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How Latency Drives Up Support Costs (And What to Do About It)

Satisfied users and customers are essential for anyone leading a contact center, customer experience business, or full-solution outsourcing organization.
In such organizations, latency impacts the bottom line. It happens every time a customer reports performance-related problems or a remote agent can’t pull up real-time applications because they’re not working in real-time.
Look at the example of contact centers to understand the actual cost of latency on your organization.
Seconds become expensive for a contact center. If each call takes just a few extra seconds, that means fewer calls per shift for each customer service representative.
Let us assume that the average handling time (AHT) for a customer support call is six minutes or 10 calls per hour. If you have a current call volume of 4,400 calls per day, a staff of 50 employees cannot handle the volume.
The current situation:
  • 10 calls per hour x eight-hour shift = 80 calls handled
  • 50 employees x 80 calls = 4,000 calls handled
If you can shorten each call by just 30 seconds:
  • 10.9 calls per hour x eight-hour shift = 87 calls handled
  • 50 employees x 87 calls = 4,350 calls handled
In this example, the 10% time savings means you won't need to hire additional staff to manage the current call volume.
If you can also eliminate a one-minute wait for system response, that increases your rate to 12 calls per hour x an eight-hour shift for a total of 96 calls handled by each of your 50 employees. That means with a 20% time savings, you can answer 4,800 calls with your current staffing.
But latency is not just a problem for contact centers. Latency can be a costly issue for any company that creates real-time software.
If your customers experience even a one-second lag while using your product, they may call to complain. The more often complaints about latency come in, the more time your team spends handling complaints rather than innovating. And when customers experience frequent latency issues, they are likely to stop using your product.
How to Reduce the Cost of Latency
The problem with latency is likely to grow as consumers express higher expectations from real-time applications.
To reduce the cost of latency, companies must begin by addressing the root causes of latency. It is imperative to reduce latency in your product or your contact center.
But you cannot sacrifice security for reduced latency. Firewalls introduce latency, but not having firewall protection makes you vulnerable to attack.
One of the best ways to reduce latency costs is to optimize voice and video applications with Subspace’s real-time network acceleration, reducing latency by 80%. We’ve built a dedicated, secure network designed for real-time applications, Subspace accelerates real-time applications, lowers latency, reduces jitter, and provides always-on security.
Your customer service team accesses Subspace via SIPTeleport, a global SIP proxy, for the lowest-latency voice and video calls.
Learn more about Subspace here.
Mo Nezarati, president of voice at Subspace, co-authored this article.