The Immense Good Data and Analytics can do to Contact Centers

Contact Centers and analytics

There is no uncertainty in the fact modern day contact centers churn out a massive amount of data. With the number of systems like Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Automatic Call Distributors (ACDs), Computer Telephony Integration (CTI), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), email response management, chat, recording, quality assurance, workforce management, speech analytics, and others, the data that is generated is so huge that the management nearly gets drowned.

In their eager efforts to distill applicable insights, they need these broad categories of reports:

  1. Notifications and alerts in real-time which let supervisors and managers know when there are issues critical enough that demand immediate intervention
  2. Trending and historical data that can be presented in the most user friendly manner and which can be modified to meet evolving business needs

Advancements in analytics and business intelligence have provided the contact center strategists with flexible real-time tools that adapt to the ever changing business needs, by consolidating information amassed in multiple systems to easily comprehensible reports, and solutions. Such systems not only collect, analyze, and deliver appropriate data at the appropriate time, but also enable the leadership with solutions to problems, and insights on performance improvement.

Identify

  1. Who – In every Contact center, there are four stake holders – Customers, Agents, Managers, and the Organization.
  2. What and Why – A vision, which demonstrates what the organization represents and aspires to be, which are achieved by the mission(s), further broken down into strategic goals, which identifies the end result of the efforts and makes sure that the planning and work supports the vision.

Translating Goals into Measurable Actions

  1. Defining Roles, Responsibilities, and Accountability – What each member and the team does?  
  2. Demystifying Performance cycle – Productivity & Efficiency, Quality, Customer/Employee Satisfaction (C/ESAT), and Business Performance   
  3. Key Metrics – What to measure? What metrics will translate the efforts to the goals?
  4. Measurement Methods – How to measure performance against the chosen metrics?
  5. Objectives – What would be the target for each metric, Key performance Indicators (KPIs), and secondary indicators?
  6. Support Processes – How to consistently improve performance and efficiency?

Making Data Meaningful

Any system of measurement becomes meaningful, only when KPIs and metrics for each Performance area are chosen respecting and reflecting the voice of all stakeholders. A suggestive set of relevant metrics would look like:

  1. Business Performance measuring
    1. Customer Satisfaction
    2. Employee Satisfaction/Retention
    3. Cost and Revenue
  2. Technical Performance
    1. Call blockage
    2. System or network response and latency
    3. Interface ease of use
  3. Staffing Performance
    1. Occupancy
    2. WFM Accuracy
    3. Group roll – up of agent measures
  4. Agent Performance
    1. Quality score
    2. Calls per hour
    3. Schedule Adherence
    4. Availability
  5. Efficiency Measure
    1. Service Level
    2. Speed of Answer
    3. First Call Resolution
  6. Transaction Measures
    1. Conversion or Sales Rate
    2. Customer Retention or save Rate
    3. Record Keeping

Now these would essentially roll-up to:

  1. Productivity & Efficiency
    1. Calls per Hour
    2. Abandon Rate
    3. Handle Time
  2. Quality
    1. Quality Score
    2. Service Level
    3. First Call Resolution
  3. C/ESAT
    1. Customer Satisfaction Score
    2. Employee Satisfaction Score
    3. Net Promoter Score
  4. Business Performance
    1. Conversion Rate
    2. Revenue/Cost per contact
    3. Forecast Accuracy

It is Just the Beginning – Don’t relax, not yet…Back to Drawing Board

This is a cycle; and should be validated again and again. Look at the vision and mission very often, and consult with the leadership on goals and direction, as most of them drill down to measurable, specific actions. Question often whether a KPI is really a KPI or a secondary indicator or supporting metric. Take each metric, dissect it with questions – like why should it be measured, and what does it mean to the customer, employee and the organization? Look at the whole system from each stakeholder’s perspective. This has to be repeated till insightful reports are churned out. 

‘Industry Standard Metric’ sometimes won’t suit ‘YOUR’ Business

A metric should help the business, and the standard metric won’t always; for e.g., the First Call Resolution will not work in businesses like Travel Agencies, Sales Support, Field Service, tech support, healthcare etc. So, before finalizing the metrics, it should be thought through whether the particular ones will really be of help or an assumption is made. The wise thing would be to focus more on best practice that would specifically support the strategic goals of the organization than running after the generic or common practice

Measurements

Once there is clarity on what and how to measure, the data sources, most accurate reporting methodology and tools are to be selected.

Common data sources: WFM, IVR, ACD, QM, CRM, spreadsheets etc.

Calculations methodology needs to be pondered over a great deal, whether a standard formula makes sense for a particular business or not. In many cases, “custom” formulas will have to be drawn up.

Reporting options: An exportable, custom report from an integrated data management system, achieved by connecting the various standard systems would work out to be the best.

The focus should be on Variance, Percentage, Average, & Trend for the best BIG PICTURE, rather than raw numbers.