How to Combine Customer Service and Workforce Data to Boost Business Outcomes

With the advent of hybrid and remote work, contact center leaders find it challenging to manage large numbers of dispersed, global teams. Amid high call volume, multiple time zones, round-the-clock schedules, and frustrated customers, ensuring both high levels of customer satisfaction and optimal employee productivity can be difficult.

While pre-pandemic, in-office dynamics often gave managers the perception that work was being done because workers were on site and appeared to be busy, it was not necessarily an accurate indicator of the efficiency of work. Now, without the visibility provided by in-office work environments, digital workforce data has become a crucial tool for managers to understand team operations in the remote work era. But it should not be limited to remote workers. Data-driven management is important for remote and in-office work. Whether hybrid, remote, or in office, new workforce data technologies can help contact centers improve productivity, optimize workloads, reduce agent burnout risks and determine where more resources are needed to improve customer satisfaction.

By integrating new workforce data with business intelligence data, such as customer service management (CSM) data, contact center leaders can address common remote work challenges and also supercharge productivity and drive tangible business results.

Workforce analytics can provide new insights into agent productivity and performance, such as efficiency levels, shift adherence, and utilization to ensure finely tuned operations across locations and teams. Key metrics and insights include the following:

  • Productive Hours: Optimize tracking of agent activities by measuring engagement in business tasks, alongside key time-based metrics: start of day, break frequency, average break duration, and end of day, as well as time spent on tasks and applications to help leaders discern peak performance periods and optimize scheduling for maximum output.
  • Shift Adherence: Measures working hours and schedule adherence to mitigate the risk of understaffing or overstaffing during critical operational windows.
  • Workloads and Utilization: Measure agent workloads and utilization to help leaders allocate tasks evenly to minimize agent burnout and maximize workforce output.

Recently, a leading global financial services company found it challenging to monitor the productivity of 1,200 hybrid and remote agents in its insurance division. It sought to improve agent efficiency and utilization across divisions, work environments, and geographic locations to reduce the number of agents at risk of burnout and deliver consistent, high-quality service to customers. After implementing a workforce analytics solution, the company was able to track productivity, identify areas for improvement, and make better decisions about resource allocation. Agent productivity increased by 1,200 hours per week (12 minutes per agent per day) and utilization improved by 3 percent, resulting in $1.6 million in savings from reduced hiring.

Beyond individual agent productivity, the fusion of CSM data and workforce data holds the key to enhancing critical business metrics in the contact center industry. Key customer service management metrics include the following:

  • Call Abandonment: In the example above, combining workforce data and customer service data across a 1,200-agent contact center led to a 12 percent improvement in schedule adherence. This directly translated into lower call abandonment rates, showcasing the tangible impact of workforce insights on improving contact center KPIs.
  • Case Resolution: The insights gained from collecting and integrating workforce analytics data with CSM data also allowed the contact center to serve more customers with the same headcount and handle increased volume efficiently.
  • Customer Service Quality: Data integration also ensured a focus not only on the quantity, but also the quality of customer service. By leveraging BI insights, the contact center gained visibility and insights into proactive coaching opportunities to improve customer service quality.

Best Practices for Combining BI & Workforce Data

To maximize the benefits of integrating workforce data and BI or customer service management data, consider the following best practices:

  • Define Key Performance Metrics: Establish a shared understanding of key performance metrics that align with both contact center objectives and overarching business goals.
  • Integrate External Sources/Contact Center Tools: Consider integrating additional BI data, HR tools, and contact center tools to decipher more cause-and-effect relationships.
  • Data Warehousing: Partner with vendors that streamline the integration of workforce analytics data into your data warehouses.

The integration of workforce data and customer service data can be transformative. From enhanced agent productivity and lower call abandonment rates to a more nuanced understanding of key business metrics, the benefits are numerous.

By embracing the dynamic interplay between workforce data and BI, contact centers can meet the challenges of today and position themselves for success in the future.

Victor Obando is vice president of customer solutions at ActivTrak.