Call centers have their challenges like any other operating unit. These challenges have not changed over the last 20 years, but what has changed is the ways we can address these challenges with new processes and technologies. I view the top three ever-lasting top call center challenges as:
- How can we reduce operating expenses?
- How can we add incremental business value…or build our brand?
- How can we enhance our customer experience?
So How Does Automation Help Solve These Call Center Pains?
Automation reduces operating expenses. Whether it is through agent compression via inbound or outbound call reduction; or what I call ‘channel swapping’ – taking a voice communication and converting it to an email or SMS conversation, automation can help.
Every company knows how important it is to build its’ brand. Companies are always looking for ways to attract more, service better, churn less, and unfortunately sometimes collect from their customers. Automation allows you to talk more…or less…with your customers depending on your lifecycle communication strategy. Again, at a lower operating expense.
Using multi-channel automation also can help companies acquire and retain more customers. A customer’s lifetime value to an enterprise is usually a very important number. No matter what industry you come from, we all know the rule that it costs less to acquire and keep a customer than to churn them out and acquire a new one.
One of the hot topics in any company or call center is always around customer experience. Automation is used as a way to communicate more efficiently and effectively with customers across the multiple and mobile channels they want to be communicated across.
There is also a business value attached to automated communications. For example, let’s say you are a medical facility, and you are currently using a simple blaster message to remind patients about their appointments. What if by using quality automated communications instead of a blaster you could reduce their no show rate and increase appointment revenues? Alternatively, if you are a logistics firm, what if you reduced unnecessary truck rolls and increased your first delivery success rate by utilizing automated customer outreach solutions?
Show Me the Numbers
Figure 1 shows a snippet from an automated communications ROI. This first example is indicative of a ROI I completed in which the customer wanted to replace many of their communications with multi – channel automation. This project also included a brand new communication that they automated to all their customers, as well. So even with adding this new conversation – i.e. a new cost – even with this new reach, the company would still realize about a 50% return when replacing existing customer conversations with automation.
Figure 2 shows an automated communications ROI that indicated how reducing patient no shows by using quality automated communications could drive business value. I tend to be conservative in my business cases, so I estimated automation would help reduce no shows by only 1%. However, just this 1% equaled almost $10M in additional appointment revenues annually.
If you are interested in reading more about automation business case results, feel free to visit our case studies. In addition, if you would like to walk through a business case, please reach out to me at email@example.com, or you can find me on Linkedin and Twitter. I am, after all, a number crunching call center operations addict at heart.
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