Rajeev Venkat, Verint Systems
In the last year, much has been written about Big Data Analytics. More recently, and rightly so, many have pointed out the contact center and other customer experience-delivering departments as the entry point of big data analytics into the enterprise. Big Data manifests itself as Voice of the Customer Analytics (VoCA) in these departments—these solutions analyze treasure troves of big unstructured data collected in the form of recorded phone calls, emails, web chats, free-form survey remarks and social media posts.
VoCA enables enterprises to “listen” to solicited and unsolicited customer feedback across different channels and modes of communication. This feedback is analyzed to identify trends, root causes and, most importantly, deliver actionable intelligence that the rest of the enterprise can use to improve performance.
VoCA and WFO
VoCA (a la Big Data) is new, and understandably so, has a lot of excitement surrounding it. However, there is a tendency to view it as the end-all for enterprises to deliver a superior customer experience. While VoCA is excellent at delivering actionable intelligence, it alone cannot help operationalize the intelligence across the enterprise. In addition to listening and analyzing, intelligent enterprises have to strive for and achieve operational excellence. This is where traditional Workforce Optimization (WFO) solutions and processes still have an active and important role.
VoCA and traditional WFO are different yet must work together. VoCA excels in analyzing humongous amounts of unstructured data and proactively delivering valuable insight and actionable intelligence. The recipients of this intelligence are usually a relatively small group of ‘analyst’ type users. If the insights and intelligence are not acted upon in a timely and systematic way at all levels across the enterprise, then the customer experience will not improve.
Acting on intelligence in a timely manner
Delivering a superior customer experience requires enterprises to percolate that intelligence across the entire population of agents, employees, supervisors and managers. It requires the buy-in, involvement and collaboration of many people and instilling a culture of continuous improvement.
A few examples: The intelligence unearthed by VoCA should be used to change quality evaluations from random samples to more relevant interactions to the business. The intelligence gained has to be applied to train and coach employees at all levels to change behaviors and elevate their performance to desired levels.
Acting on the intelligence in a timely manner requires having the right number of people with the right skills at the right time. The people who do the work are usually geographically dispersed across various departments or groups (contact center, back office, branch), have different skill sets and availabilities and must be scheduled and holistically managed. Their work arrives in different forms and types with other varying characteristics. This work must be tracked and meet specific service level goals.
Achieving customer-inspired excellence
The processes that people follow when working also tend to vary—managers need visibility into them to understand how work is being done and to address variances. Delivering a superior customer experience requires effectively managing the work, people and processes. Leveraging the intelligence and proactively applying it to improve performance—quality, productivity, behavior and lower costs—is where the value lies. Traditional WFO solutions enable this.
Therefore, delivering a superior and consistent customer experience requires a unified combination of Voice of the Customer Analytics (a la Big Data) and WFO solutions, working in tandem. A common framework that delivers interoperability between the two enables enterprises to practice and achieve the nirvana of Customer Inspired Excellence.