Optimize the cost per call in your call center
If you are call center manager or a service delivery manager managing for call center, one of the top priorities will be to optimize the cost per call. You have a large platter of ideas, but you don?t know which one will be best for your call center. Moreover, things get crazy and confusing at the same time when you are full of ideas. Implementing a wrong idea can kickback as well. No matter whatever your strategy is for cost reduction, it should never comprise the quality of service provided to the customers. After spending some time on this article, you will learn about some of the proven strategies in industry, that has been used for cost optimization in the call center industry. When we say proven, we mean that you can implement them safely.
What is the cost per call?
Cost per call or CPC is one of the important metrics of the call centers. It defines the cost of contact made by the customer to the call center. Cost per call is used to determine the overall efficiency of the call center. Optimization of CPC can lead to optimization of the overall operating costs of the call center. However, escalating CPC is simply going to eat up the revenue, and also the incentives that are given by the managers.
How do you optimize the cost per call?
Optimizing the cost per call definitely improve the operational cost and revenue margins. As we mentioned there are numerous ways to optimize the CPC. The Internet is flooded with these ideas. But we are going to tell you about those ideas, which has been quite effective in CPC. These are the ones which have been used by the industry leaders, over a period of time
Optimize the training and development of the agents: One of the key requirements for reducing CPC is, increasing the overall service quality. This can be ensured by making agents more competent through proper training. This should help them to address customer?s requirements. You need to make sure that only the right kind of resources has been hired for the requirements of the call center. An agent with a lack of competency could be difficult to train. Post training, agents need to monitored through performance coaching and feedback. With skilled and competent agents, you can expect a massive improvement in some of the key metrics. This includes first call resolution (FCR) and total problem resolution (TPR) and reduced the average handling time (AHT). Ultimately, this leads to the improvement of overall service quality.
Effective Call Monitoring: Live call monitoring should be used as a mechanism to asses the call quality and assess the performance of an agent. In general, live call monitoring is not considered for quality control. Rather, the quality team of a call center does a deferred audit of the calls, and provide feedback to the agents based on that. We are not saying that deferred audit is not effective, or it is not a perfect mechanism for quality control. But live call monitoring is more like a proactive approach, and agents can provide instant feedback just after the call. So, this is more effective in quality control of the calls. As a manager, you can always do live call barging, and ensure that your team?s performance is of top quality. The top quality of service to customers, always help in reducing cost per call.
Integrated tools: There are many integrated tools available in the market which can are capable of developing customer-centric support. If you are not using any of these platforms, then you don?t know what you are missing on. As per a report published by Harvard business review, 40 percent of the customers agreed that they would not do any business with those companies, who are known of bad customer service. So, good customer service can be always provided with top-notch tools. Some of the tools which are used are Live Chat, Zendesk, Magento and Live Chat. Some of the integrated features that are provided by these tools are, IVR System, Automatic Pop-Up screen with caller details, Call Conferencing, Call Monitoring, Ticketing, Instant Reports, CRM and many more. Integrated tools are meant for enhancing customer experience. It saves time for agents, as they can do everything for a single window. For managers, they can just generate reports with a single click. So, integrated tools are a definite requirement for reducing cost per calls.
Integrated software tools also enable computer telephony integration (CTI). As per a report published by CISCO, CPC can be reduced by 35 percent with the implementation of CTI. CTI is known to expedite the caller verification process. As per a report published by Bank of America, 25 percent of call time is spent on account verification and caller verification. Hence, reduced call time meant reduced CPC.
Enabling Callback: Provide the option of calling back from the queue. Once the customer opts for a callback from the queue, his queue position will be reserved even though he has dropped off the call, and whenever his queue position is reached, he will receive a callback. Thus, the customer doesn?t need to wait in the queue, in order to talk to the agent. He can simply wait for the callback, once he has dropped off the call. So, how does this help?
Enhanced satisfaction for the customers.
Adherence to the service level.
Less queue time for the customer
Implement Skill-based routing: A report published by Gartner mentions that 35 percent of customers get dissatisfied and frustrated when they are transferred from one agent to another. If you are managing a call center, you would already know that this is a common scenario. However, just think about that customer who is getting kicked from one agent to another like a football. Obviously, at the end of the day, he is not going to be a happy customer. Moreover, the CPC keeps on increasing till the time the customer is in the queue. This could be easily resolved with skill-based routing, which will ensure that calls are routed to the correct skill in one chance.
Cost per call is an important metric for a call center services
, and that is why it remains in the radar of the management for most of the time. If proper steps are not taken for optimizing CPC, then there are high chances that costs are going to escalate at a later stage.
VP – Sales