5 Budget Considerations to Futureproof Your Contact Center

October 6, 2021

Tags:
Clarabridge Analytics
Contact Center
Digital Customer Service

Budgeting season is upon us, and this year it is more important than ever to get your contact center budgets right. But knowing how to best allocate budgets for the best results – and returns – can be a daunting task. Budgeting is further complicated by the variety of contact center solutions available.  Taking the following considerations into account when building your budget will better equip you to present your plans to leadership and act decisively on future-proofing your contact centers.

  1. When was the last time you re-evaluated your KPIs?

Traditional key performance indicators, or KPIs, have often not kept up with the times.  For example, empathy has – in some cases – become more important than Average Handle Time (AHT). To best allocate funds, you first need to decide which KPIs to focus on. The best way to do this is to identify what drives certain outcomes in your contact center, adjusting your metrics accordingly, and tracking progress over time and across channels.

Consider: How should you adjust your KPIs based on company-wide goals and changes in the customer journey? And what investments must you make to improve these adjusted KPIs?

  1. How is your contact center viewed across the wider business?

Is your contact center viewed as a cost or profit center?  If a cost center, you are tasked with finding cost-saving opportunities while also juggling the need to support customer-centric initiatives to drive revenue and profit. But that’s not all. The acceleration of digital transformation and increased importance of the customer experience is forcing contact centers to evolve. This can be hard if your contact center is seen as a cost center. Cost centers often lack a full view of the customer and employee experiences and the resources necessary to break down organizational siloes. Contact centers that allocate funding for superior omni-channel speech and text analytics solutions overcome these challenges by getting a full view of customer and employee experiences to identify cost reduction, revenue increase, and improved customer experience opportunities.

Consider: Are you budgeting for omnichannel technology that provides a 360-degree view of the entire customer journey? Can that technology uncover actionable insights to drive revenue and profit? 

  1. Have you already identified major cost-reduction opportunities?

Cutting costs will always remain a priority for contact centers but consider whether those funds are going to initiatives that actively reduce costs and/or tools that identify significant cost-saving opportunities.  Industry-leading contact center solutions use AI-powered automations to free agents from routine tasks, allowing them to focus on more complex engagements and save contact centers money. Those same AI-driven solutions use Natural Language Understanding (NLU) to analyze all interactions, surface the biggest cost-saving opportunities, and even automate tasks like dispositioning and post-call summaries.

Consider: Are your investments actively reducing costs and finding additional, significant cost saving opportunities by analyzing all customer interactions?

  1. How are you informing and prioritizing digital transformation strategies?

Digital transformation continues to be a mission-critical investment area for contact centers. Consumers – especially young ones – are using digital channels more than ever before for customer service interactions, product discovery, and shopping. And this is in addition to exploding use of non-digital channels. Contact centers cannot deal with such huge volumes of requests while keeping costs low and identifying pain points in customer and employee journeys without new solutions. Digital transformation initiatives like employing chatbots, unified analytics plus digital customer care platforms, and automations ensure your contact center can run more efficiently and cost-effectively than before.

Consider: Have you put budget behind digital transformation initiatives? Have you quantified the savings and boost in productivity investment in digital transformation would give your organization?

  1. Have you considered the cost of “getting it wrong”?

Ricky Bobby was right when he said, “If you’re not first, you’re last.”  When it comes to contact center budgeting, if you are not investing in the right technologies now, you will fall exponentially further behind in the future. Kearney notes that “Many companies are…leaving value on the table and falling farther behind as the industry moves forward.  With [technologies] rapidly evolving, today’s providers have a window of opportunity to gain a first-mover advantage, [but] by 2022, it will be much harder to catch up with those that are acting now.”

Consider: Am I investing the same or similar amounts of money in technologies that aren’t advancing or are only minimally advancing our contact center’s capabilities?

Budget Decisions Today Affect Long Term Strategies

The budgeting decisions made now impact budgeting decisions well into the future.  By prioritizing and investing in a contact center analytics solution that can look at all interactions and channels holistically, companies will reap the value and better ROI in the long run and help you and your organization think more strategically.

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About the Author:
Shorit Ghosh is the Vice President of North America Services at Clarabridge. Shorit manages a team of consulting managers, business consultants and technical architects to help his customers improve their own customer experience, increase revenue, and reduce cost and churn.

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Clarabridge For Contact Centers

Digital transformation is changing the way customers interact with companies, directly impacting customer experience and satisfaction. As you modernize your contact center, it is critical to understand and measure the reaction of customers to automation, self-service, artificial intelligence, and digital experiences.

Learn how Clarabridge can help you maximize your budget by identifying the biggest areas of opportunity to increase revenue, reduce costs, and mitigate risk.

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