Analytics – The game changer for contact centers
The growing availability of data has made analytics an integral part of business functions. Analytics is being adopted by industries for a vast variety of tasks. These range from reducing cost to increasing productivity. Over the last few years, analytics has become a catalyst for improvement in diverse business processes and in delivering exponential quality gains. It is being used by practically everyone, ranging from retailers to banks, logistics companies, pharmaceutical companies, manufacturing and governments.
Recent developments have seen analytics starting to perform a relatively new function. It is being widely deployed to uncover new knowledge and insights. Additionally, with real time data becoming more pervasive, predictive analytics is changing the way business is done.
Customer contact centers are far more complex today than they were a decade ago. Modern contact centers manage customers with diverse needs. These range from technical support to billing and payment assistance, service enhancement to product information. Simultaneously, customers are also using diverse channels such as web, mobile, voice, chat and social media to interact with a contact center. Providing a consistent and seamless experience across these channels has become a major challenge.
As technology has improved, customer expectations from contact centers have also grown. Additionally, with most customers being able to solve simple issues with self-help options, the complexity of the issues being reported to contact centers has increased. So customers have become impatient and expect agents to have comprehensive information about them and resolve their problems almost instantly. Given that vast amounts of data are available – from sources such as CRM, Knowledge Base, ERP, social media etc. – this should not be a problem. We believe that customer service can not only be improved, but can be extended to upsell, cross sell, reduce churn and take care of quality and compliance using data and analytics.
The need for change
The trouble is with current processes. They are far too cumbersome and expensive. Studies have shown that:
What contact centers have so far focused on is making processes more rugged and dependable. They have channelled their energies in dealing with agent scheduling, optimizing infrastructure and improving capacity planning.
On the operations floor, studies have shown that the first 60 to 90 seconds of a call are often the most crucial for making an impact on outcomes and on customer satisfaction. Unfortunately, agents face several challenges in utilizing these first few seconds to their fullest potential. Agents have been left to manually verify customer information; toggle between several systems and technologies; follow lengthy decision trees that can lead to incorrect diagnosis; they have poor visibility to widespread issues and topics that can help in faster problem resolution; and they lack the right information to initiate cross sell and upsell activity. More importantly, there is no way for agents to be aware of customer incidents during their entire lifecycle and are often clueless regarding problems that happen outside the scope of customer support. Tools have been designed and refined for agents with efficiency in mind, but are not intuitive and easy to use that can help with reducing stress or pressure.
The focus of contact centers needs to shift. They need to position themselves so that they can meet new age customer expectations and improve business outcomes. Analytics can play an important role in doing this. It can help make the operations in contact centers simpler and more agent friendly – and thereby positively impact customer experience.
An analytics-based solution between the customer and the agent improves both, agent performance and customer experience. This is the Next Generation Customer Experience (NGCE) platform.
The solution - Next Generation Customer Experience (NGCE) platform
Contact centers have access to massive amounts of customer data -- from past interactions and purchase behavior, order history, product usage, credit ratings, payment preferences, surveys, social media, channel usage, CRM, ERP, etc. The data exists in siloes. Leveraging it has always been sub-optimal. The NGCE platform seamlessly stitches together relevant data, using analytics to generate actionable insights.
What the NGCE platform does is automate most activities for the agent, using a layer of analytics to accurately anticipate customer needs – even before the customer begins to articulate them. This means that a customer may first open a ticket on a chat platform or over a call, but the information gleaned across channels and databases will be presented to the agent in a single consolidated view. The platform components quickly analyze the customer data and guide the agent towards problem/ call resolution. More importantly, this leads to a better start where those first few crucial seconds of the conversation can be utilized properly to positively impact customer satisfaction.
From the agent’s perspective, the NGCE platform is a flexible system that can be customized to ensure the highest level of work comfort. Agents have access to everything they need to service a customer request, including the end-to-end data stream that gives a complete picture of the entire life cycle of the customer. Therefore, they are more relaxed attending to customers, eventually allowing for better outcomes.
In short, the NGCE platform follows a 4-step framework for effective customer experience management:
Seven elements of the NGCE platform
A ground breaking future
The ground breaking predictive capabilities that lie at the core of the NGCE platform can improve agent performance and radically alter customer experience. Analytics therefore holds the possibility of transforming the operational and financial performance of contact centers. More specifically, the NGCE platform can:
For contact centers that have only seen slow, incremental change for the last decade, analytics presents a significant leap in the way customers are managed and retained. More importantly, with a platform such as the NGCE, contact centers can begin to leverage the wealth of information they have on customers, but which they have struggled to turn into a productive asset.