When it comes to contact centers, over the last 20 years one complaint we see more than any other is around the quality and reliability of a given solution's reporting tools. When you are designing a contact center, one of the most important questions you should be asked by the company selling the contact center solution is what are the key data points and reports you will need to measure performance?
This may sound a little "cart before the horse," since some managers and supervisors may not realize what reports are available for customers newly migrating to a contact center solution. Veteran contact center managers and supervisors, on the other hand, will have a good idea of the metrics and reports needed after the installation to measure performance. These reports will be the basis for communication of the contact center's performance and impact to the C-level executives.
Solution Design As A Primary Source Of Reporting
What we have seen over the years is that the basis for most dissatisfaction with reporting has two primary sources. The first is the solution design. At the very beginning of the data collection process and business process reviews, reporting should be one of the first items reviewed and agreed upon. Behind the scenes, contact center solutions make a variety of routing choices when determining where to route the next interaction. Having a clear vision on the desired reports and data can help clarify the routing choices required. Not all routes that an interaction takes are the same, and how the interaction is routed can have an impact on how it appears on the reports at the end of the day/week/month or quarter.
Therefore, it is paramount to understand prior to starting the implementation what information and how management wants this presented. If you don't have a clear plan for the reporting results that are desired you cannot build out an appropriate call flow to provide these key data points. This is the most common mistake we see in contact center designs/deployments, and is one of the two keys to poor data/reporting confidence.
Single Source Of Data
The second source comes from solutions that are drawing data from multiple databases. This occurs because the contact center solution is using multiple third-party solutions for applications like Workforce Management, Analytics, Quality Monitoring, and Recording. The data is there, just in multiple databases, which makes it more difficult to combine and report on.
In addition, if any one of those applications or third-party vendors updates or revises their data structure and tables, this can leave end users scrambling to fix the hole in data that occurred when the data formats/tables were updated in the last upgrade. Far too often this scenario creates a cycle of ongoing upgrades to try and get the different solutions working in harmony. Overtime the management's lack of confidence in the data undermines the results and the ability to show the value of the contact center organization. The best answer to this issue is a solution that has a single database for all of these important applications in a single database. In some cases, you may be giving up a couple features, but the end result is that data and reporting are accurate and can be used to support the value of the contact center with the C-level executives.
Things To Consider
There are a couple of things to consider when deploying a new enterprise contact center. The first one is that the company who is building the system has the foresight to recognize that reporting is essential to the configuration of the system. The second is to find a system that natively has the additional applications you want to add, such as WFM, QM, call recording, and speech analytics. Not only is this a native application (single vendor), but this will also mean a single database for their applications.