3 Ways to Reduce Your Call Center Cost
A call center is the first point of customer service. When well-run, it contributes to a positive customer experience. Effective management is also a matter of optimizing call center cost. A call center is a cost center, and reining in costs is a priority for operations heads. Some methods have proven particularly effective in saving call center costs. We discuss them below.
1. Improve first call resolution
For every 1% improvement in first call resolution, a call center reduces operating costs by 1%. Improving your first call resolution also boosts customer satisfaction. 86% of customers who phone into a call center expect their issue to be resolved in the first call.
First call resolution is affected by wait times, the efficiency of routing calls, the complexity of your product/service, and agent skill. Monitor this metric and uncover pain points getting in the way of performance. You may need to record calls to gauge how agents are handling customer queries.
If customers need to spend more time understanding your product or service, consider creating a knowledge base (FAQs, guides, how-tos). This will allow them to solve simple queries on their own and provide the necessary background that ensures a more productive conversation on complex issues with your agents.
2. Improve schedule adherence
An agent who misses the mark on schedule adherence by 20 minutes a day all through the year costs the company 83 hours of lost work and $1,000 in wages (based on an average of $12/hour).
Understand the reasons agents aren’t able to follow their schedules and solve for them. It may be that your agents are overworked and taking it easy on some days. Perhaps they’re unhappy with their shift timings. A little flexibility can go a long way in encouraging agents to comply with their schedule requirements. For example, allowing them to adjust their shift time by 30 minutes.
Talking on the phone for long stretches of time is mentally exhausting. Short interludes between calls for recording post-call formalities or what is known as after-call work (ACW) can provide agents respite before handling the next set of calls.
Evaluate whether you’re stretching your team too thin. If more additions are needed to handle the daily call volume or seasonal spike, Everest Recruiting can help. Our call center recruiting service places temporary or permanent staff after a pre-employment screening.
3. Improve resource planning
Understaffing and overstaffing both impact call center costs. If adding more staff, you must utilize them optimally. Managing with fewer staff can lead to inevitable burnout, possible turnover, and most certainly missed service levels, affecting revenue.
Use ‘what if’ scenarios (ex: What if we add 10 more resources?) to predict outcomes and impacts. Get a full picture of capacity, demand, remaining bandwidth, and actual hours.
Find a call center recruiting partner that can provide a high volume of candidates or support your in-house recruiting team by expanding the bandwidth of candidates. For example, Everest Recruiting offers temporary, permanent direct hire, and contract-to-hire helping you plug your staffing gaps quickly and with the right resources. Contact us now to learn more about our services.