There are many reasons why call centers are perceived as cost centers—heavy deployments, resources, maintenance, staffing, and the list goes on… Not for long.
We gathered the 9 most effective ways to reduce cost per call in your call center. The best part is that you do not have to compromise your quality of customer service or exhaust your agents to make them happen! In fact, when applied, these tips will help you make the most of your operations with better CX and agent motivation for a fraction of your usual costs.
How to Calculate Cost per Call?
Knowing the average cost per call can help you reduce the cost over time. Here are simple factors that will help you know how to calculate cost per call in a call center.
Determine a period of time (e.g., monthly, quarterly, yearly) for which you want to measure your operational cost. Most calculations include recurring costs but feel free to add one-off costs into your calculations if you wish.
- Salaries, overtime, bonuses, and vacation payments.
- Training, hiring, and recruiting costs.
- Call center solution and maintenance.
- Rent and utilities (Kudos if you’re working from home!)
- Hardware, furniture, and office supplies budgets.
Let’s say contact center A has calculated all recurring costs, which added up to $50,000.00 monthly.
Total number of calls
Find out the number of calls made in the specific time period for which you are calculating your costs.
Contact center A had a total of 17,000 calls in their operations during the same month they calculated their expenses.
Now let’s calculate!
You’re done with the worst part. Now, all you have to do is divide the number of calls you had by the costs.
Total Cost Over a Certain Period of Time ÷ Total Number of Calls During the Same Period of Time = Cost per Call
Contact center A divided 50,000 (monthly cost) into 17,000 (number of calls in a month) which equals $2.94 cost per call.
A cloud-based contact center as a service helps you save on many costs such as heavy hardware deployments, server room maintenance, etc.
Discover how Call Center Studio, an entirely cloud-based solution, can help you save on Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by 77%!
What’s the Average Cost per Call in Call Centers?
The call center cost per call benchmark shows that the average rate for a call should be between $2.70 to $5.60.
To help you achieve the industry benchmark, we have compiled 9 practical tips that are sure to help you save money in your operations.
9 Tips to Reduce Cost per Call in Your Call Center
- Cultivate a remote work model
- Optimize hiring
- Monitor performance and KPIs
- Improve training and coaching
- Use cloud-based call center software
- Go multichannel
- Leverage self-service options
- Optimize First Call Resolution (FCR) rates
- Outsource your processes
Tip 1 – Cultivate a remote work model
Working from home comes with many advantages, both for your team and your operational costs! You would need less investment for rentals, utilities, office supplies, furniture, and even complimentary beverages, by just cultivating WFH.
Meanwhile, your agents would have a better chance at sticking to work schedules since they won’t be wasting time commuting and would be more motivated to work from the comfort of their homes—or wherever they’d prefer to work from.
Tip 2 – Optimize hiring
While hiring agents, prioritize individuals with at least beginner-level knowledge on how to utilize resources and manage customers. It will help with call center cost savings since you will not have to train your agents from the very start. Plus, they would have the skills and know-how that they’ll bring to the table. You can always fine-tune their skills according to your company’s needs with consistent feedback on their performance and additional training.
Tip 3 – Monitor performance and KPIs
Well-performing agents would handle more productive calls during their shift, which will lead to a decrease in cost per call. To ensure that your agents are always in top shape, you have to evaluate their performance, give feedback and ensure that they’re hitting their KPIs.
One of the best ways to measure performance in a call center is to listen to calls and make use of robust monitoring and reporting tools.
Call Center Studio comes with built-in real-time monitoring tools and gives access to one of the world’s best reporting tools—Google Data Studio!
Talk to our experts to discover how else you can benefit from Call Center Studio.
Tip 4 – Improve training and coaching
Once you’ve evaluated your agents’ performance and determined their strong suit and which areas are open to improvement, it’s time to act on them.
First of all, acknowledge your agents’ successes and create a culture of appreciation—you can take a look at these best practices if you need some ideas. Then, structure a training program that will help both polish existing skills and develop new ones.
Since team leaders are the most efficient coaches in your organization, you have to make sure that they’re well-equipped to lead by example.
Download our free ebook 7 Pillars of Creating Amazing Team Leaders to create leaders that coach, nurture, and lead winning teams!
Tip 5 – Use cloud-based call center software
A cloud-based call center software will help you save on costs in more ways than one.
No bulky hardware
With cloud-based call center software, you won’t have to pay for hardware —like the old-fashioned telephones and data storage units— or their upkeep because all of your data would be stored in the Cloud. And, thanks to Computer Telephony Integration (CTI), all that your agents will ever need is a browser on their computers. As a result, you won’t have to factor in any cumbersome hardware and maintenance to your cost per call analysis.
Moving to a cloud-based call center solution would remove nearly all physical boundaries on what you can do. With cloud technologies, you can increase or decrease the scale of your operations any way you want according to call volume and peak times. This way, you can be prepared for anything without having to worry about the costs.
Less IT dependency
Since most IT departments need to be on-premise to help operations with their hardware malfunctions, cloud-based call center software would require less IT support. Software maintenance often requires updates provided by the software company and assistance from the helpdesk of the same company to navigate the interface. Therefore, a cloud-based call center SaaS would allow you to cut down on costs in your IT department as well.
Tip 6 – Go multichannel
With multichannel operations, the old-fashioned one-call-per-agent system is over! Maintaining various communication channels with customers will take the pressure off the traditional call traffic. Now, representatives can utilize multichannel systems and manage various chats simultaneously. Thanks to various social media integration options, you can even operate conversations over platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp, Telegram, and Webchat. These new channels make it possible for you to support as many customers with less staff.
Tip 7 – Leverage self-service
One of the most effective ways to cut down on costs in a call center would be to eliminate the need for a middleman for the customer’s most basic needs. Why not empower the customer to interact with the business directly in order to find solutions for their most common queries?
Now, Smart Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and chatbot services are more than enough to give customers the freedom to find solutions on their own. These technologies will not only enable your agents to focus on more complex inquiries from customers but also help you manage routine interactions and optimize your agents’ time.
Call Center Studio’s Contact Center AI deployments offer you and your customers the best self-service solutions that will help you not only save money, but lots of time too! Discover our range of self-service solutions—from Dialogflow-powered voicebots to conversational AI with 80% accuracy in intent-processing—today!
Tip 8 – Improve First Call Resolution (FCR) rates
To optimize your FCR rates, you need to empower your agents with the right tools to solve customer problems within one call—not having your customers call over and over again for the same issue will have a tremendous effect on decreasing your call center costs while improving your customer satisfaction rates.
Some of the tools that will come in very handy for that are:
An effective way to reduce cost is by transferring the calls to the agents who have the skills and answers your customers are looking for. For instance, a Smart IVR flow can lead the customer to the agent with the right skillset. Such skill-based routing will effortlessly manage customer expectations and help save time and money for your call center.
It goes without saying, CRM integration is crucial for every call center —not only because it helps improve the customer journey, but also because it helps minimize cost per call.
A steady CRM integration will help retrieve customer data and forecast what they may need or inform the agent about their journey so far. Equipped with this information, your agents will respond to the caller’s query faster, hence will help reduce your costs.
Call Center Studio has built-in integrations with the most popular CRM software such as Salesforce, Hubspot, Zoho, SAP, and MS Dynamics, among others, and an open API library to streamline integration with any other BI tools!
Jump on a quick call to learn more about our hassle-free integration capabilities!
Tip 9 – Outsource your processes
And finally, you can choose to outsource your contact center altogether with a BPO. BPO call centers already have the necessary equipment and staff to run your customer service operations, so you wouldn’t have to worry about individual costs and maintenance of all the factors that go into building a call center.
Plus, thanks to their versatility, BPO call centers often have plenty of experience in various industries. Their know-how can come in handy while dealing with different channels and preparing for peak call volume times, which would allow your business operations to run more smoothly.
To Wrap Up
We hope that these tips will help you make the most of your operations while you cut back on redundant costs per call. If you would like to join hundreds of our clients and use Call Center Studio’s features and tools to run a budget-friendly call center, book a demo today!