Budget-friendly Solutions for Growing Contact Centers
It’s vital that call centers be able to scale quickly and accommodate rapid growth in today’s business world. Whether the organization has had an influx of new customers and subsequently hires additional agent support, or two businesses have have merged, resulting in a sudden uptick of employees, there is often a scenario when it’s required to augment existing contact center solutions.
Both situations have a similar, if not the same, problem: how to meet the needs of employees and customers without overextending the budget. It can be a challenge, as many an annual profit and loss (P&L) statement will attest. Company growth tends to be accompanied by rapidly expanding budgets. That, or it’s accompanied by slashes to the budget and employee roster, neither of which makes for a productive business environment.
Fortunately, growing contact centers can keep costs low and employees happy with today’s budget-friendly call center solutions. Such solutions are almost always economical—in fact, cloud computing solutions and services continue to decrease in cost, to the boon of businesses everywhere.
But the benefits to the budget extend well beyond basic cost concerns. With cloud-based call center solutions, businesses can impact their numbers in a variety of other ways. Let’s consider a few of them.
Efficiency tops the list because it’s the most obvious benefit, as well as the one largely responsible for decreasing losses in P&L. Cloud-based solutions have low upfront costs because businesses typically don’t have to purchase a large amount of hardware or licensing fees at the outset. Instead, they “subscribe” to the software and services, as they need them.
Because cloud-based call center solutions require no additional hardware installation, they are much faster to implement and deploy. New customers can be up and running in a matter of hours versus days or weeks waiting for a hardware installation with on-premises solutions. Ensuring your new agents can more quickly start contributing is a definite check in the plus column.
A recurring payment model, or subscription, also helps in another way; with more precisely allocated funds, executives can get rid of IT “bloat,” i.e., services and functions that hold no business value. It cuts down on expenses, certainly, but it also helps businesses free up capital for other expenditures and strategic investments. When growing call centers can allocate parts of their budget that was spent on more expensive contact center technology into other areas of the company, everyone wins.
One of the challenges faced by a growing contact center is how to do it economically. Cloud-based call center solutions remove the obstacle. Because this technology is hosted in the cloud, it can easily be scaled up or down as needed, without requiring astronomical fees to increase or decrease the service – or locking customers in to a level of commitment for a certain period of time, which is critical to accommodate business environment fluctuations.
Agility is the ability to respond to changing conditions – whether within the company or within the marketplace. Contact centers face these on a daily and periodic basis with fluctuating call volumes. An example is a rise in inbound customer calls for a bill collection service during tax season from people who want to use their refunds to pay off any outstanding balances.
With a cloud-based call center solution, organizations can allocate agents for inbound versus outbound calls during peak call times, as well as offer callers specific wait times, customer callback options and tiered support. Those are the impacts on the budget from an operations standpoint; for people in management, they see other ramifications such as an increase in lost opportunities, customer turnover and customer acquisition cost.
Solutions that can seamlessly help companies increase their abilities to accommodate call fluctuations without needing to call in extra support or ask agents to work overtime is key in keeping customer – and agent – satisfaction at its peak.
Smart budgeting requires an alignment of call center staff with call volume, but it hasn’t always been easy to get visibility into the metrics. Contact centers can attain it without a cloud-based solution; however, it’s an often time-consuming and frustrating task for managers. They spend all their time pulling reports and analyzing them rather than managing call center agents or defining next steps for the business.
Because of that, a cloud-based solution is a wise investment. It gives managers their jobs back and makes gathering reports simple. This saves managers from clocking hours after work or on weekends, and staffing costs are kept in line. In instances where contact center solutions are coupled with business intelligence (BI) capabilities, call centers can glean invaluable insights into agent efficiency and performance and make much-needed adjustments to training, schedules and assignments that can deliver dramatic improvements to the company’s overall bottom line.
Finally, a cloud-based service can grow profits—the other side of the P&L. Saving on costs is good; saving on costs and increasing profits is better. With a cloud-based solution, companies can do both. Once they’ve run a pilot test for a certain use case, say, call wait times, they can extend the platform’s capabilities to other areas. These can be already defined operational concerns, or they can be tests to improve the quality of service. In either case, the results can be monitored and used to improve the business’ performance going forward.
When it comes to budget-friendly solutions for the growing contact center, there’s nothing quite like the cloud. It can not only affect losses but also profits, and it can do so in a way that perfectly fits the business. That’s the true power of cloud-based call center solutions—not what they can do for any business, but what they can do for yours.
See how cloud-based call center technology can drive results at your business! Request a demo of TCN today.