Customization, ongoing effort needed for top-rate real-time reporting

Posted: 12/31/2015 - 11:19 | Inova Solutions

For today's businesses to succeed, they need to do everything in their power to improve the customer experience. Consumers simply have too many choices and too much power for companies in any sector to take their clients for granted. If a customer is dissatisfied by the support he or she receives, that consumer will likely not hesitate to both find a new vendor and tell others about the negative encounter and service.

With this in mind, an optimized contact center should be seen as a critical priority for every company. And to reach this level, it is invaluable for firms to invest in real-time reporting solutions. As countless organizations have already discovered, real-time performance management tools can help keep managers, supervisors and agents abreast of the contact center's status at all times, allowing for faster and better-informed decision-making and actions. With these solutions in place, contact center members will become more motivated, efficient and effective in a wide range of metrics.

The real question for contact center leaders is not whether to pursue these tools or not, but rather how to best ensure they deliver the anticipated results. With this in mind, it's imperative for firms to choose the right solution and the right approach. Two of the most important criteria to keep in mind in this regard are the ability to customize the solutions, and commitment from both the vendor and the company itself to put forth a concentrated effort to maximize value and performance after deployment.

Customization capabilities
Every business is unique, and so too is every contact center. Even quite similar organizations will have a variety of factors which set them apart from their counterparts, including precise customer demographics, the number of employees, long-term goals and so on. The contact center's real-time reporting solutions need to take these differences into account.

Every contact center will have its own goals and needs. Every contact center will have its own goals and needs.

With this in mind, business leaders should look for a real-time performance management vendor that is able and willing to conduct a thorough pre-deployment evaluation at the outset. This process should include a close look at exactly what reporting each stakeholder will need to deliver a top-quality performance on a consistent basis.  After all, real-time reporting can only prove useful when agents and supervisors have access to the right metrics, and are not distracted by irrelevant updates and stats.

What's more, most contact center leaders will want certain real-time metrics made available to everyone, but others to remain private. Determining which real-time statistics to display on wallboards and which to make available only via individuals' work stations is another key stage in the evaluation process. 

Only an in-depth evaluation will reveal precisely what form the real-time displays should take. A cookie-cutter approach, on the other hand, will lead to a suboptimal deployment, which in turn will undermine much of the value that real-time reporting can and should deliver.

After deployment efforts
Even the best, most reliable real-time performance management systems will need to be tested to ensure they are delivering on their promise. Unfortunately, some vendors adopt a more hands-off approach, essentially leaving the client on its own following deployment. A top-quality vendor, on the other hand, will conduct thorough testing after implementation to ensure that every element within the real-time reporting system is operating as intended, and make corrections if any issues are identified.

"Contact center personnel need to understand how to leverage the tools at their disposal."

But that's not all. For these solutions to truly provide the best possible value, it's critical that contact center personnel actually understand how to leverage the tools at their disposal. That knowledge does not come automatically. Rather, staff members in the contact center need guidance and training to effectively take advantage of these solutions. 

Again, this is not always a given for real-time performance management solution vendors. In some cases, a company will more or less deploy the system and then move on, leaving the contact center and its personnel to figure things out for themselves. Not only does this undermine the value of the solution, but it also can have a negative impact on employee attitudes. The potential for more satisfied, engaged contact center agents is one of the biggest advantages that real-time performance management solutions have to offer, but these workers may be initially skeptical about such a significant change to their day-to-day work lives. The smoother this introduction is, the less resistance company leaders will encounter and the more satisfied employees will be with the new resources. Training will make this process relatively painless, while also helping agents discover how to best benefit from the newly deployed tools.

By choosing the right real-time performance management solution vendor - one that delivers customized offerings and commitment - business leaders will be able to give their contact centers a powerful boost, leading to much better results down the road. 

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