The ball has dropped in Times Square, raising spirits and hope for the coming year. Yet, this optimism is tempered by the lingering sting of recent layoffs at top companies like Amazon, Cisco, Salesforce, and many more. As analysts warn of economic headwinds, it raised the debate of whether this will be of the gale force variety or a mere breeze.
The threat of recession has leaders searching for how best to surf the rough waters ahead. Many companies are tightening budgets and re-ordering company priorities. As they look to hunker down and spend smarter, others see an opportunity to invest their dollars to set them apart from the competition. Regardless of which strategy your company chooses, contact centers should be a point of focus.
If we do enter an extended recession, the impact for most companies will be a reduction in consumer spending and further tightening of the labor market. Contact centers will be among the first to feel the pressure, as leaders too often view them as cost centers. Defending the position of contact centers as a critical contributor to company revenue will only get tougher as new customer calls will be replaced with those looking for customer support or downgrading their service.
In the constant battle to do more with less, agent responsibilities have grown significantly beyond order-taking and customer support. Now, they don hats more closely resembling that of brand ambassadors than a drone with a microphone. When these agents are your main (and often only!) human-to-human touchpoint with your customers, it’s important that these interactions surpass customer expectations — especially since 63% of customers say that they will pay more for a product or service to get better customer service.
As purse strings are tightening, it’s more critical than ever to get every customer interaction right. Earning the business of new customers will be tougher as there will be fewer looking to buy — especially for luxury goods. This puts the onus on customer-facing teams to provide exceptional service in hopes of keeping the current customer base happy. To prevent churn, companies will need to have high-performing retention departments, staffed with experienced agents.
With fewer at-bats with customers, companies must make sure their best agents are handling high-intent phone leads and retention calls. Having talented tenured agents is a key to having a successful contact center. Veteran agents serve as role models and cheerleaders for other agents. They support training efforts through shadowing and are not afraid to try new strategies that newer agents can use to acquire and retain customers. Veteran agents also demonstrate that career growth and success are possible.
Companies struggling to retain talent because of budget cuts or low employee satisfaction won’t have the best agents handling their most important calls which results in higher churn rates and harms bottom lines.
The second area to get hit by an economic downturn is talent acquisition. Most call centers are already reporting high turnover rates with average agent tenures cresting at the 18-month mark. Burnout and lack of perceived growth potential have agents ditching their headsets and earbuds for pastures that offer more flexibility or higher pay. Couple this with an already tight labor market and contact centers are under immense pressure to find and retain talent.
This vicious cycle of agent turnover and hiring challenges hurts the customer experience in the form of longer wait times, increased handle time, and lower first-call resolution which all negatively impact CSAT metrics. This perfect storm puts brands at risk of losing loyal customers who don’t get the support they’re accustomed to.
Phone calls are still the most important channel to monitor. During these human-to-human interactions, brands have the opportunity to win customer loyalty by providing seamless buying experiences and exceptional customer support. Also, during phone calls, customers say exactly what they want and state their pain points in their own words. This is vital information that any sales or marketing team could use to quickly make adjustments to promotions, external messaging, and agent talk tracks to drive more revenue.
With increased call volumes and staffing struggles, how can companies grow revenue while maintaining their headcount? Many are finding the answer in automation and that’s where a platform like Invoca comes in. By monitoring and automatically scoring every call in the contact center both concerns are addressed.
With Invoca’s automated QA, revenue teams receive the data they need to improve agent performance and close more sales. In addition, automated call scoring serves as a force multiplier, making your QA team more effective in their coaching efforts. Eliminating the need to manually score calls frees up time so they can better support agent growth and success which helps tackle the turnover problem.
After implementing Invoca Automated QA, Mark Roblez at MoneySolver reported a 50% improvement in agent retention and a doubling of their close rates.
Wrong. Listening to only a few calls per week provides little to no insight and leaves the door wide open for poor customer experiences to continue unnoticed. This will have serious impacts on retention, revenue, and brand reputation as 76% of customers say they will switch brands after one bad interaction.
The MoneySolver story is a favorite of mine because their team discovered that the combination of aggregate call scoring data across the entire contact center with enhanced individual coaching was the key to success. Before Invoca, the teams lacked broader perspective. They were unable to identify what behaviors moved the needle, leaving coaches guessing. After implementing Invoca’s Automated QA, they could easily identify what was driving success. Coaches quickly adjusted agent training to develop those behaviors across the entire contact center.
Now that the importance of tracking and scoring more calls is clear, the next questions become “What should we score?” and “Where do I start?” There are no easy answers here, as more contact centers have been going unscripted in an effort to give their contact center agents more authenticity and simplify training. The downside is these calls are now much more difficult for a human to QA or even know what they should be looking for in the first place. Even building a simple scorecard may seem like a daunting task, however, Invoca’s new pre-built scorecards make it easy.
To develop the pre-built scorecards, Invoca studied hundreds of thousands of calls across many customer accounts and verticals. We used these insights to create scorecards geared to help our customers speed through the “crawl” stage of automating their call scoring and get straight to walking. New contact center customers, regardless of whether their agents are scripted or unscripted, have seen significantly decreased time to value with pre-built scorecards. For many, meaningful data is captured from day one on the platform.
Here are a few examples of scorecards that we provide:
Think of these scorecards as a cure for contact center writer’s block. Instead of guessing at what to score with no clues where to start or how digital scorecards will work, pre-built scorecards provide solid ground that is easy to understand and build on. With Pre-Built Scorecards, teams can stay focused on the task at hand, while QA managers have a new tool in their belt that will grow with them over time.
Want to learn more about how pre-built scorecards can help your contact center improve efficiency? Request your personalized demo today.