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All Places > Industry News and Best Practices > Blog > 2017 > October

Driving Down Contact Center Costs and Driving Up Efficiency with Interaction Analytics

There comes a time in every business where owners need to find ways to improve overall performance. Many businesses choose to focus on their bottom line by decreasing expenses. Reviewing expenses line by line on occasion is a good business practice, but it doesn’t always increase efficiency. Sometimes it causes businesses to be ineffective and defeats their original goal. For better results, you need to take a balanced approach by looking at both expenses and existing inefficiencies.


“You have to spend money to make money” is a common phrase used in the business community. While that doesn’t mean you should invest in every opportunity that promises a return, it does mean if you invest wisely, you will reap the benefits. Most successful businesses with contact centers use interaction analytics software to improve their operations and eliminate wasted expenses.


What is Interaction Analytics?

Interaction analytics are the result of turning your “raw” client information like conversations and purchase history into a searchable database to better understand your customers’ wants, needs, and areas of dissatisfaction.  Businesses use this valuable information to make better decisions that directly impact performance.


Interaction Analytics Fills the Gap

When used to its fullest capability, interaction analytics helps businesses achieve success.  Take a look at our best tips to drive downs costs and increase efficiency with interaction analytics.


  1. Tracks all Customer Conversations
    Most businesses today offer multiple ways for customers to connect with their brand in addition to phone calls. Live chat, text message, e-mail, and social media are becoming increasingly popular. Tracking conversations on multiple platforms manually and compiling them into one central view is virtually impossible.

    The best interaction analytics software solutions capture these conversations automatically. It also transcribes them into one searchable database, saving you and your agents from wasting time that is better suited to improving the customer experience and generating revenue.

  2. Optimize Calls and Tasks
    To optimize something is to make a process perform as well as possible. In a contact center, your biggest source of inefficiency results from incoming calls. Simply managing calls by directing them to the next available call representative can be inefficient.  Optimizing the incoming call process to route calls to the agent best suited to address customer needs saves time and money.

    One method to accomplish this is to add Interactive Voice Response Technology (IVR) to your call system and linking it to your interaction analytics software.  Customers answer a series of questions when they call about the reason for the call, their name, etc. and are then routed to the representative most equipped to handle their specific need. When calls are properly optimized you reduce expenses through better first call resolution percentages, lower handling times, and fewer misdirected calls.

  3. Review Conversations
    It is not feasible for managers to listen to all agent conversations. In fact, most businesses are resourced to only listen to between 1-3%. With interaction analytics, 100% of conversations can be monitored, categorized and tagged for specific language or long periods of silence. With a simple search, analytics will return all calls with the segments of the transcript and recording flagged based on the KPIs set by the business. That way managers do not have to spend countless hours listening to only a random sampling of calls hoping that those that they listen to will actually contain the language or other KPIs they are looking for.

    Managers can review these calls and look for reasons for the silence or tagged words and put together a plan to minimize in the future. By reducing silence, you also reduce the average time it takes to handle a call (AHT) and can customize scripts to address and eliminate problem conversations.

  4. Record and Score Conversations
    Providing agent feedback is critical to their continued success. Reviewing and scoring incoming calls is time-consuming. Interaction analytics automatically transcribes all phone calls and scores them based on specific criteria that you create. Managers can spend more time on other important tasks such as coaching and training.

  5. Avoid Complaints and Fines
    The call center industry is laden with compliance rules and regulations. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued more than $5 billion in fines in its first five years. There was a record $23 million in HIPAA fines collected in 2016, a 379 percent increase from the prior year. In 2016 there were 4,860 Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) litigations, a 31.8% increase over 2015. Deviating from requirements can cost you from $100s to $1000s in fines per infraction. Manual sampling of recorded calls provides little to no prevention of non-compliant behavior or protection against litigation. With Interaction analytics, contact centers can score every call to identify risk based on the content of the conversation.  It allows you to track escalation language, identify training opportunities and ultimately reduce the number of regulatory complaints and fines.

  6. Create a Better Customer Experience
    According to Forrester, 72% of businesses say improving customer experience is a priority. If you are not one of them, you risk being surpassed by your competitor. Customer experience is on its way to being the leading differentiator between businesses. Interaction analytics gives you an inside look at what your customers want and expect from you.

    Smart businesses use this data to create a positive experience for every customer. By paying attention to their wants, customers are more likely to return for future business and refer others as well. Retaining customers is more cost-effective than marketing new ones and converting referral prospects into customers is less costly as well.

Final Thoughts

Interaction analytics is a powerful business tool when used to its fullest capabilities. These are just six of the ways investing in interaction analytics software can save your business time while increasing efficiency and revenue.


Tell us how you are optimizing contact center efficiency and revenue with interaction analytics.



Defining SMS Technology

While most individuals are familiar with SMS (short message service), not many people will spend much time thinking about its larger definition. It is, in fact, a web-based software as service (SaaS) technology, and as such it can be used for more than communication between two phone users. Thanks to its standardized communication protocol, companies can therefore leverage the power to send and receive messages by reaching customers and users in an unobtrusive and engaging way, making SMS an ideal tool for Contact Centers.


Why use SMS for Contact Centers?

According to a Forbes article, text messages now outrank phone calls as the dominant form of communication for most US users. This is particularly true of the younger generations, and especially Millennials, who appear to rely on text messaging 68% more than on voice calls.


This insight should convince contact center managers that this method of communication will become increasingly prevalent in the coming years. Below are other reasons to integrate SMS into your Contact Center infrastructure:


  • Enhanced customer satisfaction: the unobtrusive nature of SMS makes it a perfect communication method for users who need rapid and efficient replies to their queries. Customers feel in need of the communication process, and it provides them with more self-service options than via phone.
  • Reduced inbound queues: Since SMS allows customers to request call backs, they can actually reduce the pressure on queues, which in turn makes for a faster and smoother customer experience for phone users.
  • Accelerated workflow: Agents can send out automated responses much faster than with standard calls, alleviating the effort needed for the team as well as any subsequent database updates.
  • Flexibility: Whether it is to confirm the details of an appointment, provide reminders for contract renewals or simply to highlight new products and services, the SMS format has the advantage of being extremely versatile. This means less training for agents who can simply adapt their message according to the offer instead of having to learn every detail when explaining them via phone.
  • Extra revenue stream: SMS can also become an excellent marketing tool as a sales channel. The ability to secure the customers’ interest and to provide extra downloadable content makes it a great technology to find leads.
  • Improved quality monitoring: A great advantage of SMS technology is that it allows Contact Center managers to gain fantastic insights into their data. By integrating this reliable communication channel with speech analytics, businesses can automatically categorize, tag and score all conversations and even monitor sentiment.

What to look for in a Contact Center SMS solution?

Like with any other communication channels, your contact center needs to ensure that SMS technology is implemented with the right features. These include:

  • Outcome based SMS: the ability to send a message via trigger after a call is made (appointment reminder, for instance).
  • Bulk outbound SMS: for sending large groups of messages at once.
  • Support for MMS: enabling multiple media support for pictures, audio and videos as well as text.
  • Data-merging: allowing agents to merge customer data when sending a SMS based on a template.
  • Inbound keyword support: the ability to reroute received SMS to certain campaigns, effectively sending customers to the right agent.
  • Suppression list: to ensure phone numbers are validated.
  • Delivery receipts: an important feature for monitoring the status of the SMS. Typically, you will know whether it is in route, failed or delivered.
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR): an advanced option that allows customers to self-service via SMS - typically found with cinema ticket vendors, for instance.
  • Premise-based Vs hosted kit: you should be able to choose whether your SMS modems and hardware should be on-site or whether you want your vendor to host them for you.


Final Thoughts

While less established than live chats, emails or phone channels, SMS is proving to be a reliable and potentially increasingly popular technology for contact centers worldwide.


By deploying SMS technology as an integral part your contact center infrastructure, you will not only be able to benefit from additional data, but will also make the most from what could be a predominant communication channel in the future.