The days of ‘traditional’ contact center reporting, which might consist of simply examining a printout at the end of each week with basic metrics such as overall solve rate, are long gone. Modern contact center success for today’s highly responsive, demanding customers relies on being able to identify potential issues and tackle them in real time.

– Hack Capital / ContactCenter4All

The future of customer service is data-driven

This evolution into real-time reporting integrated with historic data is a core component of transforming the legacy contact center into a lean, agile operation – one capable of rapidly identifying and handling surges in call volumes, whether seasonal or at peak times during the day.

Both real-time and historic reporting are equally vital to sustained contact center success. These help identify and address developing situations, but also tackle long-term, recurring operational challenges. To reach this level, organizations must be able to track metrics such as agent availability, wait times, call length and more through a single dashboard – or ‘single source of truth’.

A deep-dive into performance is essential in any contact center

Granular data has rapidly shifted from being simply ‘nice to have’ to the lifeblood of any organization. Today’s contact center successes and failures are defined by KPIs and metrics measuring the extent of customer service performance and positive customer outcomes.

There are many ‘advanced’ software solutions available in the market that support customer service operations – but if they cannot provide insights into performance levels, management will struggle to use these solutions in the most effective way to ensure positive outcomes in a timely manner.

Integrated reporting features are even more critical today with the ongoing shift to remote working. It is a challenge for supervisors and management to keep tracked of scattered agents – remotely tracking performance levels and customer satisfaction is a necessity to identify and address operational challenges and ‘teething problems’ caused by the new remote environment.

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Unlocking the full value of contact center data

All possible data must be captured in real time from every channel operated by the contact center – whether this is live chat, emails, phone calls or social media. Gathering this data is a critical task, but if organizations do not use the data to gain any detailed insights from it, it is ultimately of little value.

Indeed, many businesses either struggle to capture and aggregate data, or fail to extract full insights and business insights from their datasets. Organizations that want to successfully transition to data-driven contact center operations must be able to visualise, manipulate and extract data in real time.

Enter granular reporting

Any effective, future-proof contact center solution will have the ability to process and deliver both historical and real-time performance reports. These built-in features can then be further enhanced with powerful Business Intelligence and visualization tools such as Microsoft Power BI, designed to seamlessly integrate with contact center software. These solutions provide extra benefits such as reporting notifications and alerts shared directly through the software or via email.

Truly effective contact center reporting will focus on accessibility, providing granular reporting dashboards that can be operated by supervisors and managers of all skill levels. Sifting through and visualising large datasets no longer requires you to be a highly qualified data scientist or analyst.

Heat maps and automated alerts bring mutual benefits for customers, agents and organizations

Effective solutions should provide visual insights such as heat maps of activity throughout the working day to help identify peak times and specific periods of high demand. They must also be able to track the number of calls handled by a contact center or individual agent at any given time, helping management identify productivity issues or bottlenecks before they become a major threat to smooth contact center operations.

At the highest level, this granular reporting can help supervisors and management adapt operations, staff levels and training accordingly to continually refine and enhance the customer experience. Users can set alerts based on pre-determined KPIs – meaning if wait times in a certain department rise to an unacceptable level, management can reassign agents to clear the backlog and ensure customers are not frustrated being kept waiting.

Reporting also helps visualize the customer journey

Diving deeper into the customer satisfaction side of contact center operations, it is vital management can track more detailed metrics than simply call length. Any effective solution must identify how long customers are kept on hold for before queries are answered, if they’re being unnecessarily transferred between departments or if they hang up before resolution. On the agent side, tracking average call-back times, solve rates and queue times is also crucial to accurately assess performance.

Without the right solutions in place, these can be hard issues to monitor remotely – but having real-time reporting that can drill down to these individual agent and customer levels will help keep employees as accountable and effective as their office-based colleagues.

At a time when customer service is a key differentiator for consumers, contact centers that are unable to identify issues with customer satisfaction or areas for operational improvement will struggle to compete with more agile, data-driven rivals. Data – and more specifically, detailed analysis and visualization of captured data – will help contact centers tackle this capability gap and adjust to ever-changing customer expectations and the ongoing mass shift to remote working.

Adopting dedicated contact center software with powerful reporting capabilities is a necessity for organizations looking to differentiate themselves from the competition by delivering consistently first-class customer service.