Scaling your customer service team as your business grows can be a daunting task.
The time involved to recruit, hire, manage and train employees can be overwhelming, especially for fast growing companies or those with large seasonal swings.
Unfortunately, the business model for engaging a contact center has not caught up with the rest of the industry: companies have to enter into long term deals often with little recourse for poor performance, which can lead them stuck in agreements that don’t meet their needs.
At ArenaCX, we are trying to fix the industry model by bringing market principles and transparency to deliver better support to customers, KPI improvement for businesses, and increases in revenue and margins for contact centers.
So, how are we doing that?
Well, it starts with our approach to engaging contact centers.
Traditionally, there is a long RFP process to select a contact center, and even after a vendor is selected there are often multiple back-and-forths on the contract terms before the contract is signed and the engagement can truly start.
Because the process can be so long and arduous for both sides, these deals are typically long-term commitments for a fixed number of agents.
ArenaCX aims to remove the friction from this process by pre-screening BPOs invited into our network and establishing a universal set of terms for all parties engaging on the marketplace.
When you work with us, our team will assess your needs and determine the number of contact center partners we recommend for your business. Your dedicated account manager will also put together a short-list of partners we recommend for your business. It’s then up to you to select the partner(s) and negotiate pricing.
You can control the volume you send to your new partners, giving you the ability to test and trial out new BPO partners. With ArenaCX, you don’t run the risk of getting stuck with a contract center who had the best powerpoint presentation only to find out they weren’t the best partner for your business.
If you run a Customer Service team, you know that you need to be really good at forecasting your future ticket volume because of the impact it has on your staffing decisions. This is especially true if you use external contact centers and are in long-term agreements for a fixed number of agents.
Businesses that engage directly with BPOs and find themselves growing faster than expected or having seasonal peaks, may find that it can be slow to get additional agents added to their account causing long customer wait times.
If the opposite happens and the business isn’t growing as fast as anticipated or is affected by poor macroeconomic conditions, the business may actually need less agents than the number contracted, resulting in unnecessary costs during tough times.
ArenaCX is correcting this staffing supply-demand imbalance by forecasting and planning for capacity based on the true unit of demand: customer tickets.
Our built-in forecasting tool uses a company’s ticket history to create a statistical forecast of expected demand. Your success manager will then work with you to layer on forecasts for planned events like sales, product launches, etc. These forecasts give our contact center partners the ability to plan for your expected volume, so they staff up on their side to meet your increased needs. Similarly, if you have seasonal lulls, you aren’t stuck paying for agents that you don’t need. A win for you, your customers, and the contact center partner.
If your support volume reaches a level where we can forecast it with a degree of confidence, you can pay by the ticket so your support labor costs are actually aligned with your revenue.
While contracts are entered into in good faith hoping for a successful relationship between the two parties, sometimes it’s just not a natural fit.
Because typical BPO contracts are structured more like staffing agencies (X agents for Y hours/day at a rate of $Z/hour) than true value-adding partners, compensation for the contract center is relatively fixed. As a result, if an external contact center isn’t performing as well as was hoped (for example, the quality of the support provided is lackluster or the team isn’t efficient), it may require significant time on the company’s side to actively manage the relationship to get things (back) on track.
This fixed compensation structure is also a disadvantage to the contact center because they don’t benefit if their agents are delivering exceptional support, other than from the hopes that the business continues to do well and the contract is extended.
ArenaCX corrects the inherent misalignment in the standard company-BPO relationship by bringing market dynamics and competition into the mix.
A part of the software underpinning the marketplace, ArenaCX’s routing engine awards tickets based on real-time performance. If a team or agent performs better on a specific type of ticket than other teams or agents, they will receive more of that same type of ticket, all else being held equal. This leads to a virtuous cycle of metric improvement and teams playing to their strengths.
For the first time, BPOs are truly incentivized to perform well, so they can earn a bigger share of your business.
Plus, performance scores and traffic queues are monitored in real-time. So, should a team or agent be in a state of SLA-breach that exceeds your tolerance, ArenaCX will automatically decrease that team’s share of the incoming traffic to prevent the “piling on” of interactions to a team that is in backlog. This proactive queue monitoring saves you the management burden of tracking BPO performance and gives you peace of mind that your customers are being handled by the right agents.
“With ArenaCX, Republic Wireless now has support capacity that adjusts dynamically with ticket demand, has BPO’s who are trusted partners with aligned incentives and operational freedom, and a business model that automatically drives continuous improvement. And these improvements were on the order of a 30% total cost-to-serve decrease with equally dramatic improvements in every single KPI. Results which have been sustained for 3 years and counting.”
–Chris Chuang, CEO, Republic Wireless
How it’s done
The ArenaCX software platform is highly configurable. Because companies may manage different parts of their business according to different strategies or business rules, and because businesses may have different leaders accountable for different segments of the operations, we have designed our software architecture to support any customer service operation.
During onboarding, an ArenaCX success manager will meet with you to understand your business, support goals and the KPIs that matter most to your business. Your success manager will then work with you to configure your scorecard to accomplish your goals and optimize how your tickets are allocated.
Getting started with ArenaCX is easy. The software sits on top of your existing support tool suite, and gives you instant access to our network of vetted BPO partners.
If you have existing relationships with BPOs or an internal support team, you can utilize the ArenaCX software to continue to ensure they receive their necessary ticket volume, while tapping the marketplace to handle any unforeseen peaks. Leverage the ArenaCX software to see how your existing teams’ performance truly stacks up against the competition.
If you want a low risk and flexible way to explore contact center partnerships, we’d love to help.