Using Interaction Analytics To Drive Your KPIs


Winning From Day One

The introduction of Interaction Analytics into the operational environment of your contact centre(s) is a milestone as far as KPI management is concerned.

The immediate benefit that Interaction Analytics offers is to help explain why the level of performance for a particular KPI is too high, too low or just the way you want it. In other words it allows you to connect goal achievement with specific behaviour(s) and therefore facilitates the ability to improve performance or share best practice when performance levels are exceptional.

“Why has this KPI suddenly increased 12% over the last two weeks?”

“Well the insights that Interaction Analytics team came back with shows that this is a combination of the following behaviours. These centre on the new claims workflow recently introduced which is causing customers to react like this …which the advisors are attempting to deal with by doing the following…”

This is a big deal for operational managers who have been raised on ACD style reporting which can only tell the pattern of performance, not its cause. Of course root cause analysis has always been possible. Albeit in painfully slow ways, via manual sampling, advisor feedback and the accumulated market know-how of those in charge to second guess what’s going on. Even then, this approach has been restricted to relatively simple situations.

In the outline example I just gave, the diagnosis can happen almost as fast as a situation unfolds. In the most sophisticated deployments of Interaction Analytics, an automated, exception-based alert will have triggered someone’s awareness of something going wrong. This will have been quickly followed by a decision to investigate and source a solution.

Even if traditional feedback via advisor to team leader to site manager provides the early warning system, overall responsiveness is still massively improved. For a start, fixing things is so much easier when a situation is fully understood and backed up with clear evidence. Especially so when the cause of an issue lies outside the contact centre’s direct control which is often the case.

So the net result is a win all around. Fewer customers suffer. Less advisor time is wasted and contact centre budgets are not blown out of the water throwing resource at the problem.

In summary, the immediate benefit of Interaction Analytics is that you will be achieving more of your KPIs more of the time.

Why KPIs Come And Go

So far we have explored the impact that Interaction Analytics can have on your current mix of KPIs. I now want to introduce an even more powerful benefit. This can be achieved after you have been using Interaction Analytics for a while. Discovering which KPIs really matter!

As I’m sure you know, this is an ongoing discussion within our industry. Of course we all accept the start point in the argument that ‘you can only improve what you can measure’. This is typically followed with the point that we tend to measure what we can rather than what need to. Again, most of us have accepted that.

So we are in the middle of transitioning from a predominantly internal set of metrics to include the customer experience. Now appreciated as key to how we define success.

Put another way, it is the old debate about efficiency versus effectiveness. These days, most of us are probably putting more attention on improving FCR (first call resolution) than AHT (average handle time) which has been downgraded as a primary indicator of success.

However, your mix of KPIs is influenced by other factors as well as the case for greater customer centricity. They will vary according to the business goals they support. A service based operation needs to track certain unique behaviour(s) relative to a sales operation.

Another cause for KPIs changing is the introduction of a new leadership team who bring with them a favoured set of metrics. These are often layered on top of existing ones. In fact one of the abiding issues in KPI management is the tendency towards having too many and therefore losing focus on what really matters.

Figuring Out Your Best KPIs

So how can Interaction Analytics help in the selection of the right KPIs for your business?

As I said earlier, ongoing use of Interaction Analytics provides a much richer stream of insight into what is happening in your operational environment. After a while the real drivers of core business performance become much clearer through ongoing tracking of root causes and identification of best practice.

It is at this point that a strategic review of your KPI mix is worthwhile. Apparently KPI experts recommend between 6-8 KPIs as ideal. So within that advice you can now review existing KPIs and their real value in helping your achieve key business goals.

Probably you will discover that some of these are rejected in favour of newly discovered drivers unearthed from Interaction Analytic assignments. They may even be ones that are unique to your business activity. For instance an insurance company might have discovered a key driver to annual retention. A home appliances service business might have identified the single most important behaviour that determines customer NPS (net promoter scores).

Of course you might discover that your current mix is fine. However your ability to track them and understand why that performance delta has just happened will have been transformed with the automated sleuthing power that Interaction Analytics delivers.

Its might even allow you to finally get a grip on how to measure FCR accurately!

Take Away Insight

Having accurate, timely insight into why performance changes over time transforms KPI management. Interaction Analytics delivers that insight.


Call center expert Brad Cleveland has been discussing how to prove the return on investment of your customer service and contact centre department. Watch Brad’s keynote speech on this topic here.


Categories: Intro to Interaction Analytics