The Right and Wrong Ways to Use Customer Analytics

Brian Cantor

Customer analytics chat at CCW Nashville

When it comes to customer analytics, there is a vast difference between having a bias and having a plan.

A characteristic of organizations more into affirmation than discovery,  a “bias” undermines the credibility and efficacy of customer intelligence strategies.  It blinds organizations from properly identifying challenges and opportunities within their journeys.  It may even steer organizations in the wrong direction.

“We had a customer who was convinced that average handle times needed to be lower, but after benchmarking, they discovered the most successful calls - the calls that led to the best sales results, the least cancellations and the highest compliance rating - were 3.5 minutes longer,” revealed Brian LaRoche of CallMiner in an interview at CCW Nashville.  “All of a sudden, the whole notion of ‘let's drive AHT down' really got flipped on its head."

A plan, on the other hand, represents the centerpiece of a customer-centric, actionable approach to analytics. When the organization sets a meaningful business or CX goal for its inquiry, it can home in on the most valuable data.  More importantly, it can determine how to turn insights into recommendations, and recommendations into actions.

In LaRoche’s example, the idea that low average handle times are superior reflects a “bias.”  The effort to determine which calls and AHT levels lead to better quality, stronger retention and greater sales is a “plan.”

Joining LaRoche for the interview, Chad Schott of HomeAdvisor discussed the importance of building an analytics plan.

"You have to have a plan," advised Schott.  "[If] I'm trying to uncover lots of sustainable revenue, I can do it twenty different ways.  But I don't have the wherewithal to do twenty different things, so I've got to focus on four things I think will have the [most] impact."

For HomeAdvisor, coaching represents a particularly important factor.  How can it coach agents to have the most productive interactions – and create the most consistent and significant sales opportunities?

"The first step we wanted to do was get more feedback, more consistently, to drive coaching,” explained Schott.  “Tommy's killing it, what is Tommy doing?  Can we define the behaviors and practices on his call, because that becomes best practice for every new rep.  We can integrate that into training.”

Featured below, this exclusive Speaker Spotlight interview contains more recommendations, more illustrative examples and more words of wisdom for turning customer insights into actionable intelligence.