Agents + data overcome ROI obstacles for contact centre outsourcers
To compel a North American company to turn away from its in-house services and partner with a third-party, a contact center outsourcer (CCO) has to demonstrate its ability to produce a positive ROI.
Two basic metrics to measure for ROI at contact centers are revenue in the immediate, and customer loyalty in the long run. And two of the biggest obstacles to realizing a positive ROI are inadequate data and a sub-optimum workforce.
Let’s start with data
Not all data is equally important. Data that directly serves the customer experience (CX) and customer satisfaction (C-sat) should be viewed as critical.
Customer analytics give agents tailored profiles to customize their sales interactions in real-time, via inbound and outbound channels. A digital platform that does not gather profile metrics and feed those metrics to agents is missing significant opportunities. This is the case for many platforms: 18% of agents on the phone are unable to identify sales opportunities, even worse for assisted-service agents at 40.5%. This disconnect may be one reason why the average CCO C-sat score hovers around 78%, several points below the target of 85%.
Other data addresses costs, productivity, quantified benchmarks of service and quality. These metrics offer important measurements to suggest specific areas where agents can improve their level of service, and methods of creating and taking advantage of sales opportunities. And these metrics are needed. More than 50% of contact centers agree that analytics will help agents improve customer journeys, but nearly 80% have inadequate data solutions.
All of this data can be used to open opportunities for agents to better serve customers and to identify key moments to make sales. But data is only part of the story. The other part is how the digital solution guides agents.
Helping agents use data
Human agents who can break down customers’ unique demands and respond dynamically will continue to be vital for contact centers in the foreseeable future. In fact, employment at contact centers in the U.S. grew from 1.9 million in 2010 to 2.6 million in 2015. Why? Because agents — not bots — close sales.
The right digital solution can coach agents on an interaction by interaction basis, guiding agents during each step of the customer engagement. This can be done through the design of the platform, using data, and even a gamified experience.
Rather than agents relying upon their initial onboarding training, they can be coached daily with tasks, objectives, and competitions for personal and company bests to refresh agents on best practices. In short, rather than long training sessions over an extended period of time, the digital platform can create an interaction-by-interaction education.
Using data with agents and a digital platform that supports them, contact centers can generate a positive ROI through increased sales during interactions, and customer loyalty generated by providing a unique, and personalized customer experience.
 “2017 Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report”, Dimension Data 2017.
 JLL Research, “Technology, M&A and geopolitical uncertainty poised to disrupt contact center industry”, 2017.