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Seven Ways Call Center Business Intelligence Boosts Agent Productivity

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McKay Bird

Chief Marketing Officer

Ian Michiels at Customer Think suggests a marker of successful business intelligence (BI) lies in employee productivity. He isn’t wrong. His statement, however, raises questions about how to define positive productivity. In addition, his words relate to business intelligence generally rather than to call center business intelligence specifically. This article solves for both areas, examining seven ways business intelligence, when applied to the call center, impacts agent productivity.

1. Better Time Management
Most people know they’re more productive at certain times of the day. That understanding explains why they lump themselves into categories like “early birds” and “night owls.” Thanks to call center business intelligence, though, this instinctual knowledge receives some quantifiable gravitas.

That is, BI’s data reveals when agents work best. This data isn’t used to turn agents into automatons; rather, managers and supervisors use it to schedule tasks during peak productivity windows, the times when agents are most likely to perform at top levels. Doing so results in agents who not only better manage their time but also feel empowered to complete the jobs entrusted to them.

2. Prevent Fraud and Data Entry Errors
Concerns about the GDPR will only mount as its deadline approaches. Specifically, organizations may worry more about preventing fraud and data entry errors as a part of their regulatory compliance efforts. Call center business intelligence reduces some of these worries, offering safeguards and always-on oversight.

For example, call center business intelligence can identify when agents are more prone to errors. The agents could be coming toward the end of a shift, skipping break times, or enduring a faulty process. (See below.) If nothing else, call center BI encourages honesty and compliance because agents know their work is monitored and analyzed on an ongoing basis.

3. Detect Process Deficiencies
As noted above, errors sometimes occur because of an inefficient process. Call center business intelligence offers an opportunity to “sleuth” out these processes by asking, “Is this working?” The data, rather than qualitative assessments or guesswork, provides the answer. Its patterns show when a process works and when it doesn’t.

The nice thing about this sort of analysis is that it can be applied to present-day processes and hypothetical ones. In this way, a new process isn’t rolled out across the company but tested with pertinent stakeholders. The process can then be scratched or refined before an organization-wide implementation. Managers and directors can call for tracking on: name and address corrections that occur when customers report they never moved; cross-track error corrections against time of day, agent or day of the week; payments received versus payments made; quantity of errors per agent, etc.

4. Reduce Agent Attrition
The call center tends to be known for high turnover rates. Call center business intelligence can lower the number by assessing when and how people leave the organization. Its data also ascertains costs—not only the costs of hiring and training a new call center agent but also the costs of losing a current one.

That is, call center business intelligence provides both an overview and a close-up of agent attrition. It also identifies causes and effects. This information can then be used to develop a tactical action plan, including items like changing backend processes; updating recruitment, hiring, and training efforts; utilizing an employee (agent) engagement program; offering opportunities for training and advancement; or providing a more amenable work environment.

5. Encourage Collaboration and Teamwork
Call center business intelligence proves that collaboration and teamwork boosts productivity. The Harvard Business Review (HBR) marks the fact, as does McKinsey. By working together and taking time to “goof off,” agents are better prepared for difficult calls and customers.

McKinsey notes an additional, interesting outcome: Staff may become more aware of their coworkers’ value when their teamwork is analyzed. Such valuation doesn’t come solely through interpersonal communication, however, but it often provides context. Rather, data can demonstrate how one person’s work affects another’s. Showing the correlation helps people understand they’re working toward the same thing, albeit through different roles, which gives them a sense of unity and purpose. Tracking transferred and monitored calls is a great starting point for observing the effect of collaboration on customer satisfaction and agent effectiveness.

6. Pinpoint Untapped Potential
Call center business intelligence can also be used to discover other information. For instance, it can identify rising stars within the organization. One agent, for example, might make an ideal supervisor or manager. Another would struggle if given the position.

It can be hard to find the former when they spend the majority of their days interacting with customers. Fortunately, call center business intelligence can locate them. It gathers hundreds, if not thousands, of data points to assess which person might be ready for more responsibility. Implementing that data produces positive results: a good hire for the company and an empowered, productive agent who is less likely to leave the organization for another job.

7. Develop Customer Empathy
Finally, as Big Data Made Simple suggests, call center business intelligence can be used to improve customer communications. Agents, managers, and supervisors can analyze all sorts of “intelligence,” including recorded calls, to study things like tone and keywords. In addition, they can explore customer transactions and historical patterns of behavior to better forecast the future.

Training Mag proffers another customer-related use for call center business intelligence: customer empathy. They propose turning customer data points into “robust customer profiles.” These pictures offer greater insight into who customers are and why they do or do not buy. Training Mag says the data can then be used to glean “exactly where in the sales process your salespeople are losing leads—and what to do differently in order to hold onto them.”

When call centers and big data combine, call center business intelligence results. And now is the time to invest in the capability—it is too profitable to agent productivity to pass up. Learn how Business Intelligence can help your call center below!

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