6 Ways Customer Analytics Will Empower Agents, Improve the Experience



Brian Cantor
07/23/2012

The only thing worse than repeatedly failing is learning how easily that failure could have been avoided. For those customer management professionals who continually succumb to the same agent engagement and customer experience challenges, it is time to face the more disheartening reality.

We blame concepts like customer unpredictability, market uncertainty and agent disengagement for our failing customer experience operations. How can we prepare for a surge of customer complaints when they reach our center at varied rates, through varied channels and with varied messaging? How can we measure the success of our experience if the customer’s definition of that success is constantly changing? How can we expect our agents to develop more meaningful relationships with customers when they barely do the job of appropriately responding to customers?

These are issues affecting many a call center, and the associated customer management leaders are quick to chalk them up as an inevitable consequence of doing business. These leaders feel powerless to avoid the pitfalls of customer service delivery, and they consequently signal to executive management that the costs and hazards stereotypically associated with providing customer support are unavoidable.

Is it any wonder why the C-level, therefore, continues to approach the contact center as a "cost center" unworthy of further investment from a budget-strapped organization?

But thanks to evolutions in technology and strategies for best leveraging that technology, many of the mountains once believed to be unavoidable have become mole hills. There is certainly no panacea for the host of challenges in customer management, and it is equally true that an organization that buys a technology with the hope of instantly reversing its fortunes is likely to only dig itself deeper.

As part of a committed effort to attacking customer management problems at the core, however, technology like customer interaction analytics can prove instrumental in revolutionizing the customer experience. Many of the execution challenges associated with running a customer support function fall by the wayside, and emphasis instead turns to using the customer contact center as a channel for capturing the insights that can permanently transform the business—for the better.

In a new, complimentaryCall Center IQ whitepaper entitled "The US Contact Center Decision Maker’s Guide,"Utopy reveals a host of significant advantages associated with the proper employment of customer interaction analytics technology. If any of the following benefits resonate with you, check out the whitepaper for more facts, figures and details!

Creating More Valuable Agents

Agents are the heart of all customer interactions and often the deciding factor between a good and bad brand experience, and the impact of not properly arming agents with the right skills and philosophies can be devastating. Customer interaction analytics assures that training, coaching and performance measurement are rooted in the personal realities of agents’ calls, rather than on generic best practices and benchmarks, and thus enable supervisors to zero in on problematic issues and turn each and every agent into a valuable customer support asset. The improvements on coaching will also help more productively engage these customers into the business, reducing issues like turnover and unhappiness that plague cripple customer experience strategies.

Key Benefits: More worthwhile quality monitoring, Improved agent training and coaching, Reduced attrition

Improving Contact Center Performance

Even those vehemently opposed to using metrics like average handle time in a modern day, relationship-centric contact center recognize the need for efficiency in handling a customer’s inquiry. In order to drive that efficiency, contact centers must be equipped to understand why customers are calling, what kind of resolution they expect and what processes or comments are producing dissatisfaction. An analytics platform helps supervisors zero in on what really transpires from the moment the call comes in until the moment the brand disconnects with the customer.

Key Benefits: Classify customer calls by type to more appropriately respond, Mitigate issues with call transfers, Improve metrics like FCR and AHT

Business Process Improvements

Perfect businesses are those who recognize the perpetual existence of imperfections within their processes. They recognize that process improvement must never cease. An effective analytics rollout enables businesses to quantify the subtle and not-so-subtle inhibitors to creating a valuable customer experience, and the result is that leadership can leverage a palette of meaningful evidence in determining which systems, strategies and processes need overhauls.

Key Benefits: Overcomes "systems" issues that get overlooked in agent feedback, Removes "pain points" that repeatedly plague customer experiences

Business Intelligence

Few organizations are operating without a sense of how their customers feel about the business, but the information they use is not always worthwhile. Analytics removes the biases and limitations of post-interaction feedback by deriving data from the calls themselves. As customer management leaders attempt to understand lapses in the experience, it is necessary to determine what really succeeds and fails in each customer interaction.

Key Benefits: Improves relevance of VoC data, Helps driving marketing, product and pricing decisions, Alerts management to the development of potential crises

Improving the Customer Experience

Successful customer interactions are about more than what agents say—they also hinge on how the information is communicated. An analytical assessment of customer complaints and support inquiries provides a clearer picture into what is not working while also cluing organizations into the strategies that do work. Going forward, organizations will be able to build their systems and scripts around the interaction formats that are proven to resonate with customers. This data becomes especially relevant as companies build multi-channel experiences.

Key Benefits: More efficient customer complaint resolution, Ability to build a better multi-channel experience

Increasing Profitability

It is easy to speak about the need for all agents to think about revenue generation, but empty advice and declarations do not suddenly turn customer service representatives into elite sales operatives. Analytics takes the uncertainty out of the question by cluing agents and supervisors into the true opportunities for creating more revenue and improving overall profitability. And if agents are rendered more capable of closing a deal on the first call, they can seize the invaluable urgency benefits that disappear the second the call ends.

Key Benefits: Improve upsell and cross-sell practices, Improve the debt collection experience, Close deals on customer service calls

For more details on how these benefits are realized and maximized, check out the complimentary whitepaper.

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