By now you have hopefully heard of the significant new trend that is emerging around the notion of “Intelligent Contact Centers”, or contact centers that fully integrate the power of analytics into the contact center function. See “Launching an Intelligent Contact Center” by Omer Minkara of Aberdeen Group.
In his article, Minkara defines intelligent contact centers as those “…mastering the art and science of data-driven customer interactions.” At the crux of any interaction is the voice of the agent and the customer, and the only way to capture that unstructured data is with business call recording. These systems record the interaction’s audio and agent screen video and offer integrated playback. Leading call recording solutions also offer speech analytics to auto-tag key phrases or words such as “upset”, “cancel my order” or “speak to a manager”.
With all of this intelligence, combined with CRM, IVR, ACD, speech and desktop analytics data, contact centers have the rich information necessary to intelligently route calls to the best agents, intelligently classify callers by their defection potential, understand which customers likely can be upsold effectively, and so on.
The benefits of such capabilities can be enormous. According to Minkara, intelligent contact centers enjoy a 5.9% higher customer retention rate, an 8.9% reduction in customer complaints, and a 10% jump in the ability to create a unified view of customer data. Improvements like these can easily translate into significant cost reductions, increased upsell and cross-sell conversion and higher revenue.
The move to an intelligent contact center does not have to take place all at once, and your company does not have to be a Fortune 500 business. Any contact center today can take small, iterative steps and begin realizing the associated benefits along the way. For any business, here are some effective first steps to consider:
- Add speech analytics and auto-tagging to your call recording system
- Install an intelligent IVR that can route calls based on agent skill sets
- Integrate and centralize your customer-related data sources (call recording, speech analytics, ACD, IVR, PBX, etc.) – systems with open APIs make this easier.
Intelligent contact centers are not just on the horizon. They are already here, and you need to start thinking about how to migrate your customer service operation to the new level of sophistication that your competitors are already trying to achieve.