Customer service agents are the most expensive part of contact centres. Salaries, holidays and employee benefits are pricey, and staff churn is high. Training is also a significant expense. It costs employers 33% of a worker's annual salary to hire a replacement if that worker leaves. Replacing frontline staff tends to cost $10,000-$15,000.
It’s not hard to imagine why turnover is high: customer service agents are frustrated by repetitive transactional tasks.
“What’s your delivery address?”
“May I have your policy number please?”
“What was the last purchase you made on your card?”
Customer service automation gives you the ability to reduce your staff requirements and reassign agents to complex and value-driving conversations.
Over 260 billion customer support requests are made each year, costing businesses a massive $1.3 trillion to service them. Automation - AI-powered IVRs, chatbots and virtual assistants - can reduce these costs significantly.
Many companies today are using antiquated and inefficient IVR technology, but they’re rapidly on the decline. In 2017, businesses saved $20 million by using automation in customer service.
Low value queries like balance checks or shipping updates can be entirely automated. Agent time on complex queries can be reduced by automating the information-gathering stages of the conversation. Take a look at this:
The agent time requirement is reduced, and is now focused on upselling: cost-saving and value-driving.
In our automation project with M&S, we used Natural Language Processing to intelligently route customers. This also meant that we could eradicate manually-inputted ‘Reason For Call’ codes for the agent because the system can understand intents. This saved 10 seconds in Contact Centre Average Handling Time.
For a call centre receiving 11 million calls per year, that’s 30,000 agent hours saved a year.
… and that’s just a tiny part of the opportunity in customer service automation. Remember the $20 million savings in 2017? By as soon as 2022, that figure is set to be $8 billion.
For a free Customer Service Automation consultation, contact DVELP today.