When debt solutions company Cabot Credit Management wanted to gain greater insight into its daily interactions with customers, speech analytics seemed an attractive option. But such a significant investment obviously needs careful consideration and a compelling business case. Chief operating officer Steve Mound highlights seven key lessons Cabot learned when implementing the technology.
1) Conduct a proof of concept. This is essentially a trial with the technology to allow you to see what it will be able to deliver. This is a useful way of introducing the solution to the organisation, demonstrating what it will do for the business, and allowing the various operational stakeholders to take ownership.
2) Create a compelling business case. Talk about the solution as scientifically as possible – remember, whatever the benefits are will have to be converted into hard numbers for the finance director. Making a business case based on generalisations about compliance or knowing more about the customer journey will be much harder to sell to others in the organisation.
We knew that the best way to show a return on the investment was to demonstrate that we had better trained people who were able to deliver a better level of return. To do that, we took two or three teams within our 20 or 30 team contact centre and trained them using Nexidia, and introduced coaching using the analytics tool. We monitored their performance in conjunction with the rest of the contact centre and could see that over a 3-6 month period there was a 30% uplift in some of their key performance metrics.
3) Be honest about your company’s culture. Is your contact centre really ready for analytics? You will only realise the benefits if it is accepted by frontline staff as a development tool, rather than a big stick with which to drive performance.
4) Be data-savvy. Make sure you gather enough data about individual calls to allow you to dig deep to identify potential business improvements.
5) Resource effectively. Employ enough analysts to understand the analytics, build queries and identify business issues. Also, make sure you train a whole team of people in the analytics so you have resilience against people leaving the business.
6) Implementation is just the beginning. Don’t assume that your work is done once you have implemented the technology. There is a lot to learn from this tool and it is a continual process of refinement and improvement. For example, we discovered through using Nexidia to train agents to ask a customer to pay a debt balance in full that it was not enough simply to ask, but also to ask in the right way.
7) Use the technology as a development tool. We saw some huge benefits in implementing analytics, including a 30% increase in key performance metrics for our staff. But it’s important the technology is used in the right way. Treat your people as adults and make sure coaching sessions are seen as such, and not as a management session.