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BlogCustomer support

5 Under-the-Radar Techniques To Maximize Call Center Savings

July 28, 2023
February 12, 2024

Running a call center can be a financial drain, siphoning precious resources from your business. Imagine slashing your call center costs without sacrificing customer satisfaction.

In this article, we unveil five under-the-radar techniques that have helped companies to reduce 30+ % of their support costs while improving customer experience.

But let’s first begin with often-discussed basic principles that influence customer service efficiency as well:

→ Optimize your tech stack:

  • Help desk - reply from one place on all channels
  • Calling software - IVR for call routing, callbacks, recording, and queues
  • CRM - find customer data faster

→ Set KPI:

  • Tasks get points based on complexity
  • Live agents collect points
  • Restructure team - someone is faster in live chat, and someone prefers calling

→ Collect metrics:

  • Cost per customer
  • Cost per interaction
  • Cost per channel

→ Introduce agent training:

  • Shorten onboarding
  • Share best practices within the team

→ Cross-team sharing:

  • Product team - share major customers’ struggles

→ Workforce scheduling:

  • Find patterns in peaks
  • Schedule according to peaks

→ Increase employee retention:

  • Calculate hiring and onboarding costs
  • Know your employees monthly leaving rate
  • Find out leaving reasons

Let’s continue with five off-the-radar support optimization tips that further decrease call center spending. 👇

#1 Identify cost-saving opportunities

  1. Define 20+ support topic areas - what are the most common questions?
  2. Labels - ask support agents to label each ticket at your help desk. More than 50 % of new tickets should be labeled. Otherwise, increase the support topic areas.
  3. No. of labeled tickets - collect 100+ labeled tickets.
  4. Average time spent - get (or estimate) the average time spent with each label
  5. Go for the root cause - find out why customers have such questions/problems. identify why agents need to spend such an amount of time with the ticket.
  6. Build solution hypotheses - how to overcome these customers’ issues? How to fasten the resolution by a live agent? Each label can have more solutions.
  7. Set complexity index - set a number from 1 to 10 for each solution. How hard would it be to put in place the suggested optimization? Does it involve other teams? Does it involve IT?
  8. Calculate the solution impact score:
Impact score = No. of tickets x Average time spent x (1 / Solution complexity).

9. Work on solutions with the highest impact score.

#2 Allow self-service

By allowing self-service to main customers’ journeys, you will:

  • reduce customers’ requests
  • improve customer experience
  • get more account signups

Consider these items when you start with self-service:

  • A platform for self-service - web application, mobile app, chatbot, etc.
  • Encourage account creation to get self-service access.
  • Consider supporting customers that don’t have an account.
  • Discoverability - self-service possibilities have to be communicated to your customers

This e-shop allows you to change or cancel an order from e-mail.

#3 Bots - chat, email, voice

Nowadays, you can automate all your support channels. Consider these pros and cons when setting up your strategy for omnichannel automation.

→ Chatbots

Channels:

  • Web chat
  • Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, etc.
  • Mobile app chat

Benefits:

✅ High customer satisfaction
✅ Low price
✅ Easy to maintain
✅ Easy to integrate
✅ Customers are used to chatbots

Challenges:

⚠️ Lower used by customers

→ Email bots

Channels:

  • Email
  • Web-forms

Benefits:

✅ Email is often used by customers
✅ Low price
✅ Easy to maintain

Challenges:

⚠️ Lower automation due to multiple customer’s intents in one email
⚠️ Asynchronous - only one chance to solve the issue by the bot

→ Voice bots

Channels:

  • Phone
  • Mobile voice bots

Benefits:

✅ Phone is often used by customers
✅ High business impact

Challenges:

⚠️ Lower automation due to speech recognition
⚠️ Hard to integrate
⚠️ Hard to maintain
⚠️ Lower customer experience - voice synthesis
⚠️ High price

#4 Deflect to automated channels

A Good strategy for support automation is to start with one channel and continue with another if needed. Then, you should motivate customers to move from non-automated channels to automated ones - deflection.

General deflection techniques:

  • Better user experience with automation
  • Redesign contact page
  • Remove contacts all over your web and direct them to the contact page
  • Study all customer support touch points - google search, maps, comparison websites, etc.
  • Redesign transactional and marketing emails

Deflection to chatbot:

  • Auto-open chat on the contact page
  • Chat icon with clear expectation - with the text “Need help?”
  • Chat icon with call-to-action color or green to mimic online
  • Shake the chat icon on the first load

Including deflection when you calculate the business case. Consider 10 - 25 % depending on the current state of your customer support touchpoints.

This business case calculation shows that automation with deflection has a 4x bigger impact.

#5 Remote work

Remote work brings its benefits and drawback. Drawbacks are often discussed so here is the list of remote call center benefits:

✅ Larger talent pool
✅ Easier to find native speakers
✅ Cheaper contractors - half-time, maternity leave, etc.
✅ Abroad markets - i.e. German diaspora in Romania, excellent English speakers in Serbia, etc.
✅ Lower office costs

The key takeaways

What to keep in mind when you are starting with increasing your call center efficiency?

  • First, measure the impact
  • Then suggest the optimization
  • Find the root cause of a problem
  • Consider self-service to reduce friction and thus support requests
  • Use deflection to automated channels

We have seen customers reaching 30+ % savings in customer support. Every business needs a different approach to get such results. If you want to help draw the optimal implementation path for your business, book a consultation at amio.io.

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Article by:
Matous Kucera

Matous is a co-founder of Amio. As a software engineer, he built several profitable businesses. Now, he is helping e-commerce businesses to get most out of chatbots and email bots.

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