Contact center executives often mistake treating new or improved IVR systems as a capital expense investment. While that may be true for legacy systems when looking at an on-premise solution, modern cloud-based IVR’s are different. Like our managed CPaaS, the Compass Automation Platform, modern IVR systems utilize a consumption-based approach; you only pay for what you use. And with a consumption model, an optimized self-service strategy with a cloud-based IVR can begin saving you money from the moment it’s turned on.
Let’s examine five typical scenarios where an IVR system can immediately help control contact center costs. We’re going to assign a $22/hour fully-loaded cost for an average contact center agent for this exercise. And we’re also going to presume that you have reasonably efficient agents who handle 50 minutes of calls every hour.
Many contact centers still utilize a clean desk strategy for accepting payment information from callers. This approach typically comes with a long list of drawbacks, from irritated agents to redaction requirements. The chart below shows that the typical length of a payment call is about 5 minutes or an agent cost of $2.40.
We’re expecting a caller to confirm or obtain information about their account for this scenario. The query could be anything from checking available balance to checking on payment due dates. Our customers tell us this type of call is usually 2 to 4 minutes. We’ll use 2 minutes, for a cost of $0.90 per call to handle it manually.
This scenario covers questions about a specific charge or other transaction on a caller’s account. We’ve learned that these calls are typically about 3 minutes in length. That means the agent cost is around $1.38 per call.
Typically, these calls are quick and straightforward and only require a minute of your agent’s time. So, in this case, the agent cost is a mere $0.46 per call.
Lost or Stolen Card
This type of scenario can become lengthy for both the agent and the caller, depending on the existence of fraudulent charges. To keep things simple, we’ll go with the shortest exchange; the caller can’t find their card and needs a new one issued. Such a call typically requires only about 3 minutes of your agent’s time, for a cost of $1.38.
Now that we’ve established your agents’ baseline costs handling these types of mundane requests, we’ll compare them against the cost of automation. With consumption-based usage, you pay on a per-minute basis, with an added transaction fee in the case of an automated IVR payment. Typically, when deploying a well-designed IVR for caller self-service, the minutes-used are less than those of a live agent. But for this apples-to-oranges comparison, we’ll use the same minutes we’ve assigned to the agent scenarios. Here’s how it compares:
Using these very conservative numbers, by adding automation to your contact center for these types of scenarios, your savings could be over $300,000 annually (your mileage may vary). If your actual call-volume is higher, then so is your savings. We showed how automation could help make agents happier and reduce agent turnover in a previous post. Just imagine, now you could make your CFO happy too! With no capital expense, automation can significantly reduce your annual operating costs. Happy agents, happy CFO, all thanks to the wonders of automation!
If you’d like to learn how we can help delight your CFO, contact us, and we’ll help you understand the actual savings you could achieve in your operation.