Running a successful contact center requires you to keep your customers happy while still delivering a return on investment (ROI) that allows the company to grow. Customer service is particularly important in call centers, but it isn’t always easy to determine their contribution to the company’s bottom line. Putting a number to this value and ensuring senior executives know what that number is helps contact centers earn the budget they need to improve their operations and increase revenue. For example, a recent study shows investments in customer service have an ROI between 34 and 400 percent.
The data that a contact center gathers on customer behavior provides a great opportunity to improve ROI in the contact center. This achievement requires a platform that can effectively analyze and optimize data to discover previously hidden insights into customer behavior. Aceyus’ platforms offer the adaptive technology needed to help you make the most of your contact center data.
How do you analyze contact center data?
Dashboards routinely provide a plethora of data that can help you streamline customer-facing tasks in a contact center. However, it isn’t always easy to assess a contact center’s performance with a dashboard. Using analytics to improve a contact center requires you to consider a number of critical factors such as key performance indicators (KPIs), predictive analytics and touch points.
Once you’ve decided to improve and maintain your service offerings, you need to dig deeper into your contact center’s metrics as well as the analysis and reporting of those metrics. This process requires a clear set of goals to identify the areas requiring the greatest improvement. Gather team members in a collaborative environment to ask specific questions on how you can improve the contact center’s customer service.
For example, agent response rates are a key measure of customer satisfaction. Contact center managers will typically place these KPIs at the top of their list for improving customer service. The effectiveness and efficiency of the contact center’s current structure is also critical to a contact center’s performance. Additional factors to consider include the technology available to agents. An audit of the tools and data that agents can access is often useful for ensuring they can perform their jobs to the best of their abilities.
The overall happiness and motivation level of team members is a factor that contact center managers often overlook when attempting to improve their contact center. However, job satisfaction is crucial to maintaining long-term success. A contact center must also be financially efficient to make the most of a limited budget. Other factors that KPIs may not measure well include the high degree of communication and innovation that today’s customers expect.
Selecting the right KPIs is only the first step in improving a contact center’s customer service. An analytics dashboard is essential for providing the data visualization needed to achieve this goal.
After establishing clear strategic goals and achieving a better understanding of the benefits you expect to realize from KPIs, you need to consider the value of reporting and analyzing this data. Metrics are the keys to the processes, as selecting the right one can provide you with the level of insight you need to make your contact center as efficient as it can be. Key metrics that your dashboard software should track include the following:
- Average Wait Time (AWT)
- First Call Resolution (FCR)
- Call Handle Time (CHT)
- Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
- First Response Time (FRT)
There are also additional KPIs that describe call volume trends, support quality and customer retention. These KPIs are highly useful for identifying your top agents and comparing the costs and revenue of your contact center. An interactive tool like a dashboard can display these metrics in the way that best helps you visualize them for a particular purpose. Our guide on metrics, analytics and reporting provides more information on using a dashboard to improve contact center performance.
Utilize Predictive Analytics
Predictive analytics provide sales agents with the context they need to be more productive and efficient, regardless of the specific strategies you’re using to streamline customer service. They help keep agents engaged and motivated to make sales, which is essential for maintaining high performance in the contact center. The value of analyzing KPIs and other metrics with a dashboard to assess agent performance should make these activities a high priority in any contact center.
Problems with the performance of individuals or groups both indicate a need to drill deeper into the data to identify their root cause and implement measures to improve engagement and motivation. Assume for this example that an individual agent’s performance is consistently declining over time. Predictive analytics provides the basis for developing a customized training program to help agents do their job better. This capability is one of the greatest benefits of dashboards in the contact center.
Consumers in today’s digital age have many options for communicating with businesses, including telephone, email and social media. Each of these communication channels has many touch points in which customers and company representatives interact along the customer’s journey towards a purchase. These touch points should provide a seamless level of support during this process when they all function properly.
A dashboard provides an abundance of information on touch points that provides valuable insight into customer behavior. This capability helps build a team that can regularly exceed customer expectations. The ability to support agents through touchpoint analysis is thus essential for maintaining a competitive edge.
Optimize Performance Data
Contact centers are routinely driven by metrics, allowing managers to focus on trends in the customer journey and retention rates. Senior executives often view their organization’s contact center as an expense rather than a source of revenue, making it difficult to secure the budget needed to make improvements to a contact center. Their focus is typically on providing essential services in the most efficient, cost-effective way possible, while continuing to demand continuous improvements in customer service. The key to getting the most bang for the buck from the limited budget is to develop strategies for optimizing performance. Strategies that can save money while still improving the customer experience include the following:
- Industry trends
- Agent efficiency
- Agent experience
Benchmarking reports allow you to access your contact center’s performance and compare it to industry standards. A comprehensive review of performance and processes is essential for achieving consistent improvement, but managers often fail to do so on a regular basis. This process involves much more than simply measuring KPIs, as it requires taking a deep dive into the customer’s journey to discover pain points.
A review should include an evaluation of
the processes for handling calls as well as the call workflow itself, largely for the purpose of ensuring they align with your company’s current objectives. These processes often become driven by the technology used in the call center instead of the other way around. This possible trend can cause a contact center to stray from industry best practices, preventing it from achieving its intended goals.
The rapid pace of contact center technology means that you should perform a deep analysis of your contact center each year to ensure you continue to maximize its performance. This schedule is particularly useful for taking advantage of any new opportunities for cost savings. A clear understanding of your contact center’s process gaps is essential for an effective review.
Improving customer experience and cutting costs are key requirements for most contact centers, but the best methods of achieving these goals can change rapidly. It’s important to understand industry trends, so you can predict their effect on your contact center over the next one to five years. This process should include an analysis of what customers are currently getting compared to what they want.
You also need to develop a plan for remaining current with the evolution of best practices and customer expectations in response to technological advances. In particular, you need a plan for achieving continuous improvements in efficiency, whether you’re still operating a traditional call center or a modern omni-channel contact center. Ensure that your plan includes both short- and long-term goals for meeting industry and organizational standards.
Maintaining appropriate staffing levels is essential for a successful contact center. A level that’s too low reduces the quality of customer service, while one that’s too high is an unnecessary expense. Contact center managers should continually evaluate the optimum staffing level to ensure they have the right number of agents with the appropriate skills for each shift. The next step in maintaining agent efficiency is to examine hiring practices to ensure you’re recruiting agents with the qualities they’ll need to succeed over the long term. Once hired, even the most experienced agents require training and coaching to meet organization-specific goals.
The quality of the agents’ experience is one of the most overlooked areas of improvement in the contact center, but customer experience is rarely positive when agents aren’t happy. Organizations often focus on the customer journey to such an extent that they forget a good agent experience is essential for optimizing the customers’ experience. Managers must ensure that agents have both a positive environment and the right tools to do their jobs. This process generally involves making agents feel valued, often by providing them with a viable career path.
A regular evaluation of your contact center’s technology stack is essential for optimizing contact center performance. This process ensures that all of your tools work together properly, thus creating an ideal experience for both your customers and agents. Specific items to evaluate include automation tools and workflows, especially those that are newly adopted.
Some technologies for improving efficiency and customer experience include artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. These tools can dramatically reduce the time agents spend on calls, which usually improves customer experience. A technological evaluation of your call center should be a key part of your continual improvement plan to ensure you’re always using the right platform.
Aceyus’ goal in developing its contact center platforms is to ensure that all customer data remains referenceable. The integration of all segments of customer data into a single dashboard allows managers to quickly accommodate changes in KPIs such as call time and call volumes. A rapid response to these metrics is particularly desirable as they can change dramatically throughout the day.
Our platforms also offer a number of other features that help improve efficiency in the contact center. For example, our adaptive technology implements a modern reporting capability that seamlessly tracks touch points for all communication channels in real time. This capability is essential for minimizing overhead costs in an omni-channel contact center.
Aceyus dashboards provide data with the context needed to provide a personalized customer experience. They also provide a single view that integrates all segments of customer data, allowing managers to quickly identify critical changes in KPIs. Furthermore, the analysis of call metrics in real time provides managers with a view of contact center operations that’s always current, which lets them optimize call routing and reduce staffing levels without compromising customer experience.
The ability to track agent productivity across multiple platforms is another key feature of Aceyus’ dashboards that improves both individual and team performance. The flexibility of these dashboards allows managers to obtain insights into team performance that filters down to the performance of individual agents. Our dashboards also eliminate data silos by uniting internal and external data sources, thus providing a complete picture of critical KPIs.
Aceyus can provide a demo of our dashboard that will help you optimize your data and improve your ROI in your contact center. Contact us today to discuss how Aceyus can help you optimize your data and make metrics driven decisions to improve ROI.