Contact Center Data on The Rise Huge Opportunities, Huge Challenges
Originally published on Customer Magazine
Companies often talk about identifying customer pain points, and Contact Centers present the clearest opportunity to capture this data to serve customers better, while also bringing next-level business intelligence (BI) into organizations.
That said, many organizations still view Contact Centers as cost centers, while more advanced competitors are investing in transforming traditional platforms into data-rich, intelligent, interactive, and active customer sentiment oracles.
Top brands recognize this as a chance to differentiate themselves from the competition with personalized, proactive, and productive Customer Experience (CX) but know it is impossible to get there without advanced analytics and automation – and they can’t get there without data.
According to McKinsey, “Companies without advanced analytics are leaving significant customer-service improvements on the table. But to fully reap the advantages of advanced analytics, organizations must have the right foundations in place to make the most of their data.”
A report from McKinsey said only 37 percent of organizations feel that they are using advanced analytics to create value by not moving beyond earlier data and analytics solutions, saying “advanced analytics help them generate actionable insights about what will happen next, through both internal and customer-facing applications. The result is reduced costs, increased revenue, and—most important—higher customer satisfaction scores.”
McKinsey sites a number of reasons for slow adoption when the ROIs have been proven over and over, a “lack of integrated data across channels: Many companies have call centers that function in silos. The centers generate plenty of data, but companies do not have a systematic approach for aggregating that data into a single source of truth so that managers can make sense of it. Other companies buy a set of ad hoc solutions and assets to solve individual problems, rather than developing a strategic approach built around a single integrated platform.”
We caught up with an expert in this space, Heather Barrow, lead developer and manager of Eventus IntelligenceHub, a data orchestration, optimization, and harmonization platform with APIs into nearly every major contact center and CRM vendor system using vendor APIs (for example, salesforce.com) and developing bespoke connectors.
IntelligenceHub pulls data into a single view, organizing big data while also analyzing that data to extract meaningful insights that impact not only customer service, but which also inform improvements to Clients’ products, services, sales, and marketing campaigns.
“2020 has been a challenging year for so many reasons,” Barrow said, “and has accelerated contact center transformations to support migration to the cloud, to support work-from-home regulations, while also putting an enormous amount of stress on contact centers, especially those in healthcare, health insurance, unemployment insurance and more. We’ve never been busier helping existing clients and new clients, given the need to automate more and understand more in real-time, what is happening to their customers and contact centers every day.”
Barrow says data generated in contact centers has been growing steadily for years, which was part of the impetus behind IntelligenceHub, a platform Eventus has been building for several years. Barrow was brought on board in 2019 to address increasing demand and client requests for more features.
“This is a very exciting innovation for the industry and for our clients,” Barrow said. “We serve very large, Fortune 500 enterprises, whether we are providing strategic consulting for transformation, or are providing managed services when they outsource their contact centers to us. We were able to develop IntelligenceHub in-house to address our own challenges for clients who use multiple software platforms – one for CRM, one for voice transcription, one for compliance, and so on. It wasn’t easy in the beginning to figure out how to consolidate, cleanse, and present information from multiple sources, but we developed an expertise that lead to non-stop innovation.”
Eventus recently announced its latest release, working with NICE InContact to add near real-time information along with notifications and alerts that provide practical support to agents and managers. “Nobody is more of a big data geek than I am when it comes to data,” Barrow said, “and nobody is more passionate about finding ways to turn all that data into information that is consumable – actionable – in the moment, and not just when it comes to creating analyses and reports. This is a story I am excited to share with my colleagues in the industry and with organizations that are struggling with the data deluge. They do not have to struggle anymore. They do not have to stay up until midnight the day before a meeting to manually prepare reports. They don’t have to become data scientists when all they really want to do is run excellent contact centers and CX platforms to serve customers better.”
“IntelligenceHub 3.0 provides a window into how well we are serving customers and how our investments in process and technology improve CX are paying off,” said Samir Khandhar, Vice President of Client Experience Arbonne International, one of Eventus’ long-time clients.
“Working with Eventus, we leverage a number of best-of-breed cloud contact center technologies. The platform brings all the data together and harmonizes it but, even more importantly, makes it easy to understand and act upon. IntelligenceHub allows us to model “what-if” scenarios and gives us key predictions of our KPI outcomes as we target initiatives that align with your business needs. We no longer wait for manual reports, but instead, we are given access to immediate and up-to-date online reporting, including dashboards customized for our business, and we can view them any time we need them. IntelligenceHub provides information and insights that we’ve not had access to before.”
Barrow will be teaming up with industry expert Jon Arnold on October 20, in a live webinar where Arnold will present the context and a vision for continually exploding data.
“Businesses are trying to become more data-driven in their decision-making, but are often hamstrung because data resides in silos and don’t have the right tools to connect it all together,” said Jon Arnold, Jon Arnold, Principal, J Arnold & Associates. “Data volumes are only going to increase, and solutions like IntelligenceHub are approaching the problem from the bottom-up to provide the holistic view that decision-makers need. This capability is especially important in the contact center, where a full understanding of the customer experience can only come from data across the organization, and to date, this has been very difficult to do.”
“Leading contact center organizations make their day-to-day decisions based on data, rather than gut instincts,” Barrow said. “But too much data without a framework for harnessing that data can be too much of a good thing. In fact, too much data can be a bad thing, and we’re out to change that – to make a real difference for ourselves, as we run modern contact centers for our clients, and for others who run contact centers. It is very satisfying to see the data being used and to see the results – which can be immediate and long-lasting.
How Will You Manage? The Contact Center Data Deluge Has Only Just Begun
Tue, Oct 20, 2020 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM EDT
For more information on the webinar and to register, please visit https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5065353721810004238.
Do you know how to improve your call center customer service – or if you even need to? Customer expectations have changed dramatically in the last decade. Your first step to improving customer service is understanding what your customers actually expect.
In today’s fast-paced world of on-demand services, entertainment, and products, customers’ expectations have risen in regard to almost every aspect of a company, including the customer experience. All too often, help desk agents, whether in contact centers or manning online chat sessions, become the target of customers who are frustrated when their products don’t work, when their billing is incorrect, when they regret a purchase and demand a return or a refund, and more.