Photo mosaics are great for tricking the eye. When looked at from a distance you see one image, but upon closer inspection you realize that the image is actually made up of hundreds, if not thousands, of smaller images. Contact centers can be similarly tricky, because how you perceive your data, or the big picture, depends on how it is interpreted from individual contact center interactions. While it’s easy to compartmentalize the information and get one picture, when looked at more holistically, an entirely new picture emerges. Data visualization (DV) software is one tool that allows contact centers to create “mosaics” from their data. Having the ability to sort through all the information and make sense of it in usable and understandable ways gives managers and employees the opportunity to make changes so that performance efficiencies can be realized.
Why You Need to Look at the Big Picture
Each contact center will monitor different KPIs and metrics, according to their industry. Tracking such information is the only way managers can understand where inefficiencies are happening, i.e., call times, abandonment rates, first contact resolutions, etc., and target training to those areas. (Tweet this!) As important as the data is, if a manager can’t easily make sense of the information or see the bigger picture, then they aren’t able to make decisions that will enhance performance optimization and the bottom line. All too often we see managers suffer from “information overload” and rather than see the data as helpful, it becomes another messy problem to try and solve.
How Data Visualization Software Can Help
Fortunately, a tool that easily helps convert big data into recognizable information is DV software. Interpreting the data generated within a contact center doesn’t have to be the arduous chore of year’s past. It is no longer necessary to task a team to input data into a spreadsheet and try and make sense of type of call, call volume, call times, historical sales, etc. A number of companies such as Qlick, Tableau Software, Cisco and IBM have created DV software that is less costly, intuitive to use, and requires less infrastructure to operate thanks to cloud-based technology.
The newer versions of today’s DV software gives contact centers the ability to easily identify and sort KPIs and configure the data in such visually appealing ways as graphics, pie charts, reports, and interactive dashboards. Here are a few of the ways that DV software can help contact center optimization:
- Call volume. Some DV software features programs that give managers the ability to better predict the highs and lows of call volumes. With such predictive knowledge, better staffing decisions can be optimized.
- Speech analytics. Decoding agent conversations and converting the calls into a visual form allows managers to “see” an agent’s performance. Such information can be accessed in near real-time so that when patterns emerge, managers can zero in on skill and knowledge gaps so that training can be focused on areas that need improvement.
- Bolster omni-channel service. DV software can be deployed across multiple channels so that it can synthesize the information and help employees and managers understand the customer more comprehensively. When silos across channels are broken down, the data can be presented in more efficient ways for the company and customer.
DV software is more robust than workplace optimization software. The power of this tool, when properly harnessed, is that it can guide agents to deliver better customer service through analytics that identify customer insights so agents know the best course of action to take with the customer. DV software equips agents with the visual tools to better understand and anticipate a customer’s needs. (Tweet this!) With this new picture of the customer agents can more readily hone in on service that is tailored to the customer.
Garbage In, Garbage Out
While DV software has been a powerful and useful tool for contact centers, it’s important to keep in mind that in order for big data to be converted to useful images, a seamless interface between the back-end and final user is necessary. The old saying “garbage in, garbage out” can also apply to DV software. If the data feeding into your software isn’t up to date or coded in the same “language” across channels, then the visual representations of the data won’t be useful, and in some instances, may be inaccurate. DV software simply interprets data, it does not analyze data. Depending on your company’s objectives and needs, DV software may be sufficient. However, if your data is complex and drives your decision-making processes, then end-to-end business intelligence software that can process a large amount of complicated data may be a better choice.
Choosing Your DV Software
When it comes to DV software choices, cloud technologies have changed the playing field. The costs of this software have decreased, investment in infrastructure is rarely necessary, and with a variety of customization options, a contact center can tailor the graphics to its specific needs and uses. DV software is also flexible in that the user can customize how to “see” the data. Some users may prefer pie charts while others prefer graphs. The visual presentation of the information is easily customizable. DV software has the potential to allow managers to quickly see which KPI targets are being met, help agents deliver better customer experiences, and help with staffing efficiencies. If your organization can’t easily interpret its data, now may be the time to consider how DV software may help.
About the Author
Jodi is a Marketing and Customer Experience fanatic. Some might say "guru", but she prefers it the other way around, as there’s always something to learn and grow as it relates to Marketing and the Customer Experience, and how each is connected to one another. In the past three years, Jodi has dedicated her career to thought leadership in both realms through her work at MHI Global, and has earned honors as Top 100 Customer Success Influencer from Mindtouch, Top 15 Most Influential Customer Service Experts To Follow on Twitter from GetApp, and Top 50 Contact Center Thought Leader on Twitter from ICMI. Connect with Jodi at Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter; or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.