As the contact center landscape changes, so too must the reporting and analysis solutions that drive decision-making and performance management. Each contact center is a unique mixture of systems, applications, people and culture serving a specific customer or client segment, each will need a different roadmap to their destination.
There are four common reasons that contact centers are driven to undertake this journey in the first place:
1. Current reports don’t meet requirements: Typically, most contact centers begin with the standard reports included in their operational systems — automatic call distribution (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), workforce management (WFM), and so forth. However, these out-of-the-box reports usually only cover the basics and likely don’t reflect a given organization’s unique measurement needs based on industries and markets served, customer needs, or geographical/cultural differences. Each of these operational systems is essentially a silo of data; an ACD’s standard reports are designed to show how the contact center is performing only from the ACD’s point of view, without reference to, say, how agent scheduling will affect ACD metrics. To determine the latter, at least two reports must be generated, and data from each laboriously merged manually in a spreadsheet, a time-intensive process that also fraught with opportunities for error.
2. Data quality and integrity suffers: As errors proliferate in these “patch-quilt” spreadsheet reports (often called “spreadmarts”), contact centers begin to lose trust in their stats. Data integrity can also erode as underlying business rules change, or as call flow/call handling protocols are reconfigured, resulting in changes to how calls are pegged in the ACD. A common result is “dueling spreadsheets” – re-ports ostensibly covering the same metrics, but with different data values suggesting different conclusions.
3. Changes to operational systems: A replacement, upgrade or reconfiguration of any component of the contact center environment might change the way underlying operational data is logged, with ripple effects on all dependent reports. Adding new technologies (for social media tracking, say) introduce new silos generating new data that must be incorporated into performance reports.
4. Disconnects arise between strategic goals and contact center operations: Changes in management or organizational direction will likely necessitate significant and sometimes immediate changes in the contact center, and thus its reporting requirements. If these changes aren’t made quickly, fundamental disconnects can create constant, unproductive internal struggles between the contact center and upper management. These clashes can occur over anything from a perceived lack of progress to claims of conflicting goals and inconsistent direction.
When faced with one or more of these challenges, contact center leaders are often at a loss on how to start down the road to better contact center reporting and analysis. A new white paper from Symmetrics, Drawing Your Roadmap for Better Contact Center Reporting and Analysis discusses options.