Creating Actionable Knowledge
By Jay Minnucci

The amount of information that contact center leaders have access to is phenomenal. We live with it every day, so we tend to take it for granted. Yet the data right in front of us remains virtually hidden to the rest of the organization. Without knowing it exists, they are not likely to ask for it. But if they knew, they would jump at the opportunity.

In many cases, the data we need to meet our objectives is exactly what other areas could use. With very little effort and a bit of education, we could very easily deliver this knowledge to those interested in it. In other cases, we may need to look at information differently to comprehend its value. Understanding the relationships between metrics shines a light on the numbers in a whole new way, and the insight can benefit all departments in an organization—including ours. The following are some examples of how we can put two metrics together to create actionable knowledge:

  • Customer satisfaction data takes on a whole new level of meaning when combined with other key metrics. For instance, calculating satisfaction levels based on the speed of answer provides critical information for developing service level objectives that can be used by any department serving external and internal customers.
  • Customer loyalty is critical to every organization and most continually seek out keys to drive it higher. Linking call quality scores to loyalty over time can provide exceptionally important insight to the value of good service, helping executives make better decisions involving investments in service (inside and outside of the contact center).
  • For sales organizations, understanding even the little details that gain small increases in close rates can be exceptionally profitable. Knowing close rates by hour of day, or the impact of wait times on close rates, or even success rates for mobile phone callers vs. landline can help marketing and other departments engaged in sales.

Most of us run contact centers that are mature, having existed for 10 years or longer. Over those years, we built departments, processes, reports and systems to help us fulfill our mission of meeting the service needs of our customers. The unintended consequence of our actions was the creation of tools that could be extremely valuable to other parts of the organization. Sharing the wealth with these areas will ultimately improve things for both your customers and your employees, so why not give it a try?

Inside View: Teleflora

At flower delivery firm Teleflora, agent performance is not measured by scores, it's about changing behavior. That management philosophy is a fundamental component of the contact center's internal Connect program, which is aligned with the overall organization's value proposition: hand-arranged, hand-delivered bouquets by a local florist. How does that translate into the service provided by contact center reps? The focus is on connecting with the emotion that the customer is trying to express for the occasion, instead of price. To help reps make that emotional connection early in the call, Teleflora has flipped the selling process. Rather than starting the call by gathering information, such as where the arrangement will be delivered, the recipient's name, etc., reps are trained to immediately focus on the event (birthday, anniversary, funeral) and the customer's emotions. When measuring performance, the emphasis is not on survey scores, but on the behaviors displayed during the interaction and the bond with customers.
Read the full story here. (PDF)


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