The convergence of business intelligence with artificial intelligence, data mining and analytics is changing business on a macro level. It’s also altering the required skills and tools to interpret and operationalize these huge swaths of information. Contact center management (the new moniker for “call centers”) is one of the industries at the center of this shift.
Contact centers are unique and changeable environments which makes them exciting places to work, but also a moving target for management. Typically plagued with high turnover and low customer engagement, the staffing churn of a contact center literally defines that site’s profitability and success metrics. When we identify the motivators behind excellent performance and performance management, and tie those to the processes used for recruiting, hiring, training, day-to-day operations, coaching, communication, engagement, gamification and rewards/recognition programs, it changes the game.
As an example, many contact center organizations have partnered with companies such as TouchPoint One to implement business intelligence solutions to improve contact center engagement, analytics and performance. These contact centers have implemented customized versions of TouchPoint One’s “Acuity” performance management solution. Acuity is an award-winning, cloud-based performance management tool used to improve metrics at all levels of the contact center organization. It is a platform that allows contact centers to “operationalize” culture across all channels by aligning behavior from the frontline specialists and management teams with the overall goals of their client-partners. Contact centers collect and integrate systems data and apply role-based dashboards, analytics and game mechanics to better bring together their organizations.
The Acuity system captures data for each employee, starting with the recruiting process (their background, skills, recruitment source, etc.). Once the employee begins training, Acuity captures key performance metrics, including attendance, test scores, and certification. Upon training graduation, the employee moves to “production” where Acuity captures all of the key performance indicators (KPI) for that employee’s particular role.
The goal for many BPO/outsourcers (contact centers operations) is to mirror their client’s goals, leading to a stronger operational performance. Acuity gives these organizations the ability to deliver role-based reporting and analytics of performance data for operational cycles, a central repository and analytic platform that supports contact center systems and operations. Acuity also enables contact centers to set metric goals for their agents that are weighted, depending on what is important and drives performance for their specific clients. Acuity measures metrics such as CSAT, NPS, One Call Resolution, Quality Assurance scores, sales rates and save rates, service level obtainment, schedule adherence, and compliance.
Evolution to A.I.
Artificial intelligence – or A.I. – has a fluid definition. At one point, a simple calculator could be considered “artificial intelligence” because it was doing the work that only a human brain could do before. The next era of artificial intelligence was reigned in by speech recognition. Today, artificial intelligence is about a system (computer) learning from data and making decisions that only human brains could previously make. TouchPoint One has recently added functionality to their Acuity system that will not only house and present data and dashboards, but actually interpret the results and offer suggested courses of action. In some cases, the system will take action itself without any human intervention.
Much of Acuity’s client’s success has come from identifying KPIs and improving all aspects of their interactions with customers and agents through many of the processes and ideas laid out here. By continuing to integrate A.I. with B.I. and processes, contact centers will actually increase and improve the engagement level of their workforces. This is exciting concepts to think about and explore. If interested in talking about it more, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on LinkedIn here.