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Author: Rose de Fremery

The unprecedented global disruption of 2020 has caused businesses to reevaluate their analytics strategies, particularly where the customer experience (CX) is concerned. According to recent research from McKinsey, 75% of U.S. consumers have tried different stores, websites, or brands during the COVID-19 crisis. What's more, 60% of these consumers expect to integrate these new stores and brands into their post-pandemic lives.

Businesses that use contact center analytics to gain accurate insight into rapidly evolving customer expectations and optimize the customer experience can gain a competitive advantage in this new landscape. To do so, however, they will need smart strategies that maximize the value of their contact center investment. Here's a look at what contact center analytics are, how they create business value and how to get started using them.

What are contact center analytics?

Contact center analytics are essential to continuously improving and innovating the customer experience. Businesses can use these metrics to understand what is happening in their contact centers and make sure they are continuously delivering on customer expectations for a high-quality customer experience. Contact and call center analytics can be customized according to how a business needs to measure its progress toward achieving its unique CX goals.

Businesses often use call and contact center analytics to spot trends they might otherwise overlook, improve the quality of customer service their agents provide and pinpoint the root causes of emerging customer experience issues before they become full-blown customer pain points. By taking advantage of these insights, businesses can increase customer satisfaction and reduce customer churn. Ultimately, businesses can use these analytics to gain and maintain a competitive advantage in the market.

Call center analytics can take many forms, particularly in an omnichannel environment. Text analytics can assess customer interactions that transpire over email, text message, social media, a messaging app or even a chatbot exchange. Contact center software enabled by artificial intelligence (AI) can analyze voice calls to gauge customer sentiment, identifying when a customer is becoming frustrated and may need to have their issue escalated. Some organizations use predictive analytics to forecast how many call center agents they will need to have on duty during peak periods like the holiday season.

How call center analytics sand contact center analytics create business value

Businesses can tap contact center analytics to create business value in several ways. For example, by analyzing transcripts from customer calls, a bank might discover that many customers reach out to the contact center for help when filling out an online application because they are struggling with it. A few simple tweaks to the application can improve their experience and reduce the volume of inbound calls to the customer support team.

Organizations can also analyze their interactive voice response systems' analytics to pinpoint exactly where customers are encountering friction and abandoning that self-service solution. In this way, businesses can meet customer expectations for modern self-service capabilities, reduce the burden on their contact center teams and use the time savings to further innovate the customer experience.

Although businesses once heavily relied on speech analytics to assess contact center interactions, some organizations are now using a more advanced version—interaction analytics—to automatically analyze every voice, email and chat interaction. This comprehensive approach empowers businesses to access detailed insights across all customer communication channels, so they can obtain a complete picture of the customer experience.

Businesses can even use the AI found in interaction analytics tools to discover new trends or topics that otherwise might have flown under the radar, potentially gaining a timely competitive advantage through immediate insights gleaned on social media channels or messaging apps. Organizations that require a more sophisticated approach but don't currently have deep in-house analytics expertise can tap quality management analytics to evaluate agent interactions with customers and make sure they are always aligned with the company's customer experience goals.

All of these analytics insights, when properly leveraged, can provide businesses with crucial opportunities and open the door to future customer experience innovation.

Improve your CX with contact center analytics

To reap maximum benefit from contact center analytics and call center analytics, there are a few preparatory steps you should take. First, it's wise to identify, at a high level, the customer experience goals you wish to achieve. Ideally, these goals should flow from your broader CX strategy and also directly link upward to your company's high-level business goals. Once you've defined your CX goals, determine whether the contact center tools you currently have available can help you accomplish these goals over the short and long term.

Contact center data is often siloed across various channels, and that can throw a wrench in even the most sophisticated analytics strategies. Accordingly, you will want to create a plan for integrating all of the data you need into your contact center solution. Organizational silos shouldn't hurt the customer experience, but they too could be a potential problem if they are not proactively addressed.

Also, consider your organizational comfort level with analytics and decide whether you need to build skills in this area. If you don't yet have much in-house expertise or past experience with analytics initiatives, and especially if you are already juggling multiple digital transformation projects as it is, it may be helpful to engage the expertise of an experienced partner.

Customer expectations are rapidly changing, and a consistently excellent customer experience is critical for maintaining a competitive position in the market. By leveraging the valuable insights found in call and contact center analytics, businesses can deliver a consistent, high-quality customer experience that ensures long-term customer loyalty and even genuine customer advocacy.

Learn more about the benefits of speech analytics in the contact center.