Soft Dollar Savings of Contact Center

By Pha Lo
Updated: August 29, 2011

Customer contact centers handle multiple incoming lines to deliver services daily. As call volumes increase and customer issues become more complicated, it may seem difficult to accurately predict and manage a center's soft costs.

Intangible costs—from hold times to poor feedback—can add unwanted time and redundancies to the contact center. However, contact center technology which includes phone systems and software can greatly reduce soft costs associated with the call center.

Here we look at just some of the features in technology and strategy that result in soft dollar savings for today’s contact center.

Call routing: Intelligent call routing is designed to take callers to the correct agent or group within the call center. Additionally, intelligent call routing can cut down on hold time and reduce misdirected issues, saving time and money while improving customer experience.

Integration: Software that integrates information from internal databases right to an agent’s desktop helps to quickly deliver the right solutions for each call. This efficiency cuts down on call times and mistakes, adding to the soft dollar costs.

Automation: Automated processes that can be handled by technology allow customers to access their own information and resolve their issues without the use of an agent. From reservations to sales confirmations or account inquiries, many processes are best automated. These moves all add up to even more soft dollar savings.

Communications: New technologies allowing varied ways to communicate, such as chat, can quickly solve problems for customers and reduce call time and volume to save on soft costs.

Feedback: Advanced software provides valuable data to help managers make decisions. Based on call analytics, managers can identify and eliminate areas of redundancy, tailor solutions and provide quality assurance. Tracking call content may also help management identify issues that are unclearly addressed, which can lead to updates in written materials and website content that reduce call volume.

Call recording: Proactively manage risk to prevent costly scenarios down the road. Save time on the manual labor involved in archiving and retrieval with automated call recording and storage.

Training and attrition: One of the biggest costs for contact centers is high turnover rates which require additional investment in recruiting, hiring and training. Understanding the factors that lead to attrition can help managers tailor training programs and provide incentives, which can save money on retention efforts in the long run.

The contact center is a vibrant area with varied needs to service customers, provide updated information, connect with clients and train agents. Save on the intangibles with a proactive plan geared toward employee education, management innovation and customer satisfaction.

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