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2013 ICMI RESEARCH RELEASED: Actionable Data in Today’s Multichannel Contact Center Research Report and Best Practices Guide

Due to confusion over which metrics are important, the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) finds that many contact centers are struggling with the challenge of data overload.

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — December 19, 2013  — The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) has released its 2013 report, A WOW Customer Journey: Actionable Data in Today’s Multichannel Contact Center, a guide to the more effective use of data and analytics in a multichannel environment.
The problem of big data has been building in contact centers for some time. While harvesting data has become extraordinarily easy, knowing which numbers to crunch or which metrics to track can be a far more challenging prospect.

The proliferation of messy unstructured data – emails, calls, chats, tweets, video, desktop usage, etc. – has further complicated matters. Without the right tools and guidance, contact center agents cannot handle the volume of data or lay their hands on appropriate information.

In response, ICMI decided to conduct a research survey in the late summer of 2013. The goals were threefold:

  • Gain an understanding of how multichannel contact centers are currently handling their data
  • Explore the benefits of creating a “Wow” customer journey across all interactions
  • Help organizations decide which analytics tools and data enhancements are necessary

“In today’s hyper-connected world, customers expect to have relevant and personal conversations through their channel of choice,” says Sarah Stealey Reed, Content Director for ICMI. “Contact centers must know how to use customer and agent analytics to anticipate needs and short-circuit problems. If they understand what data are important, businesses can provide a much better multichannel experience.”

The rigorous study had 542 respondents (primarily executives, directors and managers) from every major industry in both the U.S. and abroad. Findings from the study were compiled and analyzed by ICMI’s research team.

The results were eye-opening. Although:

  • 67% of contact centers currently use collected data to manage overall agent performance
  • Only 48% use data for identifying improvements in customer satisfaction and 36% admitted they don’t do it at all

In addition: 

  • Over 60% of contact centers are not proactively providing customer information to an agent
  • 48% of contact centers consistently collect and report on metrics they don’t use
  • 69% of agents have to navigate around multiple screens and interfaces in order to locate information
  • 41% of agents are still manually keying in customer contact information

Fortunately, A WOW Customer Journey: Actionable Data in Today’s Multichannel Contact Center provides guidance and best practices to remedy these matters.

The report advises contact centers on the right data to collect and manage; the link between employee engagement and customer experience; ways to improve agent productivity and efficiency through better data; keys to improving customer engagement and more.

Also included are ICMI Expert Spotlight accompaniments with advice on two key aspects of actionable data – Fine Tuning Your Contact Center through the Innovative Use of Metrics by Justin Robbins, Manager of Training & Development, ICMI, and Reporting Contact Center Activity by Brad Cleveland, Senior Advisor and Founding Partner, ICMI.

“It’s not about how much data you have,” Reed reiterates. “It’s about the insight you gain from the data that truly matters. When you use contact center data as a solution, rather than an output, you’ll find ways to make improvements at each step of the customer journey.”

A complete review of the study’s final results can be found within the research report, A WOW Customer Journey: Actionable Data in Today’s Multichannel Contact Center.

In addition, ICMI offers a free whitepaper, Big Data? Better Data! The Value of Data in Today’s Contact Center, featuring a portion of the study results and presents commentary and related research findings through a recorded webinar and educast.

QuickPoll

Does your contact center have a policy regarding allowing agents who wish to apply for internal company positions outside the contact center?

No, we don’t have a formal policy
Yes, agents must work in the contact center for at least 1 year before applying for other positions
Yes, agents must work in the contact center for at least 6 months before applying for other positions
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