Picture the scene. A large and successful financial services firm has enjoyed rapid growth as the result of a series of acquisitions, and now owns and operates three contact centres. The primary goal of its quality initiative is to provide consistent service and an identical customer experience across the entire organisation. We will consider the practical implementation of this from three different areas of this organisation’s business, i.e., contact centre, operations/finance, and sales and marketing.
The contact centre managers want to monitor and manage contact centre quality. They have installed a quality monitoring solution that is based on recording each and every customer interaction that goes through the contact centres, storing and analysing these according to predefined business rules, and sharing the findings with the rest of the organisation.
Operations and finance managers need to improve processes relating to compliance and the reduction of risk. They too need to store and analyse the data contained in each and every customer transaction, and be able to retrieve this quickly and easily when needed to, eg, settle any dispute swiftly.
Sales and marketing management strive to sustain and broaden their organisation’s market leadership. They need to learn as much as possible about the company’s customers – e.g., what they think generally, any product queries/confusions, why customers are being lost, etc – and use this knowledge to help formulate their ongoing and future sales and marketing strategies to maximize revenue.
Looking at all these needs together, there is a common ground and that is the general recognition of the huge value of the customer intelligence. So, what steps next, and how does an organisation make this work in practice?
Step One: Gather Complete Customer Intelligence
In the scenario above, the management teams have different pressing questions they need to answer:
– Does an increase in transferred calls reflect a problem in the skills-based routing or a training problem?
– Why is my agent turnover high?
– How can I listen to failed transactions to understand what went wrong?
– Are the scripts, processes and procedures we’re using for handling customer interactions effective at resolving problems? For instance, is our scripting too rigid? Are we really listening to what customers want?
– If a customer lodges a dispute over a transaction, can I quickly find the call in question?
Sales and Marketing
– How can I really understand what techniques our best agents use to close deals?
– Is a new competitor’s promotion hurting our ability to obtain new business?
– How do customers feel about the experience of interacting with our company satisfied, loyal, frustrated, angry, etc.?
– Are we missing opportunities for cross-selling and up-selling?
– How can I be best prepared for a follow-up call with an uncertain, high profile customer?
In all of these scenarios, only having access and the ability to playback each and every customer interaction can help the managers truly understand their business, and go any way towards answering these questions.
Moreover, to ensure you have a total record of each transaction, any recording needs to include data provided by the PBX/ACD, by desktop CRM software, and by the recording system’s top-line automatic analysis of the call.
Step Two : Facilitate Easy Access to the Intelligence
Managers are busy people and don’t have time to look for information. Information ideally needs to come to them. Today’s recording and analytical systems can enable this, proactively pushing information about customers to the people who need it, when they need it, and in the format that they need it.
Step Three: Use Intelligence Wisely to Facilitate Change
First-hand replay of customer interactions is critical, but it’s simply impossible to listen to tens of thousands of calls that are typically recorded in a busy contact centre. This is where automated processing plays its part, being able to locate the ‘needles in the haystack.’
Techniques such as call-flow exception analysis, audio-analysis, and keyword spotting automatically identify calls of interest. Each manager can set up automatic analysis of calls using their own defined business rules to flag potential calls of interest and automatically ‘push’ these calls to their inbox for review.
For example, a sales manager can subscribe to calls that his top accounts place to the help desk. Even if he is off site, he can receive notification by email that such a call has come in and he can play it back from anywhere and respond accordingly.
A customer retention specialist might subscribe to calls from customers who close their account. This manager can immediately scan a customer’s contact history, drill down and hear the actual discussion in which the service was cancelled.
This allows him to take appropriate action with the customer, the agent, or address the business process that led to the customer defection.
A marketing or training manager could subscribe to all calls from a specific promotion that were longer than 10 minutes and did not result in a sale , so the script could quickly be refined and/or the agent could be coached to qualify a prospect sooner.
Step 4: Manage the Quality Process – Overcoming Department-Specific Obstacles
Managing quality means different things to different people. So any quality initiative and recording solution must be flexible enough to adapt to the challenges each manager faces within the specific department they are running.
Any recording solution should allow for each user to have a different view of the same core information that is relevant to there role and needs.
Step 5: Make Intelligence the Foundation of Quality
The managers in the example we’ve given are typical of many organisations. What sets them apart however is a sense of the greater good. This allows them to expand the company’s vision for a quality solution that meets the business needs of the entire company, not just one isolated department.
They are using what they learn from all customer interactions to promote consistency, quality and profitability across the entire organisation.
Successful quality initiatives today must go beyond random monitoring and incremental agent performance improvement to focus on enabling a customer experience that is fuelled by the entire organisation.
After all, it’s the value of a company’s relationships with its customers that ultimately determines the market value of the company. And the real value of a company can only be measured by the loyalty of its customers.