Launching an Intelligent Contact Center

The abundance of data is a strategic asset for all contact centers. However, it is how companies use data that determines success or failure. Aberdeen's recent study, "The Intelligent Contact Center," highlights a select group of businesses that differentiate themselves from others by mastering the art and science of data-driven customer interactions. As a result, these companies achieve the best-in-class results depicted in the figure below:

Figure 1: Want Best-in-Class Results? Become an Intelligent Contact Center

With Big Data having evolved from an esoteric trend into the new normal, achieving best-in-class results means having an intelligent contact center that skillfully uses data to meet and exceed customer needs. There are three main categories of performance benefits that intelligent contact centers enjoy.

First, they enjoy superior customer experience results, indicated by their performance in improving (decreasing) the number of customer complaints year-over-year at a far greater scale than all others. As such, they observe substantial annual growth in customer retention rates and customer lifetime value.

The second category of benefits relates to operational results. These include metrics such as agent utilization rate, number of quality service-level agreements (SLAs) met, and average handle time. Managing operations to improve these key performance indicators ultimately helps contact centers reduce customer service costs. Indeed, Aberdeen's research shows that intelligent contact centers maximizing operational efficiency reduce service costs by 5.2 percent year-over-year, compared to a 1.1 percent increase by aAll others. This also means that intelligent contact centers improve customer experience results while reducing service costs.

The third category of benefits enjoyed by top performers is financial results. While improving customer satisfaction is a top priority for all contact centers, the end goal for all businesses is delivering shareholder value. Successful contact centers must ensure that customer experience results ultimately help the company enhance its financial health. Considering that the best-in-class enjoy more than twice the year-over-year growth in annual company revenue as all others, this indicates that they also excel in delivering shareholder value.

Our analysis revealed that there are four building blocks that help companies build an intelligent contact center driving best-in-class results. They are the following:

  1. Optimize data flows;
  2. Empower the contact center agent;
  3. Manage your performance from the lens of your customers; and
  4. Get smarter in how you work with your IT team.

Omer Minkara is vice president and principal analyst covering contact center and customer experience management at Aberdeen Group.