The contact center is the primary driver of a good customer experience. Growing maturity in data collection, social, and voice analytics is driving decision making in the contact center. However, so much valuable information goes unused and unconverted into a better customer experience. The manual tools at the disposal of operators and managers in the contact center cannot keep up with the amount of data coming at them.
If you are a contact center leader looking to get into the data game, then you are well aware that the contact center has been the last to innovate. Contact centers remain a make-or-break customer experience touch point that has largely gone unchanged. The problem is that they lack the tools to effectively turn the data into real-time actions. This status quo does not just slow progress, it hinders business performance.
Your enterprise is swimming in data, and that can be a good thing. But if you lack the tools to harness and trigger real-time actions from the data, efforts to improve the customer experience beyond current standards are bound to fail.
Are you able to enhance productivity when your agents experience downtime? Can you give agents options to enhance their training in the moment? Voice and social analytics produce a tremendous amount of data, but it is nearly impossible to sift through it all quickly enough to take advantage of the real-time opportunities your business wants and needs to pursue.
Also, given legacy technologies in the contact center, the data collected on customers through multiple channels often aren’t operationalized at the agent level. The type of technology that CIOs are looking for can turn piles of data into immediate customer experience optimization for customer-facing workforces. This type of technology, known as intraday automation, involves using otherwise siloed data and triggering real-time workforce adjustments during the work day. The name “intraday” stems from the contact center term of real-time teams that exist to obsess over the multitude of things that occur throughout the day.
This approach debunks the myth that contact center managers have long been resigned to accept: That idle time is the nature of the daily contact center.
Intraday automation leverages data to adjust staffing levels in real time. For example, when a decrease in customer demand occurs, the data can quickly process this fluctuation and prompt agents to begin a training lesson with their open time. Additionally, during high and low volumes of activity, agents can be offered a shorter day or overtime.
Automation creates a straight line toward optimizing your contact center agents and operations. Key business benefits include improvements in customer experience, productivity, and agent engagement.
Marketing services company Harte Hanks was preparing for a launch with a leading sports entertainment media company. The expectation for launch day was 2 million calls and they needed to train 7,000 agents. Instead of manually scheduling time to train agents, they could optimize idle time to insert short training sessions without adding more hours or headcount.
The difference between the archaic manual process of the contact center and using the power of data is monumental. Not only does the expense of manual processes bruise the enterprise with hard costs like an average industry-wide attrition rate of 30 percent, but it leads to customer dissatisfaction. The strongest call center of tomorrow will make a difference by scaling to deliver against rising customer and business expectations. The resulting changes make for a dramatically improved and consistent customer experience.
A Harvard Business Review study found a 240 percent annual revenue difference between customers who rated their experiences as “great” compared with those who rated their experiences as “poor.” Using data to trigger real-time workforce adjustments can provide the competitive edge that takes a business from poor to great. Tomorrow’s most successful contact centers will follow in the footsteps of successful industries like manufacturing and marketing, which implemented smart ways to operate in real time. To achieve an enviable customer experience track record, the contact center’s evolution must move toward more nimble frontline work forces to deliver on the needs of the business and, most importantly, the needs of their customers.
Matt McConnell is the CEO and co-founder of Intradiem. Since 1995, Matt has helped companies improve their level of customer service by enhancing the performance of their agents. Today, Matt is a leader in the contact center market. He is the author of Customer Service at a Crossroads and holds 11 software patents. He graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in industrial and systems engineering.
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