Tue, July 18, 2023
With the purpose of providing a central hub for customer operations, a contact centre is an essential part of a company’s customer service strategy. However, in the modern world, there is a need for contact centres to adjust, adapt, and offer more. If organisations want to turn their contact centre into a profit centre, it has to provide more for their customers and change the way it operates. So, what makes a successful contact centre and how do they increase revenue? Making money from your contact centre takes a considered approach.
To be able to achieve it, a contact centre has to look at the following areas and make positive changes if they are not already doing so. Together, these transformations can help a contact centre improve the commercial outcomes they deliver, improve both the customer experience (CX) and the employee experience (EX), and also improve the company’s brand reputation in the long term. With 64% of service and support leaders wanting to focus on business growth and generating value this year, the contact centre is an integral component.
One of the first things any business will look at to become more profitable is its expenditure. Overpaying for resources and having too many advisors tend to be two areas that are ripe for assessment. However, this can sometimes be to the detriment of EX and can impact customer satisfaction. Analysing expenses within your contact centre will highlight areas where improvements can be made, including where more resources are required and where they can be reduced. According to HubSpot, just 24.5% of customer care executives feel their business prioritises reducing costs.
If your contact centre has many full-time employees, are they fully utilised at all times? You may have peaks and troughs where customer demand fluctuates throughout the year. You should be able to forecast when your busiest periods are and when they are not. Successful contact centres manage this by hiring more staff during peak demand temporarily, so that when demand drops again they are not taken on full-time unless necessary. This can help spread resources throughout the year rather than having only full-time advisors. You may also want to focus on upskilling and cross-training your existing staff rather than relying on new hires. Not only will this help boost the careers of your existing employees, but it can also save valuable resources that would otherwise be used for recruitment and onboarding.
With a focus on more than just answering customer queries, the modern call centre has to be a digital, forward-thinking one. By offering services other than voice, can become a revenue stream for your contact centre. Ideally, you will have a focus on both inbound and outbound services, so that advisors can be proactive with upselling and cross-selling where the opportunity arises. A truly omnichannel approach helps bring together all inbound activities regardless of channel. Centralising customer contact means that whether a customer contacts you via live chat, voice, or messaging, the information the agent needs is always readily available. This sort of streamlined approach ensures that interactions don’t get siloed.
From an outbound perspective, lead generation can be made more efficient by using your inbound teams during quiet times. For teams that deal with an existing customer base, there are opportunities to increase sales too. If you have both your inbound and outbound teams working together on opportunities, this can potentially increase revenue. If your inbound teams spot an opportunity, they should be actively looking to forward these to your outbound sales team - or be able to action the upsell themselves.
Streamlining and helping your advisors work more efficiently can save money and boost revenue. Many tasks can be automated using bots and artificial intelligence (AI) software that is designed to improve productivity. This also will help advisors working in a hybrid environment, freeing up their time so that they can explore sales or cross-selling opportunities.
Automated chatbots are one way to do this. With the help of AI these days many customer queries can be resolved without the need for a human advisor. This can be used with live chat and messaging apps, or whichever way a customer prefers to contact you.
Using automation can provide a proactive approach so that an advisor’s call time can be focused on high-priority interactions without the customer experience being impacted. Overall, this will have a positive impact that will begin to help improve revenue and transform your contact centre into a sales-through-service centre. Those contact centres that make this successful have to work on implementing automation strategies and keeping on top of the technology.
If a contact centre is going to focus on a sales-through-service approach, it needs to have the right strategy in place. If your current strategy is to focus on reducing average handling time (AHT), this may not be compatible with requiring advisors to cross-sell as well. If advisors need to keep a low AHT, they will either rush through any cross-selling or miss it completely. Finding the right balance will ensure better customer relationships in the long term too, helping improve brand loyalty.
Segmenting customers by creating buyer personas will help ensure your business understands its customers and what makes them tick. If you know which of your customers will be the right fit for other services or products you offer, this makes cross-selling and up-selling much easier and opportunities easier to spot. It will improve productivity too, ensuring advisors spend time with relevant customers rather than trying to upsell to those that would not be interested.
Segmentation can be done by demographic, location, as well behavioural traits such as lifestyle and buying habits. The buyer journey can also be segmented. Understanding where in the buyer journey each customer is can help you promote your services and products to them at the right time. This will all assist with improving the customer experience too.
What makes a successful contact centre is the happiness and satisfaction of the customers it serves. If you are not able to provide a great customer experience, this will impact revenue, brand loyalty, and your overall reputation. Retaining customers is always a better strategy than focusing on new ones. It can be 5 times more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to keep existing customers happy.
How do call centres increase revenue and focus on providing the best CX at the same time? It all comes down to providing a better experience than your competitors. Quite simply, if you cannot do it, customers will vote with their feet (or clicks) and take their business elsewhere. This is the opposite of making money from your contact centre. If you are looking for ways to improve brand loyalty and help deliver the service and CX your customers expect, we can help you at Ventrica.
Not only can we help you focus on a better CX strategy, but we also provide BPO services that can help make your business more profitable. Our contact centre advisors are highly skilled and can help you address peak demand as well as focus on sales-through-service. Talk to us today and discover more about the solutions we offer.