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Getting Real About Analytics: Only a Holistic Approach Will Work

Omni-channel analytics help to create better user experiences and a clear customer journey.

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Omni-channel analytics help to create better user experiences and a clear customer journey.

Guides

Getting Real About Analytics: Only a Holistic Approach Will Work

Omni-channel analytics help to create better user experiences and a clear customer journey.

Share this article

In the era of digital transformation and omnichannel customer experience initiatives, businesses recognise the need to leverage analytics to understand rapidly evolving customer demands.

According to a report commissioned by Calabrio, 'Business Transformation and Analytics: Driving Change in a Customer-Centric World,' 85 percent of executives surveyed agree that data and analytics are important to informing sales and marketing changes.

Further, Harvard Business Review Analytic Services found that 70 percent of enterprises have increased their spending on customer analytics solutions over the past year.

Many companies, however, are failing to optimise the value they gain from their data because they rely too heavily on a single data point to inform their decisions. The business transformation and analytics report found that 63 percent of CMOs and 65 percent of CIOs rely on just a single data point, such as revenue, sales or social media interactions.

While these considerations are important, a decision based solely on one of them lacks depth and nuance. A single data point will not provide deep insight into the “voice of the customer” that businesses need to understand what their customers want.

This means any subsequent decisions stemming from one data point will likely not deliver the desired results within the customer experience.

The Omnichannel Analytics Approach

To make the best possible decisions, companies should consider implementing omnichannel analytics—the ability to combine and analyse customer interaction data from all channels—to get to the heart of what customers really want and how their needs are changing over shorter and shorter periods of time.

The challenge, however, is that while companies have become proficient at collecting information from an increasing number of communications channels— calls, email, website, chat and social media—the proliferation of these channels often creates its own daunting complexity, and many decision makers fall back on the data points with which they are most comfortable.

According to the Calabrio report, one-fifth of respondents actually admitted that “too many data sources” is a top challenge to using analytics. Further, according to CGMA, 32 percent of executives say that massive amounts of data have made things worse, leaving companies struggling to turn customer data into effective sales and retention strategies.

It is not surprising that the Calabrio report also found that 68 percent of executives admitted to avoiding major change initiatives because they have an “if it isn’t broken, then don’t fix it” attitude, where “broke” simply means a lack of direct pressure to make the change.

Without omnichannel analytics capabilities, companies are limited in their ability to improve the customer experience. According to the research, only 39 percent of respondents said they rely on direct customer feedback to drive change, and just 23 percent said customer feedback is how they solve a crucial problem to a product or service.

Among those organisations that do rely on customer feedback, common sources are ratings and reviews (49 percent) and social media (40 percent). These channels attract customers with the strongest opinions, whether extremely satisfied or dissatisfied, leaving companies to rely on biased data.

While these emotionally charged opinions provide an incomplete picture of customer attitudes, they can have the power to sway decision making—a dangerous combination.

To accurately capture the true voice-of-the-customer, businesses must include democratised data in their analysis, and the best source of this is the contact centre. Today, agents typically communicate with customers across multiple channels, and these omnichannel interactions range from the most complicated issues to the simplest.

However, contact centre data is often siloed and not easily accessible by other areas of the business. In fact, only 12 percent of organisations rely on contact centre data to make business decisions. It is time businesses realize that by incorporating contact centre data into their analytics initiatives, they can obtain a vital new view of their customers based on information coming directly from them.

Radial, a business process outsourcer (BPO) that handles integrated commerce customer care, deployed a unified workforce optimisation (WFO) and employee engagement suite to deliver more usable insights to internal agents and Radial’s clients.

When the company performed a sentiment analysis on the language used during call centre conversations with customers, it discovered a high rate for neutral sentiment. Radial identified the key topics that correlated with less positive sentiment and created training opportunities, including team huddles, one-on-one coaching and reinforcement sessions with supervisors, to guide more positive phrasing.

Just one week later, Radial saw positive sentiment jump from 17 percent to 93 percent, leading to improvements in KPIs including customer satisfaction, customer effort, representative knowledge and representative demeanour.

While integrating siloed contact centre data into a data analytics program can’t be done overnight, it can be accomplished without adding significant complexity for IT or business users. It starts with creating a culture of analytics.

·         Give the contact centre a seat at the executive table to ensure alignment between business goals, contact centre priorities and the demands of the data initiative.

·         Cultivate advocates across the company who understand the importance of integrating contact centre data into the analytics effort, especially from sales and marketing, but also from R&D and product development.

·         Train contact centre teams on the importance of their mission to the rest of the organisation and educate other departments on the benefits of applying knowledge gained from the contact centre.

Then implement tools to analyse not only phone conversations, but also the content of emails, chats and social media. Involve IT, the contact centre and other stakeholders in selecting the tools, and ensure the solutions can produce reports that will be meaningful across all departments. Finally, provide the entire organisation with access to these reports and rich data.

With a culture of analytics and the right tools in place, organisations can create an omnichannel analytics program that will finally provide the C-suite with the data-driven knowledge it needs to optimise customer experiences and create an effective customer journey.

Tom Goodmanson is President and CEO of Calabrio.

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Getting Real About Analytics: Only a Holistic Approach Will Work

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