What is analytics doing in Customer Relationship Centres?

Customer service has always been an essential part of any organization. In the past, organizations tended to look at a customer service as a cost – to be avoided if they could. However, the insights from analyzing the data available at its contact centre is making business leaders look at the contact centre in a different light. Understanding the customer, anticipating customer needs, and enhancing customer experience have become competitive differentiators.

Customer Segmentation

Historically, organizations relied on basic customer demographics such as age, sex and other socio-economic parameters to segment its customers and offer solutions. In the age of hyper-personalization, the need to treat each customer differently and provide tailor made solutions is critical. A customer segment is not as simple as men, aged 38-42, with income < $52,000. Not all men in the above segment display same buying patterns. CRM systems can analyze customer interactions, past purchase behavior, channel of interactions etc to and thus create a stronger profile for each customer. For instance, Customers who more often purchase products physically can grouped together, as against the customers who buy online and then be presented with the appropriate options.

Enhance Customer Experience

Customer experience makes or breaks the deal for any brand. Contact analytics can automatically highlight the frequency of similar bottlenecks, unnecessary transfers, repeat calls etc. A properly deployed contact analytics platform objectively captures and analyses 100% of customer interactions. Leveraging real-time speech and text analytics, root cause of customer calls can be identified and thus help reduce repeat calls and customer frustration. Today, leading customer service providers are analyzing voice recordings and unstructured data for content and sentiment to help their clients understand patterns and trends.

Improve Financials

The CRM centre is the melting pot to receive and analyze customers’ experience with a firm’s products and services. Analytics allows a contact center to become proactive rather than reactive in dealing with problems and finding opportunities.

For instance, a home appliances manufacturer which analyzed the customer calls for problems in their appliances, realized that customer service team faced the challenge of longer repair resolution time because, many times, the technician does not carry the required spare parts to repair the particular problem at their first visit. The analysis led to streamlining of systems across the organization resulting in a) reduction in repair resolution time and saving cost by minimizing technician revisits b) reduced carrying cost by carrying the right spare part by the technicians in the first visit to customer c) insights for inventory / warehouse management to optimally stock combinations of spare parts that are frequently required by the technicians d) identification of new problems occurring in the field which were not present in the manual e) insights for the engineering team to trigger root cause analysis f) improve customer satisfaction thereby improving brand perception.

Chat-bots at your service

Rarely would you find someone who never had a frustrating experience with a contact centre. It could be a case of being in a ‘queue’ waiting for your turn to be serviced, the sophisticated Interactive Voice Response (IVR) which keeps instructing you to press one button or the other, or just your query not fully understood. Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence could revolutionize the call center. Acting as the first line of interactions, chat bots can filter the basic questions from the more complicated queries. For instance, there is no need for an agent to answer a query on a payment status. The chat bots can help replace the manual tasks the agent has to do and help the agent take decisions that augment the customer service.

Customer service is about serving the needs of the customer in the medium they want (phone, email, social, text, etc and a combination of any), leave them with an experience that values their time, solve their issues efficiently and effectively. When applied well, the value from analytics is compelling across many aspects of customer services.

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