Independent Contact Center Consultants: Bridging Strategy, Technology and Operations Since 2004

Data Doesn’t Mean Much Without Analysis

As a contact center consultant, I visit lots of centers and examine mountains of reports. What repeatedly amazes me is all the effort put into getting data and preparing reports with little energy expended on root cause analysis to drive prioritization of continuous improvement activities. Instead, they’ll charge ahead with new initiatives which increase contact volumes and/or complexity without corresponding action to streamline existing activities and balance workload.

root cause analysisRoot cause analysis provides insights that connect measurements to action items. Suppose, for example, that the center gets sub-standard marks for customer wait times based on Voice of the Customer survey responses or internal KPI monitors. Executives may leap to the conclusion that agents are not focused, effective, or paying attention to queue size. A robust root cause analysis may reveal complexity with multiple non-integrated systems, a systemic business application issue, poorly constructed call routing, missing resources, non-existent or out of date policies/procedures, workflow breakage between departments, and/or agent training – all of which are beyond the agents’ control! If you don’t chase the right cause and invest in the proper course of action, you’ll continue to get the same complaints… and perhaps lose some valuable staff along the way.

The following table lists typical customer complaints. Use our root cause analysis considerations as a starting point for a deeper dive on potential issues in your center. Then make actionable, quantifiable recommendations to drive center-wide efficiency, effectiveness, and improvements in customer experience

Customer Frustrations Root Cause Analysis Considerations
Inaccessibility or Long Wait Time Agent training, skills or impact of one understanding Center not staffed appropriately for contact volumes Appropriate channels not offered to meet customer needs
Unresolved Issues or Problems Agent follow-through or accountability Product defect, website or IVR modification, policy modification, logistics issue, or change negatively impacting center and customer experience
Inaccurate Information Agent knowledge transfer or training is deficient Policy, produce and procedure information is spread across multiple resource locations, is not easily searchable, or is manual or not up-to-date Customer information requires access to multiple systems or systems lack  alignment
Rude experience Agent not trained or following company call handling guidelines Failure to effectively audit contact experience for contact handling guideline compliance Policies not conducive to maintaining existing customers while also capturing new customers