The Old Days
I’ve been in the contact centre industry for over twenty years starting on the phones as an advisor to setting them up and running them. During that time, I learnt contact centres, with a capacity of 40 or thousands of agents, have one thing in common: the knowledge that robust reporting tools, delivering call centre metrics, is fundamental to tracking and monitoring a business’s overall performance. Yet, over the years they have been many (hundreds!) of call centre metrics, so which one is the most important metric to report on?
I know, data reporting may seem like a dull topic but hear me out. How your contact centre reports its advisor’ performance and customer engagement should be at the top of your priorities list. If you consider the dramatic shift in technology for the contact centre space, it’s pretty crucial. Asking questions about your current reporting tool shouldn’t go off the radar. Questions like, which call centre metric is most relevant to my business? Or, is our current tech extracting data the most optimal way? In the past, if I ever needed specific data about my agents, I had to hire SQL developers to wait until all agents had gone home before they could access large tin cans in the basement. They were old, legacy-based data servers. Thankfully, we now have cloud technology to access information whenever we want and wherever we are.
Without this raw data we wouldn’t be able to get on with our day-to-day job: know how many times a customer has been called, how many transfers they’ve been through or how many calls they’ve been put on hold. On a commercial level, call centre metrics advise businesses on where to make improvements, training and development needs for their agents, better understand and predict sales figures and conversion rates.
The demands on contact centre insight
At forecast and budgeting meetings I would witness senior contact centre managers request specific metrics such as FCA (first contact resolution) one day and cost per call the next, and it would constantly be a different output every time. Often contact centre publications and research papers would suggest a certain trend was on the rise: NPS (net promoter scores) one month, only to be replaced by a new measure such as CES (Customer Effort Score) and so on. Cycles, trends and changing stakeholders created a shifting sandpit for reports and demands on data.
That said, no matter which trends became flavour of the month it became increasingly apparent that businesses became more and more reliant on valuable and clear insight from their contact centres—don’t underestimate the value of insight. What has dramatically changed, however, is the way we, and your customers, consume information and data. The volume of data is increasing, more contact points, channels, outcomes; complexity is rising, and the needs of stakeholders change with times. Look at the way people operate in a fast-paced smartphone culture today. It’s fast and its mobile, so contact centres need to be ahead of time and look up at the cloud, not down in their basement.
Could your contact centre reporting tool be better?
Sure, you may have a great reporting tool, but, instead of following trends, focus on getting the basics right. Let’s face it, a ‘pretty’ reporting tool doesn’t make up for the lack of productivity demonstrated in your call centre data, so why not invest in making your current platform better? Afterall, Average Handling Times says nothing about the outcome of the call. Is your reporting tool future proof? I very much doubt it is. Is your data source comprehensive, accurate and accessible? Can you integrate it with 3rd party applications? Those should drive your core decisions. More businesses are moving into the Power BI world, let the specialists feed stakeholders and deal with the trends!
Future proof your reporting tool and beat your competitors
Unfortunately, the reporting tool ‘to win them all’ doesn’t exist in a contact centre platform. However, if you need raw data of your contact centre’s productivity, the sanity of your agents and the satisfaction rates of your customers, then you need a platform that is:
- Fit for purpose
- Operates in real-time
- Doesn’t drain resources like old legacy systems
Customers want to be able to communicate with companies through many channels wherever they are. Nowadays they are on the go and they want to resolve their issues and find out when to expect their package on as many channels as possible. Consumers expect companies to meet them on their preferred channel.
At Cirrus, we don’t follow trends. We are a future proof, cloud-based omni-channel platform that can easily integrate with other third-party applications.
The contact centre landscape is accelerating and will only get bigger in size and complexity, considering the range of new emerging channels popping up like social media. To provide your customers with multiple channels to transact with your business, you need cloud-based technology, a customised reporting tool for the business, and the right vendor to put it all together. With Cirrus’ cloud-based omni-channel platform, your reporting platform can easily integrate with other third-party applications, allowing you to keep in touch with your customers at their convenience, while you figure out which call centre metrics are most important to your business. By re-engineering your contact centre reporting programme, you can gain long-term and ongoing benefits, giving you a competitive edge from your rivals.