“My goal is that our reporting is concise, honest, accurate, and actionable.”
– Reporting Coordinator, Blue Ocean Contact Centers
Many company leaders share that same goal. However, aligning your contact center reporting strategy to your goals is no simple stroll in the park.
It starts by questioning everything. Is the data valuable? Is the data accurate? Who’s going to own the data? Who’s going to do something with that data? What are the call drivers in this data? What data should I ignore? Does the data tell me something? Does the data help me make decisions?
Whether you manage an in-house center or work with outsourced contact center partners, we’ve got the answers to help.
Follow these three tips to improve contact center reporting:
1. Start with Context
Who receives your contact center reports? What do they do with the data? Great reporting begins with understanding who needs what. Start a dialogue around the data so the information services professionals at your outsourced contact center fully understand what each stakeholder needs. Then create clarity around what the numbers mean relative to that need. Your marketing team and your quality control team may be looking for very different stories from the same sets of data. Context helps. The report you receive should be the report you need.
For example, when we launched our contact center reporting program for our client in the consumer goods industry. Everyone recognized that the reporting model was inefficient and wasteful, but getting traction had been an issue. We inherited responsibility for producing more than 400 regular reports for a number of diverse stakeholders throughout the organization. It was an elephant-sized amount of data. And how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. (AKA: Understand all of the data and get everyone a transparent view of it)
2. Mitigate the Human Factor
It is so important to understand the human aspect in information management and reporting. We all have limits and are going to make mistakes. If someone has 10,000 pieces of data to handle, they are going to make a mistake. It is inevitable. The more you can incorporate automation drawing from live data, the more accurate the reporting.
In our client scenario, we started digging through existing reporting to look for errors, anomalies, or unrepresentative calculations.We found ways to reduce human error in reporting by creating new methodologies that were pulling from live data and not relying on human input. Weeding out manual data processes can be tough. There might be some deep allegiances in your hallways who want to cling to spreadsheets and archaic cell formulas and macros. In this case, change is good. The only way is to automate.
3. Communicate What Success Means to You
Another critical factor in getting the most out of your reporting is to ensure your outsourced partner knows what success looks like for you and how that success (or lack thereof) will be measured. In our offices, there is the legendary tale of the day, two and a half years into a relationship, one of our clients said to us: “You know, headquarters in Europe measures us strictly on customer satisfaction scores.” It was the first time we learned what performance measure was most important to them and we were three quarters of the way through the contract. That was a huge learning for us – we were so busy reporting on our performance, we hadn’t uncovered how our client’s performance was measured by their senior global leadership team.
Learning from that experience, understanding client success is a key factor in designing our reporting. For our consumer goods project, as the Canadian wing of a global entity, our client is measured against its US counterpart. By digging deep into the reporting, our team discovered that one of the most common issues driving inbound calls was calculated as a single complaint in the US, but it was being calculated as both a retail issue and a plant complaint in Canada. In other words, Canada’s complaint rate on a single call driver was being reported twice in Canada, but only once in the US. By adjusting reporting methodology to match the US methodology, our information services team improved our client’s overall reported complaint rate by about 15%.
While these three tips are seemingly simple, it requires a focused effort. Filtering the flood of data, identifying which data points are valuable, and gaining a comparative view of data across the organization can be an overwhelming endeavor. Especially if your company has multiple divisions, vendors, data sources, and personnel involved.
Consider your own reporting goals. How will you enable your stakeholders to receive relevant access to concise, honest, accurate, and actionable data? If you need hand, call up one of our experts and let’s talk about your goals.