This time last year I was fortunate to be travelling around Europe meeting clients and helping them get the best from their Contact Centre data. What struck me was the conflict between the amount of data available and the right metrics to drive the business. The industry is at a cross-road. The old traditional contact centres had several defined metrics to drive the bottom line, and each vendor tended to match their competitors. Everyone knew where everyone else was in terms of performance, and generally, specific metrics were believed to drive the bottom line.
Now we have cloud contact centres, omnichannel presentation and a myriad of measures to confuse us. Disruption in the industry is also confusing the BI/MIS teams, and they now are trying to make sense of the ‘big’ data, to which they have access. They also have to provide it in a way that Executives will understand and interpret. Excel Spreadsheets still rule the roost, but there are other ways to present and explain what you are seeing.
Generation 1 metrics are well defined and are continually being discussed in all forums, but are they enough? Getting to the interaction with the customer in a prompt manner is one thing, but how are they being treated. We can all be efficient, but is that the best approach for the customer? Voice of the customer programs work very well, once they are supplied with the correct data, and given then right context for that data. Generation 2 metrics, including speech analysis, Mood metrics, and the feedback from surveying will add the extra dimensions needed.
Now don’t get me wrong Generation 1 metrics have their place. ASA, Handle Time, along with Time Adherence metrics, give you one dimension. Generation 2 metrics give you a second. Throwing them correctly into a Voice of the Customer program gives you the third. However, these rely on some factors that should be in place before a new/upgraded Contact Centre is put in place.
- Knowing what drives your business before the Contact Centre design is created. Identifying the metrics that can prove your strategy is working. Present them in ways that don’t take long to interpret, and the right amount of detail for the right audience. 4 to 5 critical metrics at an executive level, the story around them to management. Advanced Analytics web-based tools are the best way to achieve this. Team leaders require more detail on their sphere of influence, possibly still the good old spreadsheet. Last but not least meaningful feedback to the agents on how they are affecting the business, positively. Employee Engagement platforms are an excellent way to provide that information.
- Designing the Contact Centre to deliver those metrics. Many contact centres are designed to wow the customer, and provide exceptional service (CX), but fail to meet the needs of the Agents (Employee Engagement), and the back end teams reporting on the data. Sometimes looking from the back forward is the right thing to do.
- The old-age Build V Consume argument is always a good conversation. The Return on Investment balance is sometimes overlooked in a rush to match competitors and the offerings they have to their customers. Play to your strengths, not theirs. In the current Opex Cloud world, it becomes more and more confusing on what to do, and how much it will affect the bottom line. Many tools can be trialled during a POC phase for minimal cost. In the age of the API, you may be tempted to do it yourself, but an in-depth analysis of the solution might tell a different story.
Finally, a big thing to remember, in this modern age, is just because you can lay down a credit card and get access to the powerful tools these contact centres provide, you may not have all the skills to take full advantage on it. The move from traditional contact centres, to disruptive cloud technologies, is a great time to take stock. Make sure that your future investments will affect the bottom line positively. When thinking about the next evolution of your contact centre, make sure you have the three pillars in place before you go live.