Call Center Management Feature Article
June 18, 2014
In the Call Center, Analytics Help Companies Get the Most Out of Their Most Valuable Asset
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor
Most business people today would agree that data analytics are hugely useful to business processes and part of the recipe for success. The problem is that there are nearly as many definitions of what analytics are as there are businesses. To some companies, it means data mining of unstructured data. For others, it means deriving meaning from recorded calls. Others find analytics are a tool for understanding and predicting customer behavior.
All of these definitions are correct, but to get the most out of analytics today, businesses should try to work from a common definition of what it really means, says workforce optimization solutions provider Monet Software’s CEO Chuck Ciarlo in a recent blog post.
“It is the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data,” he writes. “It also refers to the drawing of conclusions from the examination of that data,” he writes. “The objective of analytics is to describe business performance, and both predict and improve future performance.”
“Performance,” of course, can also mean many things. It can be about the performance of company hardware and software, or workflows. It can be the performance of people. In the contact center, it’s often about the performance of the agents offering customer support. Every call center manager has a wealth of raw data at his or her disposal that can be used to identify patterns and make better business decisions, says Ciarlo.
“A performance analytics solution works by delivering insight into every encounter between an agent and a customer, through recorded phone calls and captured agent activity across all platforms,” he writes. “With this data, and the monitoring of KPIs from adherence and average handle time to labor costs and shrinkage, managers can ascertain whether personnel, processes and systems are aligning to meet the call center’s performance goals.”
It takes the guesswork out of running a contact center, enabling managers to evaluate the health of the contact center process at any given moment, and if it’s out of alignment, allow him or her to make quick changes to eliminate weak spots or bottlenecks. It can provide actionable intelligence that will help a contact center understand what works best and what’s not working, and put that contact center into a position to be operating under best practices at all times.
This is vital for a contact center’s success. About 70 percent of call center expenses relate to labor, so even small improvements in performance can save money and greatly improve the quality of customer support offered. In the end, this means that performance analytics are one of those technologies that pay for themselves many time over, and very quickly.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi