It’s been a while since we experienced a recession and had to make tough decisions around cutting costs. With the markets in turmoil because of the worldwide impact of the coronavirus, it’s time to do some contingency planning.
If you own a contact center you may be asked to cut costs by cutting headcount. But how can staffing levels be reduced without upsetting customers at a time when loyalty is most important? Perhaps now is the time to consider introducing self-service options that will help reduce costs and at the same time provide customers with support options that they will actually prefer.
Did you know that a branded customer community combined with a knowledge base can help deflect a significant number of tickets from your contact center? A recent TSIA survey found that over 90% of people prefer to ‘Google it’ when they have a support question. And we have seen ticket deflection rates anywhere from 10-90% depending on the subject matter and customer type. For a large organization, even a 10% reduction in ticket volume can provide significant savings.
A branded customer community means that instead of answering the same questions over and over again, your staff engage in a public discussion with customers (and prospective customers) to create and share huge amounts of knowledge.
Your branded community will quickly become a large database of support information that will be indexed by search engines, further growing your reach, and delivering positive ROI quickly.
Launching a branded community is relatively easy to do with many SaaS solutions on the market that can be deployed in a few weeks. And managing a community requires a very small team of community managers. A bigger challenge might be changing customer behavior. If they have been trained for years to call your toll free number, it will require a concerted effort to publicize and encourage people to take advantage of online self-service options.
Recessions are interesting times when businesses are forced to make changes and take on risk. If there is a silver lining, it might be the opportunity to push forward on digital transformation and self-service initiatives. A win for cost savings and a win for customers.