Call centers are a frenzied hub of calls, emails, and chats. They work with a lot of financial records, customer information, call logs, and call recordings. But, these are traditional sources of data that were anyway available. Now, call centers, to be on top of their game, are embracing digital data that includes data from twitter, Facebook, and other social media sources. This data is unstructured and text-heavy. So call centers need to adopt modern ways of mining this information.
Big data analytics is a fast-growing topic in many call centers. It is a necessary tool, which helps call centers identify what is happening to data and what changes are required.
What is big data?
In simple terms, big data is “a large and complex collection of data that is difficult to handle and process using traditional applications.”
In a more business sense, big data is “High-volume, high-velocity, and high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision making.”
Volume, variety, and velocity sound pretty intimidating but it makes a lot of sense if call centers were to use big data. With big data, companies can discover and analyze traditional data sources to make positive changes in the organization.
Big data provides analysts advanced algorithms and models. It can easily be integrated into existing systems and presentation tools. It is capable of scaling with an increase in data flow. Both structured and unstructured data from multiple sources can be adapted to work with big data.
Why should you leverage big data in call centers?
Call centers are customer-centric units. Measuring data helps gauge improvements in quality and efficiency and big data is the go-to tool for it. When data is measured, it gets analyzed and attended which, in turn, helps improve the workings of a call center. With big data, you have more interactions to measure such as social networks. You can measure user’s web behavior and speech analytics to forecast user’s needs. It gives a well-rounded view of the customer.
Most companies are wary of big data because of the costs involved. What they do not understand is that using big data can greatly improve customer experience and lead to a profit. It can handle multiple channels and feed results into in-memory analytics platforms. This will help in real-time handling of the issue and lead to happy customers.
Advantages of big data
- Improves agent performance
When measuring recorded calls, analysis can be done on the important keywords, tone, and call experience. Any change that can or should be made is used in training. Calls can also be efficiently routed to more experienced agents in case those skills match the agent. This routing will significantly cut down Average Handling Time (AHT) and First Contact Resolution (FCR) because the agent has all data required and is capable of providing a proper solution.
- Improves customer experience
Improving agent performance is futile if it doesn’t lead to a superior customer experience. Real-time engagement, cross-platform support, and customer journey mapping are a few methods that contribute to a good customer experience. If a particular customer’s last interaction with the call center was frustrating or bad, it is better to put them through to an agent rather than make them listen to an IVR. Past interactions with the customer can be used to understand their needs and result in a positive experience.
- Helps in cost reduction
Initial investment in big data is what stops many companies from employing it. They also fear replacing traditional frameworks that they have been using for many years. Big data is used to augment these systems, not replace them. It is far easier to use a Hadoop cluster for storing data than creating a new data warehouse for the same. This will eventually cost the company a fraction of their budget while giving them access to large amounts of data.
- Helps create new products and services
Analysis of big data will help create new products that can be used both online and offline. It helps companies target their audience for advertisements and promotions. It gives companies an idea about customer activities in different locations, their behavior, and their background. Pursuing the right customers will provide better data and thus, create specific services and products.
- Speeds up decision-making
The vast repository of information available gives a clear understanding of data that is being dealt with. Hadoop clusters are fast to retrieve data. In-memory analytics also contribute to better decision-making. Integrating customer data in real-time is useful in providing instant solutions. This can be done before the customer moves on to another company’s program.
Big data, though available for a long time, is still in its infancy. Large companies such as GE, Verizon, and Caesars etc. have adopted big data and turned it into a profit. While the capabilities of big data are still being explored, it is a great platform to turn to for staying ahead in the game.