How Can These Four Technologies Reduce Costs in the Contact Centre?


In this article, our panel of experts share their ideas on how technology can reduce cost in the contact centre.

Many contact centres are tasked with reducing overall cost, typically in delivering the same service with a smaller head count.

Technology: Cloud-based solutions

How it reduces cost

1. Pay-as-you-go: Cloud-based contact centre infrastructure allows for a pay-as-you-go payment model, where the company pays for the services it uses and number of live agents at any one time, rather than a more traditional and costly annual licence and maintenance fee approach.

This pay-as-you-go method is perfect for contact centres with seasonal business, with peaks and troughs in demand and a fluctuating workforce, as it will ultimately reduce costs across the year.

A thumbnail picture of Colin Hay

Colin Hay

2. Homeworkers: Cloud-based technology calls can be directed to homeworkers regardless of their location, because all that is required is access to the internet combined with a PC and browser.

This saves money as you can employ homeworkers, who typically report higher agent productivity, lower attrition rates and reduced operational costs. Also, you can increase staff without impacting on expensive physical space and on-premise technology.

3. An integrated user interface (UI): Skilful scheduling and skills-based routing in the cloud means that customers are routed to the agent with the right skills and knowledge to answer their queries efficiently. Combining this with fully trained, empowered agents with the information they need on their desktop to provide an exceptional service automatically saves costs.

In addition, the need to keep recruiting and training additional people may be lowered as empowered advisors generally stay put for longer, therefore reducing costs.

A thumbnail picture of Enda Kenneally

4. Automatic upgrades: Another advantage of cloud technology is that upgrades are included automatically so that users can benefit from the latest features as they are available. This is without the need to find significant funds upfront to pay for upgrades and add-ons.

Also, inclusive disaster recovery saves costs in terms of travel and other third-party expenses.

How much should you budget?

Prices depend on which communication channels are purchased and which services are required.

However, the starting price for a typical contact centre would be from £60 per agent per month, which represents a 20% saving versus on-premise solutions and their associated overheads.

With thanks to Colin Hay at Intelecom and Enda Kenneally at West Unified Communications Services

Technology: Omnichannel contact centre combined with a CRM unified desktop

How it reduces cost

If you use the right software, calls coming into your contact centre can be filtered appropriately so that simple enquiries can be dealt with through automation and more complex issues are diverted straight to a skilled agent.

This technology allows some customer interactions to be handled by bots, which, research shows, can successfully deal with 30% of enquiries without the help of a human agent. These include simple requests, such as account changes, status checks, etc.

Implementing a workflow system such as this not only provides immediate customer service for your consumers but also allows agents to focus on the more stimulating tasks. This is instead of performing repetitive and monotonous ones as a result of taking calls at random.

So, this will cause a boost in agent job satisfaction, meaning that you can maximise your retention rates and save money on recruitment, whilst increasing agent engagement with a more enriching work day.

How much should you budget?

A thumbnail picture of Susannah Richardson

Susannah Richardson

The cost of an omnichannel contact centre combined with a CRM unified desktop for a 150-person contact centre would be £10,000–15,000 per month.

The impact of this technology could be a reduced contact handling time of 30–40% (based on real results). The impact of this is a headcount saving of at least 30%, equivalent to £80,000 to £100,000 per month for a 150-seat contact centre.

With thanks to Susannah Richardson at mplsystems

Technology: Interactive voice response (IVR) software

How it reduces cost

Interactive voice response (IVR) software gives your callers a simple and intuitive way to access self-service options along with the ability to be connected to a live agent.

This makes it easier to handle larger call volumes without having to hire new staff and enables you to improve customer service by quickly routing calls to the right person or department.

How much should you budget?

Full contact centre functionality with self-service IVR applications is available from £100 per user per month.

However, cost savings on self-service depend heavily on the percentage of calls that can be automated.

A thumbnail picture of Tim Pickard

Tim Pickard

For a 150-seat contact centre operating normal opening hours that could automate 1 in 5 calls, the business could save approximately £200k a year in staffing costs. If it could also automate the identification and verification process prior to an agent taking a call, it could save an additional £90k a year.

With thanks to Tim Pickard at NewVoiceMedia

Technology: Noise-cancelling microphones on headsets

How it reduces cost

Noise-cancelling microphones on headsets can provide a simple way to reduce costs by cutting call time.  With reduced background noise, advisors are able to communicate more clearly with customers and this significantly reduces the likelihood of mistakes.

With fewer mistakes being made, there is less repetition and fewer callbacks, and hence overall call times are reduced. This not only increases the productivity of advisors but it also means better customer service is delivered and issues are dealt with promptly.

How much should you budget?

Two sets of noise-cancelling headphones that have proven popular in the contact centre space are the SupraPlus HW251N and EncorePro 510 models.

A thumbnail picture of Richard Kenny

Richard Kenny

The prices of these two sets of headphones, as stated by go2 Telecom, are as follows:

SupraPlus HW251N – £67.00
EncorePro 510 – £69.95

With thanks to Richard Kenny at Plantronics

Have you implemented any technology that has saved you money in the contact centre?

If so, we want to know what it is. So, leave your thoughts and responses in an email to Call Centre Helper.

Author: Robyn Coppell

Published On: 22nd Feb 2017 - Last modified: 29th May 2024
Read more about - Customer Service Strategy, , , , , ,

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