Often considered a company cost center, ‘contact centers’ have always been overlooked and underfunded when it comes to digitization initiatives.
When contact centers do not get adequate attention during the digital transformation, it just adds unnecessary costs to the process. Millions of dollars are being wasted as disconnected agents spend their time struggling to get information to resolve issues and enrich the customer experience.
Siloed contact center agents spend a huge chunk of their time trying to find information. If there ever was a perfect time for contact center transformation, 2020 – with the push to work-from-home across the organization – is making the case. Modern contact centers, untethered by physical hardware and real estate, are well-connected to collaborate with the rest of the company based on the below realizations:
Cost savings – A 200-agent contact center loses around $1.5 million in labor costs annually due to the siloed communications; the loss of the entire company is beyond imagination. A recent Planview survey indicates that all knowledge workers lose about 20 hours a month due to siloed communication tools. Considering the recouped savings in increased productivity alone – the company could save from reduced hardware costs and real estate footprint if the contact center could operate from anywhere.
Improved customer experiences – While 88.3% of businesses consider customer experience as a competitive differentiator, about 53.5% of CX operations are still working in silos. And, those that are not – contact centers enabled with unified communication – are seeing a 2.9x average handle time enhancement year-over-year and about 80% decrease in customer complaints, confirmed Aberdeen.
Noticeable productivity gains – Aberdeen’s research also revealed that unified communication-enabled contact centers had witnessed a 50% increase in agent productivity. That’s not a small change, and neither is the next reason for the upcoming contact center transformation.
Reduced employee turnover – Siloed tools create employee frustrations. In a 2020 State of Work survey, about 88% of workers confirmed that the technology their company uses is an essential part of the employee experience, and 91% agree they crave modern technology solutions. At the same time, 84% of businesses today are missing opportunities by not moving to more advanced, modern solutions.
Higher quality talent – Modern contact centers attract tech-savvy agents who can meet the higher expectations of the tech-savvy customers, as well as more experienced employees who want remote options for the long-term with the ability to collaborate just like they did at the office.
Greater visibility with actionable insights – As per the Dimension Data’s CX Benchmarking Report, respondents think customer analytics is the top factor that will be instrumental in reshaping customer experience in the coming five years, followed by AI and digital integration. Considering the time when contact centers are easily able to collaborate, communicate, and share information with the rest of the business, it informs CX, product and service improvement — and most critically, potential new business models which remain the key to real digital transformation.
Adaptability to change – Sadly, according to the same benchmarking survey, just 15% of respondents confirm that their current customer experience technology is ready to meet future needs. And it’s time to raise that percentage.
Positive culture change – Another latest survey by Toister Solutions shows that for over half of employees (58%), culture remains more important than salary. And, for companies working to build a customer-centric culture, the number one reported challenge remains the functional silos that are preventing seamless customer data sharing.
All these above pointers clearly indicate that now is the perfect time for the contact centers to seriously undertake their digital transformation initiatives. The winners, in the long run, will be the ones who transform the current crisis into an unexpected opportunity to scale their business – and for contact centers, this is undoubtedly the perfect time to transform their operations!