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How Evolving Technologies Can Drive Better Contact Center ROI

17-Jun-2024 07:23:12 / by Srikanth Balusani

Srikanth Balusani


A McKinsey study found that while 77 percent of customer service leaders say their companies have developed digital platforms, only 20 percent of their digital contacts are done unassisted—even as contact center volume continues to grow. That’s a clear indication of the tremendous opportunity to leverage evolving technologies to drive higher return on investment (ROI) at the contact center, especially at a time of agent staff shortages.    

Though AI garners much of the attention, a variety of technologies have the potential to transform the contact center operation in ways that reduce costs while improving customer satisfaction.  

Leveraging the Highest Potential Contact Center Solutions  

In organizations with large-scale contact centers, leaders typically want to improve the efficiency of handling customer inquiries for several reasons: To reduce agent workload, cut the average call handle time, and improve the customer experience. Some of these objectives drive direct cost savings—for example when the organization can avoid hiring additional agents even as the customer base increases. Other measures improve the bottom line just as impactfully—for instance, when improved customer satisfaction drives higher retention (reducing customer acquisition costs) and generates more revenue. 

The most effective call center operation investments optimize people, processes, and technology to achieve these essential goals. On the technology side, the following are emerging as the most critical solutions. 

Generative AI-Powered Chatbots 

For certain call types, chatbots powered by AI can efficiently handle a large volume of queries without human intervention, while providing a human-like experience. By reducing the operational load, chatbots can reduce the contact center’s staffing needs and labor expenses.  

Gartner projects that contact centers will cut their agent labor costs by $80 billion by 2026 through the deployment of conversational AI that improves agent efficiency and effectiveness. In fact, Gartner sees 1 in 10 agent interactions becoming automated by 2026, up from a low of just 1.6% as of 2022. An added benefit of using AI chatbots in the contact center is the ability to reduce call wait times, improving the customer experience.  

Knowledge Base-Powered Self-Service Tools 

We’re all familiar with self-service portals that allow us to perform routine tasks on our own, at our convenience. Interactive voice response (IVR) systems also support self-service by enabling customers to receive answers to questions that don’t require an agent’s assistance; and when a customer does need support, these systems can efficiently route the call to the right agent. 

Driving greater use of self-service tools clearly has the potential to reduce contact center operation costs by cutting agent workload. As the McKinsey survey found, 65% of call center leaders that experienced a drop in call volume cited improved self-service as a contributing factor. Deploying self-service tools requires a robust knowledge base that serves as a central repository for storing and sharing valuable information and resources to drive improved customer support.   

Integrated Omnichannel Solutions 

The more channels that customers use to interact with a company, the more important it is to deliver a seamless omnichannel experience. If a customer starts the conversation by text and then calls the contact center, they shouldn’t have to repeat the same details about their problem or question—not only for the sake of their experience but to avoid costly redundancy and inefficiency in the service process. Integrating all the solutions the contact center uses, across every channel, improves the customer experience while enabling the company to deploy its resources more efficiently, potentially reducing staffing needs.  

Cloud-Based Contact Centers 

Deploying a contact center using cloud solutions like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Genesys Cloud makes it easier to leverage various call center capabilities that can drive operational efficiency and effectiveness.  

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems 

Integrating various enabling technologies through a CRM like Salesforce makes case management more efficient for the agent by delivering a unified view of the customer, including their entire history of interactions with the company. In turn, the CRM can improve agent productivity, further reducing labor costs.  

Turning Higher ROI into Reality 

Virtually every company desires to improve the customer experience, but no organization wants to overspend to achieve that goal or derive less value than they could from the investment. Getting from the concept of high ROI contact centers to viable use cases requires a holistic approach that combines the optimal business processes and technology solutions.

An experienced partner can guide the organization on both fronts, designing and implementing integrated contact center solutions and processes that deliver the greatest value for both the organization and the customer.  


Topics: Artificial Intelligence, thoughtleadership, Gen AI

Srikanth Balusani

Written by Srikanth Balusani

Srikanth Balusani is Chief Technology Officer at Mastek's Salesforce Business Unit, leading their Technology Services, Data Architecture, and Product Development divisions since 2015. He brings nearly two decades of experience developing and delivering innovative solutions. Srikanth is passionate about leveraging Cloud platforms, AI, IoT and conversational UI to build customer centric solutions. He is responsible for driving the technology strategy for Mastek’s Salesforce Business Unit to provide world class solutions to customers.

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