The contact center managers are really concerned about whether their investments in a contact center pay off. Whether it’s about technologies such as predictive dialing software, employees, or everything together? As a matter of fact, there are ways to define your actual and anticipated ROI. Really, not rocket science, yet the subject of finance and accounting.
The facts about ROI in a call center you should know
Return on investment or ROI is the business indicator that considers your contact center’s net profits and expenses. Eventually, profits prevail over the expenses or vice versa because of smart strategy or lousy management.
Basically, as a head of a contact center, your investment is either technology for launching, maintaining, or fixing software and hardware for contacting customers. And the staff that uses technologies and brings profits.
Your technology investments are:
- Internet, local or toll-free numbers;
- Back-up equipment (generator and additional phone number);
- Private branch exchange (PBX) system or contact center software subscriptions;
- List of DNC numbers;
- STIR/SHAKEN costs implementation (from 15 000$ to 300 000$);
- Cost of calls to customers depending on a region;
- And finally, equipment such as laptops/desktops, headsets, etc.
Your staff investments are:
- IT and sales force department wages
- Financial incentives
- Promoting, etc.
In fact, in the office-based environment, you need constant investments in the infrastructure and maintaining good working conditions for the employees. While remote agents working from home carry all expenses on their own, usually using only contact center software managed by authorized managers. Let’s dive deeper to reveal the hidden expenses.
New hiring and training
Staff attrition rates range from low to 50% and more, depending on the niche contact center operates. The more intensive work, emotional pressure, sophisticated knowledge in niches such as sales or customer service, the more attrition rate due to high calling volume. While the hiring of additional agents is the cost and not the investment until it brings profits. Let’s take a look at it specifically.
You hired five agents, and they worked with you honestly for a hefty 6 months. However, then they decided to quit. Is this a problem? Yes, it is, because now you need someone to replace them and you need a quick solution or receive the financial losses because the empty seat will decline your profits.
It’s clear that attrition of agents brings a negative ROI to your contact center. So it’s always better to hire the most motivated and experienced agents or fire them fast to prevent leakage.
Take this piece of advice. Deeply interview new agents and test them for a few days in the real work. Lastly, test them for a week and a month to make a final decision about onboarding or firing.
In such a way, you prevent the long seating of a wrong person, financial risks, and consequently achieve large returns.
Training of new agents is the cost until all skills are tested in the real work and showed revenue growth consequently.
In the US, companies spend billions of dollars each year, and most of the training eventually screws up because of the employee’s leakage or lack of performance. As a result, the training makes sense only for highly motivated and experienced individuals.
Contact center ROI net profit stems from these factors
You may have a great product or service being sold. Yet as long as customers are unaware of it, you are throwing your money away.
Generating leads is the first step for ROI boosting. And what sources do you have to do that? Actually, there are plenty of them, yet we’ll highlight to you the most profitable: telemarketing campaigns, email marketing, direct mail, radio commercials, trade ads, brochures, social media, and word of mouth.
All of these sources are proven methods for generating both leads and sales.
Yet, you must remember that leads are only potential customers – prospects. In order to make money, you need the power of persuasion.
Calculate the cost per lead by the formula:
Businesses generate money only when relationships with a customer are perfect. If customers order your product or service, it means you satisfy their emotional or practical needs. The more sales your agents close, the higher ROI.
Solving customers’ issues on the technical, using, or updating is the way to constantly generate cash and increase ROI. Plus, the speed of solving has a critical point. While supporting is not a direct sale it keeps customers with your company, retains them, and promises a higher ROI.
Increased agent's performance because of experience and training, creates high ROI and excellent customer experience. Plus, you need to delegate to the best agent new responsibilities. Thus you increase the ROI per one agent.
How does predictive dialer increase your ROI?
The Voiptime cloud predictive dialer is designed with one single purpose – to reduce the manual labor of agents and free up their natural energy to persuade.
Take a look at facts about Voiptime Cloud predictive dialer features:
- High tech predictive dialer. Boost agent’s talking time up to 300% with 250 dialing attempts per 1 agent during 8 hours agent’s shift. That’s 336 minutes of live conversations for each agent.
- Minimize the agent’s idle time. Agents have a maximum time for conversation and minimum time for idle time because of the automation of the routine processes of dialing numbers that expand the higher agent productivity.
- Avoiding answering machines. All agents talk only with the live customers. The software identifies answering machines and switches to another customer’s phone number without the agent’s connection.
- Manage and save time. Based on the number of available agents and statistical data, Voiptime Cloud dialer calculates the speed of dialing. Additionally, the system tracks real-time data about the calling process and changes dialing pace each second.
- Reduction of abandoned calls. Here's another powerful benefit of the predictive dialer from Voiptime Cloud. The US and European country's regulatory agencies require the abandon rate control, or hefty fines will come.
For instance, in the US, the maximum abandon rate you can have equals ranges from 0 to 3%. This dialer keeps the balance on the allowed percentage of abandoned calls and the agent productivity.
- Improve productivity and increase the number of human interactions. Auto dialing grants stable high calling volume with live interactions in comparison with manual dialing. On average, you have 38 live calls during a shift when you dial numbers manually. On the contrary, you have at least 188 live calls with real customers per shift with Voiptime Сloud predictive dialer.
- Unified call disposition. After the conversation with a customer, agents fill the scenario card to outline the outcome. Managers use these scenario cards in the future to interact with a customer more effectively.
- Boost conversion rates. Your agents focus on persuasion while observing the customer card and the scenarios of previous conversations. On the contrary, routine manual dialing of numbers - declines their motivation and sales opportunities.
In cases when customers aren’t ready for sale, they schedule the callback in the future. Thus warm leads are never lost in the workflow of a contact center.
On average, your conversion rate from cold calling, depending on the niche, equals 2.5% per shift. As a result, your conversion doubles because of the optimized calling process.
- Real-time call monitoring. It's an opportunity for a manager to join an active dialogue and help the operator in solving complex issues
- Empower agent's motivation. Forget about the fade of motivation and energy due to manual dialing. Agents are more energized when the system automatically dials numbers and smoothly proceeds through the calling list.
- Reduce contact center’s costs. As a matter of fact, cloud software doesn’t require additional costs for training. Costs on calls are reduced to the minimum because of the IP telephony usage. And you can call more potential customers without the necessity to hire additional employees.
- Improved efficiency. Optimized process of outgoing calls ensures a more efficient agent’s workflow, conversion rates, and agent’s occupancy. Thus every company can attract more customers and earn more.
- Ideally for teams starting from 5 to 10 agents. The predictive dialer allows you to accurately anticipate the necessary dial rate starting from 5 to 10 agents in a contact center. For instance,10 agents handle 2500 customers in summary, it's 1880 live calls and 62 sales per shift.
Actually, there is no better tool for calling the huge list of customers. Predictive dialer ROI in such niches as banking, insurance, health care, retail, real estate is skyrocketing by the order of magnitude.
Formulas of the ROI
ROI in a contact center is easily measured by this formula:
If your percentages are 5%, 35%, 200%, and more – means your business growth. The percentage of ROI below 1% indicates that your company experienced hard times, and you quickly need to do something about it.
The formula for defining ROI per agent includes:
- Total investment per month, which is onboarding/ training, salary per month, cost of calls per month, a monthly subscription of software and hardware;
- Net profit per month in sales in revenue per month, generated leads, technical assistances, complaints resolved, etc;
The formula for ROI per agent for per month looks as follows:
Keep an eye on the most proven facts you generate ROI
The most important thing is that you must be concerned about how you serve customers. Take a look at these facts about the subject:
- 68% of customers leave your company because they feel indifferent to you;
- 93% of adults in the US apply honesty and fairness as a top factor for their relationships with a company;
- 50% of people prefer electronic interaction with a company instead of face-to-face;
- 86% of US and European citizens, within 5 years declined trust in their companies;
- On average, 1 happy customer will share their experience with other 9 people;
- On average, 1 angry customer will share their complaints with other 22 people;
- Commitment to the 5-star customer experience resulted in a 25% and more customer retention rate;
- 5% of retained customers will generate from 25% to 125% more revenue;
- 80% of your profit will come from 20% retained customers;
- 1 dollar spent on improving customer service will generate from 34 to 400 ROI;
- 60 to 75% of customers will remain their business relationships with a company if the solutions are fair from the human-like and business perspective;
- 9 of 10 customers will remain in business relationships if their complaints are solved fast;
- 80% of companies believe they deliver superior customer service. But only 8% of customers think that way;
- Almost 80% of agents show up at their working places without precise knowledge of what they meet during the shift.
These numbers listed above are facts and have a year-by-year pattern. Observe these facts again. Think about the contribution your contact makes to improve related issues.
Contact center performance metrics
Now, let’s take a close view of your contact center metrics you should constantly revise in order to boost your ROI.
Customer lifetime value (CLV). Measure how long each customer spends time with you, how much money they spend each year, and how frequently they order the service or product. All companies can track these data for each customer. Moreover, doing so constantly gives clues for future marketing or follow-up strategies.
Customer retention rate. Knowing the revenue per each customer is valuable, yet retention rates have supreme importance. Because of the fact that 5% of retained customers will generate from 25% to 125% more revenue to you, track the customer churn you for each month, quarter, or year. Also, track customers that become inactive to define the real reason for it. Then find out the reasons why they aren’t bringing money to you by calling them, saying hello, and asking questions about their purchasing.
Customer satisfaction score (CSAT). Are your customers satisfied with the services you deliver? Or there is much to do? Either way, customer satisfaction means constant cash flow.
Contact center metrics you should constantly revise
First Call Resolution (FCR). Customers desire to solve every issue: purchasing, technical support, customer service from the first call. The more agents in your company are able to solve issues from the first call, the better ROI.
Average handle time (AHT). While there is data that 6 minutes spent by the agent on one customer means 10% of expenses on the agent’s wage, and this indicator differs from customer to customer.
The limiting of the conversation between the contact center and the customer is an unthinkable handcuff. However, when you need to call rapidly, inform, briefly interact, and switch it to another call it makes sense.
Time is money, and when you can you need to limit time for conversations without losing focus on customers.
Full-time equivalent (FTE). It shows how much time your agent spends on the work. The full workload means your FTE is 1.0. While half-time work is 0.5 FTE. Accordingly, the expenses on 1.0 and 0.5 or other FTE involve wages and time your staff devotes to the work.
Ways to know actual and anticipated ROI
Now you have seen a big picture of your ROI using this formula. Yet, it’s not enough to calculate your actual ROI. Everyone promotes their products or services, if you include into account your marketing strategy, you’ll achieve real numbers about your contact center operation.
Plus, it’s important to track the most profitable and frequent ways customers reach you: email marketing, direct mail, radio commercials, trade ads, brochures, social media, word of mouth.
Actual ROI is included in this formula expenses on the marketing and profits from it. In the business world, it is well-known as Marketing ROI (MROI).
So, the actual MROI formula includes the Net profit of the Contact Center (CC), Profit from Marketing, Expenses on the CC operations, Expenses on Marketing.
Anticipated ROI and revenue
Now, when you already know everything about actual ROI, it’s time to forecast. First of all, you need to track down all your heavy users – those who spend the most money with your company than other customers. Actually, you should know them as much as possible in order to constantly generate decent cash.
Again, the heavy users are those who bring you the most profit, order your services constantly, and want to maintain relationships.
Frequency. Then, after calculating the number of heavy users and the revenue from each of them, on average, look at the frequency they order your goods per day/week/month/quarter or year.
Unit of a sale. The customer that spends 100$ per purchase is more valuable than the customer who spends 10$. And you can calculate the average unit of a sale they’re purchasing.
Now, to anticipate your ROI, for example, you have a list of heavy users, and there are 10 000 of them. The average unit of a sale is 50$. The frequency of ordering is once a week or more frequent. Do you already guess what anticipated cash flow you will potentially generate with this data? Use the formula 10 000 users * 50$ = 500 000 dollars per week.
Recency. The more recently they’ve ordered your goods through the call, the more they are ready to buy from you. This is the most valuable metric among all others. Frankly, the recent buyer is ready for a follow-up, cross-selling, and new order.
All this data will give you the clue about forecasting and anticipation of your ROI.
Ways to improve your ROI
- Motivate your sales force. You have agents that are ready to sell your products and services. How good are they? And what drives them?. Drive your sales force with different benefits such as monetary incentives, promotions, and a human-like treatment.
- Prepare agents. Arm your agents with the latest and the most relevant information about their work. Insist on knowing the bottom line, and advanced features of products and services being advertised and supported. The more impact managers towards the agent’s preparation, the higher ROI.
- Arming with the latest technology. While your agents strive to deliver the perceived value, they need tools. And one of these tools for agents in the contact center software. It must be the unique blend of power, functionality, and ease of use.
Using the Voiptime Cloud contact center software doesn’t require any additional expenses whatsoever. Why is that? Because the professional team constantly maintains and upgrades it. All that is left for you is to generate more sales and insist agents perform.
Investing in the technology you need to track the outcomes from using interactive voice response (IVR) and automatic call distribution (ACD) systems, chatbot, automated dialers. Properly organized systems will generate you money virtually without involving any agent whatsoever.
Fortunately, Voiptime Cloud has these remarkable dialers and agentless features to make the work of your agents even easier. For more than a decade, we delivered top-notch software for small and mid-sized businesses in a highly competitive niche. Would you try out perfect tools for reaching out to customers? Fill out the get the quote page, and we’ll contact you within 24 hours to discuss details.
Originally published on 2016-12-20, updated on 2021-12-09