Organisations that do not make data analytics part of their contact centre technology will lose their competitive edge, as data science techniques prove their worth in improved customer experience, according to an industry expert.
Presenting at UC Expo 2015 in London this week, Paul Scott, global consulting executive at Dimension Data, said that a misunderstanding of the data analytics concept is inhibiting many organisations that could benefit from it. Coupled with a unified communications strategy, he added, data analytics insights could be shared throughout an enterprise and corroborate claims in support of quantifiable ROI.
“In most organisations, contact centres are technological islands that have grown-up separately from the rest of the IT and as such are, in many respects, ring-fenced,” Scott told the UC Expo delegates. “According to Dimension Data's latest 'Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report', 40 per cent of contact centre technologies aren’t integrated with the wider enterprise at all. This disconnect between contact centres and the rest of the business prevents the IT function from being able to help create a better customer experience.”
Scott continued: “Our report found that up to 40 per cent of all contact centres still have no tools to analyse data. This is partly because the concept of 'data analytics' is being seen as something that's the province of sales and marketing operations. Where analytics applications do crop-up in contact centres they tend to be used for monitoring agent performance and resource allocation, rather than to inform better customer experience.”
Despite all the information and communications technology at the disposal of corporations – both in the cloud and for in-house deployment – many customer management processes remain disjointed, Scott argued. “Couple data analytics with unified communications and the data left by customer interactions – whether through online, phone, email – can be tipped in to the analytics system, examined and interpreted, then shared throughout an organisation as appropriate,” he said.
Some users are still put off investing in analytics because they expect to be faced with massive data sets that will take too much time and money to derive value from, Scott suggested. “Data doesn't have to be 'big' in order to be useful from an analytics perspective,” he explained. “For instance, progressive contact centres start capturing and analysing customer information the moment phone contact is made, so that agents have a real-time view of a particular customer context and are advised of 'next-best' actions in terms of resolving issues, such as incorrect credit card details.”
Scott cited exemplars of analytics-driven contact centres, such as Amazon and John Lewis, as evidence of its potential: “Data analytics is the lifeblood of these retailers – they couldn't exist without it.”