2013 ICMI RESEARCH RELEASED: Actionable Data in Today's Multichannel Contact Center Research Report and Best Practices Guide

Due to confusion over which metrics are important, the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) finds that many contact centers are struggling with the challenge of data overload.

Dec 19, 2013, 08:00 ET from International Customer Management Institute (ICMI)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Dec. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) has released its 2013 report, A WOW Customer Journey: Actionable Data in Today's Multichannel Contact Center, a guide to the more effective use of data and analytics in a multichannel environment.

The problem of big data has been building in contact centers for some time. While harvesting data has become extraordinarily easy, knowing which numbers to crunch or which metrics to track can be a far more challenging prospect.

The proliferation of messy unstructured dataemails, calls, chats, tweets, video, desktop usage, etc.has further complicated matters. Without the right tools and guidance, contact center agents cannot handle the volume of data or lay their hands on appropriate information.

In response, ICMI decided to conduct a research survey in the late summer of 2013. The goals were threefold:

  1. Gain an understanding of how multichannel contact centers are currently handling their data
  2. Explore the benefits of creating a "Wow" customer journey across all interactions
  3. Help organizations decide which analytics tools and data enhancements are necessary

"In today's hyper-connected world, customers expect to have relevant and personal conversations through their channel of choice," says Sarah Stealey Reed, Content Director for ICMI. "Contact centers must know how to use customer and agent analytics to anticipate needs and short-circuit problems. If they understand what data are important, businesses can provide a much better multichannel experience."

The rigorous study had 542 respondents (primarily executives, directors and managers) from every major industry in both the U.S. and abroad. Findings from the study were compiled and analyzed by ICMI's research team.

The results were eye-opening. Although:

  • 67% of contact centers currently use collected data to manage overall agent performance
  • Only 48% use data for identifying improvements in customer satisfaction and 36% admitted they don't do it at all

In addition: 

  • Over 60% of contact centers are not proactively providing customer information to an agent
  • 48% of contact centers consistently collect and report on metrics they don't use
  • 69% of agents have to navigate around multiple screens and interfaces in order to locate information
  • 41% of agents are still manually keying in customer contact information

Fortunately, A WOW Customer Journey: Actionable Data in Today's Multichannel Contact Center provides guidance and best practices to remedy these matters.

The report advises contact centers on the right data to collect and manage; the link between employee engagement and customer experience; ways to improve agent productivity and efficiency through better data; keys to improving customer engagement and more.

Also included are ICMI Expert Spotlight accompaniments with advice on two key aspects of actionable dataFine Tuning Your Contact Center through the Innovative Use of Metrics by Justin Robbins, Manager of Training & Development, ICMI, and Reporting Contact Center Activity by Brad Cleveland, Senior Advisor and Founding Partner, ICMI.

"It's not about how much data you have," Reed reiterates. "It's about the insight you gain from the data that truly matters. When you use contact center data as a solution, rather than an output, you'll find ways to make improvements at each step of the customer journey."

A complete review of the study's final results can be found within the research report, A WOW Customer Journey: Actionable Data in Today's Multichannel Contact Center.

In addition, ICMI offers a free whitepaper, Big Data? Better Data! The Value of Data in Today's Contact Center, featuring a portion of the study results and presents commentary and related research findings through a recorded webinar and educast.

About the Sponsor

Funding for the study was provided by WhitePages PRO. As the business-to-business division of WhitePages Inc., WhitePages PRO provides access to intelligent contact data that gives businesses a 360-degree view of their customers, enabling them to quickly identify new and existing clients to improve call center efficiencies, validate online purchasers to predict and prevent fraud, and enrich contact records to strengthen customer interactions. WhitePages PRO taps into WhitePages.com's extensive database of more than 300 million landline and mobile phone numbers each with a unique set of corresponding contact data points. The company's suite of products includes an API and Web Lookup solution to meet the needs of all size businesses.

(Note: The underwriter, WhitePages PRO, does not have access to individual study responses, nor will they be shared with the underwriter.)

About ICMI

The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) is the leading global provider of comprehensive resources for customer management professionalsfrom frontline agents to executiveswho wish to improve customer experiences and increase efficiencies at every level of the contact center. Since 1985, ICMI has helped more than 50,000 organizations in 167 countries through training, events, certification, consulting, and informational resources. ICMI's experienced and dedicated team of industry insiders, trainers, and consultants are committed to helping you raise the strategic value of your contact center, optimize your operations and improve your customer service. For more information, visit www.icmi.com. ICMI is a part of UBM (www.ubm.com), a global live media and B2B communications, marketing service and data provider.

Questions or interview requests may be directed to: Sarah Stealey Reed, sreed@icmi.com

SOURCE International Customer Management Institute (ICMI)