Analytics can help improve efficiency and work within almost any industry that comes to mind. The hype around big data and analytics is evident everywhere you look – even in relation to how these phenomena will transform the contact center. While this is nothing new, chances are, even if you’re already using analytics in your contact center, you’re not using them to their full potential.
Across the board, where analytics are already deployed, it’s often only done in a low-value, tactical way to solve very specific points of pain. For example, analytics are being used to automate a lot of the work that used to happen based on random sampling. Analytics can pick out the most likely interactions that need attention by management – something that used to be done by managers as they walked the floor. Analytics today can also help management identify the root cause of certain issues, helping to understand what drives activity to the contact center so companies can resolve those issues and reduce or eliminate certain customer concerns.
But analytics in the contact center can do more than just resolve issues or flag potential problems to managers. With the right applications, analytics can be used to ensure that the duration and profitability of a customer relationship is maximized, transforming the contact center into a profit, rather than cost, driver.
Picture This: the Future of Contact Center Analytics
Contact center analytics are still in the early stages of use; however, they have the potential to go beyond today’s applications and serve as a strategic tool for businesses. With the right data inputs such as product use behavior, Web and mobile interaction, purchase and service history, contact center analytics will soon be used to help determine and deliver what customers need before they themselves realize they need it. Predicting customer needs and behavior will allow contact center managers to provide concierge-level service to not only their most valuable and profitable customers, but also to identify and provide the same service to those who have the potential to become so, strengthening and extending the customer relationship and thus increasing its profitability over the lifetime of each customer.
Why Such Potential?
Across the board, creating a positive customer experience is considered one of the top drivers for the use of analytics. However, in the past, analytics has been primarily used for sales and marketing purposes – to perform a better segmentation of prospects and to understand how to best market to them. The real opportunity is taking this traditional approach toward business analytics – using various kinds of data from throughout the organization – and combining that traditional data with data collected and analyzed in the contact center in order to make better holistic business decisions. In combining these efforts, not only are you leveraging data on how a customer is interacting with your business and finding ways to improve that interaction, but you are also allowing yourself to better predict how to support and engage with those customers over the life of the customer relationship.
How to Get There
There are three critical steps to developing an effective customer analytics strategy. First, the enterprise must be digitally transformed. Until all or nearly all touchpoints with customers are digital, brought into a centrally accessible storehouse and accessible for analysis, there will be pieces of the puzzle missing that may be misleading. Next, the contact center needs to be reimagined as the hub of customer experiences. Otherwise, the opportunity to reengage a defecting customer will be missed in the spirit of cost reduction and call avoidance. Last, a cultural shift accepting that customer engagement is not the role of a department but the existential purpose of the enterprise. Without this, meaningful data may be withheld due to organizational boundaries or the moment of impact will be missed as it was not “his job.”
The overall state of the industry suggests that contact center managers understand the benefits of leveraging analytics. This is evident in its use to address very specific points of pain throughout the contact center today. However, once contact center managers begin to take critical next steps – such as digitally transforming the enterprise, prioritizing customer experiences and internalizing customer engagement responsibilities – they’ll find that contact center analytics can serve as a far more strategic tool for business. As more contact centers embrace the full potential of analytics in the future, we can expect to see a shift in its implementation – soon providing businesses a holistic view of their customers and how to best service, strengthen and lengthen those relationships.
With nearly twenty years of sales and executive leadership experience in the contact center industry, Brian joined Mitel in 2014 as part of the company’s acquisition of OAISYS (News - Alert), where he was president and a board member for six years. He held prior posts in sales and sales engineering and additionally led sales, marketing and customer service at OAISYS and Inter-Tel (News - Alert) during periods of rapid growth and transformation.
Edited by Alicia Young