Voitec’s three-part series ‘Contact Centre Pain Points’ has explored the multitude of ways that businesses can experience pain points and the steps that organisations can take to mitigate them.
In Part I we considered pain points that impact customers and lead to lost sales, revenue and reputation.
In Part II, we looked at pain points that effect your customer service or contact centre agents, resulting in staff turnover and lost opportunities for professional growth.
In this part, we will take a holistic view of pain points for your business or organisation as a whole, and how technology and customer service solutions can help.
Contact centre pain points can result in negative outcomes for the business as a whole, including loss of sales and revenue, reduced productivity, reputational damage and difficulty maintaining employee morale. As a result, it is vital that businesses are actively considering their potential pain points and working to address them.
Identifying the Purpose of the Contact Centre
While many types of organisations will have a contact centre, there will be considerable variation in the ways these centres work and their purpose in the wider goals of the business. An important first step when consider your contact centre is to determine what you want it to achieve and how it can best support your organisation.
Businesses will usually have a contact centre to drive sales and improve customer service. Whether you sell products, services, or a mix of both, a contact centre will be designed to optimise the customer experience. This can include helping with pre- and post-sale queries, completing sales and orders, solving issues, and communicating feedback.
Not-for-profits will typically have a contact centre to collect feedback from people and improve outcomes for the individuals or groups they work with. Their goal is not to increase sales or to cater for a customer, but rather to provide support and help to solve problems.
Finally, government groups which offer a contact centre will do so to engage with the community and their stakeholders. They will provide assistance to people who need help, answer questions, and provide information on projects and initiatives.
Pain Points for Businesses
So, what are some of the challenges and pain points a business can experience? And what are some strategies and technology options that you can use to mitigate them?
Poor functionality and performance
A contact centre solution that doesn’t work well for customers and agents alike will have significant flow-on effects to the business as a whole. Performance problems can lead to customer frustrations which result in loss of sales, loss of return business and reputational damage. They can also lead live agents to find the system difficult to work with, affecting productivity and staff retention rates. Additionally, solutions that face interoperability and integration challenges can be difficult to integrate, leading to data silos and inefficiencies within workflows.
High operational costs
Businesses with operational costs that outstrip their capacity for profit are never going to experience success. Often, organisations will face challenges in managing and reducing operational expenses, including staffing, technology, and infrastructure costs. Contact centres can be expensive when not properly considered and when the right solutions aren’t chosen for your needs. The agility to change to market conditions and manage operational costs is vital for business.
Lack of reporting capability
Reporting is crucial for all types of business to plan, grow and service the needs of their market. Some of the challenges a business can face are data and access to accurate data, as well as the time and skill needed to analyse and draw insights and intelligence.
For a business seeking profits, this data will inform business decisions such as which products and services to focus on and what products may require changes made for greater customer satisfaction. For a not-for-profit or a government organisation, reporting can allow for the collection of data when seeking funding, allocating resources and more. A contact centre without good data management can struggle to work effectively.
Agent attrition and retention
High staff turnover rates can disrupt operations, increasing recruitment and training costs, and impact the overall customer service quality. The costs of staff turnover are high, according to the Global Call Centre Research Network report. On average, the basic replacement cost of one worker is around two months of a typical workers salary. Taking lost productivity into account, replacing one worker can cost around three to four months of a typical workers salary.
Job quality also impacts agent attrition and retention. The Global Call Centre Research Network found that within contact centres, 9% of the workforce accounts for high quality jobs (i.e., high discretion/low monitoring) compared to 36% for low quality jobs (i.e., low discretion/high monitoring).
No training opportunities
Contact centre success relies on the proficiency of agents working with the system. A contact centre solution that doesn’t offer any opportunities to train and upskill these agents will cause problems for the business as a whole, including trouble using the system for new starters.
Modern contact centre technology can record and help the customer service team to analyse customer calls, providing supervisors with valuable insights into agent-customer interactions. This analysis can help identify areas for improvement, provide targeted training, and offer feedback to agents on handling difficult customers more effectively.
Interoperability and integration challenges
Technology itself can be a challenge, with the difficulty of being able to integrate leading to data silos and inefficiencies. In addition, some old legacy on-premises technology may be inflexible and difficult to maintain. Within the business, technology needs to talk to one another, feeding and capturing the right information.
To reduce these technology issues, one must understand a company’s business challenges, their complex technical requirements and how different technologies can work into and be the right solution for the business.
Overcoming the contact centre pain points – from the customer, agent and the business – helps create a better customer experience. They also help create a more agile, scalable and flexible business environment and create a competitive advantage.