Call centers have traditionally been perceived as cost centers due to a number of factors like – being labor-intensive, high cost of infrastructure, and the overall high cost per agent. Leading to the organizations looking down upon them for not generating high ROI. However, all this is turning around rather fast with contact centers going remote. Even though this change was brought upon due to the COVID 19 pandemic and the implementation of lockdowns by governments across the world, we are now seeing a proclivity of companies to continue with the arrangement in the foreseeable future.
Many BPOs and captive (in-house) contact center business leaders have been experiencing the perks of a remote call center in the short-while itself and are expecting more such benefits in the long run too. And they are indeed right. Remote contact centers, in the long run, will save you money, put more money in the hands of your employees, and give a boost to your bottom line.
Reducing Contact Center Costs with a Remote Contact Center
Save on Office Infrastructure Costs
As a business when you are running a traditional contact center i.e. operating out of an office, you have to incur some basic costs such as:
- Rent or cost of real estate
- Electricity and power
- Workstation & furniture cost
- Overall maintenance and upkeep
However, when the call center agents are working from their home, you save on these costs sometimes even cut them by 1/3rd. Additionally, if you have a partial remote working situation where some of the staff and agents are working from an office space, you do not need to invest in a huge property.
Happy Agents = Low Attrition Rate and Cost of New Hires
If we look at the situation from the agents’ perspective, while working from home they are able to spend more time with their families which were not possible in the pre-COVID era when their shifts might be erratic and thus, leaving them with limited time with their families. Additionally, the risk of contracting the virus because of using public transport to commute to work has also reduced significantly. Which in turn adds to the convenience that a virtual setup has to offer. All of these things contribute to the agents’ happiness – when they feel that their company cares & values them, it instills a sense of commitment and boosts their morale which translates into higher productivity and low attrition rates.
Higher Disposable Income is greater Agent experience
With agents not having to commute to work daily, they get to save on the transportation cost. Whether they use their private vehicle (cost of fuel) or public transport (cost of a ticket), now they get to save more. Which essentially means an increase in their disposable income. The same can also be used to cater to the needs of the family along with providing additional financial security. And since we have seen people using the lockdowns as the time to upskill themselves or explore their passions, similarly the additional income can be used to hone the skills and pursue one’s passion in spare time. This has a tremendous positive impact on the mental health of the employees which goes a long way for their overall wellbeing.
Convert Agents Smartphones into a Full-fledged Call Center
One of the major concerns for contact center managers and business heads was the cost of providing every agent with their own system or laptop. Because when they are working out of a centralized workplace, they share resources, as usual, the call centers work in shifts. This was a valid concern. And like they say necessity is the mother of invention – there is a solution for this too – a mobile call center software. This means now the agents can perform all the tasks as before but from their own smartphone. This offers at least two huge benefits – you don’t need to purchase a new laptop for every agent; and agents get to use a device they are most comfortable with.
Being proactive and adapting to the pandemic environment, Ameyo offers a flexible remote contact center software for enterprises. Remote working solutions were built keeping in mind the infrastructural challenges of remote working. Even if your agents don’t have a laptop and have access to only a smartphone or a basic feature phone, you can manage your contact center without hampering the customer service experience.
There is no doubt that once the pandemic is over, the world would have changed drastically. As far as contact centers are concerned, we can expect to see a change in the behavior of the businesses and agents alike. Expect to see companies looking for individuals who show ownership and accountability with minimum supervision. At the same time, automation might still be relevant but can’t replace the human touch. And as far as the businesses are concerned, once they realize how a remote contact center boosts their profit margins and improves their bottom line, we can expect to see a major business disruption.