Cutting call-center costs
Imagine call-center, with just two or there operators, answering a very important product related or sales questions. By the way, this call-center generates profit for you.
The call-center is theoretically the place with a lot of phones and people sitting next to each other talking at the same time. But does this is a call-center you should dream about? I'd prefer if my phone would ring just few times a day with a very particular questions, focused on my business or better sales-oriented question.
There is a lot you can do to cut your call-center expenses. But the first step is to measure them and measure the performance of your call-center. It's a good idea to start with running costs. How much does it cost to run a single seat? What if you will be outsourcing some questions to a more cheaper operator. More over, there are some questions that your web-site can answer easily, for instance if you will put product brochures, manuals or frequently asked questions online, then you will save huge time.
Before making any changes I would measure the conversion of your calls into leads and sales. There might be a solution which you think is a great improvement, but you cannot think in this way, unless you will have a numbers that prove your idea. Check the conversion regularly and try to understand why it is higher or lower, or why it is getting better.
This is the one way how you can find better performing call-center operators. What to do with them? I'd say you should try to learn and share their best practices with others. Try to analyze what is the reason why some people are performing better than other, pay attention to such indicators as knowledge about the product and service or first-call resolution ratio.
If you have a lot of calls and they are almost about the same thing, why not use auto responder, which will suggest to select appropriate area and probably answer the questions. But again, remember to measure and control, now it will be the number of callers who leave the queue.
But how to get more false calls and much more sale-oriented calls? It's actually not only about call center, but make sure everywhere you print a phone number, you also print a web-site address, where people can find detailed information. Why not create a separate web-site for a single product or service, you will have much more sale-oriented incoming calls.
Everything above sounds like a complicated process, which require a good management. Think about management in terms of indicators you should pay attention too. The most important are conversion metrics, but it is a great idea to pay attention to segmentation.
Who you callers are? What kind of problems do they have? Who your sales agents are? How do they sale or support via phone? Answering these questions will bring you to the measurable call-center, and you can make it cleverer, more predictable and more profitable.
In that way, you will not only cut your costs, but improve the bottom line in sales agent coaching, conversion and other indicators. Measuring business is actually one the best way of controlling processes, so measuring your call center performance will bring you full control over your sales.
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If you are interested in call center metrics, check Sam Miller web-site.