Author: Gary Barnett, CEO, Semafone
The contact center industry is in a state of significant transition. An increased focus on omnichannel customer engagement, coupled with the growing adoption of new technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence and analytics, is shifting the way many contact centers operate. When used correctly, these emerging technologies can help call and contact centers transition from being viewed as a cost center, to becoming a thriving profit center – driving increased sales and customer retention. The difference between an effective, efficient and profitable contact center and one that operates as a cost center, can often be boiled down to one thing – the utilization of call analytics. Without the business performance insights gained through analytics, a contact center can make the same mistakes repeatedly, resulting in fewer sales or a broken customer experience.
Traditional contact centers, which have relied primarily on verbal communication over the phone, have long used data to measure their customer journeys, improve the customer experience and increase operational efficiency. Basic performance indicators such as average handling time, wait times, first call resolution and call abandonment rates have provided contact center managers with data points that help them understand the customer experience. However, these data points only provide limited insights. Data means nothing without proper analysis. Research from McKinsey & Company shows that the use of advanced analytics within contact centers enables organizations to reduce average handling times by as much as 40 percent and boost the conversion rate on service-to-sales calls by nearly 50 percent. The firm also found that analytics helped contact centers increase self-service among customers by as much as 20 percent and reduce employee costs by as much as $5 million.
Benefits of Modern Contact Center Analytics
Today, contact centers can utilize much more advanced analytics technologies than the simple wait time and call handling time measurements of the past. Whereas in the past, the data analytics available to a call center were delivered after the fact (when it is too late to act upon), today’s advanced analytics solutions can provide real-time insights into where customers are in their purchasing process. For example, modern call analytics solutions can provide contact center agents the ability to view when the customer is inputting their payment card information, or when they are having an issue. They can provide contact center managers the ability to view the percentage of successful payment transaction calls completed at particular times of day. This information can be shared with sales and marketing managers within the organization to better understand the optimal times for running marketing and/or debt collection campaigns with a payment call-to-action.
The insights provided by advanced call analytics can help contact center managers:
Implementing an Analytics Program
The maximum benefits of modern analytics solutions can only be reaped if an organization is able to take a holistic view of timely data. Timely data is key, as a good analytics provider understands what data is important to deliver immediately, versus historically. Without real-time data, the information is only available after it is too late to act on.
However, too often, the contact center operates in a silo separate from the rest of the organization. For maximum benefit, businesses must eliminate silos and merge data into a single source for greater interpretation. Breaking down these silos enables an organization to take a holistic approach to maximizing operational efficiency, rather than attempting to solve individual problems retroactively.
To implement a holistic and proactive strategy, you must first outline your goals. An organization-wide transformation can only occur if solutions and processes are created to support business initiatives and activities. Tailor your contact center KPIs to your organization’s definitions of success rather than cookie-cutter terms.
Another common challenge that organizations face when adopting analytics solutions occurs when contact center managers and business leaders find themselves looking at too much data without the proper tools and technical expertise to analyze this information. Look for solutions that include intuitive and graphical dashboards and those that enable contact center managers to create customized views of the data and trends they will need to access regularly. Unnecessary clutter can both confuse and hinder decision-making.
Implementing an effective analytics program doesn’t just happen on its own. It takes heavy lifting and buy-in from across the organization. Despite the challenges of implementing a truly effective analytics program, the benefits vastly outweigh the negatives. Keep these key considerations in mind in order to implement your analytics program. 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 contact centers increase efficiency and profitability, but also helps pave the way for their ongoing digital transformation to become the omnichannel, customer engagement center of tomorrow.
About Gary Barnett:
Gary E. Barnett is Chief Executive Officer at Semafone, the leading provider of data security and multi-channel compliance solutions for call and contact centers. Gary is regarded as a pioneer of contact center technologies such as automatic call distribution (ACD), computer-telephony integration (CTI), workforce optimization (WFO), and the integration of contact centers and enterprises through unified communications. Gary received his Bachelor’s of Science degree from Western Kentucky University.
Semafone provides secure voice transactions for contact centres and retailers taking Cardholder Not Present (CNP) payments. The solution allows a call - and the call recording - to continue as normal whilst the customer enters their credit card information using their telephone keypad. For complete security, Semafone's patented technology masks the Dual Tone Multi-Frequency (DTMF) tones from the cardholder's telephone and replaces them with a flat tone so they can't be recognised by the call centre agent or recorded on the call recording system. By ensuring all card data remains segregated and by removing Sensitive Authentication Data (SAD) before it hits the call recorder and the contact centre infrastructure, the contact centre is taken out of the scope of PCI DSS, protected against the risk of opportunistic agent fraud and the associated reputational risk.
Published: Monday, May 11, 2020
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