Contact centers today are comprised of an intricate web of platforms and systems—from customer support platforms, to order management systems, to loyalty program software—all of which are necessary to provide customers with great service. But while they serve a necessary function, they can still create a lot of unnecessary complexity and inefficiencies in your operations.
On average, customers save up to 50% of their platform costs by consolidating platforms.
In this third and final post of our Efficiency Series (see part one on how to turn agents into sellers and part two on maximizing your contact center efficiency), we explore how contact centers can streamline their operations to reduce costs and increase efficiency across the board.
Consolidate your multiple platforms
Many companies choose to start their support small, starting first with phone and email, then adding more channels as they scale and their customer base grows.
This often leads to companies collecting a hodgepodge of platforms, with one platform for one voice, another for live chat, and so on. And while this arrangement achieves the basic function of providing your customers more channels, it’s not the most efficient process for your contact center, leading to:
Redundant costs. Having separate platforms for your channels means multiple license fees and maintenance costs—and for the more complex platforms, dedicated platform owners as well—all of which add unnecessary costs to your contact center. On average, customers can save up to 50% of their platform costs by consolidating platforms.
Siloes and poor customer experience. Multiple platforms also result in data siloes, preventing agents from seeing a customer’s past conversations just because it happened on a different channel. It’s this divergence that results in the frustrating repeat and recap customers have to do, rehashing their past conversations each time they switch channels or speak to a new agent.
Disjointed view of your contact center. Finally, multiple platforms, each with their own reporting, means it’s a tedious process for administrators to gain a complete understanding of how their contact center is doing across all channels, having to reconcile reports from multiple platforms, each with their own unique way of presenting data.
Capture all customer conversations, regardless of the channel it happens over, in a single thread, so agents can keep a conversation going seamlessly.
To reduce costs and streamline complexity and inefficiencies, consider getting a platform that has all the channels you need built into it already—and yes that should include Voice as well, since it’s typically the biggest contributor to costs in a contact center—even if you don’t feel ready to switch them all on at once.
That way, you set yourself up for success to reduce inefficiencies down the road. Be sure to check out how one of our customers, a multi-brand retail company, saved over 30% in platform costs by consolidating their disparate platforms, adding new channels to their mix (and how they did. it all remotely too).
Integrate your systems
Much of an agent’s work involves looking at customer information across multiple systems—from checking on a customer’s order, to the balance points left on their loyalty programs.
Giving your agents quick access to customer information means they can get back to your customers faster.
Make it easier for agents to get the information they need by integrating your systems with your support platform, so instead of spending precious time navigating between multiple windows, they can get your customers the answers they need fast.
Go 100% Remote
Rent. Electricity. Office furniture. Running a physical contact center can get expensive.
If the past few months have taught us anything, it’s that with the right tools and processes in place, providing 100% of your customer support from home is a real possibility for companies.
Not only does it cut out a significant amount of fixed costs, but it means happier agents who get to skip the commute to and from work, and put that time to better use. Take it from JetBlue, an airline that’s netted 13 J.D. Power awards, and whose 2600 support staff all work from home.
Train omnichannel agents
A lot of contact centers today tend to organize their teams by channel—one team dedicated to phone support, another to email, and so on. We believe that an omnichannel approach to teams is the best way to maximize efficiency across your organization.
Because forecasting your staffing can be a challenge, even on the best of days, it helps to have the flexibility for agents to step in when and where they’re needed; whether it’s manning the phones when your call volumes are especially high, or chipping in to help customers on live chat on especially busy days.