How Much do Agents Need to Know about Analytics?
Analytics is one of the primary drivers for measuring contact center performance. With the remarkable range of data now available through workforce management and workforce optimization solutions, as well as speech analytics and desktop analytics tools, managers now have the information they need to find out where the business is excelling, and where improvement is possible.
However, in most cases any change in performance starts at the agent level. And agents are not likely to be familiar with the way analytics work. Does this need to change?
First Option: Crash Course in Analytics
Should a contact center consider adding an understanding of analytics to agent training? One could argue that knowing the reasons behind call center policies on how agents engage with customers might lead to a greater understanding of why these techniques are important.
However, many agents may not have the background or education that would help them grasp the intricacies of analytics. Generating and interpreting data may be best left to managers and executive-level staff.
Second Option: Training Based on Analytics
When a person starts a new job, whether it’s in a contact center or a fast food franchise, a manager will familiarize the new hire with the way their job should be performed, and how to follow company procedure. It’s not necessary for the employee to know why these procedures are in place.
This may be a better way to incorporate analytics into initial training and regular coaching sessions. Agents are often instructed to provide upsell opportunities to customers; analytics can provide insight into which customers should receive which offers. The results of this analysis is shared with agents so they will know how to proceed when these opportunities arise – but it is not compulsory for them to know why Customer A is offered an extended warranty, while Customer B receives a different pitch.
What if an agent asks questions about how these decisions were made, and shows a genuine curiosity in the way analytics work? Encourage these interests – this might be someone who could be groomed for a management level position.
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