Call Center Recording, Quality & Analytics Feature Article

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Call Center Recording, Quality & Analytics Feature Article


March 27, 2006

Root Cause Analytics in the Call Center

By Stefania Viscusi, TMCnet Assistant Editor

For call centers, where there is a specific focus on agent performance and customer satisfaction, resolving complaints or "glitches" quickly and in a way that ensures it won't happen again, is required.
The old adage, "get to the root of the problem" applies best in these situations. After all, to truly resolve an issue, one must really get to the source of why it happened. Combining the proper problem solving methodologies with good analytic technologies can uncover the source of an issue so that the problem of underperforming agents or unsatisfied customers doesn’t have to keep a call center from thriving.
Mariann McDonagh, VP of Global Marketing for Verint Systems, a provider of recording, quality and analytics solutions, was available to answer some questions about root cause analytics and its importance in the call center.
Why is determining the cause of a problem so important in fixing it? What are some of the steps involved in this?
Without properly identifying the cause of a problem, contact center managers can spend countless hours creating solutions that may not effectively solve the problem. Understanding the underlying causes of performance trends and outcomes is critical to determining exactly how to more effectively improve quality, lower costs, generate revenue, increase customer satisfaction, and achieve other important business objectives.
Acquiring and using this critical root cause intelligence requires advanced analytic technologies that can automatically:
  • Determine which circumstances and behaviors actually impact Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Scientifically find the relationship of specific contact center behaviors to specific business outcomes
  • Mine the content of contact center interactions for accurate, timely customer and market information
  • Distribute this actionable intelligence to the people who need it, when they need it … in the contact center and throughout the company.
How can root cause analytics be used to better call center quality?
Root cause analytics provides actionable intelligence on such critical issues as why agents are underperforming, why customers are dissatisfied or why enterprise processes are ineffective. Armed with this intelligence, managers can take action to improve workforce performance, enhance the effectiveness of up-sell and cross sell initiatives and reduce customer defection and churn.
What is the trouble with relying simply on information from call center agents to better business objectives?
Most organizations rely on their staff’s anecdotal analyses to provide business-critical information; a process that produces subjective and often misleading results. In addition, it is not feasible for managers to play back the tens of thousands of interactions in their contact center to understand why customers call, identify opportunities and areas for improvement, and discover how performance trends generate specific business outcomes. Without an automated analytic solution, it is difficult to assess and correlate the vast amount of contact center data and statistics.
In call centers, where customer interactions are crucial, how can root cause analytics fix or prevent reoccurring problems?
Today, contact centers are more integral to the enterprise as insight into the source of performance trends and outcomes is critical to the entire organization’s success. Using root cause analytics, managers are able to access timely, relevant information to accurately pinpoint why a problem exists. For example if call handling is increasing, the manager can determine that it is due to lack of proper training of the agents and take action to retrain those agents that are impacted.
Can this provide ROI? How?
Yes. Root cause analytic solutions drive value throughout the entire organization, delivering critical intelligence to every department that touches the customer. That intelligence can be turned into new solutions that can increase revenue and/or decrease costs thereby positively impacting the bottom line.
In your opinion, what do call centers that utilize root cause analytics have to look forward to in the future?
Call centers that take advantage of root cause analytics solutions will be able to unearth strategic business intelligence and deliver it to decision makers for optimal business performance. Root cause analytic solutions convert simple data collected in the contact center into detailed information on the relationships between performance and business outcomes. Armed with this intelligence, companies can take action to build more effective customer strategies, uncover new revenue opportunities, and maximize performance.
Stefania Viscusi is an established writer and avid reader. To see more of her articles, please visit Stefania Viscusi’s columnist page.


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