Which Technologies Give the Best Return on Investment (ROI)?


Our panel of experts pick a contact centre technology that they believe gives great Return On Investment (ROI), if implemented efficiently.

Technology: A Workforce Management System

Brief Overview

A Workforce Management (WFM) system enables a contact centre to efficiently plan, forecast and schedule employees in order to meet service level targets, improve operational efficiency and increase employee engagement.

How It Can Provide a ROI

Workforce management can provide a return on investment through improved schedule optimisation, improved adherence to schedules and a significant reduction in administration.

Furthermore, a WFM system that can schedule to advisor preferences can result in improved employee engagement that lowers attrition and absenteeism.

Scott Budding

What Sort of ROI Can the Contact Centre Expect?

A contact centre can generally expect to see a return on investment that would cover costs of a three-year agreement within the first 12 months.

This would be through a 10% saving on staff costs, as result of schedule optimisation and improved adherence, a 25% reduction in attrition, a 5% reduction in sickness and a 30% reduction in administration costs.

Thanks to Scott Budding at Business Systems. Interested in finding out more about Workforce Management software, then check out their solutions page.

Technology: A Quality Analysis (QA) Solution

Brief Overview

Bespoke QA solutions are used to monitor the quality of the interactions between your advisors and your customers.

A contact centre can build scorecards within this software and then score its advisors, creating reports from those scorecards, so that they can identify trends and manage any problem areas.

How It Can Provide a ROI

Reporting is instant, time spent monitoring calls is significantly reduced and problem areas are highlighted, so that the contact centre can intervene when necessary.

The follow-on from this is that advisors will be more engaged (leading to reduced attrition), while Customer Satisfaction (CSat) and/or Net Promoter Score (NPS) will be improved in a controlled way.

Dick Bourke

Dick Bourke

What Sort of ROI Can the Contact Centre Expect?

Team leaders will generally save about 10% of their time, but a QA analyst would save anywhere up to 50% of their time.

This means that, depending on the number of advisors the contact centre has, it can get somewhere between a four times and eight times return.

Thanks to Dick Bourke at Scorebuddy

Technology: Unified Advisor Desktop Software

Brief Overview

Unified advisor desktop software pulls together customer data from varying sources and wide systems into a ‘simple, single’ advisor view.

Also, it consolidates communication channels in the same application, allowing advisors to easily navigate multiple systems without having to leave one screen.

How It Can Provide a ROI

Through providing a single view of the customer and grouping activities, the unified advisor desktop software reduces time spent resolving customer requests by up to 40%.

This is also because advisors will have a clear view of all of the correspondence that has come from each customer, therefore avoiding any repetition of workload.

This will considerably free up advisors’ time, so companies can reduce the workforce at the service desk and/or reallocate their resources elsewhere.

So, the software provides a return on investment via a boost in productivity from service desk advisors.

Susannah Richardson

What Sort of ROI Can the Contact Centre Expect?

Based on real-life deployments, companies have reduced advisor overtime by 40% following the unified advisor desktop software implementation.

To provide an estimation of savings as a result: for a £10,000 solution, a company could expect to save £4,000, due to the above-mentioned benefits.

Thanks to Susannah Richardson at IFS | mplsystems

Technology: Wireless Headsets

Brief Overview

Wireless headsets give advisors the freedom to move away from their desks, while still on call, boosting flexibility and autonomy.

How It Can Provide a ROI

ROI can be achieved through its ability to solve some of the day-to-day challenges that impact morale, productivity and performance.

With wireless, taking calls on the move becomes possible, while free movement allows colleagues to liaise with others for support and advice.

When operations run seamlessly and disruption (such as being put on hold) is reduced, the quality of the conversation with the customer is more likely to improve.

What Sort of ROI Can the Contact Centre Expect?

Nigel Dunn

When office supplier Brother NA introduced a wireless headset solution into their contact centre, they found that advisor talk time declined by 26% (from 19.2 minutes to 14.2 minutes).

Also, an analysis of its cost-per-call data revealed savings of almost £1.50 per call.

This meant that to pay back the cost of one wireless headset, it took advisors just 145 calls collectively and translated into savings of over £41,300, or a first-year estimated ROI of 1,353%.

Thanks to Nigel Dunn at Jabra

Technology: An Intraday Management Solution

Brief Overview

These solutions recover trapped advisor capacity that the contact centre has already paid for but cannot be accessed with traditional WFM/WFO tools or processes.

It does this by aggregating advisor idle time into accessible blocks of time that can be filled with prioritised advisor tasks, which can include training, coaching, back-office work, emails.

How It Can Provide a ROI

These solutions, such as Intradiem, can be quickly operationalised, which significantly reduces the time to achieve ROI.

ROIs are typically ‘in-year’ and are achieved by removing advisor shrinkage activities out of the traditional WFM system (so fewer advisors need to be scheduled) and delivering these tasks to advisors automatically throughout the day.

This will happen in periods when taking advisors off the phone won’t affect service levels.

Because these tasks get completed by the automated solution, advisor ‘wait time’ is recovered from idle time and fewer advisors can be scheduled to handle the same workload.

Valur Svansson

Valur Svansson

What Sort of ROI Can the Contact Centre Expect?

Typically, the Intradiem solution will cost the same as one fully loaded advisor each hour, on a pay-as-you-go basis.

But, generally, Intradiem will deliver around three hours back, yielding well over 100% ROI.

Thanks to Valur Svansson at IP Integration

Technology: Cloud-Based Multichannel Solution

Brief Overview

Cloud-based multichannel contact centre solutions, like Puzzel, offer the flexibility to respond to phone, email, webchat, social media and SMS interactions, all within the same application.

These solutions are for contact centres of all sizes who are looking to increase their multichannel capabilities.

How It Can Provide a ROI

Because of the pricing model of cloud-based contact centres it is possible to get more for less, making ROI against traditional on-premise infrastructure easier to measure.

There is no up-front capital expenditure or annual maintenance payments associated with on-premise equipment.

In traditional on-premise scenarios, the user has to license for maximum capacity, which therefore attracts higher support and maintenance fees.

Under a Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) model, actual advisor usage can scale up and down as the business demands and the monthly costs reflect this.

What Sort of ROI Can the Contact Centre Expect?

Colin Hay

Colin Hay

Over a three-year period, a cloud-based pay-per-use solution for 100 voice advisors may reduce costs by over 30%, when compared against a traditional on-premise system.

These savings are without taking into account the additional costs associated with on-site infrastructure such as floor space, maintenance and upgrades.

Thanks to Colin Hay at Puzzel

Technology: Real-Time Translation Technology

Brief Overview

Customised real-time translation technology translates text from one language into another, and vice versa, in milliseconds.

This enables contact centres to automatically translate live chats, forum posts, emails, website posts and any other written content, without changing the way in which customers and advisors communicate.

How It Can Provide a ROI

If this technology is paired with Over-the-Phone Interpretation, where a third-party translator is brought in to translate what is said on the phone, a contact centre can communicate across all channels without changing its existing contact centre communications platforms.

This avoids the costs of setting up a contact centre abroad or hiring multilingual advisors, while it doesn’t risk quality in the same way as outsourcing might.

What Sort of ROI Can the Contact Centre Expect?

Tom Tseki

Tom Tseki

To staff German, French and Italian chat lines, the contact centre might have to hire three advisors for a combined annual salary of £90,000.

Real-time translation technology can enable your existing chat advisors to become omni-lingual (supporting more than 100 languages, not just 3) for approximately ten percent of the cost.

Thanks to Tom Tseki at Lionbridge

[Follow the link to find out other methods of: How to Provide Multilingual Support in the Contact Centre]

Technology: Mobile Screening for Outbound Campaigns

Brief Overview

Mobile screening allows an outbound contact centre to interrogate the network status of mobiles before calling them.

This eliminates the cost and wasted time spent trying to connect calls to mobiles that are invalid, switched off or roaming.

How It Can Provide a ROI

Outbound contact centre operations are increasingly calling mobile numbers rather than traditional landlines.

But, with one in three mobile phones typically switched off or roaming overseas, connection attempts to mobiles are much higher, increasing the cost of customer connections and wasting advisor time.

Enda Kenneally

Enda Kenneally

What Sort of ROI Can the Contact Centre Expect?

While unable to give away the cost of this feature, mobile screening can cut the costs of connecting to a mobile customer by 50% and increase talk-time by up to 37%, which will more than likely produce a ROI for outbound campaigns.

Thanks to Enda Kenneally at West Unified Communications

Technology: Outbound Dialler & Outbound Contact Management

Brief Overview

An outbound dialler will automate the calls in the contact centre, to make it more efficient at staying in touch and keeping customer promises in terms of call-backs.

Precision dialling uses intelligence and business data to make proactive contact with customers in a structured way with optimal outcomes.

Add comprehensive management information, reports and dashboards and the contact centre has got all the tools it needs to maximise ROI.

How It Can Provide a ROI

Automating outbound contact immediately reduces the workload and improves the productivity of advisors.

Also, with precision dialling, contact is more likely to be made with customers, improving efficiency without having to increase the workforce.

Call-back requirements on inbound and outbound calls can be assigned and automated by the advisors in the contact centre and skills-based dialling can be deployed, further enhancing call outcomes and resolution rates.

In addition, diallers are well proven in a host of business applications, including sales, debt collection, service and customer engagement, across many business sectors.

This is with the management information and data they acquire being used to fine-tune operations and optimise ROI.

What Sort of ROI Can the Contact Centre Expect?

Naila Basit

Naila Basit

A recent Rostrvm customer put this strategy into place, stating: “Since the project launch we have been able to reduce the length of time the team are spending chasing customers with phone calls and letters.”

The contact centre had also seen “a 300% increase in customer contact, while achieving a £348k increase in payments over a period of six months.”

Thanks to Naila Basit at Rostrvm Solutions

Technology: Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Brief Overview

RPA allows organisations to hand over routine repetitive tasks to software robots.

Organisations can relieve advisors of tasks that require no human intervention (“unattended”) and partially automate those that do (“attended”).

This frees advisors to focus on high-value activities, while software robots optimise business processes.

How It Can Provide a ROI

If implemented efficiently, RPA can provide a ROI by:

  • Helping to meet service level 100% of the time
  • Replacing repetitive routine and manual work
  • Eliminating human error and preventing costly mistakes
  • Sending automated alerts to relieve the IT department
  • Providing automatic updates

What Sort of ROI Can the Contact Centre Expect?

Karen Inbar

Karen Inbar

Industry experts state that, in recent experiences, RPA contributes to increased business process savings by 40% in most markets.

Typically, this means that value is seen within three months, but it depends on the size of the contact centre.

Thanks to Karen Inbar at NICE

[For more on this topic, read our article: An Introduction to… Process Automation Technology]

Technology: Interaction Analytics

Brief Overview

Interaction analytics technology converts the content from all customer calls, chats, emails, surveys and social media into a format that can be scored and analysed.

This allows companies to develop a ‘big picture’ understanding of customer interactions across the entire customer life cycle.

How It Can Provide a ROI

If implemented efficiently, interaction analytics can provide a ROI by:

  • Improving compliance and risk mitigation
  • Reducing Average Handling Time (AHT) by identifying advisors who have long periods of silence on calls (if they are coached to avoid this afterwards)
  • Reducing after-call work (ACW) by categorising each call
  • Highlighting bottlenecks, repeat calls and unnecessary transfers
  • Automating performance feedback
  • Making root cause analysis easier

What Sort of ROI Can the Contact Centre Expect?

Frank Sherlock

ROI can very quickly turn from tens of thousands into hundreds of thousands of pounds, depending on the size of contact centre, the work carried out by advisors and the willingness to act on the insights provided.

However, if the contact centre is not willing to act on insights, ROI is unlikely as the cost attributed to this technology can typically run into the £100ks for even a small contact centre.

Thanks to Frank Sherlock at CallMiner

[For more on this topic, read our article: An Introduction to… Contact Centre Analytics]

Have you deployed technology in your contact centre and seen a great ROI?

We’d like to hear your experiences. So, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Published On: 14th Aug 2017 - Last modified: 23rd Aug 2017
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1 Comment
  1. Interaction analytics solutions don’t have to run into the “£100ks for even small contact centres”. There are several providers with “analytics as a service” or “software as a service” offerings which are significantly less expensive. However, Frank’s comment about acting on the insights is spot on. Interaction analytics only highlights areas that need attention, but you get no benefit if you don’t act on the insights.

    John Jacob 23 Aug at 2:32 pm
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