Businesses love numbers, so it’s no surprise that historically a fair amount of energy has gone into trying to quantify paths to success. Examples include the 80/20 rule of sales as well as a traditional benchmark for contact centers that states 80 percent of your calls should be answered in 20 seconds or less.
However, the number we want to bring to your attention is fairly new: The idea that, when it comes to optimizing your contact center workforce through call automation, shoot for 90 percent of your calls to be handled successfully through your self-service IVR and less than 10 percent of your calls needing the individual attention of your agents.
Sounds aggressive, doesn’t it? Well, it shouldn’t be. Consider how it’s possible for your business to achieve transactional call durations of 90 seconds or less, and you’ll see how it’s possible your business can achieve this 90/10 rule, too.
Why So Aggressive?
Before we get to the nuts and bolts, though, let’s look at why you’d want to make the operational effort to achieve such a goal. That one’s easy: Numbers again. It’s been estimated that a self-service transaction costs your business only 5-10 percent of what an agent-assisted transaction does, with some estimates putting it even lower. Beyond drastically minimizing costs, your contact center can also gain significant ground in important KPIs like reduced agent talk time and increased first-call resolution; since customers really appreciate the ease and convenience of a well-ordered self-service option, you can also achieve gains in NPS scores and overall customer satisfaction.
The Specifics of Excellent Call Automation
To achieve this 90/10 goal, you need a rock-solid self-service call automation package that can handle both your customers’ needs and your operational concerns. Here are a few ideas about what such a package should include:
- The Requirement: It needs to be available every time your customers want to use it –no downtime and no excuses.
The Solution: Reliable cloud-based IVR designed specifically for voice applications.
- The Requirement: It needs to be completely customizable to both your customers’ needs and the needs of your business.
The Solution: An IVR development tool with granular control over each aspect of the IVR app
- The Requirement: It needs to work smoothly and reliably with your existing telephony and infrastructure.
The Solution: An API-based structure that is built specifically to integrate with every system it encounters.
- The Requirement: It needs to include all the self-service options your customers have come to expect.
The Solution: Make sure your IVR can offer automatic speech recognition, TTS engines, voice biometrics, and more.
- The Requirement: Good call automation will slant the self-service to agent-assisted call ratio in the direction you want, but your system will likely need ongoing analysis and refinement to reach and maintain the 90/10 goal.
The Solution: A data and analytics toolkit built into the IVR development platform can help you identify what’s working well and what needs to be addressed in order to keep customers happy and achieve operational goals.
- The Requirement: Let’s be honest –Customers have no interest in using any self-service tool that can’t guarantee their personal data security.
The Solution: Make sure your IVR development package comes with a stack of data security certifications such as PCI-DSS, HIPAA, SOC2, VISA Verified, and more.
As it so happens, we at Plum Voice have spent years studying millions of contact center transactions in order to develop just such an IVR development package for the purpose of achieving the 90/10 rule: Plum DEV.
A Real-Life Success Story
So how does Plum DEV work, specifically? Let’s quickly summarize one of our client case studies. MFSC provides financial services to customers across the United States. They realized they needed to maximize their IVR to achieve two goals: Move their routine calls away from involvement with their agents, thereby reserving and improving that high-cost service for their high-value customers.
MFSC’s developers built a range of applications on the Plum platform that enabled the company to separate automated tasks from those better serviced by agents. Plum DEV allowed MFSC to create dynamic call routing rules for transferring calls between its multiple call centers, ensuring that calls were transferred to the agents best suited to handle the needs of individual customers.
Once its automation application was up and running, MFSC implemented a continuous improvement program using advanced call analytics provided by Plum DEV’s VoiceTrends app. The data gleaned from VoiceTrends allowed the company to pinpoint problem areas that led to abandoned calls, high transfer rates, and customer frustration.
The results were impressive: MFSC saw its voice-based customer service automation rate jump to 90% or higher, with related improvements to the company’s net promoter and customer satisfaction scores. When the company decided to bring some of their agents in-house to serve their most high-touch customers, integrating those agents into their automation application was painless because the technology infrastructure was already in place.
Could 90/10 Work for Your Business?
Well, why not? It’s an aggressive goal, yes, but we talk about it because we know we can back it up. Plum Voice works with clients in a wide range of industries, including financial services, health care, transportation, technology, government, and non-profit.We have thousands of successful, long-term application deployments; we are proud to offer 24/7/365 customer support with a 100-percent uptime guarantee. We’re multilingual and global, with a best-in-class cloud communications platform –and that’s not just us talking. In a recent TechValidate survey of our client base…
- 90% consider Plum’s performance and scalability capabilities to be better than our competition
- 83% of surveyed organizations rated Plum’s reliability as best-in-class versus competitors
- 74% realized value/ROI within six months of deployment. So whatever call automation goal you have for your contact center, we would love to help you achieve it. Contact us to get started.