8 Ways to Increase Revenue Through Your Contact Center
by Kent Mao | Published On February 2, 2024
Many companies are realizing that their contact center can be more than just a cost center.
Traditionally, contact centers have been viewed as cost centers, meaning they support revenue-generating activities but do not generate revenue themselves.
This is quickly changing, though. According to a 2021 survey by Observe.AI, 85% of contact center leaders said they had plans to become revenue generators by the end of the year.
The first step in generating revenue from your contact center involves changing your perspective. If you look at your contact center as a cost center, you will end up focusing on KPIs such as average handle time and first call resolution, which will help make your contact center more cost-efficient but won’t help with boosting revenue.
Try looking at your contact center through a different lens instead, by measuring KPIs related to sales, conversion, and customer retention. This will help keep your agents focused on ways to grow revenue instead of ways to lower costs.
Read on to discover 8 ways that you can increase revenue through your contact center.
1. Enable sales by adding secure payment-processing
If you want to take your contact center from support only to revenue generating, an important first step is to enable payment processing directly through the contact center. Adding a PCI-compliant tool for accepting payments opens up a new channel for sales, taking your contact center’s potential far beyond support.
2. Hire and train for sales in addition to support
Even excellent customer service representatives (CSRs) may struggle to cross the line between support and sales. Providing sales-specific training to CSRs can help them to better identify opportunities for sales and learn how to upsell, cross-sell, or transfer to a dedicated salesperson when necessary. Hiring contact center agents with sales experience can further increase revenue with less additional training required. Finally, hiring a sales-oriented contact center manager can help build a sales focus within a contact center from the top down.
3. Use advanced routing to prioritize revenue-generating interactions
Customers reach out for many reasons, from asking common questions to making large purchases. You can use priority call routing settings to ensure that interactions in high -value purchasing queues are answered as quickly as possible by agents that are most adept at closing the sale. This keeps customers who are ready to make a purchase happy and keeps revenue generation moving along at a quicker pace.
4. Use a CRM integration to increase upselling and cross-selling
With a CRM integration, agents can easily see customers’ past purchases, enabling them to identify helpful add-ons and complementary products they can recommend. Most contact center solutions, including ComputerTalk’s ice software, have built-in integrations for popular CRM solutions such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics. By combining CRM data and a screen pop function, customer data can be presented to agents even before the call is connected.
5. Add sales prompts to agent scripts
Screen popping scripts to agents has always been a great way to ensure consistent service for all customers. It can also be a great way to increase revenues through consistent upselling and cross-selling. Some agents may be able to easily identify sales opportunities on their own, but some may not. Screen popping agent scripts that include prompts to upsell and cross-sell can help to ensure that all agents are proactively offering such suggestions to customers.
6. Provide sales goals and incentives
Providing a specific revenue target for the contact center gives agents a clear goal to work towards. Implementing a friendly competition and incentives for top performers can further motivate agents to reach specific revenue and sales targets. But it’s not just incentives and rewards that can boost agent motivation. Experts say that giving recognition for stellar performance is just as important as incentives in many cases. You can take employee recognition a step further with a personal touch. Handwritten notes, for example, can feel more meaningful than emails or printed text.
7. Turn downtime into revenue-generating opportunities
In every contact center, certain times of the day or week are busier than others. You can take advantage of those quieter periods by using an outbound dialer. When the contact center isn’t very busy, use the time to proactively reach out to customers to suggest products or services that they may find helpful.
8. Replace on-hold music with promotions
Playing music while customers wait to connect with an agent is standard practice in many contact centers, but it doesn’t provide much value to the customer or the organization. You can make the most of customers’ time in queue by replacing on-hold music with promotional messages of new and exciting products, special offers and more. This can help pique a customer’s interest before they even reach an agent.
Tracking revenue growth in contact centers
When implementing these 8 methods in your contact center, it’s important to track their overall impact on your revenue. This will help you tweak and optimize your contact center operations and make sure you’re on the right track with growing revenue. An important metric to keep an eye on is revenue per call.
What is average revenue per call?
Average revenue per call (ARPC) is a common metric that is used to track the average revenue earned from a single phone call within a contact center. Average revenue per call can be calculated with this formula:
Total revenue divided by total number of calls
For example, if your business generated $100,000 from 100 calls, your revenue per call would be $1000.
You can calculate the average revenue per call for an entire contact center or narrow it down by agent. While revenue per call is often used in call centers, a similar formula can be used to calculate revenue per interaction in an omnichannel contact center.
Adding average revenue per call to your list of KPIs can help you quantify and optimize the impact of your contact center on revenue growth.
Why is average revenue per call important?
Learning to measure and track revenue per call is a crucial step in growing revenue through your contact center. By tracking this KPI over time, you can implement ways for your agents to optimize performance and ultimately increase value for your customer.
Revenue per call can help you optimize your contact center in many ways:
- Workforce engagement – Offer rewards and incentives for agents with high revenue per call
- Outbound campaigns – Design and implement outbound campaigns to increase revenue per call
- Cost optimization – Use revenue per call to better understand your costs and how to reduce operating expenses
- Shift scheduling – Reward high revenue per call performers through preferred shift allocation
Challenges for generating revenue in contact centers
Poor employee training: Lack of employee training leads to inefficient contact center agents, which negatively impacts the customer experience. Agents should be properly trained during onboarding as well as undergo periodic training on best practices and professional development. To optimize revenue growth from your contact center, agents should be trained in sales techniques too.
Revolving workforce: High employee turnover rates can be caused by many factors, but it almost always has a harmful impact on your contact center. Frequent staff turnover increases hiring costs, lowers agent output and efficiency, and ultimately hinders revenue growth.
Unhappy customers: Bad customer experiences, such as long queue times and multiple agent transfers, are a sign of inefficiencies and bottlenecks within your contact center. Frustrated and unhappy customers are unlikely to make a purchase, which presents a problem for agents who are trying to make a sale.
Unmotivated agents: Coaching is a key part of professional development for contact center agents, but micromanaging and poor feedback processes can leave employees feeling disgruntled and unmotivated. Taking a hands-off approach to coaching and staying objective with feedback can help improve employee-manager relations and lead to better performance.
Outdated technology: Legacy contact centers, such as on-premises solutions, should be replaced or upgraded as soon as possible in order to provide the best service and support to customers. Modern solutions provide real-time analytics and AI-assisted tools that can help with optimizing revenue growth, among many other things.
Contact centers play an important role in supporting customers and dealing with common issues, but they can also be a hidden revenue generator. By implementing the above recommendations, you can ensure your contact center contributes to revenue growth on top of providing excellent customer service.
Adding revenue per call to your list of KPIs is one way to keep track of how well your contact center is performing when it comes to growing revenue.
To learn more about KPIs that can boost your contact center's service levels and cost-efficiency, check out our blog on the 15 Essential Contact Center KPIs to Monitor.