Bruce Von Maltitz, co-founder at 1Stream

Data has become the currency of the digital landscape. Irrespective of industry sector, no company can afford not to manage, analyse, and execute on the information it has at its disposal. The 2016 annual white paper 1Stream, features Data Analysis as a key trend. This article looks at the impact data analytics has on the contact centre environment and the business benefits.

In a data-driven world, the contact centre has evolved to become the cross point for service, support, and sales. There is a drive to provide reporting that gives meaningful high-level information for management, as opposed to just getting sight of the performance and quality of various voice calls in the contact centre.

“With the explosion of data, there is considerably more information that decision-makers need to trawl through. As systems become more sophisticated, data needs to be pulled from a number of channels such as email, social media, voice, video, and even fax. This omni-channel environment means companies who rely on contact centres have to become more sophisticated at analysing data in order to sustain business growth,” says Bruce Von Maltitz, co-founder at 1Stream.

Data increase influencing contact centre requirements

He feels that requirements of contact centres have changed over the past 15 years in terms of metrics. But are contact centres becoming better because of the data available to them, or have they become more sophisticated in the way they present information to management than in the past?

“In all likelihood, it is a combination of both. Thanks to the multimedia channels consumers have at their disposal to engage with a company, contact centres are forced to measure quality across various channels to ensure commitment to customer service. This commitment needs to talk to a consistent customer experience no matter the touch point,” he says. For example, within some companies, a contact centre agent answers a telephone call within seconds, but it often takes a couple of weeks to get a response to email. It is critical to have the same experience across all the channels that people use or the business risks reputational damage.

Contact centres have certainly become more strategic with companies coming to rely on them for insights on customer behaviour and trends. And while the environment has always been very report-driven, often it was a case of having to try and extract value out of spreadsheets filled with numbers.

High-level data analysis should be more accessible and digestible

“Business management want to see how the contact centre fits in with rest of their business. They want to pull information from other systems and combine that with data from the contact centre. People are getting used to the idea of customising their reports according to their unique requirements,” says Von Maltitz.

Providing decision-makers with access to data and empowering them to slice and dice it themselves is a critical step in data analysis. However, according to Von Maltitz there still needs to be a mechanism in place to present the information to non-contact centre people in a format that speaks for itself.

“Instead of giving them pages full of numbers, analytics can be used to paint a picture where the information is translatable for business users. And by having that, the business can become more efficient and aligned to customer expectations,” he concludes.