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TMCNet:  Customer in the driving seat? How Analytics and Big Data can put you back in control

[December 03, 2013]

Customer in the driving seat? How Analytics and Big Data can put you back in control

(M2 PressWIRE Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Companies are under increasing pressure to deliver the highest quality customer experience. Competition for customer mind-share is fierce, while at the same time loyalty is more elusive than ever - one poor customer experience will have the consumer switching to the competition without a second thought. Sean Murphy, Director of Product Marketing at Genesys, looks at how analytics can enable companies to accurately and efficiently identify customer issues and take immediate action to resolve them, retaining customers and pinpointing new business opportunities.

We're now in a 24/7 world where one negative tweet or blog post can go viral in a matter of hours. Content like this gets picked up by websites, read by thousands, re-tweeted and commented on. For this very reason, the customer experience has become a major concern for organisations. It is essential that operations have the means to detect potentially unsatisfactory situations and have the facilities to act on this information immediately. An organisation can then respond in the right way to strengthen the customer relationship and brand - and limit the damage. Once the correct action is taken, it is also important to measure the effectiveness of that action - with the help of sophisticated analytics.

Quality monitoring in the contact centre is nothing new. The vast majority of companies have been using call recording and monitoring systems for some time but those systems and processes usually only provide a partial picture of what is happening by manually reviewing only small, randomly selected samplings of calls. Having Quality Analysts manually listen to calls is labour intensive, and therefore it's a very expensive process, which limits the number of calls that can be monitored. Hence, most organisations only review a small fraction of the calls handled by their organisation, with the industry average being to review around one or two percent of calls. If other types of interactions such as email, chat and/or social media are included, the fraction of the organisation's conversations with customers or prospects that are reviewed becomes even smaller.

At the same time, enormous business opportunities are hidden within those conversations. The information that can be extracted from conversations with customers and prospects is invaluable in understanding the customer service experience. Organisations must engage in strategic process improvements that go beyond selective samplings of recorded communications.

Analytics in a customer-centric organisation Rather than a lack of data, the challenge lies in the ability to extract the "nuggets of gold" from within that wealth of information efficiently and effectively and make those insights actionable to deliver meaningful results.

New innovations in analytics such as Speech Analytics and Text Analytics can transform customer service by analysing all conversations with customers or prospects over all channels including calls, e-mails, chats, and social media. Web-based dashboards enable ongoing visibility across all conversations and agents, giving today's contact centre manager new levels of insight to optimise their workforce, identifying those interactions that need immediate action and then routing the customer to the optimal agent, back office worker or manager for resolution.

We have found at Genesys that our conversation analytics solutions enable organisations to analyse the variation of journeys by customer, tier or issue, as well as being better informed to contextualise and personalise end to end experiences, improving satisfaction and long term loyalty. This enables organisations to reduce costs, enhance sales and most importantly improve the customer experience. Such analytics can help improve the contact centre in many ways.

The benefits of conversation analytics 1 - Understanding why customers have got in contact: Speech Analytics and Text Analytics can comprehensively categorise all interactions to identify the reasons why the customer has got in contact with the organisation and the processes in place that drive those interactions. Analytics allow contact centres to determine the appropriate action and measure its effectiveness as well as identify contacts that might be better handled using cheaper self-service options.

2 - Improve agent work quality more efficiently and effectively: Speech Analytics overcomes the challenges inherent in traditional Quality Management systems and processes by automatically monitoring 100% of calls, as opposed to the small fraction that can be reviewed with traditional manual methods. In addition, because evaluation criteria must be objectively defined according to phrases used within conversations, human subjectivity is eliminated from the process. When Text Analytics is unified with Speech Analytics, all conversations across all channels of contact can be evaluated in exactly the same way.

3 - Understand the root causes of customer dissatisfaction: Analytics can help identify the underlying causes of customer frustration by identifying the specific business processes, products, services or agents which are producing customer dissatisfaction.

4 - Improve the effectiveness of sales, up-selling and cross-selling: Organisations are increasingly encouraging their agents to use up-selling and cross-selling techniques. However, the sales techniques which are most effective can differ markedly depending on the product or service being sold. The techniques which are most effective for each specific situation can be identified by analytics, then agents can be trained when to use each technique within conversations. These conversations can then be continuously monitored to ensure that agents are properly using the techniques they've learned.

5 - Proactively discover emerging trends within the Voice of the Customer: Most organisations are already aware of the most important Key Performance Indicators and agent and customer behaviours that are important to measure and monitor on an ongoing basis. However, even the most technologically advanced analytical systems usually need to be told by humans what to analyse, so if the organisation doesn't already know that they need to be on the lookout for a particular issue, most analytical systems are equally unaware of such "unknown" issues. Speech Analytics and Text Analytics can automatically discover emerging trends or issues within the voice of the customer by analysing all conversations and uncovering relevant topics that customers are suddenly talking more frequently about. These "automatic discovery analytics" can then proactively alert organisations about issues with their products or services which the organisation may not have been previously aware of.

So, what's the conclusion? Customer service operations need to start moving to more holistic measurement programmes for communication channels and touch points, to understand the customer journey end-to-end and completely understand all conversations the organisation is having with customer and prospects. By analysing all conversations and capturing the Voice of the Customer across all channels, organisations can begin to accurately measure customer loyalty, understand and validate what is driving customer satisfaction, whilst identifying areas of improvement.

As new business challenges emerge, analytics play a vital role in helping organisations identify and address problems with customer experience before it significantly impacts customer retention.

((M2 Communications disclaims all liability for information provided within M2 PressWIRE. Data supplied by named party/parties. Further information on M2 PressWIRE can be obtained at on the world wide web. Inquiries to


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