Call centers today are under a great deal of pressure: for starters, consumers are demanding ever-higher levels of service via any channel they choose to contact companies. In today's commoditized marketplace, high-level customer service is often the only thing that differentiates companies from one another. On the flip side, companies are also pressured to keep costs down, particularly capital expenditures and labor costs. Call centers, of course, are labor-heavy operations, often with high-turnover, which means that recruiting, hiring and training are often the greatest expense. So how do you run an operation to keep up excellence while keeping down costs?
It's not easy. Many companies have turned to offshore outsourcing in an attempt to hold down labor costs, since agents in places like the Philippines will often work for a fraction of what U.S.-based agents earn. This hasn't always been a great solution: once certain popular outsourcing regions become saturated, costs begin to rise, and managing a contact center on the other side of the world adds in administration complications.
In addition, customer perception of companies that use foreign agents, never high in the first place, is increasingly negative, particularly during a national recession in which unemployment is high. Add to the fact that Congress is currently considering legislation that will actively penalize companies that ship call center jobs offshore, and the whole operations loses a lot of its appeal.
So what's the alternative? How do you provide excellent service, largely eliminate capital expenditures and keep a lid on your labor costs?
Many smart companies are leveraging technology – particularly cloud-based contact center platforms – for answers. With a cloud-based solution, companies can build cutting-edge “virtual” contact centers using agents who can be located anywhere: in multiple, distributed brick-and-mortar call center locations, in their homes and on the road. These solutions open the doors to the home-agent model, a scenario many companies are turning to in place of offshore outsourcing to save money while keeping quality high and eliminating negative customer perception of companies that use foreign agents.
There are many other ways that cloud-based call center solutions can save companies money, including eliminating up-front capital expenditures and maintenance costs, improving efficiency and streamlining processes.
To help you learn more, TMC (News - Alert) is sponsoring a new webinar, “The Economics of Cloud Contact Center,” on Thursday, May 24 at 11:00 am EST. The webinar will feature Ken Osborn, vice president of Marketing for Five9 (News - Alert), Tom Rocca, president of SupportSeven, and Jack Sands, CEO of VForce.
The webinar will cover topics including: Reasons contact center leaders are adopting cloud computing solutions; How cloud computing helps to improve agent productivity, providing an improved ROI on labor expenses; Benefits of predictability in expenses, and how business performance is improved;
How companies have leveraged their existing investments in infrastructure and; What business improvements have your peers experienced, and how were they measured.
To learn more or register for the Webinar, click here.
Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli