If you’re looking to improve your contact center operations, hiring qualified agents and deploying a top-of-the-line customer relationship management solution are certainly steps in the right direction. These measures, however, are not the only pieces to the contact center puzzle. If you want to truly maximum your contact center’s value by transforming it from just a service hub to an ROI generator, you are going to have to go a bit further:
Every interaction your employees have with customers generates information, and this information, taken as a whole, is commonly referred to as big data. If you don’t have the ability to collect and analyze information efficiently in your contact center right now, you are missing out on a whole sea of readily available business intelligence that you could be using to improve processes across your entire company.
For instance, with contact center software that can identify trending words and topics from all conversations and display them on a screen in real time, a manager would be able to recognize immediately when many consumers are calling to ask about a specific product. That information could be shared with the marketing department, which could create a special promotion—such as a “2 for 1”—giving customers an opportunity to save money on a purchase and helping your company boost sales. In the past, marketing would have had to track sales numbers for days or weeks to come up with a special offer; with real-time analytics, it can be accomplished almost immediately.
The importance of maintaining a high customer retention rate—the rate at which a company turns one-time buyers into return customers—is evident, especially when it comes to the bottom line.
For example, aggregated research from Customers That Stick shows that:
Rapid growth is the ultimate dream for any small business manager, especially in today’s competitive marketplace, where 80 percent of entrepreneurs who start a new business fail within the first 18 months, according to research from Bloomberg.
The voice of the customer is valuable. In the contact center realm, time is of the essence. In only a matter of seconds, customers can decide to leave your business completely or choose to upgrade their account, solely based on their interaction with an agent. Making sure agents are prepared to effectively handle customers is indispensible to retaining and fostering new customer relationships. Get the most out of your agents with an evaluation tool that allows supervisors to collect interaction data and sort through it automatically for the “golden nuggets” of data in each call. Voice of the Customer (VOC) analysis can give you an edge over the competition by addressing issues early on. While other companies may merely respond to preexisting complaints, your company can get ahead of this curve and begin instituting trends, a huge advantage.
Even when it may not be blatantly obvious, agents nowadays are constantly gathering valuable data about customer likes and dislikes, habits and tendencies. Envision’s VOC offers an interaction evaluation survey that immediately tells what customers ordered, the process that was followed, what they complained about, why they complained, and any possible patterns emerging. Agents can then use this data—right from their desk—to map out what to improve on in future interactions.
In years past, contact center managers were forced to play guessing games when it came to evaluating agent performance. The best they could hope to do was steal a few minutes away from their desks to listen to a few random calls and take hurried notes.
Does this sound familiar? You are a longtime contact center supervisor who has developed excellent instincts through the years. When a trend in customer interactions is emerging in your environment, you typically recognize it before most of your colleagues. The problem, however, is that your current contact center software solution—if you employ one—doesn’t have the functionality necessary to provide real-time data about interactions. As a result, you can’t confirm your suspicion that a trend is forming until it is too late to take any kind of meaningful action based on your intuitions.
For instance, let’s say you work for a retailer and as you walk around the contact center floor, you hear several agents answering questions about what clothing items are a good match with your company’s most popular winter coat. You think a trend might be developing, with many customers looking to make additional purchases after originally calling just to buy or ask questions about the jacket. But because you can only hear one conversation at a time, you can’t be sure this is anything more than just a coincidence. In other words, you are caught in a data silo.
Every company today knows full well that customer service is at the core of its profitability and continuity—especially for a few select industries. In fact, a new survey commissioned by global market research firm Ipsos calls out those verticals that boast the worst customer service departments:
Providing a single first-class experience is great, but if your goal is to retain customers—and it should be—you have to be confident that your contact center is delivering high quality customer service with every interaction. But how do you ensure that your representatives handle each inquiry with care? How can you feel assured that every customer receives reliable, accurate assistance?
Top-notch contact center software that can integrate seamlessly with CRM systems can capture multiple kinds of data and make it easy for managers to analyze agent performance. Such best-in-breed software can produce detailed interaction summaries and reports from multiple channels (e.g. call, email, chat, social media). Reports can be sorted according to agent or group, by reason for the call or by outcome so managers can save time and find exactly what they need when they need it.
Regardless of the industry in which you work, chances are you’ve read or heard quite a bit about big data over the past several years. The concept is fairly simple: advances in technology are rapidly producing ever-larger quantities of information.