Incremental Revenue (Value) Analysis is a decision-making process used for determining the value of each contact center agent. Its primary focus is to determine the optimal cost of retaining or letting go of an agent. Incremental revenue (value) analysis is the simplest way to solve complex business challenges by choosing between the solutions currently available and their alternatives.
New Challenges for Contact Centers and Agents
Customer retention is the primary challenge for companies nowadays. Competition has become the driving force for them to keep updating their products and services. If a customer is dissatisfied with a company’s services, they will move on to another easily. This will cost the company dearly. Therefore, companies are more focused on resolving issues rather than passing the buck.
The pressure of delivering positive customer experience falls on the agent who has to engage with the customer and provide a viable solution to their problem. They have multiple responsibilities – looking up customer information, finding a solution, walking the customer through the resolution, documenting the issue for future analysis, working on emails – which have to be carried out simultaneously on the call.
How Customer Service has Changed over the Years
Initially, the only channel of contact for customers was the phone. Now, you have multiple platforms such as email, chat, SMS, IVR, digital media, and social media, along with traditional voice-based channels to connect with customers. Even the devices by means of which customer engagement is carried, have diversified. Smartphones, tablets, phones, laptops, and even smartwatches have enabled information to be available on the go. Companies have taken note of these advancements and streamlined their contact centers to include them in customer service.
Self-service is another way companies have automated their services to give customers better control of what they need. With self-help, the challenges are more apparent and sometimes it requires an agent having exceptional skills, to handle them.
The goal of customer service is to understand and resolve the call within the first interaction rather than speed up the process and move on to the next. Time also plays a major role in the form of AHTs and hold times. You also have first-call resolutions, compliance of hold and transfer procedures, tone, script compliance, adherence to closure guidelines, and many others included in the scorecards. Even these parameters, on which agents are evaluated, have seen a significant change.
The Value of an Agent in a Contact Center
Contact centers are probably an organization’s most important division because they deal with customers directly. In some ways, how contact center agents handle calls can make or break relationships of customers with the organization. Thus, agents become an important touch point between the organization and customers. Companies spend a tremendous amount of capital and resources to hire skilled agents who are able to deliver high-quality services.
Qualities of a Capable Contact Center Agent
Companies hire people based on their set of requirements. However, there are certain generic qualities which keep some agents at the top of their game. Successful agents are:-
- Highly knowledgeable
- Flexible and able to handle multiple tasks at once
- Friendly and engage with customers on a personal level
- Quick in providing solutions
- Capable of dealing with customers of different temperaments
- Able to ensure a positive customer experience
How Incremental Revenue (Value) Analysis Works
Incremental analysis is affected by demand and the cost required to fulfill it. Contact centers often need to identify the correct amount of staffing required to meet demands without increasing operational costs. Inaccurate decisions related to staffing can impact customer service negatively and increase costs. By using incremental revenue (value) analysis, contact centers are able to meet customer demands by providing highly-skilled agents and keeping costs low.
There are 4 steps involved in incremental analysis,
- Identify alternative solutions and compare them with current costs. Eliminate irrelevant data and determine the incremental cost.
- Similarly, compare revenues of alternative solutions and determine the incremental revenue amount.
- Calculate the difference between fixed and variable costs, which is the incremental cost savings.
- Tabulate and add the result of all three steps – incremental revenue, incremental cost, and cost savings. The net amount will allow you to make an informed and cost-effective decision. If revenue is higher than cost, then profits will increase else it would decrease.
The above methodology takes into account the quantitative or measurable parameters of an agent’s performance. Incremental analysis also considers qualitative parameters which have no effect on the cost to the company. Qualitative factors such as friendliness, service to customers, multi-tasking capabilities sometimes take precedence and can impact an agent’s valuation.
Contact centers are equipped with tools and resources which can boost their customer services exponentially. By hiring the right people and providing proper training, contact centers can ensure a lasting relationship with their customer, all the while keeping costs low and increasing profits.