Increasing the Profitability of the Contact Center

Posted by Nik Moissiadis on Fri, Apr 24, 2015

Historically, contact centers have been an area that is viewed by the business as a cost center – a department that is not necessarily contributing to a company’s profits. However, times are changing. A contact center is now becoming the face of the company and the prevailing catalyst that strengthens the relationship between the customer and company, thus increasing the customer lifetime value. In our previous blog post titled “Contact Centers: Cost Centers or Profit Centers?,” we delved into this topic in depth, discussing the benefits of transforming contact centers into areas that are a tangible asset to the company.  After reading the previous post, you may be convinced of the importance of doing so, but may be wondering HOW? How does one move beyond the traditional mentality of looking at their contact center operations as a “need to have” and instead develop them into a valuable tool for increasing what shareholders value most - the bottom line?

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Topics: Contact Center Services

Workforce Optimization in the Cloud: What's the ROI?

Posted by Haley Partus on Fri, Apr 17, 2015

Have you ever stopped to consider what it would cost to move your contact center software to the cloud?  Or have you ever wondered if cloud implementations and ongoing costs associated with the cloud really are cheaper than an on-premise WFO solution?

Choosing to move your contact center software to the cloud is a tough decision. While most organizations wait until their current Workforce Optimization (WFO) solution goes end of life or until hardware and/or software has fully depreciated, many businesses don’t realize or take advantage of, the potential return on investment (ROI) a cloud-based solution can offer to organizations of all sizes. A cloud WFO solution, from 50 to 1,000 seats, can be maintained approximately 30% less than a premise based solution.

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Topics: Cloud Workforce Optimization

Intelligent Alarming as a Lifeline for Contact Center Software

Posted by Aaron Renfroe on Fri, Apr 10, 2015

Application Uptime is more than a buzz phrase; it can represent the vital difference between success and failure, between a satisfied and unsatisfied customer, and between compliance and non-compliance. In a complex, interconnected system, the effects of downtime have a cascading effect. One service failing in a single system can negatively impact systems throughout the ecosystem. In a call recording environment, a single obscure error could indicate systemic issues that lead to loss of calls, productivity, revenue, levied penalties in regulated environments, and more.

Contact Center infrastructure can represent a significant cost center for any business. Onsite equipment, maintenance, and staffing represent a substantial investment just to ensure the continuity of application uptime. In environments where monitoring applications are tied into workforce management and payroll, resource requirements are even higher. Unfortunately, even basic deployments of Workforce Optimization software come with a myriad of failure points, some more obscure than others. This has led to an increasing need for intelligent alarming, both as a solution and a service.

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Topics: Managed Services

Contact Centers: Cost Centers or Profit Centers?

Posted by Alexandra Warner, Platform28 on Thu, Apr 2, 2015

Business jargon can sometimes be fairly obscure, but cost center and profit center are examples of terms that say what they mean. Here, cost center is defined and contrasted with profit center this way:
Cost Center: A department within an organization that does not directly add to profit, but which still costs an organization money to operate. Cost centers only contribute to a company’s profitability indirectly, unlike a profit center which contributes to profitability directly through its actions. This type of department is likely to be one of the first targets for downsizing because, on the surface, it has a negative impact on profits. Source: Investopedia.

Given the choice, being in charge of a profit center within an organization might be more appealing than managing a cost center. Business likes profit. It’s the name of the game.  Contributing to a company’s profitability indirectly doesn’t have the same zing as contributing to it through action.

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Topics: Contact Center

Enhancing Agent Performance and Happiness with One Simple Tool: WFM

Posted by Emily Rudman on Fri, Mar 27, 2015

If you could enhance your agents’ performance as well as their happiness with the implementation of one contact center solution, would you? To some that seems like a no brainer, but if you need a little more convincing hopefully this continuation of last week’s post, Pain Points of the Contact Center and Workforce Management Solutions, can do the trick.

A contact center is only as good as its agents, so ensuring that agents are performing to their potential and enjoying the work that they do is the key to a successful contact center. This is where Workforce Management (WFM) comes in. Simply put, WFM is a way to ensure that you have the right agents in place, at the right time, with the right skill set. 

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Topics: Workforce Management

Pain Points of the Contact Center and Workforce Management Solutions

Posted by Christopher Heath on Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Contact centers are the hub of a company’s customer service efforts. Just like every area of business, the contact center faces many challenges such as scheduling, staffing, performance quality, and employee morale. These problems could seem too daunting to control and monitor, however with the use of a Workforce Management (WFM) solution, these challenges are nothing to fear. In this week’s post, we will discuss the first two pain points of the contact center, scheduling and staffing,  and how a WFM solution can help ease this pain. But first, what exactly is Workforce Management?

Workforce Management provides accurate forecasting for intra-day, daily, and long-term workload. It can help contact centers produce optimal schedules by balancing defined shift rules, work patterns, breaks, targeted service-level goals, and individual skills, proficiencies, and preferences. Simply said, the overall benefit of WFM is to increase customer service levels by having the right agents in place, at the right time, with the right skill sets

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Topics: Workforce Management

5 Contact Center Stats You Need to Know…STAT

Posted by Jacob Elzey on Thu, Mar 12, 2015

On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase. 
Source: Customer Think)

It is common for businesses to focus their efforts on acquiring new customers, whether that is through ads, marketing campaigns, or discounts. But it is crutial to note the importance and profitability existing customers can bring to your business. It is the contact center’s job to ensure that existing customers feel heard and important. Everyone has heard that it costs more to acquire new customers than it does to keep your current customers. This statistic takes that thought a step further.  Customers who feel a sense of loyalty to a company (often gained through exceptional customer service experiences) are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.

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Topics: Contact Center

The Basic Human Psychology of Coaching (as a Workforce Optimization Tool)

Posted by Lane Winward on Fri, Mar 6, 2015

Last week’s blog explored The Most Well-Known But Incorrectly Used Workforce Optimization Tool – Coaching. Coaching has been in practice since modern business processes have been around, yet is almost always woefully misunderstood in theory, principle and application.

After a company decides to create and implement a new or even “revitalized” coaching program, many options for proceeding are available. In addition to all of the possible proper procedures to put into place, it is good to include a high-quality understanding of basic human psychology, usually conveyed to a management group by a competent longtime coaching expert.

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Topics: Workforce Optimization

The Most Well-Known but Incorrectly Used Workforce Optimization Tool: Coaching

Posted by Lane Winward on Thu, Feb 26, 2015

Costs for attrition, losses from customer dissatisfaction, lagging “bottom of the barrel” sales, and poor procedural adherence; all of these vast revenue consuming elements can be dramatically reduced by the proper execution of one miracle business practice. This remarkable method is well-known in contact center environments and has been in practice since modern business processes have been developed. However, this procedure is almost always woefully misunderstood in theory, principle, and application.

This visionary practice that can stimulate your bottom line revenues out of the doldrums and have them soaring at the top of the profit column is the process of establishing a proper coaching program for all levels of employees.

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Topics: Workforce Optimization

Why the Best Voice Agents Don’t Necessarily Make the Best Social Agents

Posted by Joe Halloran on Fri, Feb 20, 2015

Call centers are becoming a thing of the past, as contact centers take their place. These multi-channel contact centers are on their way to becoming the “norm” but as the call center evolves, should the agents as well? Are those who excel as voice agents equally successful as social agents?

In this day and age, contact centers are finding that younger generations, who communicate more with acronyms and short blurbs, tend to have more difficulty corresponding in the written format with customers. This ability to be well-versed in the written way is something that separates a good voice agent from a good social agent. 

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Topics: Contact Center

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