Why optimising your contact centre should be a priority in FY2022

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Why optimising your contact centre should be a priority in FY2022
After the annus horribilis that was 2020, the Australian economy appears to have turned a corner.
Photo by LumenSoft Technologies on Unsplash

It’s a new financial year – a great time to upgrade or enhance the operation that sits at the heart of your business.

What a difference 12 months can make. The 2022 financial year has begun and it’s fair to say that businesses and organisations are feeling decidedly more chipper about the future than they were back in July 2020.

With the Australian economy roaring back to life – unemployment has fallen to 5.5 per cent and latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show GDP up by 1.8 per cent in the first quarter – consumer confidence is rising and businesses are capitalising on pent-up demand.

One of the many business lessons the pandemic hammered home was that a robust, cloud- based contact centre platform, which gives agents the flexibility to log on from anywhere that has a decent internet connection, is critical to business continuity when disruption occurs.

Australian organisations which had this infrastructure in place found it significantly easier to ‘keep calm and carry on’ than those which relied on legacy, inhouse contact centre software.

Upgrading without an upfront outlay

If your business is in the latter category, an upgrade may be on the agenda for FY2022. The good news is, migrating from your old solution to a new generation cloud platform won’t take a massive chunk out of your capital expenditure (CapEx) budget.

One of the many advantages of adopting a cloud software model is the fact that it’s subscription based. Rather than outlaying tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on hardware and proprietary software upfront, you’ll pay a flat monthly fee per seat and can scale up or down quickly and easily, as your activity levels fluctuate.

Shifting your contact centre infrastructure over to operating expenditure (OpEx) means the capital it would previously have consumed can be allocated to other initiatives to strengthen your business and take advantage of emerging, post-pandemic opportunities.

Adding additional channels

If you’re already connecting with your customers via the cloud, it might be time to consider enhancing your operations, by adding additional channels to your contact centre. These days, not all customers want to deal with businesses and organisations via the telephone, during traditional business hours. Rather, they want to be able get in touch, at the time and via the channel of their choosing, be it SMS, web chat, email or the good old ‘dog and bone’.

Don’t give them the option to do so and you run the risk of their taking their custom elsewhere – to a company that puts its money where its mouth is, when it comes to providing fast and flexible customer service.

Adding new channels need not cost the earth. Yes, you’ll need to invest money upfront in upskilling your agents but, if you’re using a premium cloud contact centre platform, chances are, the additional functionality you require is already included in your monthly subscription fee.

Boosting productivity with a blended environment

If you’re running an inbound contact centre, you’ll be aware the modus operandi has an inherent degree of inefficiency. If there are no calls coming in for agents to handle, there’s little for them to do.

But, if you also operate an outbound dialling facility or would like to begin doing so, you may be able to boost efficiency and productivity by bringing the two operations together, into what’s known as a ‘blended environment’. This means agents can both make and receive calls; switching between modes according to the volume of inbound activity being experienced.

In the past, this wasn’t feasible from a technological perspective but, with a premium cloud contact centre platform, it’s become achievable and easy to implement.

It’s a smart way to make the most of your investment in personnel by keeping them busy, caring for customers and potentially bringing new business into the business.

Laying the groundwork for growth in 2022 and beyond

After the annus horribilis that was 2020, the Australian economy appears to have turned a corner. Last year’s unemployment queues have been superseded by skills shortages, as businesses continue to recover from the COVID knock.

A powerful and productive contact centre can help businesses capture and retain customers, in all sorts of times. If yours isn’t working as hard or as well as it could be for your enterprise, there’s never been a better time to invest in upgrading or enhancing it.

Daniel Harding, Director- Australia Operations, MaxContact.

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