4 Ways Contact Centers Can Thrive Amid Economic Uncertainty

As economic uncertainty continues, contact centers must prepare for what’s next — even if they’re not sure what that “next” is.

While many will cut costs to ride out an economic downturn, that’s not always the best option. To withstand changes, contact center leaders need to build resilience. Having the agility to adapt allows your contact center to prosper, even as the economy shifts.

Here are 4 strategies contact center leaders can take to thrive in uncertain economic times.

  1. Build Customer Loyalty for Revenue Stability

Customer loyalty is about trust. And keeping your customers – and making sure they’re happy – doesn’t just make financial sense, it also builds resilience.

And customer loyalty starts with trust. To cultivate that trust, you need to understand your customers and their needs. Then deliver great customer experiences — when they matter most.

Providing seamless, personalized customer interactions that anticipate their needs reduces effort and builds trust. And that translates into revenue: 80% of customers spend more, more often, from companies that consistently personalize interactions.

To start, focus on business areas where you can directly shape customer experiences. This allows you to deliver the right balance of efficiency, effectiveness and empathy. And you’ll give existing customers good reasons to return.

  1. Increasing Efficiency Is Always a Smart Move

“Do more with less” is a business mantra for difficult economic times. And while contact center efficiency should always be a goal, blindly cutting costs without a plan for long-term stability and growth isn’t the answer.

If you cut too much or the wrong things, wait times could increase and first-contact resolution could plummet. That degrades the experience — and puts customer loyalty and revenue at risk.

No matter the economic conditions, efficiency and an exceptional CX aren’t mutually exclusive. Investing strategically in the right digital tools enables you to create exceptional CX without increasing headcount or costs.

For example, Woolworths Finance Shared Services lowered its cost of doing business by deploying the Genesys Cloud CX™ platform to integrate robotic process automation. That led to a range of efficiency improvements, including 91% faster call response, 99% quicker invoice query resolution and an 88% reduction in revenue debt. They also saw a 28% increase in employee engagement.

Cloud solutions can drive efficiency through a range of technologies — artificial intelligence (AI)-powered automation, intelligent bots, performance management and unified agent desktops. And composable systems speed innovation and offer endless flexibility, all with less IT overhead. This enables you to improve efficiency and operating margins, without lowering your standards for CX.

  1. High Attrition Doesn’t Have to Be Business as Usual

Many CX leaders consider high contact center attrition inevitable. And they’ll pay the costs for recruiting and hiring, onboarding and training, lost productivity, and decreased customer satisfaction.

But in the experience economy, where 62% of CX executives are struggling with the increasing costs of employee turnover, starting over with a new team puts you at a disadvantage. High attrition is no longer acceptable.

Retaining great employees yields consistency and stability; developing skills creates opportunities to grow your team’s capacity. Companies need to understand what employees value: a work experience that makes their jobs easier and more fulfilling. And they need to combine this with meaningful opportunities for career growth.

To create a better employee experience, modernize your approach to workforce management. A range of digital workforce engagement management tools can enable new training and coaching opportunities, motivate employees and empower them to drive progress.

With an updated workforce strategy, you can reinvest the time, energy and resources devoted to attrition toward business areas that improve efficiency and CX.

  1. Invest in Agility 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, call volumes spiked, customers moved online and teams moved to working remotely. CX leaders had no choice but to accelerate their cloud migrations.

It’s clear that the new normal and the future of business are composable, scalable and flexible. The experience economy of today — and tomorrow — demands unprecedented agility and elasticity to quickly adapt to any emerging conditions. In fact, 52% of CX leaders already list ease of scaling as a top factor in new technology purchases.

That requires permanent resilience in your tech stack, capabilities, processes and workforce. Solutions such as a composable platform, digital capabilities, self-service and AI-powered automation deliver agility and scalability needed to prosper in the experience economy.

Organizations globally are taking advantage of these critical cloud capabilities. HELPLINE, an IT company and leader in user experience, transitioned to Genesys Cloud CX to improve its business continuity planning. It introduced Genesys voicebots and chatbots to switch to remote working in five days — and has increased client satisfaction as volume increased. HELPLINE now handles around 50,000 requests daily, answering calls in under 20 seconds with an FCR over 80%.

Smart Solutions for Tough Times

Despite the murky economic outlook, there’s a clear path forward. Flexible cloud platforms deliver a powerful combination of agility and enduring stability. And they offer the capabilities needed to keep customers and employees happy, increase efficiency, and adapt to changing conditions. With these key strategies and smart technology investments, you can build resilience to weather volatile times.

Watch this on-demand webinar to learn which CX investments to prioritize for building resilience in your tech stack — and thriving in volatile economic times.

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