The contact center market is growing at a rapid pace. As the key commerce hub for sales and service, contact centers have long played an important role in customer experience (CX). During the pandemic, they have become even more critical.
Today’s contact center agents manage 7.2 more calls per day than they were before the pandemic. The contact center software market is expected to grow at a pace Compound annual growth rate of 21% (CAGR) from 2022 to 2030. But all this growth comes with potential new costs. New market conditions require new technological solutions, and the growing demand for services places new financial pressures on contact centers.
In a rapidly changing landscape, contact center leaders have one critical task: to keep pace and grow while reducing costs and improving efficiency. In many ways, it comes down to choosing the right technology. Let’s look at four key decisions that can drive effective cost management in contact centers.
Reduce reliance on bricks and mortar by moving remotely with the cloud
Legacy on-premises contact centers are quickly becoming obsolete. According Deloitte research, only 32% of contact centers had migrated to the cloud by 2021, but 75% of survey participants expected to complete the journey by mid-2023. Overall, Market Research Futures reports that the global cloud contact center technology market will reach $45.5 billion by 2030, a CAGR of 24.8%.
Why the sudden and aggressive abandonment of the old physical contact centers? There are a multitude of reasons, many of which center around the cloud’s ability to enable more flexible omnichannel service delivery and enhanced CX solutions. But it also has a lot to offer from a cost savings perspective.
The cloud frees your contact center from the constraints of physical infrastructure and allows you to rely more on a remote workforce. This makes it easy to scale your business seasonally or in response to demand. It also allows you to optimize your service delivery – Talkdesk reports that cloud-based contact centers 35% less downtime than on-site sites.
With the right cloud solutions, these savings can be substantial. According to a forrester reportfor example, the average contact center that migrated to Genesys PureCloud saves over $800,000 and achieves a total net profit of over $5 million over three years.
If you really want to improve cost management in your contact center, migrating to the cloud is essential.
Leverage your data
Overall, today’s contact center managers and agents have more data at their fingertips than ever before. Combining more personalized customer experiences with cutting-edge technology has made this possible. The only question is: are you using all this data?
You can access much more than the standard surface-level metrics, such as average handle times or wait times. With modern contact center software, AI-powered features like sentiment analysis or in-depth transactional data give you deep insights into customer satisfaction and behavior. And the best tools offer real-time access to these metrics.
Fully integrated contact centers are ready to make this data accessible and useful to anyone who can use it to improve the customer experience. With access to real-time information and the ability to share it across customer-facing departments, agents can direct the customer journey more effectively and efficiently.
Think about how quickly an agent with data can respond to a customer calling for the second or third time, or how a supervisor can use analytics to provide better coaching to that agent. When you leverage the data you have, your resources extend further.
Improve self-service options
Customers want more self-service options. They’ve been shouting this for a while now, but many companies have been slow to listen. IN NICE2022 Digital First Customer Experience Report81% of customers said they expect more self-service options from businesses than they get. However, 40% of companies think they offer enough.
This does not mean that customers only want to deal with chatbots or automated IVR systems. But when it comes to simple issues – consider checking your bank balance – customers would much rather resolve it themselves than wait to speak to an agent.
The good news for contact centers is that self-service options, when done right, can result in significant cost savings. With advances in conversational AI, chatbots and IVRs have made huge strides in their ability to understand and respond to many customer concerns. Additionally, bots can handle many more customer requests than human agents. This ultimately reduces call volume for agents, allowing you to down-staff for minor customer service issues and focus on improving CX.
Automate as much as possible
Automation enables self-service, but it is capable of creating much more efficiency for contact centers. In addition to automating many of your customer interactions with AI-powered bots and IVR technology, you can automate many other critical processes.
In fact, automation should touch every aspect of the contact center. From simplifying marketing workflows to managing staff scheduling to managing reminders, automation can increase efficiency in everything.
And, in a contact center that relies so heavily on technology to shape the customer experience, one type of automation may prove more important than any other: continuous testing. The software that powers your contact center needs to be constantly tested, monitored and updated to ensure quality CX at all times. Continuous performance testing identifies and resolves issues throughout the development process before they become too complex and expensive to fix. As you scale your business, manual testing processes will struggle to keep up with demand. Automated continuous testing gives you continuous feedback and helps identify defects so you can troubleshoot issues in real time, rather than running load tests or larger annual tests. This not only reduces labor costs, but also avoids costly downtime and CX failures.
Efficiently grow your business
Thanks to advances in technology, contact centers today face almost limitless opportunities for rapid growth and improved customer experience. But only contact centers that scale efficiently, control costs and maximize returns will reap the greatest benefits. By leveraging their data, moving to the cloud, expanding self-service, and leveraging automation, contact center managers can control costs and set the stage for future success.