Tips for a healthy bottom line
It’s no news that cost management is essential for business sustainability.
For stability and growth in the short, medium, and long term, you’ve got to have a clear understanding of where your money’s going.
Among all the elements you need to think about, labour costs can be particularly challenging to pin down.
Even if your aim is simply to create a great working environment for your call centre—you’ve still got to balance the needs of your clients with the availability of staff.
As your business grows, you may end up with a member of employees whose main job is cost management. Fortunately, if you don’t have that luxury yet, there are plenty of established practices and tools that you can use straight away to help make sense of your labour costs.
To help you get started, this post will introduce some key ways you can approach labour cost management in your call centre.
Be systematic with your cost analysis
For effective cost management, businesses in all industries must carefully scrutinise every aspect of their processes. It may feel daunting—but it’s the only way to accurately understand the financial challenges and opportunities you are facing.
The rewards can be huge. In one manufacturing company, implementing changes based on a systematic analysis of costs helped increase profit margins by 50%.
Calculate your cost-per-call
In a call centre, the cost-per-call (CPC) is one of the most important metrics that comes out of your labour cost analysis.
An accurate CPC is a tool to compare costs at different periods of the day, month, or year. The CPC will help you consider how to implement changes to improve efficiency under specific conditions.
Your CPC is a simple index of a complex workplace. A lower CPC isn’t necessarily ‘better’. But it will give you valuable insights into your costs.
Consider different shift patterns
A sensitive and considered approach to shift patterns can lead to a better match between call volume and staffing levels—ensuring that you make the most of your staff.
Many call centres are recognising the value of varied shift patterns in labour cost management effectively. That's part of the reason one fifth of call centres now operate on split-shifts to match the demand of calls.
If you haven’t thought of it before, now may be a good time to change your working patterns to better meet your clients’ needs. Doing so needn't add complexity to your business if you invest in the right tools to manage these shifts.
Get to grips with absences
Absences from work are costly, unpredictable, and will almost certainly impact the experience of your customers. When you understand why people are being absent, and when, and for how long, you’ve got an opportunity to make changes.
It may be the case that your employees have issues you don't know about that are affecting their ability to make certain shifts. Understanding employee absences is the first step to reducing them.
A clear system to record absences can have a positive effect on your costs. Do keep in mind that any analysis of absence data must be very sensitive—in the UK, GDPR regulations since 2018 mean it must be anonymised.
Start your tech journey with workload management software
Workload management software is one way to begin managing labour costs more effectively, with a minimum of up-front investment costs. For example, Findmyshift integrates with your existing software packages, and scales up easily as your business grows.
With low subscription costs, the risks of adopting Findmyshift are very low. If you’re struggling with your labour costs, this would be a great way to join the 45% of UK call centres that use specialist software for workforce management.
Investing in basic software is an easy way to immediately make a difference to your labour cost management. Whether for absences, rotas, or overall cost management, a subscription to a cloud-based service can give you a simple way to collect and analyse an enormous range of data.