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An Insider’s View: Part 3

Fred Stacey

By Fred Stacey, Contact Center Technology Consultant,

The last piece in this 3-part series on technology in the contact center industry focuses on what I believe is the biggest gap in our industry. Business intelligence and big data have been around for a while, but it really isn’t being adopted as well as it should be. I believe the lack of adoption is really because of two main problems.

The first is that people do not understand what business intelligence and big data entail. Business intelligence is the science of taking data from many sources and delivering that data in a meaningful way in order to help leaders make better business decisions. Big data, on the other hand, is the leveraging of enormous data sets to provide more insight into business data.  Typically, business intelligence leverages structured data with specific data sets being pulled from multiple sources. Big Data often leverages both structured and unstructured data to bring all stored digital information together. The problem is that technology providers in our industry have called reporting packages business intelligence, or have employed report writers to provide daily, weekly or monthly KPI reports for contact centers. Therefore, we think we have been leveraging business intelligence for a while, but we haven’t.

The second problem is that, because of the increase in the number of disparate technologies we use, we are only getting half of the picture. All other technologies aside, none of it is as valuable as data.  Yes, AI is sexy and exciting and can have real impact on your company both straight to the bottom line and upfront in the customer experience.  However, if you don’t have the data to feed into AI, then you very well may be missing out on significant information you need in order to reach goals.

I am a proponent of leveraging every bit of data you can get. In the contact center, we capture notes, interactions, time to resolutions, methods of communications, etc. The contact center has more customer interaction data to drive business decisions then we know what to do with. Often, we are so caught up in the day-to-day operations of the contact center that we don’t have time to sift through mounds of data to find what may be the key to help us improve customer satisfaction immediately.

Today, the technology exists to comb through both structured and unstructured data from all our various sources. These big data solutions, combined with good business intelligence, can provide insights you may have never thought of. If your products are connected to the Internet, the increasing use of IoT-enabled devices is driving this need even further.

I don’t need a time machine to see the writing on the wall, and neither do you.  All of us in the contact center space must embrace our data, mine it, understand it and figure out how to improve our customer journey to make it as effortless as possible.  There will be a day when your competition will be able to foresee problems and resolve them before they become an issue, and it is not that far off.  Data is king, long live the king.

About the Author: Fred has spent the last 20 years within the contact center space. Initially, he started as an agent and quickly moved into leadership roles in several contact centers. Fred then focused on opening contact centers, as well as recovering those that were failing. Over the last decade and a half, Fred has held senior operating positions in software and technology companies both in the US and Internationally leading sales, marketing, operations and training. Some of these positions included: VP of Sales and Marketing, Chief Operating Officer in multiple startups, Director of Europe, Middle East and Asia-pacific, and Senior Vice President of Global Sales. Fred uses his years of experience to help contact centers and customer experience organizations with technology selection, operations and go-to-market strategies.

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