Interaction analytics: How to secure exec buy-in

1st Nov 2017

In my daily conversations with contact centre professionals I often hear that securing an investment for implementing analytics technology in the contact centre is not an easy task. In my opinion, securing a budget to deliver contact centre improvements depends entirely on the ability to connect those improvements to outcomes that the business will value.

I have summarised my advice below in four easy steps/tips:

  1. Establish the outcomes that are most valued by the business

Our work with contact centres around the world shows that the following business outcomes are usually high on the agenda:

  • Increasing revenue through upselling or improving conversion rates
  • Building customer loyalty by delivering an excellent customer experience
  • Increasing customer lifetime value by improving retention/cutting churn
  • Improving cash flow by collecting debts more effectively
  • Improving profit by achieving more from less
  • Achieving compliance at less cost
  • Identifying unnecessary inbound call reasons and promoting more self-service.

It is very unlikely that a business will have all of the above outcomes placed equally high on their agenda. Some will be valued more than others. Getting the clarity on which outcomes are most valued from the senior leadership team is really important. Without it you might put effort into creating a business case that simply won’t be approved.

  1. Provide proof that improvements in the contact centre can contribute to achieving these outcomes

Quite often leaders will put the contact centre in a pigeon hole. Many businesses see contact centres as a cost centre rather than a net contributor to the business. If this is the mindset then asking for more budget will be seen as just increasing costs further.

So you will need to educate budget holders about the real contribution from the contact centre. This will mean going beyond performance KPIs such as numbers of calls per agent per hour to the revenue generated by agent per hour.

For example, one of our customers was able to show that by using interaction analytics* they significantly reduced the amount of After Call Work carried out by each agent. These statistics were impressive but probably would not encourage a business to spend more. But our customer identified that the reduction in non-revenue generating After Call Work, enabled them to increase their agent’s daily call volumes by a whopping 82%. Showing that one investment in smart technology can increase revenue generating calls by 82% without increasing head count, should convince most budget holders that it’s money worth spending.

* Using Interaction Analytics provides the ability to analyse all interactions between contact centres and customers (telephone, email, web chat, social media, etc.) which unlocks an enormous amount of valuable information hidden in this mountain of unstructured data.

  1. Make sure that the proof you provide is based on data that cannot be challenged

If the proof for your business case is built on a small sample of data then it is always open to the risk of being challenged. To remove this risk, you can build a business case based on 100% of contact centre interactions. Interaction analytics does exactly that. It creates usable data based on every customer interaction. This can provide the data needed to prove where budget will be well spent. The example above showed how reducing After Call Work would actually deliver more revenue.

For example, interaction analytics data could justify investment in improving self-service technologies by showing that the weaknesses of the existing systems mean customers arrive angry or frustrated – leading to increased churn, loss of revenue and negative word of mouth.

  1. Demonstrate how additional budget expenditure will benefit other parts of your organisation, not just your contact centre

Finally, I recommend that you link your case for investment to delivering business value beyond the contact centre as well as the contact centre. For example, interaction analytics is great at driving improvements in agent performance but it can also identify trends that make a difference to other departments. One of our customers was able to spot a competitor recruitment campaign very soon after launch because the interaction analytics picked up an increase in calls to discuss switching to a specific supplier. By spotting this early, value was delivered in two ways – agents were briefed on how to keep customers loyal (and in many cases sold contract extensions) AND the marketing team were able to launch a similar campaign that saw their competitors’ customers defect because the competitor wasn’t able to respond as quickly.

The beauty of Interaction Analytics is that it allows you to capture, measure and score every interaction. This data can be subjected to root cause analysis to identify and quantify performance enhancements and potential savings and cost reductions. To demonstrate what is possible you can try this ROI calculator tool. This web-based tool has been provided to assist in calculating the potential return on investment in deploying speech analytics to support the business objectives of any organisation.

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