Pipeline Publishing, Volume 4, Issue 2
This Month's Issue:
Keeping Customers
download article in pdf format
last page next page

Tit for Tat: Meeting Customer Expectations

back to cover
article page | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 |

trouble tickets by the modern Contact Center. Ideally each group should access the same customer relationship management tools from the first to last contact with a customer. This will result in end-to-end process accountability, better information collection, and a greater sense of belonging and responsibility on the part of all the elements of a company, as they jointly interact to solve a problem. And we showed how the advent of IP telephony, multimedia, email, chat, and collaborative web browsing are tools that empower the customer in interactions with the company. Now we explore how some specific technologies that are utilized in the Contact Center can improve the inter-working of other groups in the larger company.

When the customer interaction is easily directed to short-term interactions, which can be resolved by the Contact Center agent [today usually called a customer service representative (CSR)] suffice, today’s Contact Center applications technology enables a well-engineered machine. Calls, chats or emails are answered in short order. Agents are monitored or recorded for post call analysis and subsequent agent training and tuning of the message. Elaborate work scheduling applications insure the correct CSR coverage for any skill group at any time. The old check lists and scripts followed by older Call Centers have become comprehensive, query-based knowledge systems and topic-driven identification of referrals. While this may suffice for identifying and expediting the replacement of a broken phone, this engineering, which is geared to a CSR spending the least time possible on a call, in order to clear the greatest number of calls in a day, is unsuitable to the longer-duration issues typically experienced in the SOC/NOC resolution process. No longer is the ‘shortest time to clear the call’ a reasonable goal. Bell Canada discovered this when they instituted a pilot project to record all calls arriving their call center.

Bell Canada’s Use of Analytics

At the May IMCI Call Center demo and conference in Dallas, Bell Canada described their impressive results after initiating a project to explore recording calls as a method for improving the interactions of their CSRs with customers. In call center jargon, this recording and analysis is called Analytics. Impressive new applications, in part enabled by IP telephony and in part by the reduction in storage costs for digital calls, allow a company to seriously consider recording every single call that reaches a CSR. And not just the voice is recorded, the screens on the customer service desk are captured (or the chats or web browsing) allowing the complete interaction to be stored for later analysis. Bell Canada established a pilot program to record a majority of the calls arriving at the call center for their Media delivery service.

Instead imagine customers seeing a well-meshed team deliver a fair and timely solution - now that would build Brand!

A surprisingly small team then took the recordings and reviewed them for content, tone, inappropriate language or behavior, but also to identify successful calls for use in improving the interaction of their CSRs. This team classified every call as to who was the core owner of the issue. Whose issue is it (Customer, Agent, or Company)? Who has the control and scope to fix it? Was it a customer issue like a need for training, was it a network issue, or was it a problem exacerbated by the interaction with the call center? The pilot also invited customers to stay on the line and complete a post call survey about their experiences and satisfaction. CSR’s also classified each call. This project created a new business process: a process of call capture, index by type, filter a subset for analysis, listen, score and analyze, understand the import of the call, and take action where this was needed.

The software allowed the analytics team to review a large number of recorded calls in remarkably short times. By presenting a sound graph of the call, the listener could skip to the relevant portions and concentrate on them. By looking for volume changes and silent times, they could narrow in on issues. While not described in their conference talk, speech recognition could also be used to focus detailed review of the recordings. Through the use of inflection maps, through picking the center of a call for a quick review and classification, through speech recognition flagging specific words and phrases, a trained analytics engineer can review and classify hundreds of calls an hour. The call capture data classification and reporting in the Analytics application let the analytics team immediately zero in on the calls they needed to review in depth.

Bell Canada found three huge payoffs.

Payoff #1: The ability to improve call training and processes so that call center workload itself was reduced while quality of interactions was improved. Bell Canada brought the CC management and agents to review sessions that used recorded calls as good and bad examples. Post mortems, training and process enhancement were scheduled. This resulted in enhancements to Agent Quality Management, Customer Experience Management and Business Process Improvement. First call resolutions, Representative Quality scores, Time to resolve call, revenue per call - all improved significantly. And sometimes, spending a little extra time on a call, stopped many future calls.

article page | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 |
last page back to top of page next page

© 2006, All information contained herein is the sole property of Pipeline Publishing, LLC. Pipeline Publishing LLC reserves all rights and privileges regarding
the use of this information. Any unauthorized use, such as copying, modifying, or reprinting, will be prosecuted under the fullest extent under the governing law.