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In my last blog, I described how a business insights program can help organizations gather meaningful insights by combining traditional quality monitoring (QM) with expanded guidelines and cross-functional analytics. By analyzing through a broader lens, businesses can gain insights in such areas like upstream process issues driving contact volumes, new product demand, customer service strategy gaps, and self-service issues. Today, I want to expand on this discussion and bring to life some of the scenarios in which companies can leverage a business insights program.

Upstream Process Issues

Customer service issues can arise due to many different possible shortcomings – inconsistent or unclear customer communications, policies that are not customer-centric, or poor cross-functional business processes. Clear patterns emerge when analyzing all of the various sources of data and insights including voice of the customer, contact types, complaints, contact monitoring and operational KPIs. The key themes can then be used, in conjunction with process observations and customer journey mapping, to prioritize and quantify the impact of improving your upstream processes. For example, if billing questions are the top reason for calls, complaints and customer attrition, you can dramatically reduce customer frustration and non-value calls by redesigning the billing language and content. We consistently see a strong ROI associated with end-to-end process re-engineering, so this approach will dramatically improve your customer experience while reducing your cost structure.

We consistently see a strong ROI associated with end-to-end process re-engineering, so this approach will dramatically improve your customer experience while reducing your cost structure.

New Product or Service Demand

While product and service innovation can be developed from many different design methodologies, you should always leverage the existing insights as an input into that process. Let’s say you are a cable company and your customers are consistently asking for shorter windows of time for repair technician visits, but there are too many factors that make that difficult to deliver. Leveraging insights from calls, complaints and missed appointments, you find what they really need is proactive notification when technicians are on their way. Cable companies are now offering proactive text messages and mobile apps to validate a more precise time of arrival on the day of their appointment. This also results in a significant reduction in missed appointments which reduces their overall cost structure.

Customer Service Strategy Gaps

Customer experience goals are measured by metrics specifically geared for a company’s desired outcomes. For example, some organizations place a great emphasis on reducing average handle times, resulting in rushed conversations and perhaps multiple calls from the customer. These frustrations can be understood by monitoring calls for dissatisfaction around repeat calls and abrupt service, as well as mining the data for the number of repeat calls to a contact center. Customer service leaders must train their agents to focus on performance, rather than focus on meeting goals. Once again, if executed well, your overall costs will be reduced because spending even one more minute on an existing call can offset an often longer repeat call – a win-win for everyone.

Self-service Issues

Online portals and apps are the preferred channel to begin almost all interactions. If designed properly, these digital channels can increase customer satisfaction and reduce the amount of call volume and associated expense for organizations. However, self-service portals are only convenient if the site is designed from a customer-centric view and has accurate, easy-to-find information. Many sites are too complicated or do not include the necessary information, so the customer still needs to call and is now even more frustrated as their overall time investment has increased before they ever reach an agent. A wealth of business insights can be gained through usability data, contact monitoring and complaints to properly direct your organization’s self-service strategy.

In Practice

A world leader in travel services uses both quality monitoring and business process tracking to measure and improve their customer experience. The company engaged Northridge to analyze both quantitative and qualitative information to identify process and agent performance improvement opportunities. Specific behavioral recommendations, qualitative and quantitative information, and coaching led to an increase in both agent performance and ultimately customer loyalty.

A correlation analysis of quality monitoring scores to customer loyalty scores enabled the team to prioritize and select key strategies and improvement opportunities to drive quantitative business results.  Upon the implementation of our initial recommendations, the client realized an improvement in customer loyalty scores and continues to expand this program based on the results.

Read the full case study here.