What to aim for with your Contact Center Budget

What to aim for with your Contact Center Budget

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It is most certainly true! Managing in a contact center can be very (very) stressful. But much of the stress I witness and get asked about doesn’t have to be as stressful as it’s made out to be. One of the biggest stress creators that seems to be most prevalent across a wide range of contact centers is the contact center budget process.

What to aim for with your Contact Center Budget

Like so many other things in our lives, if we focus on certain things instead of others, we increase the prominence of our problems made worse still because of our errant attempts to fix these problems.

Budgeting in your contact center can cover a lot of different areas. I have seen some that were fairly simple and only focused on staff and I have seen some very complex budgets that went well beyond staff to include allocations for each individual department that are supported by the contact center and for the departments that support the contact center.

What you must consider

Budgeting for some contact center leaders can be a several month process. But regardless of your budget burden, there’s one thing I want you to look at, and consider not cutting, because it will cause you to be pushed to cut more.

Your Voice of the Customer program is definitely not the place you want to try to cut out costs. If you are considering cutting your survey length to save a dollar, I warn you. You are going down a rabbit hole (it’s a bad idea). Making your surveys shorter in order to save money may actually cost you ten times more in the long run.

The unfortunate noise is that a lot of people think that keeping a survey very short is the right answer. And I have even heard several so-called experts say the same thing. But being penny-wise will make you pound-foolish.

Cutting surveys to make them briefer is short-minded. You will most likely lose some really important pieces of information that you could capture and which really get to the value concept. The value of the entire program will be undermined and the albeit reduced spending can all become a waste of resources.

Why it “seems” simple

We see it almost all of the time. Most survey programs in contact centers are setup for failure. They are constructed from a feedback-mindset instead of a performance-mindset. If you are merely thinking feedback, then reducing or minimizing customer feedback is a simple-minded decision. I can cut costs and just not have as much feedback. I’m done.

However, the customer feedback-mindset is very low value.

Get more “value” minded

customers-grade-the-callsDo you need to improve agent and company performance? Do you need to be both efficient and effective? Then you need a performance-mindset. With a performance-mindset, your surveys take on a very different objective and value proposition. Agent quality and performance improvement is where the big ROI is in Voice of the Customer programs. Do you want to cut ROI? No way. We all know that you get what you pay for. The key is paying the smart amount with the right mindset.

Lower your Stress

It is most certainly true! Managing in a contact center is very (very) stressful. But much of the stress is self-inflicted. It’s time to get value minded. And what is more valuable than your agents and your customers? Ask this question to whomever approves your budget!

About Jim Rembach

Jim Rembach is a panel expert with the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) and an SVP for Customer Relationship Metrics (CRM). Jim spent many years in contact center operations and leverages this to help others. He is a certified Emotional Intelligence (EQ) practitioner and frequently quoted industry expert. Call Jim at 336-288-8226 if you need help with customer-centric enhancements.

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