BI in the Contact Center

Gather, Analyze, Succeed...

Updated: September 11, 2014

BI in the Contact Center

Getting raw client data and transforming it into meaningful information that can be used for business analytics is called business intelligence. In addition, business intelligence helps you to identify, develop and create new strategies, and even sales, based upon your client interactions. When it comes to contact centers, you are dealing with clients all day long. So, how do you glean through all of that communication for useful nuggets of information that can improve your product, customer experience, service and reputation? It is through gaining business intelligence with a CRM system.


What is the point of talking to customers all day long if you have no records of what they are saying? The last thing you want is to appear disconnected, especially when your job is to keep your clients happy. So, you must have a system that record calls and allows your call center representatives to document their communications in real time. In today's fierce global environment, you no longer have the luxury of guesstimating the next market shift and hoping you will survive. Business intelligence is what gives your company an edge.

With business intelligence, you can make data-driven decisions that grow customer base and improve your market share. You can more easily convey the connection between unstructured data with business strategy through the use of analytics and reporting dashboards. After that, you can more accurately track spending, streamline processes and improve performance.

Also, you can become more responsive. So, you get to react more efficiently and proactively in order to ensure desirable outcomes for your company. Say you run a national pet care business and you have multiple clients complaining that they are waiting much longer than expected for service. You might not know how many clients complained without business intelligence. If they reach a certain number, you know its time to have a deeper look at some of your branches.

Questions to ask

Before diving into a BI system, you have to understand how they can best serve you. Some questions to start with include: What types of answers do you need? Are you wanting customer conversations, customer purchases or something else? The system you choose should address the information your company needs.

What about technical savvy? A BI system must interface with other company systems and users. So, how technically inclined are your call center operators? Can they handle an extremely sophisticated system or do they need something more basic and user-friendly?

What are your key performance indicators? Once you install a BI system, you have to have a set of KPI's for tracking results. This is important for fine tuning and progression. Having a web-based system allows you and your workforce to be more mobile. Cloud-based BI systems also help you save money when it comes to the cost of installation, maintenance and the hiring of IT personal to do so.

Why you need a BI system

Determine whether or not the following describes your company:

  • I have no skilled call center analytics staff
  • I have limited IT personnel
  • I need a quick ROI
  • I need a low-risk option
  • I don't currently have any call center analytics applications

If you agree with any or all of those statements, you are not alone. Many SMBs are in the same position. And, many think they have a finite set of options, but that certainly is not the case. Nonetheless, without business intelligence you will decrease your opportunity to:

  • Increase sales, order frequency and average order size
  • Reduce operational costs
  • Improve customer experiences
  • Solve business problems

So, how do you get those things? They come with BI reporting and analytics. You can't increase the average order size if you don't know what it is to begin with. And, it could take weeks for staff to determine that. With a BI system, it can be processed immediately. That way you can determine how to increase the average order size either by changing some of the size options or adding complimentary items to your products. For example, if you sell running shoes, you might offer matching, wicking socks or similar items.

There might also be business problems such as call center reps not answering calls quickly enough, putting your clients on hold for too long or responding to client complaints negatively. With a BI system, you can track and record calls. If you have under-performing call center operators, you can quickly nip the issues in the bud by offering more training, having discussions about things affecting their work, or hiring better staff.

Using business intelligence complete with business analytics gives you the opportunity for predictive modeling. All companies must have the flexibility to change along with market preferences. Where several decades ago, sodas were all the rage, now people prefer natural drinks and water. Where would companies like Pepsi and Coca-Cola be if they did not keep their eyes on these types of modifications?

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