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Lauren Maschio

How Analytics Can Help You Deliver Superior Customer Service

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Lauren Maschio, Product Marketing Manager, NICE

Consumers today expect world-class customer experiences, and delivering the fast, personalized service they demand requires that you build analytics into the core of your business. Analytics can deliver a competitive advantage by improving the quality of your interactions with customers, and with the contact centre the most vital point of contact between your company and your customers, that’s critically important.

Analytics encompasses far more than trends and insights, however; trends and numbers will get you nowhere unless your analytics program is driving the business outcomes you desire rather than simply identifying trends. Here’s what you need keep in mind to truly impact CX and CSAT:

Leverage the power of AI

AI technology has become the driving force behind innovation ranging from self-driving cars to e-commerce recommendations. In the contact center, the use of prebuilt AI technology for analytics has moved from a nice-to-have to an imperative due to its ability to transform customer service, both in terms of quality as well as efficiency. While machine learning examines and compares data to find patterns and explore nuances, AI takes it a step further, continually evolving in how it enables machines to behave in a way previously thought to require human intelligence.

In the contact center, that takes a variety of forms, including:

  • Autodiscovery, or the use of unsupervised machine learning to surface unknowns in interactions data, which makes it possible to focus deeper analysis on the topics that are most critical to your business.
  • Sentiment analysis, which is a proven predictive indicator of customer satisfaction such as tNPS or CSAT surveys.
  • AI behavior models, which score the agent soft-skill behaviors that influence the sentiment analysis on all interactions.

Move beyond speech analytics

Your agents’ interactions with customers are no longer limited to the phone; increasingly, customers are reaching out via chat, email, social media and more. If you really want to know what your customers are talking about, you must be analyzing interactions over all channels – text and audio.

An omnichannel approach that covers all channels of interactions enables you to analyze a variety of characteristics, including:

  • Speech time/non-speech time, or the presence and amount of speaking vs. silence in calls over a period of time. You can identify both the agents who have the highest speech or non-speech time as well as the reasons for call silence.
  • Agent response time in a chat, or how long it takes the agent to respond to a chat request.
  • Customer sentiment on social channels, including through text, hashtags and more.

Focus on outcomes, not data collection

When implemented in a way that drives outcomes rather than simply outlining trends, analytics offers tremendous potential to improve CX and CSAT, as one financial services provider found. After implementing an analytics program across its contact center, the provider discovered that agents were missing information, leading to long hold times. By training agents better, the provider was able to:

  • Decrease hold times.
  • Increase customer satisfaction.
  • Save more than $540,000 annually.

Keep evolving

If there’s one constant today, it’s that change is ongoing. Your sales and service models aren’t static, so your analytics program shouldn’t be either. Your business — and the language your agents and customers use when speaking about your unique environment, products and services – will naturally evolve, and your analytics program must be able to adapt in response.

To learn more about how analytics can give you the tools you need to drive the outcomes your business desires and the service your customers demand, download the ebook, AI-Enabled Contact Center Analytics For Dummies 

How real-time feedback helps drive lasting change

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By Lauren Maschio, Product Marketing Portfolio Manager, Enterprise WFO

How to give people feedback, according to Harvard Business Review, is one of the hottest topics in business today. A key problem with feedback, Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall wrote, is that people are “unreliable raters of other humans.”

“This phenomenon is called the idiosyncratic rater effect, and it’s large (more than half of your rating of someone else reflects your characteristics, not hers) and resilient (no training can lessen it),” Buckingham and Goodall asserted.

Human listening is neither consistent nor cost-effective – two people evaluating the same call often disagree whether the agent showed empathy, for example. In the end, agents don’t trust the process because they’re being measured based on a handful of calls each month, and supervisors don’t trust the process because it puts them in the difficult situation of justifying their assessment of the calls.

To overcome this challenge, contact centers are using artificial intelligence (AI) to give agents immediate and accurate feedback. A comprehensive AI framework can provide a consistent, accurate and unbiased score of the agent soft skill behaviors proven through decades of research to drive customer satisfaction – on every single interaction.

AI contact center technology can deliver behavioral insights that reside in the so-called “big data,” where pre-built models have been developed based on millions of hours of customer interactions. AI is delivering dividends, too: A recent survey by Aberdeen Research found that contact centers using AI are enjoying 3.3 times higher customer retention, 3.5 times more satisfied customers and 2.4 times higher agent productivity.

By adding real-time interaction guidance, agents get immediate feedback on how to change the conversation when a customer is expressing frustration. That’s important because while contact centers invest a lot of time and resources into coaching agents to improve behavior, agents often struggle during interactions to retain, recall and apply skills learned in coaching sessions. In fact, research shows that people forget about 50% of the new information they receive in training sessions within an hour. A day later, they’ve forgotten 70% of the material, and one week later, they’ve forgotten on average fully 90% of the coaching.

With real-time interaction guidance, agents receive desktop prompts and specific recommendations, such as how to build rapport or acknowledge loyalty, to have a more engaging conversation. Real-time interaction guidance enables agents to self-correct in the moment and reinforces skills they have already learned in a coaching session.

“Feedback is most meaningful in the moment,” Shani Harmon and Renee Cullinan wrote in Forbes.  “Feedback loops are critical for individual and organizational learning. Without them, we cannot improve.”

Learn more about how contact centers are using AI-powered real-time guidance to help agents while an interaction is in progress, giving them the feedback and coaching