Call Centers: A prime outpost for customer information analysis

In a consumer-driven world, where purchasers of goods and services have more information at their fingertips and power to influence others than ever before, it has become critical for companies to listen and quickly react to customer needs and wants. To that end, RedCloud’s Practice Director Corey Artherholt – a recognized expert in strategy, operations, and analysis of customer information – broke down a step-by-step guide on how a call center can serve as a premier listening outpost, becoming a catalyst for the change your organization and customers have been looking for.

  1. Setup – Call driver analyses can be simple to setup, run, and scale, and often require no expertise or additional resources outside what is already involved with call centers today. A logical starting point with call center listening is with your front-line employees. No one has their ear to customers more directly than a contact center representative. One simple way to get started is to develop a listening post from your front-line employees by creating a forum for them to pass along customer feedback and ideas. This could be something as simple as a kickoff meeting and an email distribution list that front-line contact center representatives use to draw attention to what they see your customers experience and feel. To ensure customer feedback is captured in ways that lead to insights and actions, at RedCloud, we recommend sharing responsibility of reviewing and acting upon customer feedback from contact centers across roles and teams.
  2. Understand and Organize Feedback – To begin, we recommend spending time with and gathering insights from those call agents who are most passionate about creating a great customer experience. In a past project, from our conversations, we began to build light-weight taxonomies that grouped reasons for customer calls into seven buckets. Using sampling we then flagged calls by reason/customer pain point, created tallies for each bucket, and worked with corresponding teams to address those call drivers most common across customers who contacted us.
  3. Dive Deeper – If you wish, you could go deeper and couple your feedback insights with more complex and passive sources of feedback such as call arrival patterns, IVR use data, and/or customer demographics. In doing so, you can identify deviations from typical call arrival patterns that generally point to a change in customer behavior. Independently, call driver information, call arrival patterns, IVR data and customer demographics are useful and help your organization make informed decisions. Together, they begin to tell the story of what your customers experience, how they respond and how they seek your help to make the most of your product or service.
  4. Diagnose Issues – One instance that sticks out is a time our team tried to identify the reasons for changes in overnight call volume with a large travel service provider. To understand what was happening, we dedicated time to going through the ANI data for those overnight hours. In doing so, we found a single customer had called numerous times a night. After reaching out directly to this customer we discovered his reason for calling was simply to receive status updates. By being able to understand the call patterns, we were able to completely eliminate the corresponding increase in volume by steering him to the self-service tools he needed.
  5. Solve Technology Downtime – Another occasion we used these steps, RedCloud leveraged changes in aggregate disposition buckets to help raise visibility of intermittent system issues causing customers to call our call center. We matched time periods where we saw spikes in call volume with other data available, including agent feedback, to see what customers were experiencing and when. The data allowed us to bring tangible insights to our IT partners, who found systemic issues with specific servers causing problems and resolved the issue leading to increased customer calls quickly and easily.

Setting up a call driver analysis that leverages the knowledge, insights and data your customers share, gives you a golden opportunity to understand your customers. Having done so on multiple occasions, across industries and diverse organizations in the past, we can attest to the power and possibilities that come from call driver analysis.

For RedCloud’s full white paper on this topic, see: Call Driver Analysis: Why You Should Be Listening

Corey Artherholt (MPAcc, CCXP) serves as RedCloud’s Practice Director and is an expert in strategy, operations, and analysis of customer information.