How to Improve the Customer Journey
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The Team at CallMiner
September 14, 2020
Business analysts play an integral role in any industry, but they’re especially vital in call center operations. Responsible for evaluating requirements and existing business processes, business analysts identify areas for improvement and develop and implement solutions. They help call centers continuously optimize their processes and provide better experiences for both call center employees and the customers or clients they interact with.
Business analysts must stay up to date on the latest call center technologies and solutions that can optimize, automate and modernize call center operations. They serve as a bridge between IT and other business functions, making data-driven recommendations that meet business requirements and improve processes while optimizing costs. For instance, to improve key call center metrics such as first call resolution, business analysts may recommend implementing speech analytics solutions to improve agent performance management.
Learn more about how speech analytics can benefit your call center operation by downloading our white paper, 10 Ways Speech Analytics Empowers the Entire Enterprise.
Business analysts working in call center operations must have a thorough understanding of regulatory requirements to ensure that processes, technology solutions and other strategic initiatives are compliant with all relevant regulations, such as PCI-DSS or the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). For instance, a call center business analyst might recommend implementing an interaction analytics solution for a collections and accounts receivables management (ARM) firm to ensure that call center agents meet compliance requirements for debt collection.
With many technology and automation solutions that can improve call center operations, business analysts must be able to view the big picture to identify bottlenecks and other workflow issues to develop or identify the ideal solutions for the call center’s unique needs and requirements.
To learn more about the role of business analysts in call center operations, we reached out to a panel of business analysts and call center leaders and asked them to answer this question:
Read on to learn what our contributors had to say about the optimal role of the business analyst in call center operations.
William Taylor is a Senior Career Advisor at VelvetJobs.
“Ideally, a business analyst in a call center works with internal and external customers…”
To explore opportunities and help leverage technology solutions, such as automation, to drive efficiency and assist with the call center’s primary business objectives.
Business analysts are involved in activities such as relationship building, process evaluation, requirements gathering, process improvement, scope definition, requirements documentation, non-technical and technical design, scope management, project support, charting future direction and road mapping. Business analysts working in the call center environment have an opportunity to help formulate, enhance and mature application strategies and critical product road mapping for call center operations.
Carol Tompkins is the Business Development Consultant at AccountsPortal.
“The role of the business analyst in call center operations is to…”
Optimize the operations within the call center in order to improve the customer service experience. The business analyst is tasked with identifying trends from collected customer service data, developing and implementing strategies based on these trends and driving efficiencies in the operations of the call center, as well as identifying issues within the operations and solving them strategically.
Bottom Line: The optimal role of a business analyst in call center operations is to improve the customer service experience by optimizing operations through trend and data analysis and identifying and implementing strategies based on the data to improve efficiencies within the call center.
Andrew Tillery is the Marketing Director at MAP Communications.
“The optimal role of the business analyst in call center operations is to find inefficiencies in the caller experience…”
Finding and addressing these inefficiencies will not only help the call center streamline their processes and save on operating costs, but it will also improve the caller experience, which leads to more satisfied customers and greater revenue over time.
Steven Czyrny is the founder of The Analyst Agency.
“A business analyst can help call center operations in a number of ways, including…”
Obtaining the proper software, developing metrics that the call center operators would be evaluated by and helping improve the customer experience by analyzing some of the main complaints and what responses work well and which ones do not.
Michael Sena is the founder of Senacea.
“The optimal role of the business analyst in the call center is to assure its efficiency and alignment with company-wide goals…”
That requires involvement in process design and improvement, workload planning and metric and KPI analysis. Business analysts must own the call tracking systems and actively leverage data to tune the call center policies and procedures. Their long-term role is also to make sure the call center is able to develop expertise, learn through the right feedback loops and test new approaches and features. The function of the business analyst is pivotal and involves collaboration. They have to interview the agents and remain objective in their assessment.
Amra Beganovich is the founder of A&E.
“Business analysts in call centers are becoming increasingly important, as…”
Companies don’t have to rely solely on the analytical skills of their human workforce, including managers and call center agents, to drive their success.
A business analyst can provide the following benefits for a call center:
Bottom Line: The role of a business analyst is to streamline and improve the call center’s functioning, increase revenue and help scale business operations.
Natalya Bucuy is a content marketer at HelpSquad.
“One important role a business analyst can fulfill at a call center is to review customer service satisfaction rates and measure them against team performances…”
In a call center where teams focus on first call resolution, there is no reason for customer satisfaction to fall below 100% percent. A business analyst can measure things like wait times, behind-the-scenes troubleshooting and problem resolution rates and adjust call center strategy accordingly. Using tech tools can help these tasks.
Allan Borch is a growth hacker and founder of DotcomDollar.
“A business analyst involved with call center operations should be…”
Responsible for mining and interpreting data that will be used as a basis for improving the company’s performance. He/she analyzes QA scores, average call handling times, call volume, etc. and then creates a report that will be used to design systems and processes that will allow call center agents to resolve issues quickly and accurately. Beyond combing through data, a business analyst needs to monitor how things are done, what the business processes are and understand the organization’s strategic objectives to come up with impactful solutions that can eventually translate to increasing the contact center’s profitability.
Bottom Line: Business analysts in call centers need to know how things are done, on top of making sense of available data, in order to provide solutions that can improve performance and increase the bottom line.
Ian Kelly is the VP of Ops for NuLeaf Naturals.
“A business analyst can be instrumental in improving the efficiency of call center agents…”
A good analyst will track key metrics like call handle time, holding time and abandoned phone calls and correlate them with successful resolutions. Then key metrics of each agent can be analyzed to understand their personal shortcomings and specific training can be given to them. This can improve team performance, thus improving the brand image.
Another role of a business analyst is to evaluate the efficiency of new strategies. For example, companies can ask their call agents to check on their customers concerning the pandemic. This strategy might make your brand look empathic in the best-case scenario or time-wasting in the worst case. Instead of debating about this in a strategy room, the best way to find out is by actually testing it. A business analyst will be able to figure out if it’s working or not by analyzing the call metrics.
Kirk Chewning is a Co-Founder at Cane Bay Partners LLLP.
“Successful call centers use analytics to help aid, streamline and maximize customer service and sales needs…”
Studies show that customers are happy to spend more when they receive excellent customer service. Because call centers are focused on customer interactions, it’s imperative that business analysts study and examine the interactions between customers and staff to maximize customer service and results.
The business analyst can provide information to train staff on how to respond to the most frequent problems and questions. They can also determine the average call time for maximum utilization with the customer and make them feel like they received individualized attention. Business analysts also can identify gaps in your call center operations to redesign a better process based on customers’ wants and needs. An example of this would be doing A/B testing on how long you keep a consumer in an ACD compared to talking to a rep. At times, automation can hinder conversion rates and an analyst can create hypothesis and study the results. By improving customer service and efficiency in customer interactions, a business can enjoy loyal, returning customers.
Business analysts can also create and structure agile processes that allow work to be more efficient and cost-effective. Many businesses look at call centers as cost centers, yet it is the business function in which most companies are the most active with their actual customers. When you evaluate the cost of developing new customers (marketing, advertising, process, etc.) compared to that of an extra minute at the right time on the phone with them, that extra minute on the phone is far more valuable. Using business analysts to understand the organization’s goals and missions vs. the actions that are done in the process is critical.
Andrew Roderick is the CEO at Credit Repair Companies.
“Business analysts in call centers may seem like a pointless job for some…”
However, they are some of the most crucial people within the business. As your company grows, so does the need for staff and analysis of performance. Performance analysis is especially within a call center, which may take anywhere from 100 to 10,000 calls a day, all depending on the time, month and even weather. The job of a business analyst is to record trends and analyze the business spend on staff and productivity. It makes sense as you can understand the business from every angle, whether to have people working on certain shifts or even offering more overtime. And although technology is taking over some jobs, without analysis and recording data accurately, some call centers wouldn’t be in operation today.
Lynn Hope Thomas is a Change Mentor & Business Analyst.
“The optimal role of the business analyst is linked to the following activities…” Customer Experience
There would be no operations without customers. The business analyst’s role is to evaluate the customer experience and then identify how to improve the customer experience either with software changes or call center script changes.
The organizations that utilize call center software have often purchased an application that was built by technologists who had no appreciation of the customer who would be calling in. Customer retention is vital, and poor call centers do not retain customers.
The business analyst can survey customers to gain feedback and data related to their experience using the call center. This data covers the following main aspects:
A good software will allow for some tailoring within the package to meet customers’ needs.
Call Center Staff Operations
Time is money, as they say, and poor processes make all the difference. The business analyst needs to understand the end to end customer journey and activity calls. These need to be clearly mapped out, and once complete, the business analyst can gather statistics on the time spent on various aspects of the operations.
There will be average time spent on activities and then there may be outliers. Depending on the information and the process, this will lead to potentially optimizing call center operations. Examples would be:
Each area needs to have a role, a responsibility and clearly defined process and escalation points, as well as assurance that there are no loose ends that send a customer away without completion.
KPIs To Measure, Monitor and Adjust
The business analyst can support the building of KPIs and ensure they are kept meaningful and lean. All too often, all kinds of data are reported, and then you cannot see the forest for the trees. The business analyst can gather good requirements. Of course, ongoing staff training, feedback from staff and ensuring they are inspired within the call center is vital to performance.
Rana Gujral is the CEO at Behavioral Signals.
“With all the new powerful AI tools coming out, business analysts have…”
Many more data points to look at, mine and analyze to identify more patterns that can transform the business and decision-making process. A great example of this would be having deep insights on the soft skills of a call center’s agents, which can help the analyst understand which role is best suited for each agent, and thus provide actionable intelligence to decision-makers.
Kimberly Porter is the CEO of Microcredit Summit.
“In a call center setting, I believe a business analyst should…”
Help to leverage technology in order to improve processes and efficiency. The optimal role of a business analyst is to find opportunities to help the company run better.
Van Goodwin is the Founder & Managing Director at Van Allen Strategies.
“The business analyst plays a powerful role in…”
Analyzing the patterns of customer issues coming into a call center and identifying underlying opportunities for improvement. By looking at consistent patterns coming into the call center, the business analyst can rise above the firefighting faced by CSRs and evaluate the underlying source of customer issues. This analysis will, even in the worst case, inform how CSRs can respond to the issues more effectively. In its better cases, however, the analysis provides feedback on the source of the problem, such as a confusing eCommerce experience or unclear published instructions. This feedback uses valuable call center data to improve the experience at the point when enterprise is initially interacting with its customers and by eliminating friction in each transaction.
Jesse Silkoff is the founder of MyRoofingPal.
“When it comes to call center operations, a business analyst should…”
Help to leverage technology in order to improve processes. Their role is to find automation opportunities and other efficiency solutions to help further the goals of the company.
Rex Freiberger is the CEO at Gadget Review.
“The best role for a business analyst contracted to sort through the process of a call center is to…”
Ensure those processes serve the customer experience. Call centers exist to communicate, with an emphasis on solving customers’ or clients’ problems. The systems in place have been taken from decades of doing the same thing, and a business analyst can actually help make the process more efficient.
By gathering data about call volume, success rate, average call length, agent feedback, biggest concerns, etc., business analysts can find solutions that will actually serve the customer and make the whole process less stressful on the agent. If they’re truly good at their job, the data they gather and the solutions they offer should integrate seamlessly with the call center’s operations.
Ethan Taub is the CEO of Loanry.
“The business analyst should be there to look at the data of the call center and ultimately look at what can be done better…”
The two main questions that should be asked are:
That data is very important and can help to make sure that the call center is being used for what it should be. It is not there for the general questions, and analysts should know that and be able to communicate these answers into something that the company can address. It is there to serve the purpose of troubleshooting and niche queries.
Harshil Bhatnagar is the owner of Staiir Social Media Marketing.
“At call centers, small improvements will have a material impact on costs, as well as revenue…”
Business analysts can drive an incentive by optimizing an assortment of business processes, from better staffing management, to progressively productive contact distribution and increasingly viable upselling. They offer the capacity to conduct behavioral analysis of clients based on real-time data.
Business analysts can add value in four areas:
Reuben Yonatan is the Founder and CEO of GetVoIP.
“The optimal role of a business analyst in the call center is to…”
Find out the main challenges affecting call center processes, gather requirements by talking to the business, then come up with a recommendation that takes into account existing call center/business constraints.
If the primary challenge is a low percentage of calls that lead to sales, the business analyst will talk to business leaders to find out their expectations then come up with a creative solution to increase the conversion rate.
Grant Aldrich is the CEO of OnlineDegree.
“A business analyst in a call center should measure performance and see the exact ways that their agents can improve…”
One of the ways they can improve the customer experience (CX) is by monitoring recorded calls. They can assess how current scripts are performing and change them as needed.
Another way they can optimize CX is by using predictive analysis. They can monitor current customer wait time, call volume, service level and customer satisfaction, then predict future problems and shortfalls. By predicting future issues, they can solve them before they happen.
In actuality, the role of the business analyst is being taken over by robotic automation. Nevertheless, the function is still crucial in improving CX.
What role do business analysts play in your call center operations?