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Expert's Angle: Analytics and the Future of Contact Centers: The Decade Ahead

This series will explore some of the major trends that will impact contact centers of all types over the next ten years. While every attempt to give general terms and general examples are being made, specifics may be different for every type of call center, business operations or strategic purpose for the center. The intent of this series is to provide background to the specific changes that are currently trending throughout the contact center industry and that may affect your operations in the next ten years. It is also meant to provide guideline information for those seeking to learn more about analytics and the contact center so as to open up conversations between cross functional teams.

Analytics in the Next Ten Years

There have been significant changes in the approach to customer contact since the 1970’s when direct mail campaigns came into vogue with marketing companies. This ‘blanket bombing’ marketing approach has changed little over the last thirty years, instead marketers have become more efficient in their wide spread approach. Markets have developed ingenious methods such as ‘lap finders’ in magazines and predictive dialers used in call centers to reach a wider range of respondents.

These methods have increased the ability of contact centers, marketers, collection and recovery experts and loyalty teams to reach a growing number of people, but have they increased the ability of these groups to reach the right people?

One of the largest leaps forward in contact center management has been the predictive dialer, a technology that has been become more and more popular in the last decade. But, the problem with every predictive dialer is that they are at the mercy of the campaign with which they are being fed. A common disconnect between strategy and operations lay within this axiom. In a previous article series on www.icmi.com (article link to be inserted), we discussed managing outbound and blended call centers, addressing campaign management and some of this balancing act between Operations and Strategy. Ultimately, the success of the operational management of the outbound campaign comes from the quality of the information is that is being fed into the dialer. This is where a significant trend is developing to increase the targeted approach to these campaigns and provide better information so as to achieve the strategic intent.

This analytical approach is not limited to outbound and blended centers looking to increase contact rates and ensure that they are connected the right person, or inbound centers that are also starting to realize the value of analytics. By detecting stress levels and responses from our callers, as well as harnessing caller data, inbound centers can better customize the response to the caller and provided a greater use of automation in many cases. These high level trends have far reaching potential for all types of contact centers that will allow the businesses to:

  • Increase the use of automation
  • Customize the caller experience
  • Achieve a greater level of strategic success
  • Improve the caller experience

The next decade will see analytics and analytical approaches catch up to the sophistication of the IVR, Dialers, Social Media approaches and Quality Monitoring Customized Off The Shelf’ (COTS), applications. For many years, businesses have been collecting key customer data – commonly referred to as ‘Big Data’ – however has not been the focus of the industry of supporting vendors until recently. It is this ability to harness big data and the attention to the benefits of the analytics that will drive our industry as a whole over the next ten to fifteen years.

With that in mind, this article series will cover:

  • The Analytical Approach
  • Voice Analytics
  • Multi-modal Contact Analytics
  • Success Based Analytics
  • Quality Model Analytics

The goal of this series is to provide contact center professionals the basis to begin discussions with their cross functional teams on ways and means to improve the operational effectiveness.