How to Understand What's Really Happening in Your Contact Center


The contact center as we know it has been around since the early 1980s. Initially, it was a bank of people answering questions by phone, then by email and now by any number of digital channels, including video for those who seek a face-to-face experience from home.

The channels that are used may have changed, but many of the same age-old challenges still persist. Despite years of process improvement and technology upgrades, many enterprises are still trying to understand why customers make contact, what processes have failed their customers and how they can improve the experience they deliver.

Would it provide value to microscopically review every contact made to your contact center? Imagine knowing not only why the contact was made, but also the steps taken by the agent to respond, and the keystrokes taken to complete any system actions. This would be transformational.

But for a contact center of 100 agents, it would take more than 400,000 hours to listen to the calls completed over the previous six months and review the keystrokes taken. If you have a team of 10 people completing this analysis, it would take more than 10 years to analyze these interactions from end to end. In today’s world, things can change in as little as 10 days, never mind 10 years!

The challenge for contact center transformations

For too long, contact center transformation programs have been held back by poorly organized, inaccurate or insufficient data that could provide key information for making decisions and delivering better service. A consumer is ten times more likely to highlight a bad experience than a brilliant one, which may be why it seems customer experience is going backwards, and not actually improving, despite significant technology advancements.

Why have so many contact center transformations been found lacking when it comes to improving the actual experience our customers receive?

We have to acknowledge that, without technology assisting our understanding and supporting our transformations teams, we can only play around the edges of real change. Intelligent automation (IA) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies – by enabling a close look at what’s actually happening or not happening in each contact – can change the game completely. 

How technology is changing the contact center

The foundation for this dramatic shift is underpinned by a number of technologies. On their own, all are incredibly useful and growing in popularity. Together, they are futuristic and outright game changing.

  1. Task mining. Implementing task mining in the contact center can provide click-level, agent-level insights that show where automation can be used to minimize manual work. When multiplied across all agents, across all contacts over a number of weeks or months, you will start to see patterns that will help you identify huge opportunities for task automation.
  2. Conversation mining. Implementing conversation mining in the contact center enables analysis of the conversations themselves, including customer intent, agent responses, sentiment, emotion and gaps in talk time such as hold time and other aspects of the conversation that we can only be gauged by listening. A technology doing this for you saves (and this is not an exaggeration) years of human labor.
  3. Digital assistants. By adding digital agent assistants, contact centers can automate the transactional tasks involved in resolving a customer’s query. Digital assistants can quickly complete customer verification to reduce after-call work time, often saving minutes on every call and automating the tasks that are repetitive in nature.

Advanced AI allows contact centers to observe every interaction and key stroke. Amplify this across millions of interactions, and suddenly, you have valuable insight into your performance and you are no longer in the dark. Compare this to the alternative, which is to dig and dig for data that is often inaccurate or fails to show the full picture, and you will understand why we should all be excited.

When you add these technologies together along with your existing technology stack, a contact center transformation becomes possible – in months, not years. Most importantly, the transformation is based on unbiased, quantifiable data.

Want to learn more about how ISG brings these technologies together for our clients and why ISG Automation and our ecosystem are at the cutting edge of contact center transformation? Let’s revolutionize your contact centers’ performance and deliver breakaway competitive differentiation. We know how to do it. Contact us to learn more.


About the author

Wayne Butterfield

Wayne Butterfield

Wayne is an automation pioneer, initially starting out as an early adopter of RPA in 2010, creating one of the first Enterprise scale RPA operations. His early setbacks at Telefonica UK, led to many of the best practices now instilled across RPA centres of excellence around the globe. Customer centric at heart, Wayne also specialises in Customer Service Transformation, and has been helping brands in becoming more Digitally focused for their customers. Wayne is an expert in Online Chat, Social Media and Online Communities, meaning he is perfectly placed to help take advantage of Chat Bots & Virtual Assistants. More recently Wayne has concentrate on Cognitive & AI automation, where he leads the European AI Automation practice, helping brands take advantage of this new wave of automation capability.