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.

Featured Research
  • 10 Reasons Why  Automated Agents  Aren't the Answer

    Automated customer service agents are a tempting option. They never need time off. You don’t have to pay them a salary. They don’t even need a physical workspace. But despite these advantages, they remain a poor substitute for live agents. more

  • The 2017 Contact Center Comparison Guide: Q2 Edition

    We want to make sure you have the freshest information possible, so we’ve updated that chart to reflect the state of the contact center market for Q2. more

  • Contact Center Software for SMBs

    If you run a small- to medium-sized business (SMB), finding ways to compete with larger, more established companies can prove troublesome—fortunately, contact center software can help. more

  • How to Update Your Contact Center Software

    If improving customer experience is important to you (it should be), then 2017 may be a good year to reevaluate the software you use for your contact center. With customer preferences shifting, the importance of an efficient contact center has never been higher. You cannot afford to simply focus on keeping costs low. Significant competitive advantages are available to businesses who manage this area effectively. more

  • An Introduction to Global Contact Centers

    If you’re like many people, you may not trust the idea of a global contact center. They’ve traditionally been associated with language barriers and poor customer service. more