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Expert Angle: Using VoC to Operationalize the Customer Experience

With corporations hyper-focused on how to use and create value from Big Data, it’s important for those in contact center and customer experience departments to be conscious of the role they play as the entry points of big data analytics into the enterprise. Big Data manifests itself as Voice of the Customer (VoC) Analytics in these departments where solutions analyze treasure troves of big, unstructured data collected in the form of recorded phone calls, emails, web chats, free-form survey remarks and social media posts.

VoC Analytics enables enterprises to “listen” to solicited and unsolicited customer feedback across different channels and modes of communication. This feedback is analyzed to identify trends, root causes and, most importantly, deliver actionable intelligence that the rest of the enterprise can use to improve performance.

While VoC Analytics is excellent at delivering actionable intelligence, it alone cannot help operationalize the intelligence across the enterprise, which is how it needs to be used to be truly effective at helping to improve overall customer experience. In addition to listening and analyzing, intelligent enterprises have to strive for and achieve operational excellence. This is where traditional Workforce Optimization (WFO) solutions and processes still have an active and important role.

VoC Analytics and traditional WFO are different, yet must work together across a common enterprise platform. VoC Analytics excels at analyzing humongous amounts of unstructured data and proactively delivering valuable insight and actionable intelligence. The recipients of this intelligence are usually a relatively small group of ‘analyst’ types. Using statistical methodology the vast amounts of data can be converted to valuable insights that make their way throughout the enterprise. However, if the insights and intelligence are not acted upon in a timely and systematic way at all levels across the enterprise, then the customer experience will not improve.

Voice of the Customer data needs to be collected from all channels and analyzed to uncover trends. Using a common unified platform, different groups throughout the organization can better operationalize the intelligence in the contact center, back office, management suite and branch to aid in decision making that seeks to improve the customer experience.

Delivering a superior customer experience requires enterprises to percolate that intelligence across the entire population of agents, employees, supervisors and managers and not just in the contact center. Additionally, it requires the buy in, involvement and collaboration of many people and instilling a culture of continuous improvement.

A few examples: The intelligence unearthed by VoC Analytics should be used to change quality evaluations from random samples to more relevant interactions to the business. The intelligence gained has to be applied to train and coach employees at all levels to change behaviors and elevate their performance to desired levels.

Acting on the intelligence in a timely manner requires having the right number of people with the right skills at the right time. The people who do the work are usually geographically dispersed across various departments or groups (contact center, back office, branch), have different skill sets and availabilities and must be scheduled and holistically-managed. Their work arrives in different forms with other varying characteristics. This work must be tracked and meet specific service level goals.

The processes that people follow when working also tend to vary—managers need visibility into them to understand how work is being done, to load-balance and to address variances. Delivering a superior customer experience requires effectively managing the work, people and processes. Leveraging the intelligence and proactively applying it to improve performance—quality, productivity, behavior and lower costs—is where the value lies. Traditional WFO solutions (comprised of quality monitoring and recording, workforce management, performance management, desktop and process analytics, eLearning and coaching) enable this.

Therefore, delivering a superior and consistent customer experience requires a unified combination of Voice of the Customer Analytics and WFO solutions, working in tandem across a common platform. A framework that delivers interoperability between the two and beyond the contact center into the broader organization (including branch and back-office operations) enables enterprises to practice and achieve the nirvana of Customer-Inspired Excellence.

VoC Analytics and WFO programs are both critical organizational processes used throughout organizations. However, deployed together they can bring disparate information and groups together to deliver actionable information and leverage Big Data, enabling organizations to deliver a consistent and superior customer experience.