Reducing Costs in the Contact Center, Part 1 of 2
As 2007 comes to a close, many of our clients are turning their thoughts to how they can save money — both in their contact centers and throughout their operations — as well as starting to prepare for holiday season 2008. One of the best ways to plan for future success is to conduct a postseason analysis. In this first of a two-part series, I’ll explain how to perform a postseason analysis of your center as a baseline for customer service, process improvement and cost reduction.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to the postseason analysis.
1. Form a postseason review team. Because your efforts are directed at customer service, process improvement and potential cost reduction, form a team that can bring different disciplines to the process. While much of the work will fall to contact center management (managers and supervisors), broaden the group to involve a few good reps. Also include general training and quality training, human resources, center scheduling, telecom traffic, IT, marketing, and returns and replacement if all of these areas are within your responsibilities.
Clearly, contact center management drives the process. But this effort should draw on the opinions and input of all. Challenge them to assess how things could be done differently, and make them answer the question, “How can costs be reduced without lowering customer service?” These meetings should occur sometime between mid-January and mid-February, giving you enough time to plan and achieve early results.
2. Review your metrics. Begin by reviewing your key performance indicators and how performance measures up against your standards and plans. The major metrics include contacts per hour; service level; abandon rate; attrition/turnover rate; call-handle time; talk time; after-call work time; contact-to-order ratio; transaction volumes for Internet, phone and mail; non-phone volumes and others. How accurate were marketing’s projections and your projections for calls?