The contact center has become the focal point of customer interaction. The method by which the customer interacts with the contact center dwarfs all other modes of interaction. Whether it occurs via phone, chat, e-mail, self-service Web or self-service IVR the customer is inundating the contact center with transactions and requests for information.
Drowning in Data?
As a result, there is a mountain of data available within the contact center. Utilizing this data to manage and improve customer service is a difficult task. The recent Aberdeen research paper “The Call Center: Customer Experience vs. the Transaction Hub” reveals that 56 percent of Best in Class (BIC) companies plan to initiate a strategy initiative to implement an analytics solution.
BIC companies utilize a combination of customer interaction and quality monitoring to manage agent performance and improve customer satisfaction.
Contact centers are drowning in their own data and companies need to understand not only what their organizational performance is but also why that performance is occurring. Making sense of performance data and deriving business decisions from it is a challenge most companies face today.
The first step in making sense of this data is to understand what needs to be measured. By identifying and prioritizing key performance indicators, companies will focus on the needs of the business.
In recent years, companies have focused on quality monitoring. By utilizing performance management and speech analytics it gave contact centers the ability to track agent performance. This enabled them to identify specific areas for improving agent performance.
What this didn’t do was provide an improvement in the customer experience. Besides enhancing quality monitoring companies can also utilize speech analytics for forensic searching (tracking down who said what) and utilizing it as a tool for business intelligence (i.e. identifying customer churn).
Recent innovations in speech IVR (interactive voice response) analytics have allowed contact centers to analyze the context and tone of the customer interaction. When you combine these advances with trend analysis and predictive analytics the contact center management can begin to understand and influence the customer experience.
By implementing an analytics solution, Aberdeen research shows that BIC companies will see a reduction in call duration, while also seeing an improvement in customer satisfaction and agent retention. Contact centers that struggle to manage their data and improve business results need to:
- Implement speech analytics
- Implement performance analytics
- Implement IVR analytics
These technologies provide the foundation for a comprehensive analytic solution which will enable companies gain control over the mountains of data within the contact center. In turn, they can begin to utilize this data to improve the customer experience and improve business results.
Aberdeen is going to look at this problem in a much deeper fashion over the next several weeks. We will look at what BIC companies are doing to get their heads above the water line. We will look at what business pressures are driving companies to solve these problems and what strategic actions they are taking and technology enablers they are utilizing to become BIC.
If you would like to participate in this study it will become available on Monday. At that time, please utilize this link. The data collected in this survey will be published on Oct. 31, and all survey respondents will receive a free copy of the report.
Alan Hubbard is senior vice president and research director for the Aberdeen Group, where he is responsible for customer service and support practice. Currently, his team’s research agenda focuses on the contact center, help desk and service areas. He can be reached at [email protected].