Published: April 13, 2015 | Comments
Have you ever seen a photo mosaic that from a distance looks like one thing and when you get closer you see that the photo is actually made up of hundreds or thousands of smaller images? The amount of data generated by contact centers is somewhat similar. When looked at from afar it looks like one thing, but when examined more closely you see a much more detailed picture.
More and more contact centers are realizing the power of data visualization software (DV) to create “mosaics” for their organization. Being able to sort and make sense of all the incoming data helps management understand the bigger picture in new ways by making data more accessible so that real changes in performance can be realized.
Depending on the nature of your business and the type of product or service you offer affects which metrics and KPIs are most important for you to measure and monitor. Regardless of which KPIs are most critical to your contact center, if you can’t easily see or track the information you need to make decisions that affect the bottom line and performance optimization, then your data isn’t serving your organization.
The good news for contact centers, especially small to medium size centers, is that it is becoming less expensive to convert hard data into useful and readily digestible images with DV software. Data analysis doesn’t have to be the groaning chore of year’s past. No longer is it necessary to hire a team to input data into an Excel spreadsheet and try and make easy sense of call volume, type of call, historical sales and volumes, call times, etc. Companies such as Tableau Software, Qlick, and IBM have created DV software that is intuitive, less costly and less infrastructure heavy, thanks to cloud technology.
Today’s DV software allows contact centers to easily identify and sort KPIs and display the data in such visually appealing ways as pie charts, graphics, interactive dashboards and reports. Some of the ways that DVS software can help optimize the contact center are:
- Speech analytics. Decoding agent calls and converting it into a visual form allows managers to “see” contact center agents’ performance. This information can be seen in near real time and when patterns emerge managers can zero in on knowledge and skill gaps so that training can be targeted to areas that need improvement.
- Call volume. Another feature of some DVS programs is that managers can better predict the peaks and valleys of call volumes. With this predictive knowledge staffing decisions can be optimized.
- Bolster omni-channel service. When DVS software is deployed across multiple channels it can synthesize the information and help managers and employees understand the customer more holistically. By breaking down the silos across channels the data can be presented in a way that is more efficient for the company and customer.
Data visualization software is more than workplace optimization software. The power of this software, when properly harnessed, can actually guide agents to delivering better customer service through analytics that detect customer insights so that agents know most appropriate course of action to take with the customer. When agents can better understand and anticipate a customer’s needs through the use of visual software they can more efficiently hone in on service that is tailored to the customer.
A note of caution
Although data visualization software has been a useful and powerful tool for contact centers, it should be noted that in order for hard data to be converted to relevant images there needs to be a seamless interface between the back end and final user. The old adage “garbage in, garbage out” applies to DVS software. If the information isn’t up to date or in the same “language” across platforms then the visual representations of the data may not be useful, and in some cases inaccurate. Visualization software simply interprets data, it doesn’t analyze it. Depending on your organization’s needs and goals DVS software may be sufficient. If, however, your data is complex and drives your decision making processes then business intelligence (BI) software that is end-to-end and can process a large amount of complicated data will be a better choice.
Cloud technologies have really changed the playing field when it comes to DV software choices. Costs have come down, investment in additional infrastructure is no longer necessary, and with a myriad of customization options contact centers can tailor the graphics to their specific needs and uses. It is also flexible in that the end user can choose which format to “see” the data. Some people may prefer graphs while others prefer pie charts. Changing the visual presentation is easy and customizable. DV software can potentially help agents deliver better customer experiences, allow managers to quickly see which KPI targets are being met, and help with staffing efficiencies. If your contact center isn’t yet getting a good view of your data, now may be the time to look into DV software options.