Are you hoping to improve the health of your call center’s budget this year? Many business owners begin the year with lofty goals to improve their financial situation but by the time winter starts to wrap up, that hope starts to fade. It can be hard to know where to start, especially when you work in an industry that is as seemingly straight forward as that of call center customer service!
Thankfully, there is one big way to shape up and slim down your budget, all while providing better customer service in your call center. By addressing consumer calls quicker and more efficiently, you can reduce your call center cost per call, saving your center money in the long run!
What is Your Call Center Cost Per Call?
Calculating your cost per call isn’t difficult, but depending on the technology you have in place, it can be a multi-step process. Use the following procedure to determine your center’s cost per call metrics:
- First, compile a list of every agent working for your contact center.
- Decide on the period of time for which you want to calculate the call center cost per call. (Hours, days, weeks, months, quarters, or even years – the choice is yours!) To create an example, use one hour as a reference here.
- Choose a random agent from your list and identify the number of calls handled by them in a typical hour of work. To do this, divide the number of calls handled by them on an average day by the number of hours typically worked.
- To identify the cost per call for this agent, divide the agent’s hourly wage by the number of calls typically handled in an hour as discerned by the previous step.
- To get a better idea of overall cost per call figures, find out what the total wages being paid out to your call center agents is per hours and divide that by the total number of calls being handled during those hours. This will give you an overall picture of how much calls are costing you so your center can begin making improvements to those numbers if necessary.
Having the newest and best technology available makes it easiest to calculate your call center cost per call because much of the process is automated. For those looking to keep costs under control, this can be very beneficial.
Reducing Your Call Center Cost Per Call
Reducing your cost per call isn’t difficult, but it can mean implementing some changes in the way your company does business. A few tips for giving your consumers more power and agents more freedom – and trimming down your per-call costs – include the following:
- Beef up your self-service options. People in the modern day often prefer self-service options over speaking directly to an agent. This plays to your center’s advantage since the ability to serve oneself also reduces your cost per call. Offer more options in a menu format for consumers before they are connected to a live agent to create lower per-call costs and give both agents and consumers more freedom – and more satisfaction!
- Better access to information collection for your agents. If important, basic information is already available to your agents when they are first connected to your consumer, they will spend far less time collecting and confirming this information This not only reduces your per-call costs, it also reduces the overall time spent on seemingly-redundant tasks, and therefore consumer frustration.
- Start at the beginning. Hiring and training your agents properly and ensuring that you are staffing your call center with the best possible agents will help you ensure that your facility handles each call properly and minimizes the cost of calls as much as possible. Because of the nature of call center work, frustration between consumers and agents is common. Choosing the right type of people to staff your center and training your agents to handle these scenarios properly will ensure the best possible outcomes – and reduce transfers and therefore unnecessary costs, too!
How Misdirection Destroys Your Center’s Chances at Success
One of the biggest negative impactors of call center cost per call is misdirection or any other improper handling of incoming calls. Why? Because every time a call is misdirected or handled incorrectly, seconds or minutes of precious and expensive time are lost.
Think about this: when a call is mishandled, it may double, triple, or even further multiply the time it takes to handle the call properly. The consumer may be on hold for much longer than necessary, which can drive the cost of that call toward the ceiling unnecessarily. Your center is essentially paying many times more to handle calls than is necessary simply because these calls are falling through the proverbial cracks, being handed off to the wrong agents or simply not being put through to anyone at all and lingering on hold for needless minutes instead!
The easiest way to rid your call center of this expensive problem is to ensure that you have an intuitive and functional directory system in place. Your routing should be skills-based and experience-based, as well as availability-based so that the best agent for the call receives the call every time. This way, every time a caller contacts your facility, they are connected to someone who can handle their inquiry or concern properly right away – or quickly direct them to someone who can.
If you’re looking for more ways to reduce your call center cost per call and optimize every aspect of your call center operations, look to the tools and technology offered here at ChaseData. Our industry-leading resources will help you create the kind of streamlined business budget you want and keep costs under control – all while continuing to provide excellent customer service and maximize agent productivity and efficiency.
Cutting costs doesn’t have to mean cutting corners! Talk to us today to learn more about how to make business better for your contact center, one call at a time!