Harnessing the Power of Business Intelligence in the Call Center

Call CenterHaving the power to make timely and knowledgeable decisions is a crucial part of succeeding in the call center environment. Business intelligence (BI) allows organizations to harness this power, giving leaders greater insight into performance and talent attributes where greater efficiency and productivity can be achieved among individuals and throughout the entire organization.

In spite of the well-known advantages of BI, it still remains new territory for many organizations. The following places a spotlight on BI and its ability to promote positive change in many aspects of the call center.

Defining Business Intelligence

The goal of BI is to sift through big data and use the information gained to aid in the decision-making process, ensuring that organizations remain competitive and responsive to upcoming trends and sudden changes in marketing strategy. BI also seeks to foster consistent improvement, promote beneficial business activity, and allow leaders to identify and tackle potential problems before they have an opportunity to sideline operations.

BI has always been around in one form or another, but the rise of cloud-based call center technology has made it much easier to use. In the days before modern tools, much of the data needed to facilitate BI would have to have been pulled, analyzed, and reported manually. As a result, organizations that needed BI most often lacked the agility to benefit from it.

The Role of BI in the Call Center

Integrating BI into the call center allows leaders to harness the power of big data for their daily operations. By using analysis of agent performance and how it could potentially affect business outcomes in real time, it becomes much easier to quickly and easily address performance concerns. The end result is months of improvements that now only take weeks to achieve.

BI also introduces a historical perspective to call centers. For instance, improvements in scheduling, resource allocation, and cost forecasting often come from examining historic data. Trends gleaned from this data can be put to good use when adjusting hiring needs, agent schedules, and additional training.

Employing historical and real-time BI allows organizations to become more responsive to changes in customer demands, allowing call center agents to pivot quickly in order to meet those changes.

Quantifying Success

Organizations should remember that BI isn’t a smoking gun when it comes to producing success. It’s important to define, monitor, and measure the metrics that are essential to the call center’s overall effectiveness. These metrics can be used to identify areas in need of improvement and generate new data sets for further analysis.

For more information on how business intelligence can benefit your call center operations, contact us at ROI Networks for a no-obligation consultation.

5 Ways to Build Better Call Center Coaching Sessions

Call CenterCall center managers are constantly searching for ways to help their teams provide better, more efficient service. Group coaching sessions are an excellent way to create consistency when communicating strategies, techniques, and expectations to agents and representatives, but they need to be carefully designed to ensure their effectiveness.With that in mind, here are five techniques for creating more engaging and productive call center coaching sessions:

Protect Employee Confidentiality
During coaching sessions, avoid calling out individual agents or customer service representatives for errors or inefficiencies. Instead, find private ways of communicating expectations to under-performing employees, or consider using one-on-one coaching for those individuals.

Back It up with Numbers
When the time comes to provide agents and employees with feedback and constructive criticism, it’s always a good idea to back up claims with hard data. For example, rather than telling an individual that his or her quality score has “gone down recently,” offer that it has declined by “X percent over the past Y days/weeks/months.”

This helps employees set tangible improvement goals while giving managers a concrete baseline for evaluating future performance.

Encourage Employees to Evaluate Themselves
Having agents and employees evaluate their own performance, either anecdotally or by using recordings of customer calls, is an excellent way to encourage two-way feedback between management and staff. It also encourages employees to think more critically about how they engage with customers.

Avoid Generalizations
One of the best ways to improve call center agent performance is to be specific rather than general when offering feedback. Again, call recordings can be very helpful in this regard, as they provide specific times, dates, and interactions that managers can use to call employee attention to particular habits or shortcomings.

Offer Positive Feedback
Too often, call center coaching sessions focus on what employees are doing wrong at the expense of what they’re doing right. A little positive reinforcement can go a long way, and encourages employees to work harder at self-improvement. Whenever possible, frame constructive criticism by saying, “You’re doing A, B, and C really well, but I’d like to see you work towards D. Keep up the good work!”

Businesses seeking advanced call center technologies can count on the professionals at ROI Networks to meet their changing needs. To learn more about the ROI Networks suite of solutions, please contact a client services representative.

Comparing Progressive and Predictive Dialer Technologies

Call CenterAll outbound call centers share a common goal: to reach as many prospects in as short a time as possible. Auto-dialers have been a fixture in call centers for decades, and manufacturers have responded to niche needs by developing products with specialized capabilities.

The progressive dialer and the predictive dialer are two of the most widely used types of auto-dialers, but what differentiates them from one another? How do they compare, and how can companies choose the option that’s right for them?
The Progressive Dialer: How It Works

Progressive dialers use call lists, from which they automatically dial numbers in sequence, one at a time. A progressive dialer will only place a call if there is a call center agent ready and waiting to speak to the person on the other end.
The Predictive Dialer: How It Works

A predictive dialer, by contrast, calls multiple numbers at once, regardless of whether or not a call center agent is ready at the exact moment the call is placed. Predictive dialers work by using data analysis to “predict” how long it will take before an agent is free to speak to the next customer, and places calls accordingly.

In addition, a predictive dialer is capable of anticipating the likelihood of a call going unanswered, based on trends generated by the call list in use. If the situation warrants it, predictive dialers will increase call volumes to make up for downtime caused by unanswered calls.
Progressive Dialer vs. Predictive Dialer: How to Choose

Progressive and predictive dialers both have their strengths and drawbacks. While progressive dialers are not able to match the sheer call volume that predictive dialers are capable of generating, they do add a more personal touch by ensuring that an agent is always on hand to speak to a customer who answers the call, without exception.

Conversely, predictive dialers are the better option when it comes to maximizing efficiency. Progressive dialers offer major efficiency improvements over manual calling, but come up short in comparison to predictive dialers. On the down side, they can result in customer-end frustration, since a customer may answer a call before an agent is ready to speak to them. In such cases, the customer may abandon the call, even though a prompt can be used to let them know an agent will be with them shortly.

The business communication experts at ROI Networks have extensive experience helping clients choose the right technologies for their unique needs. To learn more about the dynamic, next-generation solutions available to today’s enterprises, please contact us to consult with an ROI Networks professional.

Why Every Call Center Needs Workforce Optimization

ROI June blog 4Workforce optimization (WFO) is a phrase used to describe a powerful set of tools designed for call center support. For some companies, the call center provides the majority of their sales and support efforts so managing this segment effectively is a critical task. WFO suites assist managers with everything from collecting call recordings to data analytics that report on agent performance. Here’s why companies are increasingly turning to WFO packages to improve results.

Serve Customers Better

When it comes to customer service, bad news travels far more quickly than good. It’s nearly a guarantee that a less-than-optimal interaction will result in the company gaining negative publicity via social media. Many people have hundreds to thousands of readers on a single social media platform and usually participate in multiple platforms, so a single status update about a customer service problem could attain viral status very quickly. News of a poor service experience reaching that many people may have a serious impact on customer loyalty or acquisition.

Companies using WFO in the call center have greater visibility into service problems and are able to use that information to coach representatives, streamline processes, and otherwise manage issues. Through improved customer handling, the chance of bad publicity is minimized and customers will be more likely to share stories of efficient and effective customer service that the company has delivered.

Get to Know Customers

WFO packages allow companies to gain understanding about customers. It helps answer questions like:

  • What is the most common reason for calls?
  • What factors are most important to the customer base?
  • Are certain marketing campaigns more effective than others?

Knowing the answers to these questions and acting on the insights provided by WFO analytics will improve customer retention and satisfaction.

Improving Agent Satisfaction

An important part of operating a call center is keeping agents engaged and happy at their jobs. WFO solutions must embed training opportunities for reps and ensure that the right reps are assigned to the right areas of the company. When agents feel valued, motivated, and knowledgeable, the trickle-down effect is better customer service. Using the WFO package to gain and share insights and address agent satisfaction numbers with relevant leaders goes a long way toward employee and customer retention.

WFO packages for the call center provide a number of crucial advantages. Implementing this type of system results in rewards from improved customer service to enhanced productivity and decreased employee churn.

WFO is the key to discovering important trends and performing better as an organization. For more information about WFO solutions, contact ROI Networks today.