The Road Map to Interaction Analytics: The Start of a Journey

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Since the launch of this blog, my colleagues and myself have delved into the world of interaction analytics. We’ve offered up information on everything from buzz words you’re hearing around the industry to differences in the technology to benefits the solution can offer to your contact center, performance management organization and enterprise as a whole.

Making the Case for Interaction Analytics

To help make those benefits a little more clear, let’s take a step back and think about why someone such as yourself might be considering an interaction analytics solution.  Generally, there are three goals for a contact center:  to increase revenue, to decrease costs and to improve the customer experience.  But how do you reach these goals?  To do so, you need to understand the business processes and agent behaviors that are impacting each of these areas.  And to do this, you need to have intimate knowledge of what’s driving your customers to contact your company, and what’s happening once they do.  This is where interaction analytics comes into play.  The right interaction analytics solution is able to take your biggest asset from your contact center – the unstructured data which is your recorded audio – and put structure to it.  In other words, make it empirical and quantifiable so that trends, comparisons and root cause can be established.  When combined with your already structured customer information such as customer id, purchase history, life time value, etc. or agent information like tenure or line of business, you really have something.  You’re now able to not only tackle the “low hanging fruit” projects like understanding handle times for a particular call type or spikes in volume, or more complex business challenges such as lowering FCR rates, but you’re also able to handle more challenging, big data type applications that involve predicting customer behavior patterns such as understanding and preventing customer churn.

An Answer to a Question

Hopefully, by now I’ve got you thinking, and you are picturing how an interaction analytics solution might function within your company — or at least intrigued enough to want to continue to gather information.  This is generally where some of the more tactical questions start to come in:  “How do I go about choosing a vendor?”  “What are some of the best questions to ask when evaluating the different providers?”  “Once we’ve chosen a vendor, how many internal versus external resources will I need to get the solution up and running, and then sustain it?”  “How will I know the best business cases to try to solve so that I see a return on my investment?”

Mapping the Journey

Well fear not.  Over the next eight weeks or so, myself and Ryan Pellet, who you met in the Big Data blog, are going to share best practices for buying, implementing and operationalizing an interaction analytics solution.  We’ll issue your roadmap so to speak – the GPS version, with “turn by turn” instructions, definitions, roadblocks to avoid, and planning considerations to make your journey a success.  Some of the topics we’ll cover will include:

Terminology:  Before you can compare solutions, you have to know what you’re dealing with, so understanding some of the more common terms like scalability, accuracy, empirical versus narrative and phonetic are all important to grasp and understand within the context of interaction analytics.

Proving the Value:  It’s important to see a solution at work with your own audio.  But constructing that test and asking the right questions needs to be done the right way to generate the right results.  We’ll walk you through how to do this.

People Are Important, Too:  You’re picking more than just a technology, you’re picking an analytic partner, and there are certain key considerations that should be factored into this decision.  We will make sure you understand what qualities will be most important as you begin to use your chosen solution so that you have a rapid time to insight and consistently see insightful business intelligence being generated from your audio.

Resources:  Your vendor can’t do it alone, and no matter who you choose, you know you’ll need internal team members dedicated to making this solution work.  However, the number of them, skills they should possess and time they’ll dedicate to analytic projects are all worthy of further discussion.

Making Change Happen:  One of the biggest struggles can often be taking the wealth of knowledge that interaction analytics generates, translating it into manageable action plans and then maneuvering those action plans throughout your organization so that they’re acted upon and deliver the expected ROI.  We’ll share best practices we’ve learned helping many other successful organizations do just this.

By the end of the series you should feel like you could conquer the interaction analytics world and bring it to your organization – or at least have a running head start!  So come take a road trip with us, I promise we won’t let you get lost.

[Photo: "RoadMap GPS Activity" by Mike Lee via Flickr]
Categories: Intro to Interaction Analytics