“By predefining and using search capabilities to scour speech and text data, the contact center can enable more thorough call compliance to mitigate risk, identify mentions of legal action, and implement tactics to prevent future exposure.”
Every day, the contact center is charged with listening to the voice of the customer to provide the best service levels. Given today’s technology landscape, that voice comes in many forms. In the midst of thousands of phone calls, emails, text messages and social media posts, the voice of the customer is-quite literally-everywhere.
As brands increasingly adopt omnichannel strategies, the contact center is tasked with making sense of this ever- expanding data landscape, and taking the right actions based on those insights. While this may seem like an overwhelming endeavor, if the right goals are set and the right technology is in place, the contact center can analyze data across these channels and use those omnichannel strategies to improve the customer experience. Not only will this allow the contact center to strengthen operations and grow, it will cement the contact center’s importance to the overall organization as it is finally recognized as integral to sales strategies, marketing campaigns and the complete customer experience.
The Data Avalanche
While understanding the voice of the customer across all channels is a top goal for organizations, most companies only analyze about 12% of collected data, leaving a vast disconnect between goals and action. Of the data that is actually analyzed, the challenge lies in the fact that the majority of that data is unstructured. Between data piling up inside of a digital warehouse and an overall lack of data structure, companies are missing out on gleaning the majority of insights and really hearing what their customers are saying. Even the insights gathered from small batches of data have traditionally been a result of complex processes that utilize experts in data science. The current process and methods available make it far too difficult for companies to increase the percentage of data analyzed.
Not only has the scale and structure presented challenges, but the number of channels also makes it increasingly difficult to garner insights about customers. The voice of the customer is often lost in the sheer mass of information coming from multiple places. Analyzing voice data presents its own challenges because of the complexity of analyzing such a wide range of data in order to fine small pieces of relevant conversations. Then those conversations must be turned into insights that represent the whole customer picture.
Now that customers are communicating with companies via text and email messages, another layer of data complexity has been added. Combine speech data with text, email and social media conversations, and it’s no wonder that contact centers are only analyzing a small percentage of the data available. With so much data from so many sources, extracting insights in any sort of comprehensive manner feels nearly impossible.
Technology to the Rescue
The technology landscape is changing dramatically to allow the contact center to analyze the growing amount of customer data on a growing number of channels. Now, 100% of conversations can be monitored across all channels, making it far easier to analyze and mine insights that accurately reflect the voice of the customer. For example, call center agents can now pinpoint relevant conversations based on full population analysis rather than random samplings. User-friendly interfaces overlay complex technology, and contact centers can now quickly and easily garner insights by accessing a simple dashboard—and without the help of a data scientist. This new range of technology makes multichannel analytics and insights a reality for the contact center. By hearing what customers are really saying and adapting processes accordingly, this new technology will further strengthen customer engagement strategies.
With listening tools and advanced speech analytics, phone conversations that previously went unmonitored can be turned into roadmaps for scripts or operational improvements. The contact center can also listen to conversations happening on social channels and analyze them in context with other speech analytics to establish correlations between channels. Email and text data can be layered in to create a comprehensive view of all customer conversations and, for the first time, the contact center will finally hear the complete voice of the customer. Now, the contact center will go beyond simply listening to that voice in fragmented silos, to looking at all channels comprehensively and actually extracting insights that improve the customer experience on all levels.
While omnichannel insights are invaluable assets to driving contact center strategies, if new technology is not user friendly, efforts to obtain those insights will simply fall by the wayside. This includes the entire process, which should start with a seamless implementation, to insights that can easily be obtained on an individual, group or department level. If these insights can be gathered quickly and easily across all levels, this will allow a contact center to create and develop goals that are purposeful, measurable and shareable with the rest of the organization. Goals can then be set on multiple levels, giving all agents and managers a stake in the process. Progress will be measured and mapped, which will prime the contact center to roll those insights out to the larger organization.
Omnichannel Analysis for the Win
As contact centers implement technology that gives them these capabilities, the resulting insights can be used to improve a variety of department-level processes. By predefining and using search capabilities to scour speech and text data, the contact center can enable more thorough call compliance to mitigate risk, identify mentions of legal action, and implement tactics to prevent future exposure. This is a dramatic change from the random sampling methods that have traditionally been used. Contact centers can also enact agent optimization strategies both during and post-contact for better performance, which will ultimately benefit the customer. Omnichannel analysis can also be used to identify responses in emotionally charged situations, understand reasons behind call escalations, or to uncover characteristics of high-performing agents in an effort to replicate stellar processes.
Social channels will also play a very important role in omnichannel analysis. If there is a product defect, broken support channel or customer question, users may take to social media to express these questions or concerns in a very candid way. Because social media is typically an authentic means of communication, it allows organizations to optimize operations based on true customer sentiment. With this information, the contact center can determine technology breakdowns, defects, or identify previously unknown improvement opportunities. Social media data can also be read in context with things like voice data, and correlations can be made across channels to see a broader picture. This combination of all data from across channels will, for the first time, allow the contact center to use a 360-degree view of all customer conversations to make improvements both department and companywide.
“By creating shareable insights, the contact center can become a resource for the entire company.”
The Bigger Picture
Traditionally, the contact center has struggled to prove its value to the overall organization. It has operated in a silo, and any data or insights have primarily been used to improve processes within the department. However, given the new range of available technology, the contact center is primed to grow and finally show companies that it is not simply a reactive phone-bank for complaints. To prove this value, it is imperative that the contact center creates shareable insights that are relevant to the entire company. If done properly, these insights can drive sales and marketing strategies. Without considering shareability, the contact center will continue to be regarded as an antiquated, but necessary, arm of the organization—an expense, rather than an opportunity for growth.
By creating shareable insights, the contact center can become a resource for the entire company. For example, when tracking response rates, the contact center can quantify the success of marketing campaigns, allowing marketing departments to adjust or proceed accordingly. The contact center can also perform competitive analysis to measure both messaging and sales tactics. Using analytics, agents can look for key phrases to determine whether a competitor’s messaging is impacting customer questions or sentiment. Analytics can also identify when a competitor’s name was used in a particular context, such as price or a specific product function. If the same objection is made over and over, a company or sales team can consider altering product or sales strategies.
With every organization, sales and customer retention are at the top of the priority list, and omnichannel optimization strategies can provide the insights needed to make the appropriate changes before customers consider purchasing another product or moving to a competitor. By adjusting sales and marketing strategies based on customer questions, objections or competitor mentions, the contact center can use data-driven processes that are dictated by the comprehensive voice of the customer. Ultimately, the goal is to keep customers engaged, which will, in turn, prevent churn. As the contact center delves into customer conversations across all channels, these insights will become valuable pieces to the organization as a whole.
For example, a prominent U.S.-based luxury jeweler and specialty retailer implemented an analytics system. It was then used to determine whether its holiday marketing campaign, featuring same-sex couples, was financially advantageous for the company, or if it would potentially spur backlash that could cost the company profits. After a two-week period of running the ad, they did a sweep of all calls to determine the number of complaints. The data from the contact center showed that only three complaints had been made in that time. After looking at this information, the marketing department made the decision to continue running the ad, which opened up a new market opportunity for the retailer that is fast approaching $1 trillion in buying power.
With today’s technology, the voice of the customer is everywhere, and the contact center must install the appropriate tools in order to index and analyze these conversations. With the right technology and goals, the contact center can seal its importance to the overall organization and experience growth as it begins to dictate and drive sales and marketing strategies based on customer insights. The contact center cannot risk using antiquated technology because the costs of missed insights are far too high.
By optimizing omnichannel data and using that to create shareable insights, the contact center can, ultimately, drive the conversation about customer wants and needs. Not only does the contact center stand to benefit and grow, customers will see a better overall customer experience as organizations listen to what customers really want.
Matt Matsui is the Senior Vice President of Products, Markets & Organizational Strategy at Calabrio