It’s not just your customers that are making more demands of you; so are your competitors. You need to be able to get business-wide insight in real-time just to keep up. Is your analytics suite up to the task? Geoff Land, Managing Director of Infinity CCS, investigates…
In a complex environment such as a modern contact centre, decisions are made every minute that affect customer service, customer satisfaction, the customer experience and, ultimately, revenue and profitability. Having accurate and up-to-date data on which to base those decisions is no longer negotiable.
There are three key elements you need to get right in order to unlock the insights required. The first is to connect all the different areas of the business and their disparate data sources to create a single view of the whole business and of each customer.
The second is to be able to collate, analyse, interrogate and visualise all that data in order to uncover connections that have previously been hidden. Finally, you need to be able to take that new knowledge and turn it into operational insight that tells you and your teams what needs to be done to transform your ‘business as usual’.
Single view of your data
Within all the departments, business functions, IT systems and databases, you will have lots of structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data. Structured data would be things like your customer and transaction databases, through to unstructured data which could include things like website visitor meta-data.
There is a lot of extremely valuable business information locked up in all that data if only you could interrogate it and make sense of it. Using deep-dive data mining, the location, type and volume of all this data can be discovered. This search should encompass anywhere that customer and other relevant information might reside; from your operational systems to customer testimonials to marketing mailing lists to email inboxes to customer complaints and everything in between.
It could be contained in structured databases, semi-structured XML files, unstructured file systems on individual workstations, or cloud-based file systems. Around 80% of all organisational data is thought to be unstructured, and modern data discovery tools should be able to uncover most of it.
In order to be able to ask questions of all this data, it needs to be tagged and collated. What we are really talking about is creating an indexed copy of all your data, which means the original databases and files do not need to be altered. The goal is to organise the data in such a way that every piece of data which belongs to customer John Smith, for example, is tagged as such.
What you now have is a portal for accessing all your data, enterprise-wide. This central repository should be kept up to date by running the tagging and indexing routines on data as it is acquired and updated. While this also enables you to meet all your GDPR obligations, its true value is in giving you a single view of your business, and of each customer.
Unlock your data to gain insights
In a business world where established companies, business models, and even whole industries are transformed and made obsolete almost overnight, the ability to spot a trend before others and act on it quickly is a tremendous source of competitive advantage.
As the contact centre is now the touchstone for so many customer interactions it is one your company’s most important sources of information – including customer feedback and complaints; CSAT, NPS, and other KPI data; analyses of contact frequency and type; sales, up-sales, and cross-sales results; and even meta data on website and self-service usage.
Assuming you have gone through the data discovery stage outlined above and have all this data tagged in some sort of central repository, you now need to be able ask questions of it.
There are three considerations when it comes to business analytics: speed, accuracy, and depth of information. Your operational and management teams need the freedom to ask all sorts of different questions, which means they cannot be limited to a set number of pre-defined reports. Your analytics suite should allow them to quickly create reports without coding, writing SQL, or getting the IT Team involved. Using a simple drag and drop interface they should be able to create complex, cross-tabulated reports on multiple data sources.
When reports are run, the data used to compile them should be as up-to-date and as accurate as possible. This means your central repository, if you are using one, should be updated regularly if not in real-time as transactions happen and data is acquired. Running reports manually is incredibly time-consuming, particularly if the data has to be prepared beforehand. Your analytics system should be able to automate most of these tasks and give reports daily, or in real-time, to the people who need them. Managers can then spend their time analysing reports rather than producing them.
For humans to learn anything from all this data – even if it has already been analysed by some deep learning or data mining AI system – reports need to be presented in a way that allows users to drill down and interact with them. Sometimes a trend is not visible at the very top level and it takes looking deep into the data, and cross-checking with other sources, to tease out valuable insight. Spreadsheets of numbers just don’t work for most people, so different types of visualisations of data should be available.
The objective of business analytics is to constantly transform your organisation based on accurate business intelligence in order to maintain or improve market position.
With a single view of the business and customer, and the tools needed to analyse data and turn it into insight that can be visualised, your business will be able to:
- View and follow the complete trail of phone interactions, website visits, emails, purchases, social media comments of every customer and prospect.
- See the business outcomes of those behaviours in terms of purchases, cancellations, returns, complaints, and customer service requests.
- Use that insight to improve products, services, processes, and customer journeys with a view to increasing revenues and profits while reducing costs to serve.
- Uncover new business opportunities in your own market, or related markets, that you otherwise would never have known about – at least until a competitor did it.
In the contact centre specifically, this greater level of insight at the level of the individual customer enables you to:
- Seamlessly manage interactions that cross multiple channels without asking the customer to update you or repeat information;
- Route customer enquiries to exactly the right team or person without delay;
- Proactively engage the customer to head off service issues before they become a problem;
- Personalise upsell, cross-sell, and renewals offers to meet a customer’s exact needs and circumstances;
- Understand the commonalities of your best customers so you can find more like them.
It has long been said that a company’s data is one of its most valuable assets, but how many companies take this to its logical conclusion? If your data is not tagged and collated in a central repository; if your business analytics suite is not automated, customisable, and visual; and if your management is not able to interact with and deep-dive into reports, then you are potentially missing out on opportunities.
For a white paper on how to create a Single Customer View of your data for GDPR and business analytics download our white paper here: https://www.infinityccs.com/gdpr-and-single-customer-view-guide/
Geoff Land is Managing Director of Infinity CCS (Contact Centre Solutions), provider of dynamic workflow engines that power contact centres across 13 countries. Infinity works with some of the world’s largest contact centre operators such as Teleperformance, Webhelp, HGS and Bosch to deliver customer experience solutions that yield measurable efficiencies.
An experienced CX executive, Geoff has spent his career helping to lead some of today’s leading brands transform their businesses. Geoff previously held senior positions at Bright Star Communications (Saudi Arabia), founded Inspire FZE in the United Arab Emirates and has held a number of local and international positions at Nortel Networks.