In today’s digital age, data is the fuel that organizations need to be successful, and that is particularly true for the contact center. Call and contact centers – or any business seeking digital transformation – can only reach peak performance by leveraging data analytics. With the insights gained from data analytics, firms can not only maximize operational efficiency, but can also conduct near instantaneous workforce analysis, identify new best practices, measure the impact of changes in real time, and identify new revenue streams and opportunities.
Contact centers have long used technology to measure numerous aspects of the customer journey to improve both customer experience and operational success. Examples include the collection, logging and analysis of data related to, among others:
- Average call time
- Average wait time, or average time in queue
- First call resolution
- And the dreaded, call abandonment rate
In the past, these very basic call measurements were primarily generated in a piecemeal fashion, with each disparate system reporting to its limited capability and insight. To gain even a semblance of comprehensive reporting, multiple systems would need to be polled and cobbled together by system operators.
Logging isolated data points can only get an organization so far. Data doesn’t mean anything without analysis. The capabilities brought forth by modern analytics platforms bring a number of benefits including:
- Allowing for the cross-indexing of disparate systems
- Real-time reporting of efficiencies
- Instantaneous and immediate insight into the impact of process changes
- Providing a true means of identifying, testing, proving and realizing new streams of potential revenue.
Before we explore the other myriad benefits of leveraging analytics in your contact center, let’s first dive into some of the most common challenges.
Challenges in Implementing Contact Center Analytics
As Guy Benjamin writes on the McKinsey blog, “Many companies have call centers that function in silos. The centers generate plenty of data, but companies don’t have a systematic approach for aggregating that data into a single source of truth so that managers can make sense of it. Other companies buy a set of ad hoc solutions and assets to solve individual problems, rather than developing a strategic approach built around a single integrated platform.”
At the same time, many contact center managers may find themselves with too much data and not know what to do with it. Turning all that data into actionable information becomes very difficult without the proper tools to synthesize it and present it in an easily digestible format. To make matters more difficult, many organizations lack employees with the technical expertise to analyze this information, and are therefore unable to make use of it.
Benefits of Contact Center Analytics
Despite several challenges to implementing a truly effective analytics program, the benefits vastly outweigh the negatives. As Jeanne Landau explains in Customer Think, by implementing analytics into the organization’s larger business strategy, “managers of call centers are able to identify specific customer behaviors associated with positive outcomes, determine and resolve core issues by analyzing problematic customer-agent interactions and develop best practices intended to streamline overall operations of their call center.”
Among the many benefits of contact center analytics, here are just a few:
- Improved Quality of Service & Customer Experience – analytics can help identify points of friction for your customers and highlight the necessary steps to solve them, resulting in a better customer experience all around
- Reduced Operating Costs – by reducing key metrics such as average handling time and improving the first call resolution rate, agents will operate more efficiently and customers’ issues will be resolved more quickly, reducing the number of callbacks and thus helping to lower operating costs
- Better Insight into the Customer Journey – the customer journey of today no longer follows a straight track, and by tying up all the loose ends, contact centers will gain better insight into the full path their customers take to get to a sale
- Identification of Upselling & Revenue Generation Opportunities – with clearer insight into where customers are along their journey, agents can more easily identify opportunities for upselling, resulting in greater revenue
- Effective Planning – analyzing purchasing or payment behavior over specific time periods to understand the optimum days or times for outbound campaigns and promotions
- Lower Customer Attrition Rates – when your customers feel better served and more satisfied, they’re less likely to leave, resulting in lower rates of turnover
Best Practices for Building an Effective Contact Center Analytics Program
Implementing an effective analytics program doesn’t just happen, it takes heavy lifting and buy in from across the organization. We’ve gathered a number of best practices to help smooth the implementation process and to make your endeavor more successful:
- Design dashboards to clearly communicate key points quickly
Take into account the context and device on which agents and managers will regularly access their dashboards. Unnecessary clutter can both confuse and hinder decision-making.
- Provide information, not data
There is a major difference between data and information: data needs to be analyzed, and it takes time and resource to do it correctly. Information does not require analysis; instead, it provides a sound basis for decision making.
- Analysis must be timely
Contact center managers need to know what is happening in real time in order to make effective decisions. The most effective analytics platforms provide user-definable time parameters that can be set over a variety of time periods so contact center managers can recognize, track and predict trends toward increased efficiency and profitability.
- Users need control
All users are different. Different team members have differing goals. A solution should be able to provide the specific analysis each requires to complete their tasks so that each department within an organization can isolate the information and trends most pertinent to their role.
- Consider goals holistically, from the entire business’ perspective
Business initiatives can be strategic, operational, analytical or tactical. Digital transformation can only occur if solutions and processes are tuned to support each of these business initiatives and activities to their own definitions of success. Make sure KPIs reflect these goals.
Analysis Delivers Intelligence
To provide businesses with the data-driven intelligence they need, Semafone has introduced Intelligence+, a new solution that integrates with our award-winning Cardprotect Voice+ solution, to deliver real-time data on customers’ payment transactions as they occur across the contact center. Intelligence+ provides advanced analytical capabilities beyond those of the standard business intelligence tools used in contact centers today, giving businesses deeper insights into their payment platforms’ performance.
With Intelligence+, businesses gain valuable call management insights, including the ability to view the percentage of successful payment transaction calls at particular times of day. This can be used to empower sales and marketing campaign managers with accurate information on the optimal times for running marketing and/or debt collection campaigns with a payment call-to-action. They can also import the data into their own database management systems (DBMS) to develop and generate custom reports, querying data from across the contact center to gain detailed insights into average handling time (AHT), first call resolution and much more, in order to improve efficiency and customer experience.
With our vast expertise helping shape the transformation of one-dimensional call centers into omnichannel customer contact centers, we at Semafone spent a lot of time thinking about analytics best practices and the key areas of focus for our customers. We develop our solutions to not only address requests that customers ask for today, but also by anticipating what their needs will be in the future.
Intelligence Equals Profitability
Effective analytics platforms must provide actionable information at a glance for organizations to then make use. With the intelligence gained through powerful, real-time analytics, businesses can improve sales and marketing campaigns, provide a better working environment for agents, reduce agent turnover and increase customer satisfaction with a positive brand experience. This not only helps businesses increase efficiency and profitability, but also helps pave the way for their ongoing digital transformation to become the multi-channel, customer contact center of tomorrow. To learn more about how analytics from Intelligence+ can provide insight into your contact center operations, check out our solution brief.