Article : Do more with your Recordings
The contact center is sitting on a reservoir of terabytes of useful information.
Are you making the most of it?
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Content continues ….When people think of the various kinds of information available from contact center tools, what first springs to mind is the data that comes from call handling applications. The contact center is the central repository for info about the number of calls that come in, how they were processed, how long they took to handle: in short, all the traditional metrics we're used to measuring in the center. Contact centers also create and use lots of raw information about agent schedules, workforce performance, and about customers. All these data points, collected in applications like workforce management and CRM tools, are important, but they are only a fraction of the total.
What people forget about is the massive storehouse of knowledge locked away in the unstructured format of the recorded voice calls. In fact, because it is unstructured, a lot of contact center professionals don't know that they can do a lot more with it than use it for simple QM evaluations and compliance storage.
The cost of full-recording has dropped in recent years. This has allowed recording equipment vendors to add value to their offerings by providing tools to leverage the actual content of the recorded calls in new and more subtle ways. Traditionally, the recordings were sifted manually by evaluators, usually on a random basis, in order to assure that agents were performing to standards.
But as tools get more sophisticated, they are able to more thoroughly analyze the recordings automatically, finding deeper patterns by comparing what they learn from the unstructured voice content of the calls with what other tools (those aforementioned WFM, CRM and business intelligence applications) know about the surrounding environment of the interaction.
When they subject their massive warehouse of voice recordings to analytics, contact centers often find that they learn much more about the success (or failure) of their business processes and their operations. Diving deeper into the recordings helps them do much more to promote a better customer experience and gives them insight into how customers and agents behave in a wider variety of circumstances. Analytics ties the activities that go on in your contact center together with the strategies and practices that are driving the rest of the organization.
Three Ways You Can Do More
There are lots of ways to uncover hidden truths about your contact center operations. Here are several suggestions for "low hanging fruit" analyses that can be undertaken quickly, with a minimum of new investment and a quick return on investment:
1. Look out for your competitors.
Much of the attention that's been lavished on analytics has gone in recent years to flavor known as "speech analytics." This set of tools, now common across a broad range of recording tools, parses the voice component of floods of calls and applies a form of speech recognition to them. But it's not necessary to go full bore into speech analytics in order to reap one of its best benefits. Simple phonetic word search algorithms can let you identify calls in which customers mention the names of key competitors. Then, you can either subject those calls to more rigorous automated scrutiny using a full blown BI or SA system, or single out that much smaller, more manageable call universe for manual evaluation.
Even manual observation of such a simple thing as competitor mentions can reveal fascinating trends. You might find, for example, that competitor mentions cluster over a particular time sequence (perhaps related to marketing events), or that they resolve differently depending on the skill set of the agents involved. These are easy to spot, and provide solid bits of intelligence that a savvy contact center pro can take action on.
2. Really understand customer satisfaction.
Customer satisfaction is more than just a single metric. It's a subtle, variable state of mind that's really more interesting when it tells you what a customer is likely to do in the future. The recorded calls, when paired with outcome data from the CRM system, tells you a lot about what call handling conditions led to what outcomes, and how the customers responded over time. Did longer calls result in more revenue, or less? Did up-sell opportunities result in more calls down the line? Did customer satisfaction scores rise in tandem with revenue? Did your measurement of the agents' selling skills correlate with actual revenue figures? All these data points are powerful and important, and many of them are hidden in the relationship between what's in the recording and what's in your other data silos.
3. Build better self-service.
No matter how sophisticated the center, controlling costs is still of paramount importance. And still the best way to do that is through self-service, the smart siphoning off of calls that don't really need to be handled by agents. But many companies, once they deploy an IVR, find that the benefits of selfservice plateau. It becomes harder and harder to identify situations that don’t require agent assistance. Enter the voice recordings. The call recorder is tracking a wide variety of criteria and conditions that contribute to the success or failure of a call, mostly from the agent performance perspective.
It's possible to look at that same canvas with an eye to finding call types or conditions that are ripe for selfservice conversion. For example, you may be able to make a correlation between calls that are unusually short: are agents finding the answer to a question very quickly? Are they using a common resource that can be put in front of a customer via IVR or the web? Or especially long calls – can you shorten them by changing the flow of the IVR system? Can you identify call clusters that imply broken processes, not just poorly skilled agents, and then fix those processes with an eye to self-service?
All of these practices are born from the idea that the contact center isn't using the information at its disposal nearly as well as it should be. Though they traditionally use call recordings merely for judging agent performance, it's clear that the potential use case for drilling more deeply into an asset that's already extant is very compelling. In fact, expending a little bit of resource in understanding the content of the calls (and not just their metrics) will help centers craft a much better customer experience, not to mention a more operationally productive center.
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More Editorial From HigherGround, Inc.
About HigherGround, Inc.:
HigherGround develops data collection, information storage, and interaction analytics solutions that easily transform data into actionable intelligence, enabling operational optimization, enhanced performance, and cost reductions. Our multi-faceted, flexible interaction and call recording programs/software are reliably used for specified data retrieval requirements in mission critical industries for customers worldwide. Our expertise in data customization and analytics is reflected by our track record of winning solutions, first-rate customer service, and communication.
Published: Tuesday, August 24, 2010
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