As one customer recently shared in a G2 review, “We have realized millions of dollars in savings by not only taking advantage of offline time but being able to notify agents when certain performance metrics are out of line, such as extended ACW, allowing them to spend more time focusing on productive work.” Hats off to Scott D. and team for a well-played move to leverage workforce automation in their contact center.
Scott works for a large insurer that decided to think differently about operations. Like many others, leaders in this space face tremendous pressure to reduce costs—especially within mature industries like financial services, telecommunications, healthcare and insurance. They’re simply not seeing the growth they once did.
While the technology that businesses use has changed dramatically in the past 20 years, it’s surprising that most contact centers still rely on decades-old tools and processes. Upgrading Workforce Management (WFM) or Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) systems may have provided short-term efficiencies in the past; that approach is no longer enough to meet more aggressive cost-reduction goals.
Automation transformed the manufacturing industry in the ’70s and ’80s. Now, workforce automation is transforming the contact center industry and, most importantly, is driving unmatched savings in the process.
Take our customers, for example. Collectively, these center leaders have saved more than $160 million for their organizations within the past two years and counting. Workforce automation drives efficiencies in call handling, agent development, and staffing and adherence updates.
While cost reduction is a huge win for these leaders, other factors are at stake. At 35%-40%, contact center attrition is higher than any other industry, even fast food. What can be said about a typical call center agent’s work experience that people would rather drop food in vat of hot oil than answer phones and talk to frustrated customers? Workforce automation not only delivers guaranteed efficiency improvements, it also has been proven to drive employee satisfaction and engagement.
Several customers have told us how much their agents appreciate workforce automation. From the agents’ perspective, they each have their own automated assistant to help them achieve key metrics and improve performance. On top of performance advantages, automation allows agents far more training and career development opportunities. The platform aggregates idle time that naturally occurs throughout the day and turns it into time that centers can use to deliver micro-training sessions, give agents a chance to check email, update passwords, or even reward top performers with a surprise 10-minute break. Based on a recent employee survey, one customer reported that 90% of their agents said automation helps them do their job better. Automation drives agent engagement by benefiting agent performance, satisfaction and development. These agent benefits translate to reduced agent attrition and customer experience improvements for your brand.
Improving agent engagement remains critical for customer satisfaction. Despite efforts to reduce headcount with digital options, agents will not be going away. According to a Gartner study, only 9% of customers reported that they completely resolved their issues via self-service options. The same report noted that 44% of those surveyed cited phone as their preferred channel.
When customers reach the point that they must call to resolve their issues, they’re more than likely already frustrated. They want and expect an agent to be knowledgeable and able to resolve their issue quickly—on the first try. Being placed on hold is the number one customer dissatisfier. While it may be necessary at times, hold time usage can be monitored and quickly addressed. One customer reduced average hold time by 4-5 seconds after launching automation to improve the customer experience. In the process, they’ve saved $4.6 million—savings that they can take straight to their bottom line.
Workforce automation gives leaders a unique opportunity to turn their daily center challenges into significant savings. We’re so confident that customers will be able to take costs out of their business with automation, we are willing to put our revenue at risk and guarantee the results.
Does the CFO task your center operations leaders to reduce operating cost? Think about the millions in savings that Scott’s team brings to the table. What would that mean to your organization?