Explaining How to Reduce Call Center Costs

Explaining How to Reduce Call Center Costs

Image of two business people discussing business costs

If your in-house contact center profits aren’t meeting your expectations, it’s time to take a look at ways to reduce call center costs.

Call Center Cost Savings Ideas

There are a wide range of call center costs associated with hiring employees to manage, run, and perform contact center operations in-house. But when you need a team in-house to handle your customer service needs, it’s hard to find ways to save.

Explore the call center cost reduction strategies below to help you get started:

Assess Your Metrics With Machine Learning

Machine learning can easily identify which call center metrics have the biggest effect on your company’s bottom line. Once you identify the ones that make or break your cash flow, you can focus on benchmarking them and find ways to save by boosting scores, while also tracking improvements and relevant costs. By using machine learning for analysis, you can gain a better understanding of how to reduce call center costs while providing a better customer experience.

Boost First Contact Resolution Rates

Improving your First Call Resolution (FCR) rate is a key way to reduce call center costs and improve the customer experience. Training your advisors is one way to improve FCR rates, but technological solutions can also help. By incorporating expert collaboration tools into your advisors’ workflow, you can get quick, accurate answers to any customer query. Additionally, with the aid of speech analytics, you can gain insight into the topics of conversation and the outcomes of each customer interaction. These methods can help you gain deeper insight into customer conversations, provide more accurate responses, and reduce costs by helping customers resolve issues quicker.

Reduce Average Handling Times

Finding ways to reduce Average Handling Times (AHT) without compromising the customer experience is an ongoing challenge for contact center managers—but it can be done. One way is by providing advisors with access to shortcut tools to help them complete tasks faster without sacrificing quality of service. For digital channels, having a library of pre-written replies is a great way to speed up response times. Using resources like prewritten replies can also provide consistency in customer service and reduce call center costs.

Minimize Technology Vendors

When you’re operating call center operations in-house, it’s important to work with technology vendors to ensure your agents have the best tools to serve customers. However, with so many providing different services, it’s easy to get bogged down with technology platforms and processes, which often leads to costly investments. One way to ensure your contact center remains cost effective while still delivering great service is to consolidate your technology platforms. You can work with fewer vendors who can provide you with everything you need to operate successfully. Additionally, agents and supervisors can more easily navigate different systems by reducing the amount of time spent switching between programs. Working with fewer technology providers also requires less training on new technologies and allows you to take advantage of bundle pricing, saving money in the long run.

If keeping up with customer service inquiries is becoming difficult, it may be time to consider hiring a call center—but how do you choose the right one?

Listen to Your Customers

Customer feedback is essential to gauge satisfaction and identify potential opportunities for improvement. But how can you make sure you’re collecting feedback without being too invasive? The answer lies in creative technology. By integrating customer feedback tools into your systems, you give customers the opportunity to share vital intelligence without being overly intrusive. With easy ways for customers to provide you with feedback, you can save money and become more efficient by leveraging customer insight.

Build Your Processes Around Customer Needs

Using self-service options can be an effective way to reduce costs and meet your customers’ needs. In fact, research shows that customers are willing to embrace self-service for simple, repetitive tasks. For example, they may be more than happy to check their order status or make changes to an existing order online rather than asking an agent to do it for them. When customers take care of easy tasks themselves, it frees up your agents to focus on more complex inquiries where their communication skills can make all the difference.

Outsource Your Call Center Needs

Partnering with a nearshore call center can help reduce your call center costs, boost productivity, and improve customer satisfaction. Since professional call centers are equipped with the latest technology to provide a superior customer experience, you don’t have to worry about vendor costs, training, office supplies, fees, and commissions. Nearshore call centers also hire highly-trained agents who work faster and more efficiently than newly hired employees, resulting in even more call center savings for you.

Reduce Call Center Costs With ListenTrust

Reducing call center costs is easy with ListenTrust. Our nearshore center is headquartered in Portland, Maine, and operated in Mexico where we employ over 800 highly skilled English and Spanish speaking live agents. With our help, you can experience call center cost savings by letting us take on recruiting, onboarding, and training. Our technology supports remote agent expansion and with existing strategic partnerships, we can provide overflow capacity of up to an additional 2,000 bilingual agents. On top of that, we have the team, facility space, IT support, and phone service solutions to take care of your customer service needs. We save you time, money, and hassle while providing you with the best customer service available. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help reduce your call center costs.

Improving the Contact Center Customer Experience

Improving the Contact Center Customer Experience

Image of a customer service person smiling on a call.

Today’s customers have grown accustomed to convenient, effortless customer service experiences. That’s why it’s essential for contact centers to find ways to improve the customer journey.

What Is CSAT in a Call Center?

What’s the customer satisfaction level at your existing call center? How can you tell if your customers are satisfied?

Contact centers use Call Center Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) scores to tell how satisfied a customer is with your product, service, or the agent they spoke with. Typically measured by conducting surveys, the CSAT score is a leading call center performance metric of loyalty and long-term revenue for your business. The score is often based on the following customer satisfaction levels:

  • Very satisfied
  • Satisfied
  • Not satisfied
  • Very unsatisfied

A Guide to Improving the Customer Experience in a Call Center

If your customer satisfaction scores are less than desirable at your existing outsourced call center, here are a few ways the best call centers prioritize the customer experience:

They Understand the Customer

It’s no secret that customers expect agents to know who they are when they call. But how can you ensure that you partner with a contact center that understands your clients? The key is to ensure that agents offer a tailored, personalized customer experience by accessing information about their past interactions with your business. One way contact centers get to know your customers better is by using customer profiling. This technique involves collecting data and using it to build individual customer profiles that contain their preferences, buying habits, and other useful information. Contact centers also use this data to create segments of customers so they can target them with relevant offers and services.

They Train Their Agents Well

In the contact center industry, a crucial component of customer service is the agents that handle inquiries. That’s why it’s essential to ensure your agents are well-trained and equipped to provide the best service possible. That way, they’re more confident, comfortable, and productive in their roles, resulting in improved customer satisfaction, increased efficiency, and lower employee turnover rates. But what does “properly trained” actually mean?

Proper training not only begins at the start of a career, but also continues throughout its lifetime. During initial onboarding, agents are given the tools and resources to be successful in their roles, including learning about your company policies and procedures, familiarizing themselves with your products and services, and practicing communication techniques. Additionally, it’s also important to provide ongoing education and training opportunities to keep agents up to date on any changes or updates within your organization.

They Understand the Customer Journey

To ensure the best experience, contact centers must understand the customer journey, the type they’re interacting with, and how to interact with them appropriately. For example, customers who’ve called in several times before have already provided contact centers with information about a specific problem. By understanding the stages of their journey, agents can provide more personalized messages to enhance experiences. On the other hand, customers who are new to the contact center might have different expectations and needs, so it’s important for agents to understand the context of their journey and interact with them in a way that’s appropriate.

They Reduce Hold Times

It can be incredibly frustrating when customers have to wait on hold for a long time. Fortunately, contact centers have the opportunity to counter this issue by leveraging multichannel capabilities to streamline their processes, such as sending and receiving customer support emails, texting, and social media messaging. These are a great way to give customers more interaction options while ensuring agents are using their time efficiently.

They Ask for Feedback

By collecting feedback from customers, contact centers gain valuable insights into the customer experience, enabling them to make changes that enhance the customer journey. Collecting feedback can be done using surveys, focus groups, or customer interviews. Contact centers also use existing customer data, like ticketing systems and call logs, to look for patterns and identify potential issues.

If keeping up with customer service inquiries is becoming difficult, it’s time to consider hiring a call center.

They Use Live Chat

Live chat services give your customers an easy way to connect with an agent for support. The customer navigates to your website and clicks the chat button. From there, a chat feature opens where users can directly type their questions that are sent to an agent to answer in real-time.

They Simplify the Customer Experience

Contact centers can improve experiences by streamlining their processes with innovative technologies, such as automatic callback. This feature allows callers to request a callback if the line is busy, there are no available agents to pick up their call, or they want to be called back at a later time. By leveraging features like automatic call back, contact centers reduce customer effort and boost satisfaction.

A Customer Experience Call Center

ListenTrust is a contact center that prioritizes the customer experience. As a nearshore call center, we specialize in providing excellent customer service for direct response, e-commerce, and digital and brand marketers. With our help, you can rest assured that your customers always get a great experience 24/7/365 with support in English or Spanish. We offer diverse multichannel solutions, including inbound and outbound phone solutions, email, social media, and live chat support.

ListenTrust also has the staffing capabilities to effectively manage seasonal call volume variability. Whether you want to drive sales for your insurance firm, increase donations for your non-profit, foster retail brand loyalty, or improve customer satisfaction, we have the perfect solution for your industry needs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help improve your customers’ experience.

Onshore vs Nearshore vs Offshore Call Centers: What’s the Difference?

Onshore vs Nearshore vs Offshore Call Centers: What’s the Difference?

Call Center Team

Key Points

  • Each call center type is categorized by the organization’s location.
  • Nearshore call centers are located in a different country than their customers but in a region that’s nearby and in a similar time zone.
  • Offshore call centers are located in a different country and time zone than their customers.
  • Onshore call centers are located in the same country as the businesses they’re servicing.
  • Demand for nearshore call centers has increased over the past few years for several reasons.

Explaining the Difference Between Onshore vs Nearshore vs Offshore Call Centers

To understand the difference between onshore vs nearshore vs offshore call centers, take the real estate approach—location, location, location. Each call center type is categorized by the organization’s location. For example, onshore call centers are located in the same country as the businesses they’re servicing. However, onshore call centers aren’t necessarily located in the same time zone as the customers they’re serving.

Nearshore call centers are located in a different country than their customers but in a nearby region with a similar time zone. For example, for US-based businesses, nearshore call centers may be located in Canada, Puerto Rico, or Mexico. Offshore call centers are located in a different country than their customers, typically somewhere quite far from the businesses they’re servicing. For example, a business in the US may use an offshore call center in India or the Philippines.

The Drawbacks of Onshore Call Centers

One of the biggest drawbacks of using onshore call centers is that they include overhead technology, equipment, and work space costs. It’s also challenging for onshore centers to find employees with the right skillset to manage customer needs, since onshore call centers hire team members looking for employment where the center is located.

The Drawback of Offshore Call Centers

The disadvantage of offshore call centers is that their employees often don’t speak English as their first language, so there can be a communication barrier that causes frustration for the customer. Since they’re located in a different country, many offshore centers operate within a five to 12 hour time difference from their customers, so business owners that work with offshore call centers often find themselves adjusting their schedule to accommodate their partner.

Whether you’re using an offshore, onshore, or nearshore call center, there are important metrics to keep on your radar.

Nearshore vs Offshore Call Centers

The biggest benefit of working with an offshore call center is cost savings since centers located in other countries often pay lower wages—but choosing an offshore call center can have a negative impact on your business. Let’s take a closer look at the disadvantages of choosing an offshore call center to get an idea of the difference between nearshore vs offshore call centers.

Disadvantages of offshore call centers include:

  • Cultural and language barriers may interfere with communication
  • Privacy concerns
  • Lack of control
  • Mismatched values if brand expectations and values aren’t aligned
  • Lack of transparency regarding metrics and reporting

Why Is Nearshore Outsourcing So Popular?

Now that you have an understanding of how partnering with an offshore call center can negatively impact your business, let’s find out why nearshore outsourcing has become a trend over the years. Demand for nearshore call centers has increased over the past few years for several reasons:

  • English language skills and cultural awareness are highly sought after in the outsourcing world.
  • Nearshore markets are outperforming US call centers.
  • Nearshore outsourcing provides a great balance between onshore and offshore call centers.
  • Nearshore call centers operate in similar time zones that make it easier to collaborate with their US counterparts.
  • Nearshore agencies have stronger ties and familiarity with US culture, products, and services.
  • Skilled, bilingual, multilingual, educated, and tech-savvy people are selected as employees at nearshore call centers.

Nearshore call centers are also more cost-effective than onshore centers and can still provide bilingual services. They also offer business owners more control over their operations compared to offshore centers, since nearshore agencies operate in close proximity to their customers.

The Benefits of Nearshore Call Centers

With a nearshore call center, you can get:

  • Up to 50% more cost-effective solutions than onshore centers
  • Bilingual agents who can help with the US demand for Spanish fluency
  • English fluency and cultural familiarity since many agents have lived or worked in the US
Group of happy call center smiling business operator customer support team phone services agen working and talking with headset on desktop computer

Why Nearshore Outsourcing is the Best Solution for your Brand

Since nearshore call centers are in close proximity to the border, many agents have family in the U.S. or lived there at some point in their lives, so they have a first-hand cultural understanding to relate to your customers, products, and services. Nearshore call centers also operate in similar time zones so you don’t have to adjust your schedule to accommodate them. Call centers near the U.S. are also 50% more cost-effective than onshore centers, and you still get the benefit of providing bilingual services to your customers. Working as a call center agent in a country near the border is a highly sought-after career path, so nearshore call centers employ educated, tech-savvy agents equipped with the right skills to represent your brand positively.

An Experienced Nearshore Call Center Partner

ListenTrust is an experienced nearshore call center partner offering all the services you’d expect from a first-class telecommunications partner, and then goes above and beyond. We’re committed to ensuring that every person we engage with gets a positive customer experience.

Headquartered in Portland, Maine, and operating in Mexico, ListenTrust’s nearshore call center employs over 800 highly skilled English and Spanish speaking live agents. Our highly skilled agents have the knowledge and experience to represent your brand well and connect with your customers to provide a satisfying experience. Contact us today to connect with an experienced nearshore call center partner.