For contact centers and any business, excellence is crucial in achieving positive results. However, ineffective operational structures and inconsistent operational practices can often lead to poor results in the workplace.
WhitePages, a leading provider of contact information for people and businesses in the U.S., conducted a survey of more than 542 contact center professionals last November as part of their analysis, “Using of Big Data in the Contact Center”. Survey results show that data overload and lack of focus on customer satisfaction is apparently the core reasons why fewer than 60% of contact centers fail to deliver actionable customer service information to agents.
According to the study, managers were obstructed by overflowing data from too many sources that is inefficiently combined and utilized. Half of contact centers collect and use data around customer satisfaction, but more than a third collect none at all. Meanwhile, 15% collect it but don’t use it.
It was also revealed that contact center representatives are not as connected to relevant customer data. Agents are still forced to manually input more than 40% of customer contact information as automated Application Programming Interface API or Web-based system is still unavailable. This resulted to half of call center agents claiming they face productivity challenges by having to ask customers for basic contact information.
“You’re not going to enable agents to take the next step in customer satisfaction until you’ve empowered them with the supporting data to deal with the purpose of the call,” said WhitePages Director of Accounts John Neely, a former call center manager for PSINet, MindSpring, and EarthLink. “First contact resolution has always been paramount, but it’s smarter to stay with a customer as long as it is needed to solve the problem.”
Neely emphasized that contact centers should empower agents to sell better by starting on updating data systems so that agents will immediately know whose calling, what age group they’re in, what they’ve bought before, and even why they might be calling at a particular time.
“Companies need to distribute the right data to agents to make centers more actionable. In a competitive and commoditized business environment, you have to look at call centers as a competitive advantage,” Neely added. “Agents who are able to use the training they’ve been given are happier in their jobs. They’ll stay longer in what is a high-turnover profession and the company will see the results improve.”