By Chris Recio, Inflow Communications Director of Contact Center & Advanced Applications
Chances are, if you have worked with me or if you have attended any one of my meetings or presentations, you know I love data. I admit it. I am a nerd! I love data! Its not because I enjoy the bits and bytes that data is. In fact, bits and bytes sort of bore me. But, what I can do with a simple yes or no question offers me a never-ending pathway to do anything I wish, so long as I can use simple logic to navigate a true or false condition.
I once got myself into a bit of trouble when during a presentation I told the audience if I can get to your database and answer a simple yes or no question, I can make this product do whatever I need or want it to do. To my not-so-shocked surprise, the product manager quickly advised privately you cant tell people that. While perhaps not 100 percent true, I still maintain that with access to contact center data and access to simple logic, I can do amazing things with applications and have been doing so for quite some time with great success.
Its Not All About Database Queries
However, when it comes to contact center data, its not always about a database query. In fact, I often use the concept of a data label for other purposes without having to ever touch a database. Using logic and some old-fashioned common sense, I regularly look for creative ways to route and prioritize customer interactions based on a simple label. Its surprising to me how often the simplest of concepts get lost under the guise of modern technology.
The Power of Contact Center Data & Simple Logic In Action
In a recent meeting a client, a key obstacle in their environment was two-fold. One, the client operated with a limited staff size of 10 agents. The nature of the business is health care. Their contact center reps were fielding contacts from both physicians and members. The contact center also supported various insurance providers such as: BlueCross, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. Lastly, the requests for services could cover many other options including: requests for appointments, pharmacy, billing, etc.
The key driver in this small operation was the need for a limited number of agents to support multiple lines of business. A Service Level for attainment also bound each line of business.
In this environment, it was imperative that the agents have multiple pieces of information as they answered incoming phone calls. Aside from understanding business needs, we had to fine-tune the agent experience. This was key in maximizing the efficiency of the call flow process, but more importantly, it was our job to streamline the agent experience to produce the best possible results for the customer and the agent alike.
Enter: Call Profiles & Labels
A Call Profile in this context is simply a label that is attached to the call that will travel with the call for the duration of the contact. Heres how it resolved several problems at once.
When a physician or patient reaches out to the contact center, they are greeted with: Thank you for calling XYZ Health Group. If you are a provider, Press 1. If you are a member, Press 2. When an option is selected, we configured the system to label the call with the appropriate label, being: Provider or Member. Once the caller made their choice by pressing 1 or 2, then the next option is offered: Thank you. If you are calling for Medicaid, Press 1. If you are calling for Medicare, Press 2 and so on.
Again, each call was labeled with the appropriate choice. While collecting the data along the pathway to the customer service rep, the data was used to be a visual indicator for the agent, and the data was also used to make strategic decisions before the call was delivered to the agents. If a specific provider had a service level requirement that was more stringent than another provider, that call would be given a priority equal to its service level. So calls with service level agreement requirements were handled with the level of urgency.
All of this was accomplished by using data as Call Profiles or labels. By deploying this strategy, we were able to impact service levels, and most importantly, send information to the customer service rep who now could see not only who called, they also knew the caller type, the line of business and the specific need. This information resulted in reduced talk time, increased customer satisfaction and improved overall agent performance and efficiencies, while preserving their small staff to handle the needs of the business. Service Targets were met and the operational morale was improved as agents were presented critical information that allowed them to confidently and positively reduce the amount of time necessary to triage the initial contact. This is a win-win on multiple levels ? all in part with the use of data labels.
While a database query can have a dramatic impact on call routing and customer service, equally valuable is the ability to label a call and respond to those labels with some good, old-fashioned logic and common sense.
Here at Inflow Communications, we are always looking for application nuances that dramatically impact operational efficiencies for the contact center. We look for creative ways to marry the operational needs with technology. While technology can do great things, we often look for the best practical use for the operation. Our goal is to help our clients achieve their goals with common sense and practical applications.
Want to learn more? Follow the link below to register for our online Contact Center Educational Series:
Contact Center Data for Dynamic Results
March 29th, 10:00 ? 11:00 PST
And make sure to keep up with our on-going educational series in our blogs and keep tabs on our events. ? be sure to look out for our next topic: The Art of Reporting.
Founded in 1997, Inflow is one of the nation’s top Unified Communications and Contact Center consultants in today’s market. Pioneers in cloud unified communications and cloud contact center success, Inflow is the first company to provide contact center consulting and training focused solely on helping you elevate your customer experience.
With over 200,000 endpoints supported under Inflow’s innovative success programs around the world, Inflow built its brand and reputation around providing unrivaled customer support. Inflow is in Mitel/ShoreTel’s top 2% in global customer satisfaction, and quickly acquiring a top spot with RingCentral, Genesys PureCloud and NICE inContact.
By partnering with Inflow, you can expect the highest level of strategic consultation, execution, and optimization available in the industry.