With each new customer interaction, promoted agent, and churned customer, you learn what works in your customer experience. And, you learn what doesn’t.
But if you don’t build call center improvement strategies that put what you find into action, your data is useless.
The intel flowing through your contact center feeds a bottomless well of info about your business. And with the right analysis and data strategy, it hydrates the experiences you deliver, fueling business growth.
In fact, research on Fortune 1000 companies found increasing data usability by only 10% led to an average of $2B in revenue growth for the companies each year. And, the same study found reducing time and effort to put context behind user data by 10% made employees more productive company-wide.
Yet even with data trends marching forward, there’s lots of talk and little action when it comes to what happens after you harvest powerful data.
You know you need it to inform decisions. But you don’t know how to use it.
We’re defining the four steps you need to build call center improvement strategies powered by the data you already have on hand. We’re answering questions like:
How do you take actionable steps forward once you compile reports? What kind of special analytics Jiu-jitsu do you have to do to get your data to mean something?
Putting your data into action might seem daunting. I mean, look at those thousands of numbers and cells staring back at you. We’ve all been there. But the only way to reach your end goal is to start. And we’re here to help.
Data helps you build a business case for future investments and drive further contact center ROI. Share these nine data points with your ops leaders to build a business case for a better experience for your agents.
Let’s put your data to work for a more profitable and successful contact center. Snag a pair of reading glasses and keep your eyes on the page as we talk through how to build call center improvement strategies for a better customer (and agent) experience.
Where other companies stand.
Current state, most companies are measuring key stats that impact customer experience.
In fact, HubSpot’s report, The State of Customer Service in 2019, found Customer Satisfaction as the leading metric used to evaluate customer service teams. Some 74% of customer service teams are measured by CSAT, no matter the size of the company.
Yet, few companies are putting that data to use. Instead, they’re relying on gut instincts or well-meaning anecdotal evidence to guide an entire strategy.
Some 82% of companies say their customers have to repeat information when switching between channels. And, 75% of customers think it takes too long to reach a live agent.
If companies used metrics to identify pains in customer journeys, then fix them, we’d see far fewer of these customer frustrations.
Instead, most companies look at metrics as an end result. That’s as far as their data strategy goes. Collect the information, view it, and report on the numbers. Rinse and repeat.
The special report on Customer Insights and Analytics by CCW and Salesforce found similar sentiment. In fact, only 11% of consumers feel companies take their feedback seriously. And, a slim 12% of consumers think companies have made strides to improve customer experience.
Rather than using data to tell the full story of a customer’s journey, companies stockpile info. They funnel customers into a linear model of what they think customer experience should look like.
Check out an example CCW shelled out in their report:
“Let’s say sentiment reveals that a customer was unhappy during a recent phone interaction. A journey-minded organization would consider how the process of getting to that phone call impacted sentiment. Was there a lot of waiting? Did the customer initially try to use a digital channel? Was it hard to find the phone number?
“The typical organization, however, only focuses on the end statistic: the customer was unhappy during the phone call. Something must have gone wrong during the conversation.”
Analyzing metrics in terms of your holistic customer experience helps you diagnose where problems exist in your CX, so you can address them head on.
How to build out a strategy for your data-based decision-making.
Start by dividing your processes into four stages as noted by Jeff Pruitt, Chairman & CEO of Tallwave, on INC.com and listed below. In each stage, identify and document your intended goals and expected outcomes. Then, list out the tactics your team will use to reach those goals.
1. Reporting – What data points do you see and what information do you collect?
What metrics are you tracking today? What other metrics should you track, but aren’t currently? How do you gauge customer sentiment and qualitative feedback?
Use these lists to inform a plan for what to track in your contact center. Think customer surveys, agent KPIs, and sentiment analysis of call recordings and transcriptions.
2. Analytics – What do all these data points mean to your contact center and your business?
Put context behind your data. This could mean building dashboards tailored to certain stakeholders or outcomes. Or, it could mean viewing certain metrics side-by-side to see how they correlate.
Also think about how you can look at your data alongside your customer journey. How do your data points give you intel into what’s causing pain and frustration for your agents and customers?
3. Intelligence – What can you do to improve your contact center using the information you uncovered?
Now that you’ve collected and analyzed your data, it’s time to act. Where did you find mendable pains in your customer experience?
Are your agents escalating too many calls? Work on a program to coach and train them to act autonomously. Maybe you found average handle time for half your agents is 20% longer than their peers. Look for patterns among those agents, from training to call type.
Use tools to help you set thresholds and triggers for certain metrics, like CSAT or ASA. That way if the metrics chart off course, your contact center platform notifies you. And, think through how to follow up with specific and relevant in-line training for your agents.
If you find complaints stem from problems outside of service interactions, report them to the right managers. Work with leaders in other departments to address the root issues you IDed.
4. Strategy – What outcomes do you want to achieve and what do you need to fix to achieve them?
Moving forward, how can you use the above three steps to prevent repeat mistakes? Where are you falling short, and where are your efforts paying off?
Complete a SWOT analysis to determine where you stand. Then, with measurable goals set, outline a specific and actionable plan to reach those goals. Tighten your processes, improve agent training, and work collaboratively with your entire company. It takes a full-team effort to solve customer problems and progress your business.
Now, on to a few examples. HubSpot and Netflix monetized their data. They used key findings in their CX to build out a strategy for improved service and loyalty.
How Netflix and Hubspot used data strategically to improve service levels.
Netflix. Gartner’s August 2019 report, 6 Ways to Use Customer Data, shined a spotlight on how Netflix uses data to improve viewing experiences.
While most companies guard their data from the public eye, Netflix’s data strategy makes it transparent. They use data to put pressure on Internet Service Providers to improve internet speeds. The company shares comparisons of their customers’ download speeds based on their specific ISPs. This limits criticism of Netflix’s platform capabilities. And, it pushes ISPs to improve their service for customers. Making Netflix a trusted ally (in the fight for consumers’ instant gratification, of course).
“Sharing data can help set expectations and establish the company as a trusted part of the customer’s decision-making process.”– Melissa Davis, Gareth Herschel for Gartner.
HubSpot. The State of Customer Service in 2019 report an internal use case from HubSpot’s support team. The team used data to secure more budget for self-help resources for customers. The service team solved 41% of customer cases with a documented solution. This equaled about $7M spent on interactions that could’ve been solved through self-help. This intel fueled an idea: if the team made support documentation customer-facing, they could reduce case volume and solve problems quicker. They reported findings to upper management. Then, they got buy-in from ops leaders to bulk up investments in self-service resources, like a knowledge base.
Use your data to your advantage. You have the knowledge you need to create standout customer experiences. It’s sitting, waiting to be harvested and shaped into call center improvement strategies for a better CX. Take your data and run with it to finally move the needle on customer (and agent) experience.