My job at Nexidia gives me an ongoing source of examples showing how the UK contact centre market is changing. I’m focussed on how Interaction Analytics can help organisations improve their performance and quality programmes. In discussing this, I hear many stories about contact centres already shifting their focus and approach towards something that is better suited to their evolving service strategies.
Changing Priorities In Customer Service
Most often these are in response to greater corporate interest in improving customer experience along with the associated need to improve employee engagement. This is causing a fundamental rethink in what gets measured and how performance and quality is managed in the contact centre.
This can be witnessed in the rise of customer metrics such as FCR (first call resolution) NPS (net promoter score) and Customer Effort over internal metrics such as AHT(average handle time). In other words, we are seeing a swing from ‘efficiency’ to ‘effectiveness’.
Sometimes people talk about this in the language of being ‘outcome driven’ rather than ‘process driven’. I recently heard someone put this rather well while we were discussing their vision for changing how their team leaders should be managing.
“The team leader focus could then shift from managing the “number” to managing, coaching and understanding the behaviours that drive performance and quality and focus on what’s best for the customer.”
Of course this raises another skill issue. Team leaders have traditionally been used to manage the numbers, not the behaviours. Being good at spreadsheets and good at coaching are clearly not the same. For this reason I’m being told by many organisations that they are in the process of either re-skilling or recruiting to fit this new ‘team leader as coach’ profile.
New Approaches To Management
Given the increasing use of customer metrics, contact centres are now aligning more with corporate goals such as improving customer experience instead of cost related goals such as reducing handle time.
“Let the customer decide whether good service was provided. It’s only good service if the customer believes so”
Hence, quality and performance management is becoming a more ongoing, fluid activity as opposed to something done in a standard way at certain times. Of course this implies that access to analysis and individual call recordings is greatly simplified.
Secondly, we are becoming less prescriptive. For instance, what constitutes a quality outcome can depend on the context of a particular customer interaction. What might work in one situation might not apply elsewhere. That is why many service orientated organisations empower their customer facing teams to use their own judgement based on circumstance. Again this implies they are able to categorise the calls, based on user defined metrics and provide team leaders with specific calls, relevant to the advisors’ area of struggle so that they don’t have to go search for them, or rely on random call sampling. And of course they are then able to trend their progress.
What Are The Implications?
The way I hear the industry is developing suggests that a more flexible and capable approach to performance and quality is now urgently needed. This is why Interaction Analytics is so important. . Only using Interaction Analytics is an organization able to:
• Manage agent performance by setting user-defined goals that specifically relate to corporate objectives
• Monitor against 100% of interactions, eliminating the dependence on random call sampling and painting a true picture of an agent’s strengths and weaknesses
• Quickly surface best practices and areas of struggle, allowing coaches to deliver targeted training
This then allows for smart exception based management and in depth evaluation of what has and has not worked. A world away from the rigid protocol of traditional performance and quality monitoring
Key Take Away
Interaction Analytics is a powerful tool in helping contact centres to evolve their cultures.