Making the business case for CX and contact center investments

Unify Communications and NICE inContact examine how to build solid business cases that will unlock crucial customer experience and contact center investments.

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Whilst Gartner states that 74 per cent of customer experience leaders expect their budgets to rise in 2020, we all know that these things aren’t so straightforward. Anyone looking for additional investment is going to have to deliver a compelling case before securing support from decision makers.  Given that customer service sits at the forefront of the entire customer experience, it’s likely that investment in CX will practically translate into investments in the contact center.

Whilst “organizations have matured in their understanding of the business outcomes that CX delivers” (Gartner), many leaders will still need to present a solid business case to galvanise decision makers in their organizations into action.

So, where do you start?

  1. Make sure your key decision makers actually care about the business case you want to make

To do this you will want to ensure you ground the case in goals that are top of mind for executives within your organization. Show how a lack of investment in the contact center is costing the company money. According to the latest Contact Babel UK Contact Center Decision Makers’ Guide 2019/20, UK contact centers actually waste £5.8 bn per year on the time agents spend navigating between multiple desktop applications. This is a compelling argument for streamlining agent desktops and combining applications to deliver a more unified view of interactions and SLAs. Contact centers that include a fully integrated suite of capabilities can provide companies with a full picture of a customer journey.

  1. Try to establish reliable links between contact center improvements and business results

Before you create a business model, test whether CX metrics drive target results and delve below high-level contact center metrics to find relationships. Make sure you are confident that you can collect the data you need to establish reliable links between improving your overall contact center performance and financial success metrics. Asking the following four questions might help:

  • How are you currently measuring the quality of your customer experience?
  • Do you measure customer behaviors that drive specific desirable business results?
  • Have you determined the relationship between CX quality and your customer behavior?
  • Have you estimated the effect of contact center improvements on behaviors and financial metrics?

Many customer experience and contact center transformations get into difficulties because those spearheading them can’t show in definitive terms how these efforts create value. Understanding how you will be measuring the outcomes of your initiatives is important.

When compiling your business case, make sure you are focusing on some of the end-game benefits of an overall customer-centric strategy – these include more satisfied customers, increased loyalty, lower cost-to-serve and more engaged employees. It is often tricky to -understand exactly how much it’s worth and how it will generate value.

This link is well established, it provides a clear view of what matters to customers – where to focus, and how to keep the customer experience high on the list of strategic priorities.

  1. Define the customer behavior that creates value for your business.

Identify the specific customer behavior and outcomes that underpin value in your industry.

Link what your customers say in satisfaction surveys with their behavior over time. Start by creating a customer-level data set of past surveys that asked respondents about their overall satisfaction. Typically, if you are using an email or customer identifier (in accordance with privacy regulations), you can link these survey results back to your database.

Analyse the historical performance of these real customer cohorts. Understand factors like: how much less subject to churn are satisfied customers than dissatisfied customers? For each group of customers (segmented as you see fit), understand the short/medium/long-term potential outcomes. Use this data to estimate the value of moving a percentage of your dissatisfied customers to a better status.

Track the outcomes over time for each customer segment that matters. To set priorities for the customer experience, every organization should aim to be able to link their customer satisfaction to business outcomes.

So, you’ve created what you think is a pretty solid case for investment in CX initiatives and the contact center within your organization – now what?

We have previously discussed some of the key CX investment priorities for 2020 – delivering tailored, personalized experiences to reduce acquisition costs and lift revenue (McKinsey), making better use of data to improve operational performance, and empowering agents to increase first-contact-resolution rates.

Since the average cost of an inbound call to the contact center is now £4.53 – 16 per cent more than the cost of an email, 34 per cent more than a web chat and 42 per cent more than a social media interaction (Contact Babel), there is a strong case for investment in omnichannel technology platforms to enable call deflection through automation and self-service, and to supply you with the tools you need to deliver contextualized experiences to drive the business outcomes you want.

If you’re looking to understand the true value potential in a next-generation customer engagement platform, Unify Communications have created a free assessment report which can provide an initial steer on your current contact center costs and potential savings across three areas: the contact center, omnichannel interactions, and workforce management. You can access the quick, easy questionnaire here.  

Adopting market leading, cloud-based contact center platforms such as NICE inContact CXOne can help to drive capex costs down and deliver real operational results whilst making life easier for your contact center agents and delivering a wide range of additional features such as WFO, Gamification, real-time analytics and more.

This blog was produced by Unify Communications and NICE inContact

About Unify Communications

Unify Communications is an award-winning cloud contact center solution provider, specialising in the delivery of omnichannel self-service solutions. Working with international vendors such as Zendesk and NICE inContact, the team can reduce cost-to-serve and average handle times, improve CSAT scores and deliver actionable strategic advice to organizations looking to improve their customer journeys and transform the ways they communicate with their customers.

Check out its website here.

About NICE inContact

NICE inContact is the cloud contact center software leader, empowering organizations to provide exceptional customer experiences with the world’s #1 cloud customer experience platform, NICE inContact CXone™. CXone combines best-in-class Omnichannel Routing, Workforce Optimization, Analytics, Automation and Artificial Intelligence on an Open Cloud Foundation.