Maximising the efficiency of your contact centre during an economic downturn

Author: Simon Black | Date: 25/07/2023

Economically speaking, it’s all been a bit doom and gloom for a while now, hasn’t it?

Businesses across the globe are facing unprecedented challenges, and being the first point of contact for many companies means that contact centres have to continue delivering exceptional customer experiences even when they’re faced with tough budget constraints and an increase in difficult conversations.

Efficiency is one of the driving forces that can make or break a contact centre’s ability to navigate an economic downturn successfully. By streamlining processes, eliminating inefficiencies and removing unnecessary costs, businesses can strengthen their potential for long-term success.

To weather economic storms, contact centres must embrace innovative solutions that offer tangible results. This means giving agents the correct guidance, data, and workflows, respective of their experience and role. And ensure operational teams have all the data they need to understand agent performance, utilisation, and where processes can be improved.

Here at Awaken, we blend our proprietary contact centre technology with AI to provide solutions for both groups.

Our agent guidance technology guides with the next-best-action, ensuring agents have everything they need, all in one place, to deliver for customers. And our conversational analytics technology gives operational teams all they insights they need to assess the performance of their contact centre.

In this article, we explore how implementing technology can help contact centres to overcome economic challenges while simultaneously enhancing the overall customer experience and cutting unnecessary costs.

The specific challenges faced by contact centres during an economic downturn

  • Increased call volumes and fluctuating customer demands: During an economic downturn, contact centres often experience a surge in call volumes as customers need assistance, clarification or reassurance. Customer demands will also tend to fluctuate as their needs and priorities change in response to financial uncertainties. Contact centres need to be able to handle these increased call volumes efficiently while adapting to evolving customer expectations to ensure consistent service delivery and customer satisfaction.
  • Heightened cost pressures and budget constraints: Economic challenges typically lead to heightened cost pressures and tighter budget constraints for businesses. Contact centres are expected to achieve more with fewer resources, which can create challenges in maintaining service levels and meeting customer expectations. Operating within the scope of limited budgets requires identifying and implementing cost-saving measures without compromising the quality of service provided to customers.
  • Training budgets are tight and agent retention is low: Training budgets can be tight in contact centres and agent retention is also a significant challenge. The training process for new agents can be lengthy and demanding, exacerbated by complex processes and disparate systems. As agents bear the brunt of customer worries and frustrations, stress levels can be high, resulting in a constant cycle of recruiting and training. Contact centres must find ways to streamline and expedite agent onboarding while making the call handling process more enjoyable and rewarding for agents.
  • Differentiate as leaders in customer satisfaction amidst resource limitations: Economic downturns put pressure on businesses to maintain or improve customer satisfaction levels while operating with constrained resources. Contact centres need to identify and implement strategies that optimise operational efficiencies, leverage technology, and empower their agents to provide personalised and exceptional customer experiences that set them apart from competitors.

In times of economic downturn, it may initially seem counterintuitive for contact centres to invest in new software and technologies. But these investments are actually strategic choices that can yield substantial returns. By embracing technologies like conversational analytics and agent guidance, contact centres can unlock a whole host of cost-saving benefits. With the right provider, these savings not only offset platform costs but can surpass them, leading to a positive return on investment.

Unleash the power of Conversational Analytics

With Conversational Analytics, you can analyse every call, email and message to truly understand the voice of your customer and the wellbeing of your agents. This innovative software uses natural-language AI technology to analyse the words and sentiment of your customer conversations so you can make lasting improvements to your business interactions and processes. Speech is translated into readable transcripts while patterns in spoken audio are also analysed to identify the emotion and intent of the conversation.

Drive efficiency with Real-Time Agent Guidance

Agent guidance uses machine learning and AI to present agents with the information they need, exactly when they need it, reducing call handling times and increasing capacity and all through a single, unified desktop. With the ability to perform deep analysis on every interaction, this innovative, scalable and automated platform helps you to understand, manage and influence the customer journey, providing a seamless experience for both agents and customers.

The efficiency benefits of conversational analytics and agent guidance

  • Cost reduction through optimised resource allocation: Gain valuable insights into customer interactions, enabling more effective resource allocation. Cost reductions are realised by ensuring the right number of agents are available to handle call volumes efficiently, minimising both overstaffing and understaffing.
  • Streamlining agent workflows and reducing handle times: Provide real-time suggestions and recommendations to agents during customer interactions, reducing handling times. Streamlined agent workflows improve customer satisfaction and enable a higher volume of calls to be dealt with, without increasing agent numbers.
  • Reduction in training times: Intelligent agent guidance means that agents are guided through each call, meaning they no longer need to spend weeks learning complex processes. The learning curve is accelerated, and agents are onboarded faster, saving time and resources traditionally spent on extensive training programmes.
  • Exceptional customer experiences: Gain deeper insights into customer sentiment, needs, and preferences. Deliver tailored interactions, resolving customer issues efficiently and effectively. This proactive and personalised approach leads to improved customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, positive business outcomes.
  • Continuous improvement: Real-time insights enable automated agent performance monitoring, highlighting improvement areas and showing where additional coaching and support is needed. Bottlenecks in processes are easily identified so that contact centres can enhance operational efficiency and deliver consistent, high-quality customer experiences.
  • Automate repetitive tasks and focus on value-added activities: Automate repetitive tasks, enabling agents to focus on more value-added activities that require human intervention and expertise. Increase efficiency, reduce errors, and empower agents to dedicate more time to complex customer interactions, creating a more fulfilling and productive work environment.

Agent Guidance and Conversation Analytics from Awaken Intelligence

At Awaken Intelligence we’re pioneers of innovative and flexible software to help you see the complete picture for your contact centre.

If you’d like to discuss how your contact centre could improve its service proposition, increase efficiency and realise cost benefits, then please get in touch.

For more information, please contact:

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