Reduce the cost to serve your customers, without sacrificing the quality of their experiences

The right technology platforms and processes will help you to reduce costs while continuing to build better experiences for your customers and your employees. By consolidating your technology stack, automating low-effort tasks, and creating processes that shift demand to lower-cost channels, you can realise significant cost savings.

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How to reduce cost to serve?

There are 3 key ways you can reduce cost to serve:

  • Creating more efficient processes
  • Reduction in AHT
  • Shifting demand to lower cost channels

Did you know?

The cost per automated support session is estimated to be between 40 and 100 times cheaper than a live call to an agent (Source: Contact Babel CX DMG 2019/20)

Reduce Average Handle Time (AHT)

Average handle time is a customer service metric that measures how much time was required to resolve a customer query or service request.

It’s typically used to determine the average length of calls but can also be used to analyse chat and email queues.

Reducing AHT is often a contentious way of reducing the cost to serve, since it’s tricky to target agents on the metric without seeing a negative impact on call quality. Instead of targeting advisors and sacrificing call quality, there are other ways you can reduce your AHT.

Lowering your required workload capacity, without negatively influencing the customer experience is challenging, but it can be done.

How to reduce AHT?

  • Automate repetitive manual processes: for example, by removing the need for agents to carry out manual identification and verification, and doing this upfront prior to the interaction, you reduce the time agents will spend on the interaction – freeing them up to handle more.
  • Improve agent speed and efficiency by providing tools which are easy to navigate and enable them to automatically surface the information they need. Provide a library of common replies/responses and give them an internal knowledge base to increase the speed of resolution.
  • Understand the reasons behind excessive AHT: look behind the scenes and you may find that higher-than-average AHT is caused by broken processes, lack of agent empowerment or additional training requirements. Remedying these will help solve the problem.
  • Identify and eliminate the causes of “dead air”: when listening to calls, lengthy silences or periods on hold are often a result of agents navigating multiple systems in the hunt for relevant information. Improving their access will reduce the silence – and lead to an improved customer experience.
  • Use analytics to spot problem areas immediately, and create customised reports to show the information that matters to you, including extended periods of silence and above-average handle time.

Did you know?

According to ContactBabel, inbound call duration is at its highest level ever – almost 6 minutes!


The power of call deflection

What’s the most expensive channel? The good old-fashioned telephone. In 2019, the average cost per inbound call was £4.53!

Your customers are busy people, and most of them don’t want to have to call you. They just want their issue resolved, as quickly and easily as possible.

Whilst you love them, you don’t want them to call you either - unless they really have to. And with so many other channels available today, if you can stop them picking up the phone then you will reduce your cost to serve dramatically.

Call deflection is increasingly important as it helps weed out the lower value, super simple queries that take up so much of your agents’ time. Using relatively simple chatbot technology, backed up by FAQs and a strong knowledge base, you can easily deflect those quick queries and let your agents focus on the really important stuff.

Learn more about lowering the cost to serve through omnichannel service channels.


Consolidate technology to maximise efficiency

No, we're not playing buzzword bingo - there's truth in it.

If you’re running multiple systems with different technology providers, the chances are you're paying over the odds and missing out on efficiency gains. If you can reduce the number of systems you need to run your contact centre, and work with a systems integrator (such as Route 101!), you can:

  • Reduce the amount of training your agents will require.

  • Ease agent and supervisor effort when serving customers.

  • Minimise the amount of toggling between screens, thereby bringing down AHT.

  • Cut down IT overheads on licences, upgrades, support, etc.

  • Enjoy being fully supported by one single technology partner.


UK contact centres waste £5.8bn a year on the time that agents spend navigating between multiple desktop applications

- Contact Babel UK Contact Centre Decision Makers Guide 2019/20