Whatever your industry landscape, the question of how to reduce business costs is one that every organisation must face at some time. Although simple to ask, it can be a tricky one to answer: your business cannot afford to compromise on product/service quality, yet at the same time, the pressure is on to minimise overheads and maximise the cash coming in.
At first glance, it seems like something of a Gordian knot. But future-proof technology solutions represent a number of options in how to reduce business costs. Our paperless VCC (virtual contact centre) software is specially-designed to increase the efficiency levels of your organisation, by leveraging virtual technology that generates optimal ROI from your budget. At the same time, it can increase the productivity and value of your employees, through the clever utilisation of automation software and by providing a centralised location for customer data.
Today, we’ll explore the question of business expenses and cost reduction methods through the prism of the Virtual Contact Centre software. We’ll consider the different ways VCC can help reduce your overhead costs without sacrificing the quality of your customer service.
How to Reduce Operating Expenses in Business
All too often, when business leaders think of ‘overheads and cost reduction,’ their first instinct is to take the axe to operations; slash functionalities and cut elements of the customer support network, the marketing department, and beyond.
In reality, this approach will end up doing more damage than it prevents – and actually increase costs. It serves only to put extra demands on your organisation, as your employees try to facilitate customer relations with an ever-shrinking pool of budget and resources.
In the words of Gartner:
“When a budget crisis arises, executive leaders usually initiate draconian methods of cost reduction, such as immediate layoffs, closing off ‘live’ channels and increasing backlogged inventory.
This heavy-handed type of cost reduction is short-term and is usually more expensive in the long run. In addition, companies face losing customers due to the poor service experience, more escalations, complex inquiries, increased overtime to reduced aged inventory, negative impact on employee morale and high attrition.”
Forward-facing, sustainable cost reduction strategies go a different way.
Rather than impinging on your business needs and service level, effective cost optimisation is all about finding more efficient ways to use resources. Our Virtual Contact Centre is an example of cloud-based technology that actually improves productivity and profitability, whilst at the same time decreasing business expenses.
Cost Reduction Examples
Let’s take a couple of real-world examples to illustrate this point.
Seeking to affect cost reduction, a business makes the decision to invest in an AI-powered web chat facility. This type of automation can be trusted to handle repetitive, more simplistic enquiries accurately and efficiently; and in so doing, release your customer support employees from these lower-value activities, giving them the resources and freedom to focus on more value-adding tasks.
Want to make your budget stretch further? Don’t lay-off service agents; automate their lowest-value responsibilities. But, automation isn’t the only way our Virtual Contact Centre can reduce operational costs.
Consider a contact centre which uses a legacy, paper-based system of records. In efficiency terms, this is a disaster waiting to unfold, time after time. That’s because, when a customer makes contact, employees are forced to manually retrieve the correct and relevant documents – even for extremely simple issues, like confirmation of a customer account number.
Worse still, there’s no real guarantee that the data contained within paper documents is up-to-date, consistent or accurate. But with no other option, our service agent attempts to resolve the customer’s issue with incorrect information, which takes a long time to locate, and… well, you can see how that plays out.
On the other hand, our Virtual Contact Centre can automate the collection and recording of vital customer information. Moreover, it will store this data in a centralised system of records, and make it remotely-accessible to all agents in a streamlined, paperless digital solution.
Cost Reduction Strategies
Having addressed the reality of slashing your budget to reduce overheads – namely, that it doesn’t work – it’s time to explore some cost reduction methods that do actually create a positive impact.
Before we dive into the following cost-optimisation methods, it’s worth noting that all of the points on this list are enabled directly by the implementation of our VCC (Virtual Contact Centre).
In other words, if you’re wondering how to reduce business costs, all the signs point one way: the utilisation of a cloud-based, paperless, futureproof technology solution, in the shape of our VCC.
- Automate ‘routine’ customer relations activities: Often, a significant volume of your customer enquiries are fairly routine in nature; requests for shipping information, or a refund, for instance. With today’s automation technology, you do not need a human agent to handle these enquiries effectively. Implement automation solutions, such as AI=powered wen chat, to cut overheads.
- Provide self-service solutions: If there’s one thing customers love, it’s the ability to solve issues independently. And the good news for your organisation is: this is relatively cheap to provide! Self-service tools and software like practical IVRs are effective ways to win back some cash.
- Optimise your call routing flow: When a customer gets in touch over the phone, they definitely don’t want to be bounced around from agent to agent. Complement your productivity and efficiency efforts with future-proof technology that routes calls in a more targeted, useful way. Everybody wins: the customer gets their issue resolved quicker, and you get to cut business expenses.
- Execute timely callbacks: With cloud-based software in place, there’s really no need to leave customers hanging interminably on hold. Often, it’ll equate to nothing more than lost payments, wasted time and cash down the drain. Improve your service and streamline operations with prompt and personalised callbacks, enabled by virtual technology.
- Monitor your contact centre performance: Our VCC gives you bird’s eye visibility into how well your contact centre is performing, in real terms, with the statistics to back it up. How can you go about performing cost reduction strategies if you don’t know where you’re bleeding resources?
- Streamline interactions with data: You can improve the entire range of your customer relations management with insightful user data, and the learnings you glean from it. Providing a personalised experience is not only one of the top cost reduction methods, it’ll bring you closer to your business goals by improving satisfaction and retention levels.
3 Key Benefits of Cloud Contact Centre Solutions
For a business in any industry – charity, construction, public services, retail or beyond – implementing the Virtual Contact Centre marks a genuine transformation. In one piece of software, it eliminates the need for costly legacy systems and heralds a new era of optimised communications.
Below, we’ll explore three key benefits of utilising the VCC.
Service improvement, cost reduction
The name of the game: improving the delivery of your service, whilst simultaneously reducing the costs needed to provide it. As Gartner puts it: “effective cost optimization is not about large-scale, dramatic cuts in cost, but rather, efficient use of resources from day to day.”
In other words, our Virtual Contact Centre technology allows you to do better by spending less. In years gone by, experts would have laughed if you told them there was a way to dramatically improve customer relations, improve employee productivity and save business costs. But that is what VCC software can do.
Interact with users in more effective ways
The importance of the customer experience (CX, or user experience; UX) is at an all-time high, and is set to continue growing. For any organisation, the CX must be an operational priority.
Hubspot has found that 66% of today’s customers expect a company to understand what they want, and that those same customers are actually willing to spend more cash if they are confident of receiving a good level of service (Hubspot).
The Virtual Contact Centre allows you to interact with your users in more personalised, meaningful ways. You’ll have instant access to actionable data and useful insights, which you can use to inform your customer relations and ensure that each user receives an experience uniquely tailored to their needs.
Go paperless, for next-gen efficiency levels
The modern organisation needs to handle vast amounts of data – so it makes sense to utilise the most streamlined and efficient system of records.
Once, this may have meant colour coded files in bulky filing cabinets – but no longer. One of the main problems with paper-based data (of which they are many) is that it is notoriously inconsistent. Even if you painstakingly strive to update every file in response to changing information, there’s no way to be sure of universal data accuracy.
What if information changes while you’re halfway through the process? How can you justify so much time spent manually modifying records? What happens if someone misplaces a document?
Plus, as with any manual process, there’s the risk of human error to contend with.
Digitalised records stored in a centralised data cache do away with all of these issues. The VCC gives you and all of your employees instant access to 100% accurate data – a real bonus when it comes to optimising operations and service delivery.
Reduce Costs. Maximise Comms. Our VCC
Clearly, reduction of overhead costs and improvement of budget utilisation aren’t the only benefits you’re set to enjoy via the implementation of our Virtual Contact Centre software. This future-proof technology is the keystone of operational efficiency; not only will it cut your business expenses, it will simultaneously elevate your customer relations and improve your service delivery.
Saying that to say; while it’s true there are no magic bullets or miracle cures in optimising customer communications, implementing our VCC comes pretty close.
To find out more about our VCC, the ways it can save your business cash and maximise your communications, book a free discovery call today.