Roundup Fulfillment & Operations 15 Bottom-Line-Boosting
By Curt Barry
Save cash in your contact center, distribution center and more.
Today, many operations professionals are being asked to reduce costs and increase productivity and efficiency. Following are 15 tactics to try in your contact center, inventory control area and distribution center.
In the Contact Center
1. Focus on agent scheduling. In general, contact center managers do a good job setting customer service reps' (CSRs') schedules based on projected call volumes. But then what happens? Review your original agent schedule against actual call volume and agents who worked. This simple task often provides insight into a schedule's effectiveness. Takeaway tip: Try using agent-scheduling software; those who have it say their costs are reduced.
2. Review organizational structures. Such structures tend to remain intact for long periods of time at companies. But with so many changes in sales channels — namely the increase in Web orders — and their accompanying operations, now may be an optimal time to review that structure. Do you really need the same number of full-time agents as you did a year ago? A change in staffing may, in turn, affect your supervisor-to-agent ratio (1:20 is a good ratio).
3. Discern if off-phone work is necessary. Off-phone work in typical contact centers has increased in recent years due to, for instance, e-commerce sales growth and online chat. Indeed, many off-phone tasks in the contact center have evolved into major projects. Internet orders that require product customization or special instructions, or that accommodate customer comments, typically are handled in an off-line fashion because they require special treatment.
Of course, maintaining product data in your order management system is a critical task that helps you provide great customer service. However, in many companies, updating data in the system is a task that has been pushed into the contact center. Is that really the best place for it? Analyze your contact center's off-phone work, looking especially to eliminate unnecessary steps performed by your CSRs.