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How to Turn Your Contact Center Into a Profit Center

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With the right technology, a forward-thinking IT manager can help their business bring in hundreds of millions in extra revenue every year. How? By rethinking the role of the contact center.
 
That was my takeaway from a recent meeting with Afiniti, a company using its patented, award-winning artificial intelligence (AI) to pair customers with the contact center agent with whom they’re most likely to connect.
 
While other contact pairing applications exist, none of them match Afiniti’s ability to get a customer talking to the agent best suited to deliver happy customers who stay longer and spend more while also balancing agent call volumes.
 
At their recent quarterly internal product session, Afiniti showed me how deploying their technology allowed their clients’ cost centers to generate hundreds of millions of extra revenue last year without startup cost or agent training.
 
The best thing about it was Afiniti’s ability to prove to those clients that every dollar of that extra revenue came down to Afiniti’s AI. Afiniti switches its technology on and off throughout the day, resulting in a precise measurable increase in the client's chosen metric (i.e., sales, retention, and reduced truck rolls). For a mid-sized business, the difference is usually $100 million a year in extra revenue — and Afiniti only charges a percentage of that additional revenue (initial deployment of the tech is typically free).
 
It struck me that Afiniti’s approach overturns traditional ideas about the role of the contact center and the status of the contact center IT manager within an enterprise. We can no longer view the contact center as a cost to the bottom line if everyone sees customer interactions as an opportunity to sell or increase loyalty.
 
Similarly, the IT manager can no longer get casted in the unenviable role of “Cost-Cutter-in-Chief.” Imagine if, instead of being asked to cut 10% year after year, your target as an IT manager was to bring in an extra 10% in revenues — by delivering a better customer experience? How would that change your approach?
 
It’s an approach that’s working for Afiniti’s clients. Zia Chishti, Afiniti’s CEO, revealed that Afiniti’s growth in mid and large enterprises is accelerating, including accounts with household names. But you likely won’t hear much about those. As you can imagine, these clients would prefer to keep this edge against their competitors all to themselves.
 
Product enhancements are also making Afiniti’s AI increasingly attractive to more and more contact centers. For example, until recently, Afiniti has been focused on relatively large contact centers. But Afiniti has now developed AiRo, a self-service version of its AI for use in smaller contact centers.
 
Chishti also briefed me on Afiniti’s new product that I think will significantly impact our industry. I can’t say more than that right now but watch this space.

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This post is written on behalf of BCStrategies, an industry resource for enterprises, vendors, system integrators, and anyone interested in the growing business communications arena. A supplier of objective information on business communications, BCStrategies is supported by an alliance of leading communication industry advisors, analysts, and consultants who have worked in the various segments of the dynamic business communications market.

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