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Improving the Customer Journey

One of the newer buzz phrases in the business world is the “customer journey.” This is a trendy term, but unlike many that have come before it, this one is practical because organizations can actually do something about it. The phrase itself describes a relatable concept: most of us can easily picture a consumer starting a “journey” on a website. After doing some research, calls for assistance, places an order on the phone, or goes into a retail store or branch to place their order. (While it’s possible to purchase a car online, for example, few people buy one without going to a dealership.) During the customer journey there are many touch points with the organization. Each touch is an opportunity for a company to influence the consumer’s choices, generally in the direction of spending money with the organization, convincing them to be loyal, and promoting the brand.

During the past few years, a variety of analytical capabilities have emerged that provide deep insights into customer needs and wants. These “big data” analytical capabilities include:

  1. Web analytics – tracks and evaluates everything that consumers do on a website
  2. IVR analytics – evaluates the performance of IVR applications, and identifies areas of weakness so that scripts can be improved
  3. Surveying/voice of the customer analytics – captures direct consumer feedback in any channel in which they interact with an organization
  4. Speech analytics – captures and structures customer conversations in order to identify their needs and wants and to identify overall trends and patterns
  5. Text analytics – captures and structures written communications, whether inputs from social media, chat sessions, SMS, or any form of written communication; the structured data is converted to metadata and is analyzed to identify customer needs and wants, in a manner similar to speech analytics
  6. Desktop analytics – captures everything that employees do in their desktop servicing applications; this includes all systems and screens that they review, every keystroke they make, and all notes that they write about a customer
If the findings from all of these analytical capabilities were combined, an organization would have a complete view of each customer’s journey. While this sounds conceptually simple, it is practically very complicated. Actually, acquiring a complete view of the customer journey has been an elusive goal of organizations for years. But when the findings from all of these analytics applications are brought together under a “big data” umbrella, the captured insights enable organizations to dramatically improve all aspects of the experience, and the once-unimaginable goal of having a holistic view of the customer comes within reach.
“Customer journey” is buzzy, but it it’s more than just a phrase. Capturing and evaluating all aspects of the customer journey is a goal that is finally achievable. It is expected to be a major area of investment for innovative enterprises during the next 5 years, as it will furnish companies with a great deal of the customer data they have been pursuing for years. Data which will help them increase revenue and reduce operating expenses while improving the customer experience.


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Ask the Experts

How is screen capture, which shows us what agents are doing while they are on a call, different from desktop analytics?

Screen capture is not the same as desktop analytics (DA); the two solutions are vastly different in terms of their scope and benefits. To some extent, the two capabilities do address the same issue: Contact center and back-office managers are largely unaware of exactly how their employees use their servicing applications. While screen capture is intended to capture a very small percentage of agent or employee desktop activity, DA is intended to capture 100% of all screen activity for 100% of all contact center or back-office employees. By capturing all desktop and application activity for all employees in the contact center or back office, DA gives supervisors and managers the information they need to identify issues in workflow, system performance and system design, as well as training opportunities.
Screen capture capabilities, often incorporated into contact center quality assurance (QA) solutions, capture and replay the individual screen sequence associated with each call. However, this is done for only the small percentage of calls that are recorded and reviewed for QA programs, typically 3 to 10 calls per agent/month. Screen capture is used for recording only. It does not aggregate data across the entire organization, system or process in order to find processing, system and employee trends. As a result, managers do not know which customer relationship management (CRM), sales, supply chain or other systems, processes and policies are impeding their agents’ or back-office employees’ ability to assist customers, nor do organizations appreciate how much these issues cost their organization in terms of wasted agent time and effort.

DMG Consulting LLC is a leading independent research, advisory and consulting firm specializing in unified communications, contact centers, back-office and real-time analytics. Learn more at www.dmgconsult.com.