According to Gartner, close alignment of business intelligence (BI) with performance management has the power to reduce costs, create growth and transform enterprises, all by supporting better decision making throughout an organisation.
Businesses define and measure success using agreed strategic goals which translate into the metrics and KPIs used to evaluate performance on a day-to-day basis. But setting targets is not enough. You also need the means to compare actual performance with desired outcomes accurately and efficiently, with enough granular detail on what is causing any divergence to make adjustments quickly. This is where BI comes in.
At the same time, this relationship between actual performance and desired outcomes needs to communicated to employees in a way that is meaningful and intelligible. As well as understanding their targets and KPIs, they need to recognise how their own performance contributes to the whole, and how adjustments and improvements in what they do could achieve better results. This is where performance management comes in.
Call centres offer a perfect illustration of the impact BI can have on performance management, and therefore on operational performance as a whole. Contact centres are awash with data from all the various communications channels they use. This has long formed the basis of performance monitoring and the setting of organisational and individual targets.
Every call centre operative is familiar with dashboards showing queue size, average wait times, call abandonment rates and so on. Equally, they will know from performance reviews the importance of first time resolutions, of keeping hold times below a target level, of sticking to policy scripts to ensure compliance etc.
The question is, how well do they understand when their own performance is falling short of these targets? How quickly are supervisors able to spot an opportunity for improvement and help members of their team take it? Do we have to wait for the cycle of quarterly, twice-yearly or annual reviews to share performance data, meaning we are always behind the game when it comes to making improvements?
Or can we work towards narrowing the gap by arming everyone in a contact centre – management, team leaders, agents – with the insight they need to address issues and make the right decisions in close to real time, hitting targets more regularly and striving for continuous improvement?
Bringing intelligence together
The Wordwatch dashboard combines BI with performance management functions by bringing together data from disparate sources such as call recording, quality monitoring and workforce management. By consolidating all of this information in a single pane of glass, Wordwatch allows everyone to see the relationships between individual, team and organisational performance with complete transparency. It also allows performance at all levels to be monitored against targets in real time.
Say a supervisor can see that the call queue is creeping up or the service level is dropping. Their workforce management system is telling them some agents are off the phones working on another task. With all of this information in the same dashboard, they can make a quick decision to ask those colleagues to jump back on and help bring the queue down.
Or say there is a dip in customer satisfaction feedback, or in first call resolution figures over the course of a couple of days or even a single shift. Instead of waiting for this to develop into a longer term pattern that ends up being addressed days or weeks later, supervisors can start to pull call recording data as soon as they notice the trend, looking for insight into what is happening so they can take steps to turn it around.
The Wordwatch BI application is built with a wide range of features that make spotting performance patterns easy and efficient. The BI tools can be assigned to create automated email alerts and generate scheduled reports whenever required, ensuring nothing is ever missed. The graphical user interface is designed to maximise comprehension and accessibility, with straightforward controls and intuitive visualisations which bring data to life for all users.
Because of the interactive nature of the dashboards, Wordwatch also empowers people to take control of their own performance management. Just as managers and supervisors can track performance at team and organisational level, agents can track their own performance against their KPIs.
The thinking from management theory is that the more you empower people to understand and take control of their own behaviour, the more proactive they will be at making improvements.
This sums up exactly why Gartner and other analysts believe the close alignment of BI with performance management has such transformational potential. And this is precisely what Wordwatch delivers for contact centre operations. If everyone can monitor performance against targets in real time, they are much more likely to be able to achieve them. If everyone understands why they, their team and their business is performing the way it is, they can be more agile and proactive in making changes.
If everyone is empowered with meaningful intelligence, they can make better decisions across the board.
Want to find out more about the impact of BI on your contact centre? Get in touch for more information.