Cloud-based Workforce Optimization for Automotive Customer Support
While the objective of most contact centers is the same – to support customers with their questions, concerns and issues – the pace of work varies wildly from industry to industry. Some contact centers support a lot of one-time customers making large purchase. Others support many regular return customers making frequent small ticket purchases. The automotive industry is unique in that it supports customers who make large purchases – automobiles – but require the use of a contact center on a regular basis for maintenance, service and warranty issues. In many cases, customer support must be available round-the-clock, particularly if the organization offers roadside assistance.
Many automotive industry contact centers are still using software-based solutions to manage their workforces rather than switch to the efficiency and lower costs of a Web-based solution. Fear of change may be behind their hesitancy to switch, but there’s also a factor that is highly relevant to the automotive industry: fear of service disruption during a system and process transition. Automotive call centers must be available, in some cases 24/7, to deal with customer issues such as breakdowns or roadside emergencies.
In a recent white paper, workforce optimization solutions provider Monet Software (News - Alert) noted that cloud-based solutions can be brought online with no process or services disruption. Many cloud solution can be customized, prepared and tested before they go live, and can run parallel with a contact center’s existing hardware solution throughout the actual transition.
“That way if an issue does arise (which is highly unlikely), your original software-based technology will still be available and ready for use,” noted the white paper’s authors. “Also, the actual transition time is less than you probably expect.”
By removing this common but urgent objection to a switch to a cloud-based solution, companies can be more at ease in their decision to pursue the benefits of a non-software workforce management system. Workforce optimization in the cloud is more flexible and scalable, more customizable and eliminates many of the IT responsibilities that are part of a software-based system. Companies pay for only what they need (which is important, because the automotive industry tends to be highly cyclical, requiring contact centers to scale staff up and down depending on the time of year), and can put a system in place with little to no upfront costs. For contact centers offering round-the-clock service, a cloud-based solution also provides the option to use home-based agents, which eliminates the need to maintain a physical office at all times…which can get expensive in overhead.
A final concern many organizations have when it comes to the cloud – security – can also be mitigated with a good Web-based workforce management solution, according to Monet.
“Because of the fail safes and redundancies built into the system, cloud solutions are even more reliable than hardware-based technology,” wrote the white paper’s authors. “Let’s face it, when all of your equipment and data storage is located in one physical setting and something happens, you may be out of luck. But with the decentralized nature of the cloud, your automotive call center stays in business no matter what.”
With a responsible cloud solution partner, automotive customer support organizations can cut their workforce management solution costs by one-third – and largely eliminate capital expenditures – while simultaneously improving the quality of customer support.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi