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Latest 19 Jul 2019 | ROI

The Top Drain on Contact Center Profitability

Despite their long-standing reputation as cost centers, customer service teams can now drive a lower cost to serve if treated right. In the age of the customer, every touchpoint is an opportunity to build brand reputation and generate customer stickiness. Yet many support organizations are too mired in the cost-cutting mentality of old-school contact centers to realize that sometimes, you have to pay to play.

Customers today would happily pay more for better, faster service. Most teams don’t know how to deliver that. Here are four ways it drains their profits.

1. Legacy channels slow down support

Phone, email and live chat frustrate customers, according to an eMarketer study that found that while customers default to calling, few like it. “Customer service calls are excruciating,” wrote one technology columnist for The Washington Post who recounted enduring hours of saxophone samba. Bad support calls are driving so many customers to messaging channels that one AT&T executive noted seeing "fewer and fewer voice interactions every year.”

Customers prefer messaging based channels like WhatsApp, Messenger and Apple Business Chat. Not only is messaging perfect for bot-augmented interactions, it also brings many benefits to a brand wanting to build meaningful relationships with consumers through conversational and personalized 1:1 interactions. With recent research from Conversocial finding that 70% of consumers have used a private messaging channel to engage with a brand, there's no doubt that brands wanting to deliver successful customer care have to be interacting where consumers already are - on messaging. 

Messaging apps can make agents more efficient as well – a Forrester study of Conversocial’s service found that social care agents are 167 percent more efficient than voice agents, primarily because they can handle as many as six simultaneous conversations. The ability to multitask allowed the team at Volaris Airlines to support more customers with fewer agents and cut their cost per resolution by 83 percent
 

2. Legacy tools carry high costs

Convoluted back-office systems aren’t just cumbersome. They're also expensive. Recurring software licenses and maintenance costs can add up to a significant portion of many support organizations' budgets, as can the price of telecommunications equipment and phone calls. With social and messaging support, organizations are able to consolidate many systems into one interface, as well as future-proof themselves against new ones. Vendors that offer all-in-one social and messaging services constantly add new channels as they arise, and companies needn’t buy new phone equipment to use them.

Many newer channels are also over the top (OTT) internet services which don’t carry per-minute usage fees, international calling charges, or 1-800 licenses. According to Forrester’s study, this makes it 63 percent less expensive to serve customers.

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3. The team lacks churn-fighting tools

Churn is a top concern for businesses these days, but unless they offer support channels that can reach customers when they’re in the act of canceling, it’s a losing battle. It’s an especially difficult fight for subscription services, from streaming music to beauty boxes, which suffer a 40 percent churn rate according to McKinsey. These services are easy to cancel as they are to sign up for, but messaging app support can create a much-needed buffer.

The beauty and fashion subscription box service FabFitFun, for example, uses Conversocial to proactively reach out to customers to dampen churn rates. The support team educates customers and redirects cancellations into up-sells. According to the aforementioned Forrester study, companies with churn-fighting tools can make an additional $945,000 over a three-year period in additional sales, brand value, and retention.

Social care agents can handle as many as six simultaneous conversations.

4. Agents are inefficient with their time

Customer support agents are hired to interface with people, but they spend most of their time buried in their computers. For industries such as telecommunications and utilities, it’s particularly bad. Decades of acquisitions and regulations can produce a jungle of homegrown CRMs and DOS-based systems that turn simple requests into epic quests. Sometimes, it’s easier – not to mention cheaper – to just start over on new channels.

Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks, for example, drastically improved its agents’ efficiency by offering support on social media. With Conversocial, its agents can collaborate and access customer data from one interface and respond to customers 37 percent faster, allowing them to handle more requests at lower cost.

Modernity has come for the contact center and with it, an unprecedented opportunity for cost-cutting. Teams with fewer back-office systems, less telecommunications overhead, and easier ways to avert churn make more money – plugging their biggest drains on profitability. All this can be achieved by investing into a seamless blend of messaging and automation, at scale.

 

Want to gain further insights into how to optimize your contact centre for effortless customer care? Check out our Definitive Guide for all you need to know: 

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