Big data refers to a collection of several sets of data and presents an opportunity to businesses who can analyze that information to better understand and target their customers.
“Does your current post-call IVR survey prevent you from collecting multiple customer comments?” is one of the 26 items outlined in the 25 Mistakes to Avoid with Post-call IVR Surveys e-book and self-assessment. There’s a bonus item to make the total 26. Answer the diagnostic assessment questions to uncover issues with your own post-call survey program. You can even use it to build a program that exceeds all expectations. Customer Relationship Metrics has documented the common mistakes we have seen since inventing and providing post-call IVR surveying programs in contact centers 20 years ago. To fulfill one of our missions to better the contact center industry, we freely provide the insights we have learned to everyone.
Why is this a problem?
The act of “collecting” customer feedback with a post-call IVR survey is not extremely difficult. This is part of the problem. It is not uncommon for contact center managers to fulfill the requirement to have a customer feedback tool by activating some software module to collect the data. Turn it on and the data starts to pour in, right? Like every other area in your contact center, you have too much useless data accumulating. Well, that is true and there are 25 other points in this self-assessment to stop garbage data coming from your post-call IVR survey program. Continue reading “Does your current post-call IVR survey prevent collecting multiple customer comments?” »
Analytics predicted an Obama win, and it’s a Big Data lesson for all customer experience and contact center professionals.
Before the votes were cast, New York Times blogger Nate Silver predicted, with 90%+ confidence, that Obama would win the election. He did this while billions of dollars were spent on old methods of people calling me, people knocking on my door, and outbound IVRs calling me all day long. Seriously, I was beginning to think all of that money was spent on me. I am so glad this is over; I can get some productive time back. Whew! Continue reading “Obama Wins and a big data lesson for the customer experience” »
When it comes to growing your business, the ingredients are straightforward: have a good product/service, understand your customers’ needs, have good, clean customer data, and deliver an exemplary customer experience every time. Do those four things better than everyone else and your company always lands on the top of the heap. Fail to do any one of these things and you end up being mediocre at best and maybe do not survive.
Have you had an experience like one of my recent ones where I was pitched by a reputable company that had not done the research about me as a customer? The pitch was so far off-base that it was actually insulting to me. Sure, they had a good product, but because they didn’t understand my needs as a customer and battered me so much on the phone, I was left with only a poor customer experience. It’s likely that I’ll never do business with them or their sister companies in the future. Continue reading “How well does your Big Data know your customers?” »
In the psychology world, conversion disorder is a somatoform disorder characterized by medically unknown and often disabling neurological symptoms. Individuals diagnosed with conversion disorder present with at least one unfeigned and unintentional symptom which affects voluntary motor or sensory function, resembles a neurological or medical disease, and involves psychological elements. Symptoms may include impaired coordination, paralysis, weakness, difficulty swallowing, double vision, blindness, deafness, seizures, amnesia and loss of consciousness. Continue reading “It’s the biggest customer challenge facing businesses today” »
Smart companies know customer experience is a competitive differentiator. Smarter companies know that making changes based on customer experience insights is what delivers the competitive differentiation. Despite knowing what the smarter companies are doing, many are handcuffed.
Companies are handcuffed because they are unable to add work to an already overburdened workforce. They are also handcuffed because many of the things that needs to be done require special skill sets that do are not internally available. Most organizations just do not have the time or resources to uncover insights and act on them because they are too overwhelmed with their day-to-day demands. Continue reading “BI Insights drive tangible changes with innovative partnership.” »
I was speaking with someone today that lamented wasting $450,000 on Speech Analytics software that’s now shelfware. When you really think about it, his company wasted far more than $450k, probably closer to $1 million. First he said he spent $350k in seat licenses and $100k in additional servers to support the new software. But what about the training and people costs? And the missed opportunity costs since the shelfware is just sitting? You see, there’s so much more money wasted than just what was initially spent to purchase the software. Continue reading “$1,000,000 wasted on Speech Analytics was avoidable.” »
So your company has a big data problem and after much research you purchase a CRM software solution (BI or Analytics Software included) you believe will solve all your issues. A few months after the install you find you’re no where closer to solving your big data problem and you’re ready to throw out the proverbial software baby with the bath water. Your team blames the software for not meeting their expectations. The software company tells you to take advantage of more training to use the software to its full potential. Thousands of dollars down the drain and zero progress. Does this sound familiar?
The problem is common and the solution is two-fold. On the one hand, software companies need to make sales, and some of their marketing hype can be captivating. But they can only do so much in regards to the talent and the steps a customer takes beyond the install to impart the knowledge needed to drive value out of the software solution. On the other hand, executive leaders have the responsibility to be knowledgeable about the software they are buying and the talent they have. They need to get the right people, and stay committed long enough to work through the software hiccups. When you simply blame the other guy and look to replace the CRM software without properly evaluating and improving your internal talent, you’re not unlike a married couple that call it quits before six months of marriage.
You have to be willing to work smarter instead of harder. Most people think it is easier to just get a different CRM system instead of adding the people skills and talent necessary, or bringing in experts to help with generating value with the investment that’s already been made. And software companies must stand behind the product they sell and provide the necessary support and training that extends beyond system administration. If this is not available then everybody loses and time will be wasted, resources will be wasted and your big data problem will just be bigger. Continue reading “Solve your Big Data problems and stop blaming the ‘other guy’.” »
- Short-term cost-cutting hurts long-term growth.
- New technologies making new skills necessary for call center employees.
- Corporate arrogance hampering growth.
- Unnecessarily difficult relationships with vendors and partners.
- Challenges in translating big data to usable information.
The good news is, all of these issues can be overcome. To see how your organization measures up, check out the full article, “5 Landmines for CRM Professionals to Avoid in 2012.”
Let me know if you’ve encountered any of these issues, or if you think I missed any!
What do you do when one of your best selling products, your cash cow, your go-to, has decreasing sales revenue and can no longer be counted on to save the sales figures? Worse, what if most of the ones being sold are quickly returned? The call center has the answers, and they lie within the call logging and coding data, and the metrics from social customer service. Companies can mine their ‘big data’ by using text analytics and uncover the root issue of this terrible trend.
The company Twitter feed and Facebook page supports the discovery that customers perceive the product to not be as fast as the competition, and lacks some additional functions they know are possible now. When the CRM records are analyzed the hypothesis is confirmed, as each return highlights the product speed as the main reason for the return.
While the problem may not be a quick fix, the answer was found significantly faster through text analytics than waiting until the Annual Report or The Street, reports the loss of earnings. The business intelligence through text analytics can lead to the creation of a new process for the product development group, a new product roll out, and before you know it that cash cow product is back on top in the market place. Continue reading “Text analytics adds the ‘why’ behind the numbers.” »
There’s something so interesting (and addictive) about social media. It makes even luddites feel tech-savvy; it’s hip and new, and, according to some customer experience experts, anyone who matters is doing it. And consumers’ social media activities extend well beyond updating their Facebook page or tweeting about their most recent customer service disaster. Customer service is going social – big time!! According to Zendesk, 62% of consumers have looked to social media channels for customer service issues.
But before you begin logging onto your company’s Facebook page a dozen times a day to see how many “likes” you have, and endlessly searching tweets containing your company’s name, step away from your keyboard. Social Media Monitoring is not the place to start your Social Customer Service efforts. Responding to the noise on social media platforms is like chasing smoke – frustrating, time-consuming and ultimately futile if your aim is to effectively improve the customer experience. If you take this approach you are incapable of controlling what people put out there in the social sphere about your organization.
Instead, think about taking the inside-out approach. Social Media Business Intelligence, is so much more sexier than Social Media Monitoring, as it is far more effective in driving long-term service improvements within an organization which ultimately reduces the number of complaints customer voice through all channels, social media included. The interactions organizations have with their customers are increasing in their complexity. Where in the past all issues were funneled through the call center, today customers are more likely to address an issue through self-serve. Failure in that arena leads customers to community chat (filled with an equal mix of knowledgeable gurus and misinformation) and finally the call center. Dial-to-disconnect speech analytics can help organizations gain insight into these complex interactions and more importantly, their failure points. Continue reading “Social media monitoring is like chasing smoke” »
Unless you’ve been actively hiding from all forms of media for the past year, you’ve heard about business intelligence. A Google search of the term yields 108 million results. So what is Business Intelligence? Business Intelligence is the practice of using Big Data to gain insight and drive change within an organization. A pretty broad definition, right? How do we do Business Intelligence at Customer Relationship Metrics?
Much of the work we do with/for our business partners is based in call centers. Call centers have been dubbed “the center of your universe” for very good reasons. Terabytes of data on the customer experience are collected each year, from customer email addresses to compliments, product quality issues, questions, wish list items, consumer behavior, online presence and preferences, etc. There’s not a better place in an organization to be if your slice of heaven is data, data and more data! But much of the data collected in call centers is “raw”, unstructured, in a hard-to-use format, and/or disconnected from other key data points.
What Customer Relationship Metrics does in Business Intelligence engagements is use a completely hosted reporting and data aggregation tools to bring disparate and largely unrelated data sources together into a platform where analytics are then possible. Analytics provide business partners with a means to identify relationships and to prioritize metrics in terms of capture and analysis, in what manner existing data can be best leveraged, and in many cases conducts the analysis that reveals opportunities, bottle-necks and risks within the organization that when rectified, result in top-line growth and bottom-line savings by improving the customer experience.
The organization depicted below is falling below their Call Resolution goal for the year. An analysis of resolution performance (from a customer perspective) revealed that the second largest department (in terms of call volume) is performing 15% below goal. This department accounts for approximately 33% of all calls and therefore represents the largest opportunity for improving the organization’s call resolution performance. This department is also lagging on the KPIs first call resolution, repeat call resolution, service level, and average handle time. This additional insight reveals that this department is experiencing failure in delivering resolution not only on initial contact but on any further contacts customers deem necessary to attain resolution. The repeat call problem, combined with above average handle time makes the issue of non-resolution a very costly one.
An analysis of customer comments about non-resolution revealed the following:
- 22% of customers complained that agents did not seem to care about the customer’s problem or expressed no desire to help the customer.
- 11% of customers indicated dissatisfaction with the amount of time they had to wait to reach an agent.
- 40% of customers perceived that a specific line of company products were lemons (requiring multiple repairs for the same / a recurring problem due to product quality).
- 27% of customers reported dissatisfaction with the company’s resolution to lemons Continue reading “What is Business Intelligence?” »
Holistic medicine is a big picture view – the emotional, physical, psychological and environmental factors that contribute to a patient’s overall health. Without considering all of these factors, a doctor may only solve part of the affliction without completely healing the patient. In your call center, the agents lacking a holistic view of a customer’s history may only solve part of the customer’s problem but not rectify the entire issue.
Think about how information in your company is heavily siloed by department which dictates that your call center agents have access to some of the customer’s history and information but not a holistic view of their entire interaction/relationship with the company. As we discussed last week, when Big Data is put to work in the right way it greatly benefits your customers and your brand. But when marketing, sales, online and other departments generate, collect and evaluate customer data but do not share it with the call center, the power of Big Data is undermined.
Your customers already think you are the master of Big Data, right? How often do you hear, ‘why can’t you see that on your screen? ’ Customers get frustrated and call center agents fail when the customer intelligence data available is incomplete or not readily accessible to them during a call. It’s also easier to misdiagnose a customer problem, miss an up-sell or cross-sell opportunity, or even lose a customer if the agents are limited to a single view of that customer. Think about the times you’ve called about a product or service issue and how much better your customer experience would have been had they offered to upgrade your service because they could see your contract was about to expire. Or gave you a discount on a related product because they had access to your spending patterns. Or could see that you spend most of your time shopping online through their web site and then tweeting about your purchases, so you were informed about their Twitter service handle to use the next time. Continue reading “Holistic medicine for your call center; look at the whole customer experience.” »
Everyone is abuzz over the ‘new’ Big Data trend and while most companies are floundering to analyze the data they already have, not to mention the data they have yet to capture, some big brands are setting the bar of customer analytics excellence pretty high.
So what are these brands doing right? Have they identified the proper analytics people to exploit their data in a useful way instead of falling prey to the skills-gap issues that plague other companies? Is it the data itself – what they are analyzing, when and how much? Or are they just internally and departmentally sound and settled thus allowing them to look at the big picture of Big Data?
When companies can look at their data and deduce the relationships between the data sets, it’s the customers that are reaping the immense benefits. To take a big data for marketing example, I’ve been a card holder at a particular clothing store since 2004. Because I’m spending money with their credit card they are easily able to track my purchase frequency, what departments I shop in, and can predict what I am likely to buy in the future. What this means for me is tailor-made marketing including rewards and discounts I’ll actually use. It’s not just the credit card data; they are looking at my social media habits too. I ‘like’ their page on Facebook and by pairing my profile information with my city, and crossing that with my credit card billing information and spending, they sent me an email that my local mall was having a sale on sweaters and gave me a discount if I want to take advantage of the sale. Result – they are getting more of my business than before. Continue reading “Big Data done right can benefit brands and customers.” »
A friend of mine works for a prominent university where one of his primary responsibilities is actively engaging with the alumni and athletic boosters, both directly and through social media channels, to garner large donations. Recently his department compiled a tribute video for one of their most prominent alumnae (and donor) using recorded messages from some of their past outstanding football players. It was a great idea in theory but tracking down this old player data proved to be rather difficult.
The life in academia is very much like our corporate lives. We have TONS of data about past and present customers (students) but it’s not easily accessible, not well organized and definitely not easily analyzed. My friend’s task sounded easy – track down football players that played for the university between 1974 and 2010, contact them, and get them to agree to appear in the tribute video that would air during this year’s homecoming celebration. What seemed like a straightforward request, turned into nothing short of a Big Data nightmare. You must be thinking, ‘I can get past customer addresses – what’s the big deal?’
The big deal is that my friend’s problem goes far beyond getting addresses. What kind of analytics are they using to determine who are the most valuable alumni (customers)? The university likely picks the person(s) who have given large amounts in the past (bought more) but who in their population is not connected, is not giving, has not been engaged with the university. There are invaluable relationships among the data that will increase donations (purchases) but you cannot just “eyeball” the answer. Continue reading “Mo’ big data, mo’ big problems.” »
Recently, I walked into my classroom for the upcoming term and braced myself for the exasperating questions that seemingly every class insists on asking: “Will you be sending out lecture notes after class?”, “will this be on the test?”, and “why do I have to take this [any variation of math] class?” The answers to which are “Ha ha, ha ha, ha ha,” “maybe” and “because you may want to choose to work in the fast food industry, because I’m guessing you’d prefer your Thunderbird T-top to rest on tires and not blocks, because maybe someday you’d like to have tires on your car but not on your house.” But, this time around I was pleasantly surprised. A student’s question about the merit of using paper and pencil (and whiteboard) to do math in a world of ever-accelerating computational speed led to a discussion of the priorities businesses place on subject-matter expertise versus technological skill.
The unfortunate reality is that many well-intentioned businesses spend millions of dollars each year on good, even great, tools designed to make their businesses more efficient and provide greater visibility into the inner-workings of the business. They spend time and money making a business case for the purchase, calculating the product’s ROI, payback period, etc. Unfortunately what is often lacking is the subject-matter expertise required to make good on the ROI projections. Continue reading “Tips to prevent creating your own contact center analytics shelfware.” »