WHITEPAPER. End-to-End Monitoring for Call Center Operations: How Intelligent Robots Can Improve the Customer Experience

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1 End-to-End Monitoring for Call Center Operations: How Intelligent Robots Can Improve the Customer Experience

2 End-to-End Monitoring for Call Center Operations: How Intelligent Robots Can Improve the Customer Experience Executive Summary Today s customers are technically astute, social and increasingly mobile. They want a superb customer experience; their expectations are high while their brand loyalty is at an all time low. To satisfy these customers, contact centers need to be in control of the customer experience. That requires regular test calls, and endto-end monitoring. This briefing reviews how a new class of automated monitoring tools can dramatically improve the customer experience while also lowering costs. The PSS ntelligence product suite delivers full test automation and proactive systems monitoring with endto-end visibility, plus the interoperability and flexibility needed for managing today s distributed, multi-vendor environments. ntelligence provides highly configurable test automation and consolidation for voice, video and data channels. The output from ntelligence, along with data from any existing monitoring systems, is displayed on a unified dashboard, a single pane of glass view allowing contact centers to proactively increase efficiency, lower costs and dramatically improve the customer experience. Multiple studies have shown that unhappy customers will switch to a competitive product or service with very little provocation. While the lack of brand loyalty is a distressing trend, it is compounded by the fact that customers will often share a poor customer service experience with dozens or even hundreds of other consumers in their social network. The impact of a poor customer experience is magnified through social media, and the financial and brand damage is real and measureable. The Problem with Metrics As state of the art call centers move towards becoming true multi-media centers, working with voice, data and now video, the increasing number of system The PSS ntelligence product suite delivers full test automation and proactive monitoring with end-to-end visibility, plus the interoperability and flexibility needed for managing today s distributed, multi-vendor environments. ntelligence provides automation and consolidation of voice, video and data information. components and their associated touch points becomes extremely difficult to manage, monitor and measure in a meaningful way. For example, a common metric is SL or Service Level which refers to the percentage of calls answered within a given number of seconds. It is often expressed as a ratio, such as 80/20 meaning 80% of calls answered within 20 seconds. SL is a common way of measuring the service for a particular queue or call type. It is often considered one of the most important measures of the customer experience. However, something as simple as the quality of the telephone connection can completely override this quality metric. According to a study by Customer Experience Foundation, the impact of poor telephone voice quality on the customer experience can be very significant: 26% of consumers say they need to redial to complete a transaction. 79% of consumers globally reported experiencing poor voice quality. Consumers said that 42% of all contact centre calls are impacted. 68% of consumers will hang up if they experience poor voice quality. For those calling about a new product or service, they will likely call a competing company instead. Poor voice quality is the second most common bad experience for consumers after an interaction with an interactive voice response (IVR) system. When consumers were asked to explain how they felt after a poor voice quality call, stress was the most common emotion they mentioned. The case studies show that consumers are often forced to repeat themselves on calls as a result of poor voice quality, wasting valuable agent time as well as the caller s time. 1

3 Contact centers often lack visibility of these problems, and are therefore unable to tackle them effectively. 84% of organizations do not have adequate tools to monitor and manage this issue, missing a clear opportunity to reduce cost and improve the customer experience. Most distressing of all is that 72% of contact center professionals can t find the root cause of the problem, and experience problems or issues on a regular basis. They are painfully aware that quality metrics such as post-call survey results can often indicate that a problem exists, but these metrics can t perform root cause analysis. Further complicating the root cause analysis problem, different metrics are often highly correlated. [Source: Given the increasing importance of live conversations between agents and consumers, poor voice quality can impact the ROI in contact centers significantly. Indeed, it is true to say that a lot of valuable time is wasted simply by saying, Could you repeat that please? Metrics that are designed to measure the quality of the customer experience are notoriously difficult to interpret accurately. According to noted call center industry expert, author and trainer, Robert Bacal of Bacal & Associates One common mistake is to assume that metrics are disconnected from each other. For example, it s been common, in the call center industry, to assess customer service quality both on a corporate and individual employee level, by counting the number of calls processed in any given time period. The assumption being that the more calls handled, the better the quality of service. That s not a completely wrong assumption, but it s incomplete. The number of calls handled may reflect customer service quality, or it may reflect the exact opposite. Imagine a call center that provides such poor service that people don t want to deal with them. What you d get is shorter calls, more calls processed in a given time, but for the wrong reason. Obviously you may want more calls handled, but you also need to measure customer satisfaction at the same time. That s because number of calls handled, in and of itself, does not necessarily reflect customer service quality. [Source: mistakemeasure.htm] How End-to-End Monitoring Improves the Customer Experience, Reduces Cost and Makes Metrics Meaningful Most call centers have automated tools to monitor the growing number of disparate system components. However, legacy-monitoring systems are usually designed to monitor one system in isolation, not the interaction between multiple systems. But the customer experience is an end-to-end journey through multiple systems. With ntelligence, intelligent data-gathering robots can be distributed across the entire delivery chain, at various stages of the journey and at diverse geographical locations. ntelligence is able to correlate results across an entire dynamic process or workflow. In the contact center scenario above, a customer dials a toll free number, enters their account number, receives their balance, selects a menu option, is transferred to an agent and the agent answers the call. If each system works correctly, the customer has a good interaction and her expectations of a great customer experience are met. From a systems perspective, there are many components involved in the customer experience. First there is carrierlevel routing performed in the cloud, based on where the customer is calling from and which number they dialed. That call then goes to a premise-based switch, which may in turn pass it to an IVR system to collect account information. The IVR application uses a speech or DTMF recognizer to interpret the caller s input, and if this is successful it plays back an account balance and presents menu options to the customer. The customer selects an option and a CTI server then instructs the switch to move the call from the IVR to an agent. A screen pop is sent to the agent s desktop and the agent handles the customer s enquiry. Caller dials toll free number Enters account number Receives account balance Selects menu option Transfer to agent Agent answers PSTN Premise Switch Speech Recognition Server IVR Application CTI Server Switch Screen Pop 2

4 If there is a performance problem at any point or at multiple points in this interaction, monitoring each silo of technology individually does not provide insight or visibility into the total customer experience. Simply monitoring the IVR is not sufficient to determine the root cause of a problem with network delays for instance. ntelligence solves this limitation by monitoring the performance and quality of each hand-off as well as the results of the individual silos across the entire workflow. By placing an intelligent nspector robot in or between each component, ntelligence provides rapid root cause analysis by localizing the problem or problems in a graphical dashboard view. Operators can then drill down into the relevant data to pinpoint the problem. With intelligent robots distributed across the entire technology chain, quality checks can be automated to provide highly accurate data on the real customer experience. ntelligence allows performance analysis of multiple systems and media, including audio or video quality. The ntelligence suite is a modular solution encompassing voice, data and video interactions. The suite can be deployed by PSS as a hosted or on premise solution for a variety of enterprise models. Unlike point solutions or passive monitoring systems, ntelligence is highly configurable and hardware agnostic, delivering real operational savings for a rapid ROI. ntelligence is designed for Big Data. New technology gathers exponentially more customer data, requiring new ways to store and analyze data in real time. ntelligence s non-relational data management systems are highly scalable and can efficiently handle massive test sets and data structures. ntelligence allows large volumes of data to be gathered by active or passive robots, service agents or feeds from legacy tools. Any data, which is currently available, can be included in the ntelligence analysis, protecting investments in existing technology and monitoring tools. Caller Soft-Phone IVR Queue Agent Audio Quality Agent Soft-Phone Virtually any metric or data point can be accurately gathered, filtered by business priorities or SLAs, and presented to an operator in a clear concise dashboard. This unified approach saves time and effort, lowering costs and improving the customer experience. Remember our previous example: the issue of poor voice quality. The ntelligence njector module is able to generate test calls, actively testing the customer experience. njector s capabilities allow robots to test IVRs and agent queues. Reference audio files can be sent between robots on either end of the call, and compared for degradation. Network metrics for audio quality such as loss and jitter can be collected, and ntelligence s evidencebased reporting can return examples of poor call quality. ntelligence correlates low-level platform statistics with its own data, and provides a unified dashboard view which allows operations staff to focus on business impact and drill down for rapid root cause analysis. Intelligent SLA Management ntelligence provides management and reporting of complex SLAs across multiple platforms, users and environments in a single pane of glass interface ntelligence provides the ability to manage SLAs across both internal and outsourced services, avoiding costly service credits. ntelligence is designed to manage multiple layers of SLAs, which in turn can be made up of multiple objectives and Operating Level Agreements (OLAs). OLAs are based on KPIs within the operational teams themselves, and are often used internally to support SLAs. Real-time dashboard displays are able to show current issues and their impact on SLAs, often early enough for the impact to be avoided. 3

5 We solve problems that matter to our customers, keep our promises and make it easy to renew service contracts. Our commitment to customer satisfaction and customer success is reflected by our repeat business rate of 99%. Alerts can be set to provide visibility into impending problems well before they become critical. Week to date and month to date functions can predict the overall service level for the period ahead of time, providing notice of possible SLA breaches. Unavoidable breaches can be analyzed so that problematic issues can be identified and addressed. ntelligence also collects data to show the precise extent of critical issue, removing any doubt as to the service impact. In addition, multi-tier SLA reporting can measure the impact of each infrastructure element on overall SLA adherence. With ntelligence, PSS can plan, design, implement, configure, troubleshoot and manage monitoring and reporting services in today s most complex contact centers. PSS helps content contact center professionals get the most out of their technology, and meet their SLAs, through the ntelligence platform. About PSS Help As a highly specialized global systems integrator and IVR solutions expert, PSS can design and deliver fully integrated communication solutions. The solutions help contact centers become true multi-media centers, meeting the rapidly accelerating customer demand for a superior customer experience across all channels. The company can also optimize and support both the platform and applications until the time comes to move to next gen solutions. PSS is the choice of some of the world s most admired enterprises. PSS works with 150 corporations, across 5 continents, in 19 countries. We solve problems that matter to our customers, keep our promises and make it easy to renew service contracts. Our commitment to customer satisfaction and customer success is reflected by our repeat business rate of 99%. For further information contact Tony Porter EVP Marketing PSS - Product Support Solutions Inc. Corporate Headquarters 7172 Regional Street #431, Dublin, CA T: or UK Headquarters The Old Saw Mill, Harvest Hill Lane, Coventry, CV5 9DD T: Australia T: (03)

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