3 Contact Center Leaders on How to Thrive in a Recession

by Meg Monk

The Recession-Proof Contact Center Toolkit

Get the tools and expert advice your contact center needs to survive – and even THRIVE – during a recession.

Navigating a recession is no easy task, especially when it comes on the heels of a pandemic that brought a massive sea of change to the contact center landscape. Charting a course that will see you safely through requires bringing together lessons from previous recessions while not unlearning the newer lessons from the pandemic. It takes knowing the right cuts to make without defaulting to making cuts.

There's no "magic formula" for surviving an economic downturn, but we can learn a lot from business leaders who have been here before – and particularly business leaders who were leading contact centers during the last recession.

3 Expert Tips to Help Your Contact Center Thrive in a Recession

We spoke to business leaders who worked in the contact center during the 2008 Recession and asked them for advice on where to invest limited budgets, how to retain great talent, and how to help customers feel cared for. 

Expert Tip 1: Your Customers Are Your Best Source of Data

“Some customers’ behaviors won’t change, while others’ will. The contact center must be able to adapt rapidly. The communication channels you offer, your hours of service, and the need for speed are just some of the things that contact center operators must constantly be aware of as consumers’ preferences quickly shift.”

–Neal Topf, President of contact center outsourcer Callzilla

Expert Tip #2: Invest in Your Agent and Customer Experience 

“The companies that are going to be successful and come out thriving in this are going to be those that are looking for efficiencies but aren’t cutting it so close that they’re still not able to invest in their people. Their agent experience will inform and drive customer experience, which does inform and drive brand loyalty. Most leaders will agree the future is an employee-centric, customer-centric environment that is about personalization, empowerment, and mastery.” 

 — Dan Smitley, Strategy and Optimization Czar, Call Design North America

Expert Tip #3: Cutting the Budget Isn’t Always the Answer

“Contact center leaders should ask themselves, ‘Where are we putting our money? Are we going to cut the budget here, and everyone’s going to suffer, or are we going to spend a little bit more to get a more robust system so that everyone can work better together to support the customer?’”


 – Jenny Dempsey, Consumer Experience Manager at Apeel


Want more great advice to prepare your business to thrive in a recession? Download the full Recession-Proof Contact Center Toolkit now!

The Recession-Proof Contact Center Toolkit

Get the tools and expert advice your contact center needs to survive – and even THRIVE – during a recession.