Every call your contact center receives brings heaps of data with it: customer information, customer preferences, product insights, customer satisfaction scores, and much more. It’s what you do with this data that makes it valuable.
In fact, research from the University of Texas found increasing data’s usability by just 10% results in an average revenue boost of $2 billion annually for Fortune 1000 companies.
But perhaps you’re sitting on all of your call center data. Or you’re not using it to its full potential. Instead, you rely on gut checks or old tactics to inform your strategy.
It’s time to stop viewing call center metrics as an end result. Here’s why it means a lot more than you think — and how to use it to your advantage.
What is Call Center Data?
Call center data is any information that comes from customer interactions in your contact center. Because these interactions are usually recorded (either via phone, social media, or SMS transcript), they’re easier to mine for insightful data. You can glean both sentimental and objective data, including:
- Contact information and demographics
- Peak call times
- Call volume
- Customer satisfaction
- Customer preferences
- Channels or devices used
- Common customer complaints/questions
- Product shortcomings
Why is Call Center Data Valuable?
In the digital age, data is everywhere. Is it possible we take it for granted? There’s a lot more insight hiding behind your data than you may realize.
- It provides objective support for strategy.
Instead of shooting in the dark and setting random goals, call center data provides a baseline by which to set goals and measure growth. For instance, a standard call center metric like call duration becomes more valuable when you compare it to industry averages. From there, you can set goals for improving the metric.
Call center data also informs decision making so you make smarter moves the first time around.
- It provides deeper insights on customers.
Want to become more customer centric? Get to know your customers on a deeper level — not just their name, contact information, and purchased products, but their likes, dislikes, and inclinations for future purchases. Every interaction you have (from common questions to complaints) can tell you something about your customers. You just have to put the intelligence to use.
- It reduces call center costs.
It costs your team time and money when employees have to use manual workarounds or multiple disjointed systems to do their jobs, leading to disengagement. It also costs you every time a customer gets frustrated and jumps ship.
Call center data can expose opportunities for improvement in speed, knowledgeability, and efficiency. This may include:
- More thorough knowledge base articles for self-service
- An integrated customer service system
- More tailored cross-sell campaigns
- It prevents customers from leaving.
Never get caught off guard about customer attrition. You can use the data you collect to predict behavior and correct issues before they start (which may lead to account termination). Look at failed accounts and identify patterns in the products they use, reps they spoke to, when they purchased, what channel they seek support through, etc. It’s said that retaining your customers also saves you money because it costs more to acquire a new customer than to re-engage an existing one.
How to Use the Data You Collect
According to Gartner, there are five categories of customer experience KPIs that can improve your call center performance: employee engagement; quality operations; customer satisfaction; loyalty, churn, and retention; and advocacy and brand reputation.
Every piece of data you collect falls into one of these categories. But if it’s so valuable, what can you do with it?
Employee surveys are a good way to gather rep feedback and identify what’s working (or not). Use the data to see where agents struggle, whether in process, contact center software, or team cohesiveness.
Then, conduct 1:1 conversations with your managers to address key concerns using call center data for support. Make sure agents have direct access to important metrics so they can set achievable goals. One of the best ways to do this is to create ops dashboards that map out your contact center’s most crucial KPIs, so everyone can track progress at a glance.
In team and 1:1 meetings, walk employees through the metrics and why they matter. Tailor coaching to help them develop in-line training plans that address issues specific to each agent. Then, connect your systems to empower agents with complete customer data and interaction history, so they can solve problems on their own.
According to contact center leaders, empowering an agent to offer custom or unique resolutions to customers has the biggest impact on a positive employee experience. When agents know how they’re tracking toward goals, they can shift mid-course to offer customers better outcomes.
Ditch outdated or unnecessary policies or documentation to better serve your agents. Get specific so managers change their coaching or training tactics to include smarter processes. Perhaps average handle times are high because your agents spend too much time searching for answers. Or, could it be that they’re bored and unchallenged due to overstaffing?
Whatever the reason, the need for change will be evident in trends and patterns in your data. Remember, there’s a reason for everything. Dig deep to understand the true cause of performance gaps instead of blaming one agent or team. Look at the systems and processes you have in place. See how you can help your team work more efficiently.
You can also help contact center reps accelerate their average speed of answer by rerouting overflow calls to different agents, and make sure your precision-based routing is working for you, not against you. Use your data as a guide to inform decisions and make your internal processes more efficient.
Use customer interaction data to identify key customer concerns — and devise a plan to fix them. Then, work with your managers to develop coaching and training programs centered around these concerns. For example, if all of your one-star reviews have long wait times in common, look for opportunities to introduce AI and automation. This will help solve run-of-the-mill problems faster, while taking menial tasks off your agents’ plates so they can focus on more complex issues.
But the root cause of a problem is not the same across every company. Maybe you experienced an outage that left agents unable to address subsequent calls. Use your data to investigate and understand why problems arise. Others can then lean on you as a resource to improve WFM strategy or work cross-functionally with other teams to keep customers in-the-know.
Loyalty, Churn, and Retention
Analyze your data to better understand why customers leave and why they stay. Create loyalty dashboards to view metrics side-by-side. Look for answers to questions like:
- Which customers are your tried and true loyalists?
- What are their favorite products and services?
- How often do they need help?
- What channels do they prefer to contact you from?
Then, do the same for customers who churned.
- When did they leave?
- Which agents did they interact with?
- Is there a trend in the products or services they used?
Remember, it’s not your agents’ fault if a customer isn’t happy with a product. Help them properly communicate key product or company issues back to company leadership before it becomes a problem.
Advocacy and Brand Reputation
Don’t disregard external review sites and social media chatter about your brand. See what customers are talking about. Do they rave about your service or complain? Then, flag these customers as high priority in your system and empower agents to engage or even hand out goodwill gestures (like coupons and free products) when they see fit.
Lean into your promoters and influencers. Give them early access to new products or services in exchange for their honest feedback. Consider a customer focus group or advisory board. This way, you’ll get authentic feedback before new products or services go out to the masses. Finally, use what you uncover from these promoters to create templates for better service experiences. Or, give customer service agents a script to quell brand detractors.
There’s a Goldmine of Data at Your Fingertips
What could your data uncover? Don’t leave it sitting around to gather dust. Your call center data is perhaps more valuable than any other type throughout your company since it gauges the opinions, feelings, and preferences of your VIPs: customers.
If you don’t feel like you have the right data or you’re still not sure how to put it to good use, SharpenCX has the all-in-one platform to kick your strategy up a notch and fuel business intelligence.
Check out our helpful guide, How to Build Customer Service Strategies using the data you already have in your contact center. Or, contact Sharpen today to get started with a demo.