Goals: Save Money in Contact Centers

Money on Fire in Contact Centers

Goals: Save Money in Contact Centers

Meeting QA goals score with both customers and businesses! These scores lead to cost savings and cheers. Customers cheer when they feel that they matter.  Treat your customers like valuable members of your team!

Here are some QA goals in contact centers to make your team score:

Reduce Abandon Rate

Zendesk’s 2021 Customer Experience Trends Report reveals 75% of customers are willing to spend more on a brand that provides quality CX. Providing resolution efficiently is a part of good CX. Calls that end prior to resolution or in queue have a negative impact on overall scores, customer retention and cost per call. Wait times and transfers influence abandon rate. From Brett Grossfeld’s article for Zendesk:

“We found that 63% of customers become frustrated when they’re transferred multiple times. It’s always best to aim for first call resolution for the sake of both the customer’s time and the call center’s efficiency…”

Defining the kinds of customer inquiries which can be efficiently addressed by automated systems and putting those systems in place can reduce abandon rate and reduce cost per call.

Having an appropriate number of agents per call volume for the necessary 1:1 resolutions also reduces abandon rate.

Identify Repeat Problems

Management software that tracks metrics over time, including Key Performance Indicators (KPI),  also reveals repeat issues.

Identify those issues then put a system in place to address them.  Self-serve tools are like ice-cream: they should have multiple options and sweeten the customer relationship.  An automated menu, a website FAQ, or a video with step by step solutions put the power in the customers hands to address their own problem.

Solving a recurring issue at its source takes another query off the agent’s queue. Redesigning a faulty part or sourcing a new manufacturer eliminates a problem permanently for the customer and the company.

As Shopify shared in their 2020 blog, customer feedback helps identify such repeat problems. Listening to the customers who take the time to respond is important as they represent many with the same problem who do not. 

Improve Efficiency

Quick and successful resolution saves customers time and saves companies money.

Management Software that tracks the length of each customer service interaction, the wait time of the customer and the speed of agent follow up post interaction provides measurable data to give a low, high and median to each metric. This assists supervisors in creating target times for agents to aim for. Adjust targets as agents acquire efficiency.

Research shows it’s not worth sacrificing quality for speed, though. Average Handle Time (AHT) as a tool to organize and estimate rather than to motivate agents is more advantageous. This HBR article by Pete Slease, Rick DeLisi and Matthew Dixon argues that AHT is the worst metric for evaluating calls because it is a “relic” pre-dating the self service options available today. Calls that make it through to a human agent now are issues automated systems can’t address. Such calls are often longer than the simpler human assisted calls of the past.

Automated systems assist with efficiency by providing customers a self-serve option that offers swift resolution to simpler inquiries at a lower cost than a one on one interaction. It is an option many customers want. Per Nicola Brookes for Salesforce:

“Websites, mobile apps, and support portals are cheaper than brick-and-mortar storefronts and one-to-one assistance. As a result, your business’s overheads reduce at the same time as your customers’ satisfaction goes up.”

These channels of communication became vital during COVID-19 and are still expected to be available. Remote support via chat, video consults, and SMS provide solutions at a safe distance

Schedule Effectively

QA goals promote efficient processes and agents result in fewer employees needed to handle call volume saving on labor costs. Identify how many agents are needed per hour, per day, per season, and per roll-out  requires tracking data over time to reveal patterns of volume.

The amount of self-service options and how much customers use them also impacts the number of live agents needed for coverage.

The pandemic hastened the adoption of the work from home (WFH) model. It has proven to work and many contact center leaders expect remote work to remain. It has the benefit of saving companies money on in-house costs on top of offering agents greater work-life balance improving retention.

Maintain Adherence

Schedule adherence is another factor which plays into efficiency and cost savings. With a balance of breaks and targeted work agents are most effective. Per Shauna Geraghty on Talkdesk:

“Measuring schedule adherence and enhancing adherence to schedule within the call center is important for optimizing staffing, efficiency and productivity. It will ensure that your most valuable asset within the call center – your team of agents – is utilized optimally.”

Work time minus non-work time divided by scheduled time is what gives adherence measurement. If agents are routinely late, absent or taking excessive breaks they are reducing their available work time and increasing per call cost. Clear training, communication and incentives reduce these drains.

Manage Volume Spikes

image of person holding multiple phones

The type of industry informs volume spikes. Fitness has spikes immediately after the Christmas holiday time but other industries like travel slow down during this time.

Expected jumps in contact center volume include following the launch of a promotion. Unexpected events responsible for a sudden increase include a product mentioned on a popular show or news network or on social media by a celebrity.  This kind of massive surge in interest makes social media tracking software a good investment. Product recalls and natural disasters increase volume too.

Having procedures in place and options thought out in advance prepare a business for a spike. The use of automated systems and temporary additional outsourcing are some options that ease the burden.

Well crafted FAQs and additional online information reduces call center load on an everyday basis and assists with spikes by offering customers no-contact solutions especially in the event they cannot access an agent.

At the end of the day QA Goals save money with thoughtful planning while keeping an eye on overall customer satisfaction.