Using Analytics to Get Closer to the Customer
Last month I participated in a webinar series with Carousel Industries, entitled “Closer to Customer.” Carousel is a leading Technology Solutions Provider that designs and integrates applications and solutions for enterprise and midmarket organizations, working with a variety of vendors including Avaya, Juniper Networks, Extreme Networks and Microsoft.
One area of focus for Carousel is helping organizations improve their contact center and customer service operations. Carousel recognizes the growing importance of the customer experience, and produced the three-part webinar series to provide a road map for companies to leverage analytics, technology, and channels to create a stronger, more personalized customer service experience.
The first webinar of the series focused on the role of analytics in driving customer loyalty, and included myself, Kevin Clukey, Senior Product Manager, Avaya; and Nick Kolintzas, VP - Engineering Operations, Engineering, Carousel Industries. While many companies use analytics within their customer service and call center environments, most are either new to the practice of using analytics or not using it to its full potential.
When discussing the role of analytics in driving customer loyalty, it’s important to look at the customer journey. There are usually several touchpoints along the way. For example, the customer journey often starts on the web, where the customer researches a company and products, and may place an order. If there’s a question or problem, the customer will call, email, or text for customer support, and may even go on social media to talk about their experience. Using analytics, companies can better understand the customers’ experience throughout the entire customer journey.
By listening to, capturing and applying data from across channels, companies stand to gain substantial rewards. For example, according to research from Accenture, a typical $1 billion business can add $40 million in profit by enhancing its methods for turning customer information into insight by just 10 percent. This is where analytics can help.
Call centers gather huge amounts of data and information - about agent performance, customer satisfaction, and more - from customer interactions captured in phone calls, survey responses, emails, chat sessions and social media. Using “big data” tools available from Carousel and Avaya, customers can capture information at every stage of the customer journey in order to improve performance and operations. With analytics, companies can now not only understand the information and what it means, but they can turn this into “actionability.” By applying the information the analytics provides, organizations can improve both the customer experience and contact center performance, while fine tuning operations and improving process, including staffing and agent training.
Analytics are a critical part of analyzing the effectiveness of your contact center agents and the operations of the contact center as a whole. Being able to combine and analyze data from multiple sources helps you get a complete performance picture better manage the business. Organization can use the results to improve the performance of individual agents and the contact center as a whole, which in turn enhances the customer experience.
Customer-focused companies are using analytics to find the root causes of issues in order to solve them in real time. Analytics adds the “what” and the “why” to contact center operations, enabling supervisors and managers to understand not only what has happened, but the reasons for it - why are average handle times so different across agents, why are customers upset, why are people calling one location more than another? Using speech and text analytics, you can search for words or phrases like “cancel” to identify why people are cancelling your service, or “unpleasant” to hear or see complaints about certain agents. Speech analytics can help improve the overall customer experience by identifying major customer pain points, and identify why calls are running longer than expected, why there’s a large number of callbacks, or why sales or upsells are lagging. By having insights as to what may be causing a problem, you can take action to fix the problem. By seeing the big picture, you can make changes to staffing, work assignments, and more.
As I noted in the webinar, by using speech analytics, one company found that the words ’store location' and 'website’ were mentioned frequently together. It turned out that their website didn’t include store locations effectively enough, and customers had to call the company to get that information. The company was able to reduce all of those calls by providing the store location information more prominently on their website.
Using insights from analytics lets you more easily spot trends as early as possible, which can lead to new product ideas and competitive insights. Other results include:
• Building customer trust
• Increasing loyalty and retention
• Improving agent efficiency
• Cost reduction
• Agent improvement
• Business process optimization
• Avoidance of litigation and fines
• Customer satisfaction and loyalty improvements
• Increases in revenue
Carousel is clearly dedicated to helping its customers succeed and get closer to their customers. The webinars are available for replay, and I hope you have the opportunity to listen to all three. I’ll be writing an article shortly about the other Carousel webinar, “Closer to Customer through Multichannel.”