21 February 2018

Small contact center, big data

Written by Martin Borowski, Posted in Contact Center, ComputerTalk

Small contact center, big data

Do you know how much data is generated by your contact center? The answer might surprise you. Even the smallest contact centers that field only 100s of calls per day are generating massive amounts of data.

Whether your contact center handles 100 calls per day, or 10 000 calls per day, you have a significant data source on your hands.It’s easy to collect data, but it is crucial that you know how to sift through it and, more importantly, how to use it.

Data sources

The contact center operates in an environment involving various internal and external stakeholders, as well as multiple channels. This means that the enormous amount of data entering the contact center is coming through a number of sources and in many different formats. Here are some of the most common data sources in the contact center:

  • Text-based transcripts, such as email, SMS, and IM
  • Voice call recordings
  • Screen recordings
  • IVR data, including menu choices and information entered
  • Queuing information, such as time spent in queue
  • Data from integration sources, such as a CRM
  • Manual input information from agents

As you can see, there is a significant amount of data flowing in and out of the contact center at all times, from a number of sources. The job of the contact center is to collect all of that information, and to provide tools to optimize business processes by understanding the data. How are you using your data?

Interpreting data

ice Contact Center comes equipped with tools to help you understand your data. ice Reporting comes with over 100 pre-built reports, that can be used out of the box, or customized to suit your needs. These reports provide information on IVR treatment, queuing, routing, contact duration, abandoned contacts and so much more. ice Journal provides an easily searchable dashboard to view contact history, transcripts and agent notes. ice Monitor offers a live view of what is currently happening in the contact center so you can take immediate action when necessary. You can even integrate your contact center with Power BI to create real-time dashboards that show advanced business intelligence metrics using various data sources from the contact center.

These tools present to you the information that you need, but how do you interpret it? For example, ice Reporting can provide you with a report on how many contacts are abandoning while in queue, but what does that data actually tell you? It could mean that your queue times are too long, or it could mean that customers are not able to find the IVR menu they’re looking for. Perhaps it could even mean that customers are in a rush when they call you, and that they need service faster than you are currently providing it.

In order to properly identify patterns in your data, you need to cross-reference all the relevant data required to solve your problem. If too many of your contacts are abandoning in queue, you will likely look at queuing and routing data to understand the reason for the problem. It is likely that contacts will abandon in queue because they waited too long. However, if you cross-reference the abandon data with actual contact data, you may notice that many contacts are being transferred to a different department as soon as the call starts. This should tell you that contacts are unable to find the IVR menu that you need. Suddenly, your problem shifts from needing to hire more agents, to needing to restructure your IVR for ease of use. This is the power of using all the data sources included in your contact center.

Taking action

The final step to properly using your data is to take action. Using the context from your data analysis tools, your conclusions should lead to a natural course of action for solving your problems. In the above example, you have discovered that contacts are abandoning in queue because they realize they have entered the wrong menu of the IVR, and have now been queued to the wrong department. Now that you understand the problem, you have to understand how to solve it.

Solving problems in the contact center often requires a deeper dive into even more granular data. What path are contacts taking through the IVR? What department are they being transferred to after reaching an agent? This detailed data is necessary to take the right course of action. You can then begin the process of restructuring your IVR menus to make the customer journey more efficient. Effectively using contact center data not only makes for happier customers, but it saves you money and ensures that you make the right decision, every time.

To learn more about leveraging contact center data, click here.

 

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About the Author

Martin Borowski

Here's a word about me...

I'm an art director here at ComputerTalk. I'm an expert in User Experience (UX), branding and identity, website planning and development, social media management and search engine optimization . I understand the capabilities and limitations and advantages of online media.

Follow me on twitter at @uxchamp