center, the burden of these time-sucking tasks is now on the cloud provider, not you, thereby freeing up more time to spend on other areas of IT operations.
In addition to time savings, a hosted contact solution enables your business to incur fewer expenses resulting in direct cost savings. Research conducted by Aberdeen showed that 79% of contact centers choose to move to a hosted vs. on premise solution due to financial agility and fixed costs.
With a cloud solution, providers take care of upfront and maintenance costs which you are no longer responsible for. The hosting provider purchases the hardware to run the software and store data, they handle the geo-location for disaster recovery and redundancy purposes, they maintain the back-end infrastructure, plus they are responsible for any security and regulatory compliance requirements.
We know you’re thinking, “Yeah, easier said than done to move to a hosted solution!” However, when companies like Mitel make it possible to migrate to the cloud gradually rather than all at once, the idea of such a venture isn’t as painful as you may have originally thought. As a Mitel partner, our Mitel engineers will be there with you each step of the way!
Use Advanced Custom IVRs to Streamline and Automate Contact Center Tasks
Take advantage of custom IVR (interactive voice response) technology that can be used beyond your company’s primary auto attendant options that a customer receives when calling your main number.
Just as AA prompts are used to provide a more efficient and direct way to route callers to the proper department without a dedicated receptionist, custom developed IVRs deliver the same types of benefits such as enabling callers to perform tasks through the phone such as updating account records, supporting marketing and sales initiatives, and automating customer surveys without the need of a live agent.
According to Aberdeen, self-service analytics ranks 4th for highest planned technology adoption of 2018. Although their study is not solely referencing IVR technologies, it's clear to see the value that businesses are deriving from self-service analytics, and that includes IVRs.
Anytime you can automate a process or task that frees up an agent’s time, you’ve allowed that agent to spend more time helping customers, and less time performing manual tasks that slow down their interactions and ability to service the customers. Check out ShoreTel Summit IVR solutions as well as our IVR reporting tools on our site to learn more.
For additional information about practical uses within a contact center environment, here is a great article detailing how using IVRs, agent performance and satisfaction can positively impact customer satisfaction ratings and metrics.
Use Call Center Metrics Tools like Brightmetrics
How can you tell if your call center is cost-efficient? One way is by having deeper insight into the inner metrics of your call center system. Companies like Brightmetrics tie into the ShoreTel contact center solution and provide managers with data relating to caller experiences, agent satisfaction, agent performance, and other metrics that can indicate the efficiency and success of your call center operations.
Their reporting capabilities far exceed standard ShoreTel reporting, in fact, the majority of our contact center customers use Brightmetrics and have never looked back.
The more meaningful and relevant data you have on hand to analyze, the better you have a grasp on how well and how profitable your call center is performing.
We are a Brightmetrics partner, so if you have a ShoreTel call center solution and are interesting in learning more about Brightmetrics, give us a call or contact us online.
SIP Leads to Carrier Cost Savings
SIP (session initiation protocol) trunk providers route and deliver inbound and outbound calls over the internet. Non-sip carriers send and receive calls through the costlier PSTN (public switched telephone network).
SIP carrier per-minute rates are generally much lower than standard carrier rates, and will often offer bundled minutes that combine both LD (long distance) and local minutes. Toll free calls are typically billed separately and at a slightly higher per minute rate.
This is a type of cost savings that can be recognized within months if not sooner of implementation.
In addition, with SIP, virtual DIDs can be used, making virtual presence a powerful sales and marketing tool. This means you can have your NYC employees assigned DIDs with Milwaukee area codes to handle Milwaukee or WI regional sales, thus providing a virtual presence in these areas. To learn more about SIP for your business, contact us here.
Eliminate Communication Delays by using Collaboration Tools designed for Contact Center Agents
If your contact center is spread throughout multiple regions/locations, there are collaboration tools that can reduce the communication delays that occurs between agents and their supervisors or other agents in other departments. Tools such as IM and Presence make it easy to get quick answers to questions, and advice from fellow staff members and management.
Integrating contact centers with 3rd party CRMs and other back end systems streamline and automate processes which previously relied on multiple steps to accomplish simple tasks, such as pulling up a customer’s account information prior to accepting the call.
Greater collaboration makes for better efficiency and smoother operations. Using the right collaboration tools are critical to enabling contact center agents to perform their jobs with greater ease and confidence, thus getting more done in a shorter amount of time.
It should be noted that some providers, such as Mitel, offer cloud based communication and collaboration tools that can be incorporated and used alongside your onsite PBX. This means if your current contact center is using an onsite PBX, Mitel has made it possible to keep your existing Mitel PBX, without having to move your entire phone system to the cloud to experience these benefits, thereby saving you even more money.
Reducing contact and call center costs through practical strategies without compromising quality and efficiency can help lead to an improved ROI and operational benefits.
While some costs can be recognized directly, such as decreases in phone carrier bills thanks to SIP, other costs have an indirect impact such as time saving and productivity enhancing tools. If you’d like to discuss ways your contact center can start leveraging these cost savings, contact us today.