How To Build A Rock-Solid Business Case For Contact Center Automation By Management Priority

5 min read
May 13, 2022 at 3:03 AM

Building a business case can feel a little like staring at a blank page, not knowing where to start at times. You know how important Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are for your contact center as they help extract valuable data from thousands of customer interactions. But how do you translate this into a cohesive, solid business case to get your management on board?

This can feel very overwhelming! To make it easier for you, we are sharing some advice below on how to build a strong business case that will not only be appreciated by your management but will also resonate with them and therefore more likely result in a positive outcome! 

General Strategies On How To Build A Strong Business Case

There are two sure-fire ways to completely sink your business case presentation: a) boring your audience with lengthy, way-too-technical presentations that feel irrelevant to them as they can't connect the dots between their priorities and what you are asking them to invest in and b) failing to back up your arguments with relevant data. Keep the following tips in mind as you are building your business case: 

  1. Identify management's top priorities. Before writing your business case, you need to be crystal clear about your stakeholders' and decision-makers' priorities. Your business case is going to look very different depending on whether your management is trying to cut costs or heavily invest in Digital Transformation! 
  2. Tie everything in your business case back to those priorities. Your management should be instantly able to identify how the investment you want them to make helps them achieve their goals. If their aim is to make budget cuts, calculate how much money they will save by automating certain processes in your contact center (e.g., auto-scoring vs. manual agent evaluation).
  3. Focus on the business implications, not the technicalities. While you should be able to explain the technology in general terms (try not to bombard them with industry terms that don't mean anything to them), you should focus the majority of your business case on how it will impact the bottom line, the contact center, and other business units (e.g., explain how marketing and sales will benefit from keyword spotting and call topic trend analysis). 
  4. Use your own data wherever possible. It is always best to use your own organization's data, such as your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), Customer Retention Rate (CRR), and Total Customer Value (TCV), if it is available. Your marketing and sales team leadership might have these numbers readily available. If these numbers are not accessible, use the closest industry averages that you can get your hands on. 
  5. Be brief and informative but have data ready to back everything. Your audience has patiently listened to your arguments. There is a quick pause and then one of the decision-makers asks a follow-up question. If you have the data to back up your arguments, you look like a hero. If you don't, it is very likely that your audience starts questioning the validity of your entire business case. So be sure to know how you reached a certain conclusion or result!

With these general strategies in mind, let's have a look at how this would translate more specifically by walking through some of the most common management priorities: implementing cost savings, improving customer service, and increasing profits. Remember, these are just examples. Be sure to adjust this as much as possible to your unique situation.

1. Cost Savings

While the pandemic has shifted priorities to investment rather than cost-cutting, saving money wherever possible is still an important priority for many managers. When it comes to Contact Center Operations solutions, this could be achieved in many ways. Switching to a more affordable provider and moving to the Cloud comes to mind first, but these actions are often not feasible or won't provide the expected results. 

However, a future-proof way to achieve a high return on investment and save costs in the long-term is to automate as many repetitive, tedious tasks that require a lot of resources and time.

For example, many contact centers currently only evaluate a tiny fraction (2% on average) of their call volume for agent performance. By auto-scoring 100% of your call recording, you can not only save a ridiculous amount of time (definitely calculate this number based on your internal statistics) but also free up resources to do higher-value tasks.

In addition, in our experience, organizations can carve out up to 40% time savings with simple workflow enhancements, such as the ability to speed up the recording when re-listening, to look at a transcript and see the customer sentiment change throughout the call based on the color-coding, or to view the visual audio track to identify pauses and periods of cross-talking.

Cost savings could be even higher when implementing more sophisticated voice analytics capabilities such as automatic keyword spotting and categorization into call topics. Finally, reporting is crucial for management because you cannot manage what you cannot measure (Drucker). So, be sure to show off how much of a game changer advanced call recording reporting would be.

2. Improve Customer Service

As customer demands are constantly increasing, outstanding service quality is essential. For example, one out of three customers will switch to the competition after only one bad experience according to an American Express study. If they stay, it will take 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience. (Understanding Customers by Ruby Newell-Legner)

If this is a major concern for your management, it is important to explain how features like live monitoring, customer sentiment scoring, in-tool agent evaluation, agent performance scoring, and advanced quality management reporting will enable you and your team to drastically improve customer service quality. 

For example, by automatically evaluating the performance of 100% of your recorded calls, you can quickly:

  • Detect if there is an issue with a particular agent or team (supervisor) that requires attention,
  • Track the success of a recent training by comparing the agent's performance before and after the training,
  • Identify customer interactions that were particularly bad and require follow-up to make up for the bad experience,
  • and much more.

Rather than showing how a particular tool works in detail, explain how it will impact the day-to-day of your team and the organization as a larger entity. 

3. Increase Profits 

$83 billion. That is how much money US American companies lose on a yearly basis because of poor customer service and failure to implement adequate customer retention strategies. 

But lost revenue is only the tip of the iceberg. Acquiring new customers is five times more expensive than retaining existing ones given that the average cost to retain a customer is $243 worldwide. In addition, loyal customers are five times more likely to purchase from you again or forgive any bad experiences, and seven times as likely to try a new product. 

Although it is easy to understand how big of an impact customer retention has on profits, it still is somewhat astonishing. By increasing customer retention rates by just 5%, you can increase profits anywhere from 25% to 95%, depending on your organization and industry. Most likely, you can get these numbers internally. Calculate how an increase of 5% in customer retention would impact your bottom line (even if you use the conservative 25% increase in profits)! 

To connect the dots between delivering an amazing customer experience and the investment into the new Contact Center Operations platform, showcase how the extracted insights could be used to inform the loyalty program or identify bad customer experiences that require follow-up. 

Also, by automating a lot of the processes, you can train your now-free agents to use their active listening skills and empathy to build better customer relationships during their more difficult calls. 

In addition, now that you can better understand what your customer base is calling about, you can better react to their needs. Maybe there is a problem with one of the shipping suppliers. You can now quickly communicate that you are aware of the issue and will address it, resulting in a much better customer experience. 

I hope these examples inspired you to put pen to paper and turn that blank page into something amazing. Our sales team is not only happy to assist in building a business case, but is also filled with experience regarding what has worked for your peers in the past. 

Checklist For Maximum Efficiency Call Center Operations

Checklist For Maximum Efficiency Call Center Operations

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