When consistently trying to make efficiency savings in your contact centre it can be difficult to try to secure more budget. We've put together some top tips for formulating a plan and making your business case.
Competing for budget, have a compelling outcome from your request
Budget constraints mean project funding has tight scrutiny. Any project plan must meet business goals with a strong likelihood of success. You need to show how your actions align with the top three business strategies. Now and in the future.
For example: show how your Customer Experience plans will drive down costs and improve agent productivity. Then detail the impact for the next two to three years after you have achieved return on investment.
Define your pain points, do you know the real reason you need to change?
Before you start, ask yourself if you are able to clearly identify the reason change is needed. What is broken or has changed? Do you know what’s holding you back and why you can’t meet your goals? If you can’t answer, then take a step back and focus time and energy to understand the ‘real’ reason you need change. Then identify the costs associated with this challenge. Complete a financial analysis.
For example: consider using the “5Why’s” methodology to reach root cause. Map out a SWOT analysis of these root causes. Identify threats and opportunities. Define how they will impact both business and contact centre success now, and in the next two years.
Cost vs. profit centre – what do you offer?
Objectively consider if senior management view your team as a cost or profit centre. If cost centre, what could you do to show that you are making a real contribution to the success of the business?
For example: how will these actions drive down costs in other areas? Will you promote customer loyalty and increased lifetime customer value? Will your team be able to deliver renewed customer focus?
Who’s point of view – only yours?
Take the time to consider the project from every stakeholder’s point of view. Your project will compete for time and resource from wider stakeholders. Others such as IT, operations and management have their own issues. How do your goals impact them? Work with peers to see their picture. Understand if they can identify with your pain. Consider how your project will help to solve a shared problem. Plan how to align team actions and improve success. Be sure to canvas your leader’s opinion. Learn about their challenges. Present your plan with their context in mind.
For example: understand each stakeholder group’s needs and concerns. Consider how your project will compete with or support their plans. Plan to engage with them to keep your project on track.
What is the cost of doing nothing?
Detail how not acting will impact your team and its productivity. While the human cost has a value, be sure to detail the business cost now and in the medium term. If there is no cost, rethink.
Do you know what success looks like?
Success has two sides; the financial measures and the team engagement. Ensure that you have a clear return on investment. Back up the reasons that your project has a compelling priority. Your challenge has a real cost, usually in both efficiency and morale. You are proposing a solution to remove those costs. There will be real benefits too. Be sure to specifically quantify each cost.
For example: ‘we will remove 30 seconds of call time, this will allow us to handle 10% more calls each day. The integrated system means agents will be in control from the start of each call. Currently our team satisfaction rating is 78% we expect that ease of working and confidence boost will improve this to 85%.’