Published: August 25, 2015 | Comments
We’ve seen dramatic technology shifts in the call center industry during the past five to 10 years. The rise of cloud-based call center technology has made it affordable for organizations of all sizes to access leading-edge solutions that enable small to mid-sized companies to compete with larger enterprises.
With new features and updates that are automatically updated and technology that doesn’t require costly hardware investments or upgrades, cloud solutions have leveled the playing field.
The call center industry is currently undergoing another dramatic shift with the introduction of business intelligence (BI), which is making a huge impact in analytics and the level of reporting customers can generate. A recent Gartner survey of 2,800 CIOs ranked BI and analytics the top investment priority for 2015.
While most call center solutions provide some type of reporting, they lack the deep analytics needed for actionable insight. With BI, you not only get the information you’re looking for, you gain improved visibility into trends to discover unknown details that could have otherwise remained buried.
Basic reporting can show you when your highest call volumes are, but BI can take that a step further and show you which agents were most productive during that time, which were struggling and even those who might benefit from more training in a particular area.
Business analytics generate in-depth reports in real-time, enabling you to track internal success metrics and quickly see what’s working – and what’s not – and make adjustments as needed. This is a huge step forward for BI and big data in general. The millions of calls with millions of data points on each call – agents, times, locations – generate a vast amount of data that made it almost impossible to manipulate before recent technology advancements.
Previously, the only solutions were to discard this data, tediously go through it by hand in-house – which could take months and delay any resulting actions, or ship it off to a third-party vendor to manipulate – a costly option for many small to mid-sized organizations. These large volumes of data were also costly to store, and the staff required to track this data often became overwhelmed.
Now, business analytics can be built right into your call center platform – no need to mine the data or work with a third-party vendor to generate reports that could take weeks to return. A cloud-based BI platform that’s integrated with your call center solution can automate the flow of information from the moment of capture to the final report, so you get the information you need faster without slogging through spreadsheets. This puts the hard data you need right at your fingertips to supplement qualitative team performance reviews, verify claims, shape your training systems, support customer stories and keep a step ahead of your competition.
Uncovering Unknown Insights
We have a few real-world examples of how BI has helped uncover insights that would have required months of extensive data mining for some call center customers. In both of these cases, the companies wanted to improve efficiencies and increase margins.
We looked closely at call volumes during various times of day to determine if they could reduce staffing and maintain the same call volumes. For one client, we increased their revenue slightly, but we were able to reduce their agent staffing by 40 percent – just by performing a more in-depth analysis leveraging BI.
For another client, we were able to increase their revenue by 400 percent – those are huge numbers that we wouldn’t have been able to achieve without the added insight and evidence from BI. At the onset of the project, the customer was concerned with a $3 increase in cost per agent per hour, which is always a tough objection to overcome. However, using BI, we were able to show that their net profit per hour rose from $30 to $101, making the increase in cost per agent per hour negligible. Without the added insight from business analytics, all the customer would have seen was the increase in costs on the balance sheet.
Adding BI and analytics capabilities to your call center technology solutions can have a dramatic effect on your internal processes and bottom line. Knowing more about every aspect of your business can help you make the adjustments needed to keep it moving in the right direction.