Why Contact Centers Must Secure the Financial High Ground in the Enterprise

For those with contact center experience, do you remember your first big decision? Regardless of the outcome, how might your decision have been affected if you knew in advance precisely how much money it would save or make?


To survive and prosper, contact centers must quickly secure the financial high ground between customer service and the enterprise. This is serious, because nearly 99% of customers think contact centers are important, and 47% rate contact centers as extremely important to customer service.


Three barriers have prevented contact centers from securing the financial high ground, but a solution has finally been found.

Barrier #1 - Data Timeliness

Imagine flying from San Francisco to Paris, and the pilot tells you the instruments are giving delayed readings on weather and altitude, but not to worry because they are an experienced pilot who is right at least half the time.


I don’t know about you, but my answer would be hell no!


This happens every day in business — 80% of companies rely on stale data for decision making, and 85% of them know this leads to incorrect decisions and lost revenue. Additionally, 58% of businesspeople surveyed said they base at least half their decisions on gut feeling or experience rather than on data and information.


What’s most damaging here is when the “staleness” of data gets combined with the time it takes to determine its meaning. So even though contact centers can have real-time data feeds, that does not mean the data is able to justify performance financially fact-based terms executives can understand and trust.


This timliness problem leads to the second barrier.

Barrier #2 - Manufactured Measures

Most companies aren’t lacking data, but swim in an ocean of it. As Forbes reported in January 2022, too much data results in noise and compromises enterprise performance, profitability, and security. They imply companies are overspending on trying to ingest every piece of data they have and then relying on complicated algorithms to sort things out. The Forbes article proposes that the data generators are the problem, not the solution.

For example, take one of the most heavily used financial metrics in contact centers: cost per contact. While appearing helpful, it is in fact dangerous. That’s because it includes every action across all contacts, and therefore cannot be unraveled in any manageable way. It implies higher is bad, when just by compensating good performance one drives up cost per contact increases. It is falsely relevant and can create huge problems for contact centers.


There are other reasons manufactured financial measures hurt contact center performance:

  • Unreliable. They are top-down measures impossible for staff to understand, trust and manage.
  • Overvalued. They give the false impression of financial accuracy.
  • Unsustainable. They are heavily influenced for reasons beyond contact center control i.e., call volumes, AHT, economic events etc.

These reasons conjure thoughts of former chef and food traveler Anthony Bourdain who said, “good food is very often, even most often, simple food”. For contact centers and the C-suite, this means the best measures are the ones that everyone from agent to C-suite easily understands, trusts, and can achieve.


So, while contact centers have always had the best financial intentions, they’ve painted themselves into a corner.


And this takes us to the third and final barrier

Barrier #3 - Entrenched Perspectives

In the Harvard Business Review article, “Is Your Organization Digging Trenches or Building Bridges?, Sherry M.B. Thatcher and Alyson Meister define entrenchment as what happens when an attitude, habit, or belief becomes so firmly established that it morphs from “what I believe” into “who I am”, and it makes change difficult and unlikely.


It’s the elephant in the room.


Ironically, entrenched perspectives make it easier for members of the same group, like contact centers, to work. But the more entrenched a group becomes, the harder it is to consider the perspectives of others, like finance, and this can lead to worse outcomes for all parties.


To overcome barriers, contact centers need to focus on the high ground connecting all business units. They need to secure the shared need for money.

Securing the high ground for your contact centers

To secure the financial high ground contact centers need to instantly transform their ocean of data into simple, easy to understand financial results everyone can understand and trust. This includes agents.


Four steps must be taken:


  1. Financial measures must be bottom-up.
  2. Results must fuse every contact center measure to its exact dollar value in near real-time.
  3. Agent performance must be scored equally, using measures that overcome complexities caused by different salaries, currencies, the number of contacts they handle, their job experience, how long they’ve been with you, and how long they talk.
  4. Finally, the contact center must have a methodology for managing the cost of performance in a way everyone has an equal ability to achieve.

Turn performance barriers into speed bumps

WiserOwl technology and methodology has proven to secure the financial high ground for contact centers, helping them to gain more than $1,000,000 for every 100 agents in less than 1 year.



go beyond traditional metrics, and secure Your contact centers financial high ground

Too see how financially optimized your contact center is performing, WiserOwl can provide a view of your operation without impacting data privacy issues, in 30 days or less. Don’t waste your next big decision!