How Do You Drive Growth – The Contact Center Way?
Contact centers are one of the essential resources while doing business today. Without a contact center, how do you scale up and provide the services on a timely basis?
However, most organizations view contact centers as cost centers.
I was moderating a panel discussion, and one of the panelists, a renowned customer experience specialist, mentioned that contact centers would be viewed as cost centers for the foreseeable future.
He added that one of his important KRAs is to drive down the costs of the contact center. Fortunately, he is doing it with technology. Technology allows him to keep the costs down while not taking away anything from experience.
I am putting forward my arguments on why contact centers should be looked at as profit centers.
Customer Attrition Rates
It takes more effort and money to acquire than retain a customer. More than 80% of the customers will look at switching providers just after one bad experience. So, experience is the key.
The Frontline of Customer Interactions
Contact centers are the face of your organization when it comes to customer interactions. The level of insights they get from customers is unparalleled, and they are not being mined well.
As you seek feedback from your customers, seek input from your customer-facing representatives, it will throw up so many insights that it can influence your product development, training, and in many cases, the business model itself.
Upsell and Cross-Sell
How often have we considered the possibility of offering a solution to a customer problem with complementary offerings from your organization?
The customer may have subscribed to a barebone infrastructure, but he is looking at customizations. Instead of telling them that customizations are not covered in the plan, push the subscription that covers customization.
Let me give you another example.
A customer calls your contact center with a technical query. While the representative addresses the query, he notices that the customer is using an obsolete software version. He takes note of it. Similarly, other agents also take note of customers using outdated versions.
Now, you send a promotional offer to all these customers to move to the upgraded software.
Do we equip our representatives to do this?
Besides, do we provide a single view of the customers that would allow your reps to view all the customer interactions – allowing them to upsell and cross-sell
Aligning Employee Experience with Customer Experience
How often do we equip our agents with the necessary tools to address customer queries?
Most often than not, we don’t equip them with the tools to answer, and they end up transferring calls to multiple people, which frustrates the customers.
Is training an ongoing activity, or is it only done during the induction time for your customer-facing representatives?
There has to be continuous training for all your representatives, besides actively seeking feedback on what is working and what is not. This would allow you to structure your training better and faster.
Move to the Cloud
Moving your contact center to the cloud or opting for a cloud platform would make things easier.
You don’t have to purchase expensive hardware; you don’t need professionals to manage your infrastructure, and you don’t have to worry about the availability and security of your infrastructure.
All of this is taken care of by your cloud infrastructure provider.
Besides, you can add and remove features while scaling up and down the resources per your business needs. All of this comes at a subscription or a per-minute cost.
Contact centers are the center of customers’ experience with your company, and providing great experiences would make you profitable and make your customers loyal.
The ideal way to turn your contact center into a profit center is to recognize where you can drive value and focus on that. Value can be driven through revenue, budgeting, adding additional channels, innovation, and the like.
We live in an era where customer experience makes or breaks an organization, and not investing in it will be detrimental to any organization.