Recommendations for deploying customer interaction analytics

Customer data is increasing at a rapid rate with customers interacting more frequently online. They are using social media and communities to research products and services as well as sharing good and bad experiences with their peers. Enterprises need to harness this customer data and link it to customer service calls in order to adapt and improve the customer experience across all channels. Service providers, in particular, need to address increasing customer churn as well as regulations around complaints. They need to respond to digital trends and differentiate on customer service in order to compete against newer, price competitive consumer services.

With customer interaction analytics, service providers can track digital behavioral trends, find relevant context from text and voice interactions and discover the root cause of complaints. However, knowing where to begin can be overwhelming. In the blog post “Four benefits of customer interaction analytics for service providers”, Chantel Cary gives examples of where customer interaction analytics is beneficial. In order to make these deployments successful, Ovum recommends the following steps:

  1. Prioritize business objectives

Service providers should prioritize areas of the business that need improvement and consider how analytics can help them to achieve them. Objectives could include: reducing churn, understanding billing issues, ensuring compliance, or improving customer satisfaction. It is better to begin an analytics engagement by focusing on one area at a time and gradually add more capabilities. Once the initial objective has been decided, they should identify metrics that will help them to benchmark success. For example, customer experience metrics could include churn rate, satisfaction scores or lifetime value.


  1. Collate data from different departments and channels

Siloed data sets across departments should be integrated. For example, marketing teams may own web traffic or mobile application stats that could be useful to the contact center to understand how a customer interacts before making a phone call to an agent. They should review and connect data from different sources using unique customer IDs, such as a phone number or email address. This is useful because a contact center may receive calls around an expired marketing offer or a competitor marketing campaign aimed at getting customers to switch providers. Customer interaction analytics results should also be used to help business units outside the customer service center. If service providers can gain a more complete picture of customer journeys across channels, they can drive more effective marketing and sales as well as offering relevant, real-time support answers.


  1. Set up data collection and analysis

Customer interaction analytics solutions encompass a range of tools from speech and text analytics to customer feedback management. Service providers should assess the best ways to get information on their customers, pinpointing the most frequently used channels. Ideally a combination of customer surveys (web or IVR) as well as analytics will provide a balanced view of customers. While surveys are useful for attaining direct opinions from customers, analytics can be used to get cross-channel data, pinpoint trends in social media, and link customer records to interactions with agents. Where possible, service providers should connect existing data from CRM records and web tracking to real-time interaction data. The agent needs to know the historical context about a customer in order to understand and resolve an issue.


  1. Review trends and act quickly

The most important part of customer interaction analytics is acting on the findings before issues escalate or a regulator is notified about poor complaints management. Service providers should set up a plan that allows them to tackle problems as they occur; they should consider how analysts and managers will alert other team members of issues to improve agent guidance, operations or even marketing campaigns. Agents, supervisors, marketers, and resource planners should all be able to view the customer data trends that are most relevant to them. By connecting data across different stages of the customer journey, they can discover the point at which most complaints happen and make improvements.


  1. Predict and pre-empt issues

Finally, by finding issues at the earliest stages or using historical data to understand customer behavior, service providers can try to predict problems before they occur. They should use data to adapt processes and tailor support to customers that call about similar problems. Sending proactive alerts via social media or outbound notifications will help raise customer satisfaction and deflect calls. Service providers should aim to prevent further complaints by providing a more personalized, predictive service, which will in turn help them to differentiate. Every organization should realize that customer interaction analytics solutions will be most valuable if used as part of a larger ongoing project to improve the customer experience. They should evaluate customer trends and issues regularly to remain relevant to customers.


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