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The US Is in a Recession: Here’s What Contact Centers Need to Know

Replicant’s free resources offer tips and strategies for a recession-proof customer service operation

The American economy is officially in a recession. With today’s report from the Bureau of Economic Activity showing a second straight quarter of GDP contraction, there’s now clear evidence that most companies will face a challenging climate for the foreseeable future.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Some savvy brands might even prosper during a broad economic downturn. Replicant’s Harry Chang has been exploring the impact of a recession on contact centers in a series of reports, providing insight into how customer service operations can withstand periods of economic uncertainty. 

Recession resources include strategies from contact center leaders – many of whom have prepared for uncertainty by deploying Contact Center Automation in some capacity.

 “If there was to be an economic downturn and budgets happened to be cut, we are prepared for them and would still be able to fulfill our responsibilities to our customers partly due to the ROI we’ve already seen from implementing Replicant.”

Lisa Rivier, Senior Director of Operations and Strategy, AAA

Replicant has also produced a definitive guide on how customer service can thrive in an unpredictable economy and will be hosting a webinar on August 24 featuring industry leaders speaking about challenges – and opportunities – related to the recession. 

How Leaders Can Prepare for an Economic Slowdown

While the pandemic, “Great Resignation” and supply chain disruptions presented new challenges for businesses, there’s precedent leaders can learn from regarding the economic instability of a recession. By understanding and responding to these trends, contact center leaders can still position their operations for success and even growth.

While consumer spending will continue to slow during the downturn, Chang presents data from the 2009 recession showing how loyalty created by successful customer experience practices can drive resilience. Past recession cycles have also shown how companies scrutinize investments more as budgets tighten, but innovative leaders have often used prolonged periods of economic unease to seek creative solutions – including automation, which has become a viable mainstream tool to drive savings and enhance the customer service experience.

Contact Center Automation: Built to Withstand

So how does contact center automation aid in future-proofing an operation faced with uncertain economic conditions? 

When an organization relies on automation to reduce mundane and repetitive calls, agent retention actually increases. Employees become empowered to focus on more satisfying work addressing customers’ complex and nuanced requests. By reducing agent churn, costs are dramatically reduced associated with hiring and training new staffers.

Beyond ensuring agent capacity, investing in new scalable efficiency opportunities like automation can also be vital for navigating significant shifts in customer demand. By taking steps to assure customers that their needs remain a priority, organizations can sustain customer loyalty and satisfaction by providing reliable service during unreliable times.

Brands Can Thrive – Even Amid Economic Uncertainty

The Great Recession of 2009 forced many companies to make changes just to survive. But some innovative brands were able to maintain growth and even prosper during the last extended period of a tumultuous economy, providing lessons that can help businesses navigate this latest period of uncertainty. 

This piece focuses on keys to a recession-proof brand. Chang identifies five essential priorities that every company should consider to sustain growth despite a bleak economic forecast. 

Technological innovation and leaning on data to understand how recession forces impact a business are important aspects of this conversation, Chang writes, and automation provides “flexibility and agility built for today’s world.” But emphasizing customer satisfaction and developing brand loyalty are also crucial for companies to consider during a recession. 

How Customer Service Leaders Prepare for Economic Uncertainty

While the length and severity of a recession is speculative, customer service leaders can take multiple proactive steps to protect against economic uncertainty and help their brands secure future success. 

In his analysis, Chang examines data and insight from customer service professionals to present tips for companies to consider. With a mix of customer-focused initiatives, business prioritization and opportunities where technology can improve operations, Chang highlights 10 best practices for recession-proofing customer service enterprises. 

Replicant has also compiled these valuable tips into a handy checklist for contact center leaders to consider as they prepare for an extended period of challenging economic factors. 

How Replicant Protects Contact Centers from Economic Uncertainty

Contact centers are still reeling from unpredictable customer demand and hiring challenges that arose during the pandemic. Now, a recession is set to add yet another level of uncertainty. 

Replicant’s contact center automation solution helps companies automate common customer service requests, freeing up human agents to focus on more complicated calls. As a result, contact centers become more resilient in times of unpredictability.

Using a series of case studies, customer success stories and insights, Replicant has produced a guide showing the value of adopting its industry-leading approach to contact center automation.

“Having implemented Replicant, we are prepared for whatever may come. Whether it’s an economic downturn or a spike in call volume tomorrow, we will be able to answer calls because of the automation we already have in place.”

Steve Bennett, Supervisor of Member Care at the Canadian Automobile Association.

Definitive Guide: How Customer Service Can Thrive During an Economic Downturn

Replicant has compiled this essential resource full of tips, research and analysis to help customer service leaders prepare for the recession. 

Topics covered in this guide include:

  • How a Recession Can Impact Contact Centers
  • How to Prepare Your Contact Center for a Recession
  • 10 Steps To A Recession-Proof Contact Center
  • How Contact Center Automation Can Future-Proof Your Contact Center

Webinar: How to Recession-Proof Your Contact Center

Replicant will host a live panel featuring three customer service leaders discussing how they’re approaching the recession in their respective industries.

These executives will discuss: 

  • The critical role of contact centers in maintaining customer loyalty and revenue during turbulent times
  • The KPIs that matter most when navigating market uncertainty
  • How to approach scaling contact centers without increasing costs
  • The value of a strategic contact center function and how technology can help

This timely conversation is free and will be held on August 24 at 3:00 pm ET. 

Please click here to register.

About Replicant

As a leader in Contact Center Automation, Replicant helps companies automate their most common customer service calls while empowering agents to focus on more complex and nuanced customer challenges. Replicant’s AI platform allows consumers to engage in natural conversations across voice, messaging and other digital channels to resolve their customer support issues, without the wait, 24/7. Replicant scales up or down instantly, can be implemented in weeks and handles millions of customer support interactions a month.

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