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Your Contact Centre Can Earn Money for Your Company, Too

A woman wears a headset and works at a laptop, possibly impacting contact centre revenue.
94% of customers say good customer service influences future buying decisions. [Ridofranz / Getty]

Every contact centre call costs your business. With these practical steps, you can improve efficiency, enhance the customer experience and increase your contact centre revenue.

In today’s uncertain economy, companies are seeking ways to optimise spending and do more with less. That’s especially difficult at customer service centres, where siloed data, disconnected systems, and labour shortages already lead to long wait times — and higher costs for your business. While these challenges may affect your contact centre revenue, they also significantly impact customer experience. 

The good news? With these practical steps and the right customer service software, you can increase customer satisfaction and turn your contact centre into a revenue generator. Here’s how.

1. Reduce call handling time with customer service software

Operating a contact centre can be expensive, with agents costing up to $70 per hour. So how can businesses make sure they’re delivering the best customer experience while also lowering costs? Start by reducing call length and ensuring customer requests get resolved in just one phone call. To do this, you need to equip your service agents with the right tools.

For starters, a 360-view of the customer — including order history and relevant profile information — will ensure agents have all the data they need to understand each customer’s unique experience or issue. Collaborative tools like Slack can speed up resolution time by removing team silos and streamlining communication between sales, service, marketing and other teams.

One of the most common reasons that customers contact support centres is to check an order’s status. With self-service options and order management tools, you can eliminate most of these calls — and save a significant amount of time and money. If customers do call to check on their order, a connected order management system can streamline the request. In fact, one report found that the right order management tools can improve first-call resolution by up to 20% and reduce call handling time by 25%. Connected tools give service agents a comprehensive view of order and inventory data, better equipping them to quickly handle customer requests.

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2. Implement self-service to improve customer experience

Almost three in four customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations. To build customer trust, your customer service agents should dedicate time to understanding complex customer issues and show empathy. AI-powered technology, including chatbots and self-service portals, is critical to addressing straightforward questions, requests and transactions so agents can prioritise high-touch matters.

Technology also frees up time for service reps to help new customers configure products, up-sell and cross-sell shoppers who have complex requests and more. The result: higher average order value, increased customer satisfaction and lower call volume. It all adds up to higher contact centre revenue.

Adventure travel company Intrepid demonstrates the power of the right customer service software to boost the customer experience and contact centre efficiencies. Intrepid can pause a customer’s journey in Marketing Cloud while its service team works to resolve a case through Service Cloud. This means, for example, a customer who might be making a complaint isn’t still receiving promotional emails while having their issue resolved. Service Cloud also allows agents to respond faster to NPS feedback by automatically triggering support cases. 

It’s this kind of anticipation and efficiency that helps drive customer satisfaction. Where customer complaints once took up to 20 days to respond to, integrated customer data enables a rapid response.

You can also implement digital knowledge centres so customers can quickly find answers to frequently asked questions without calling a rep. Look to generative AI to take the heavy lifting out of customer-focused content creation — think FAQs, how-to guides and blogs. Online communities where customers offer each other advice and discuss your products is another way to reduce call volume while driving brand loyalty. 

Contact centres are a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to customer experience. Customers want a genuine human experience with your brand. It’s just important to ensure that calling a contact centre isn’t the only way to reach your company for answers or help.

3. Make post-purchase key to the customer experience

Customer acquisition can be a major cost for companies. Fortunately, contact centres can make sure the juice is worth the squeeze by turning every call into an opportunity to retain customers and drive loyalty. This is especially impactful during post-purchase calls. 

Common post-purchase transactions include exchanges, returns, modifications and even discounting. These types of transactions can be a make-or-break moment when it comes to retaining a customer and a great experience can go a long way to building customer loyalty. Salesforce research shows 94% of customers say a positive customer service experience makes them more likely to purchase again and 80% will forgive a mistake after receiving excellent service.

How do you ensure reps can make the most of these valuable moments? Start by making sure every customer feels heard. The contact centre is an important part of your feedback loop and it’s critical to give service reps the right resources to flag any issues with product quality. Returns reporting tools can help you track patterns over time, which means you can course-correct as quickly as possible to ensure customer satisfaction and avoid boomerang products.

And as appliance brand Fisher & Paykel has found, tools like Service Cloud can help streamline the feedback process so customers can have any issues quickly addressed. Once a technician has completed their visit, the Fisher & Paykel customer receives a feedback form where they can rate the service provided. If it was less than ideal, a new case is triggered so the business can immediately work to resolve any issues.

Boost cost centre revenue by unifying commerce and customer service

Your commerce and customer service teams share the same goal: to deliver exceptional experiences for every customer, at every point of contact. The key to unlock these experiences? Give your sales, service and commerce teams the right resources to make every part of the customer journey feel seamless. This will do more than just improve your customer experience: it will reduce costs and drive contact centre revenue.

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Salesforce Staff

The 360 Blog from Salesforce teaches readers how to improve work outcomes and professional relationships. Our content explores the mindset shifts, organisational hurdles, and people behind business evolution. We also cover the tactics, ethics, products, and thought leadership that make growth a meaningful and positive experience.

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