As the contact center industry gears up for the annual IQPC Call Center Week event in Las Vegas this week, two areas of focus I'm hearing an awful lot about lately are continued developments and market interest in workforce optimization (WFO) and analytics technologies. Several factors are playing into these trends.As companies find it increasingly difficult to differentiate their organizations in today's globally-connected business environment by product or price, forward-looking business leaders are seizing on opportunities to distinguish their companies by the customer experiences they deliver. This is particularly true in customer service where a really good - or bad - customer experience can have a dramatic bearing on loyalty, retention, word-of-mouth recommendations, along with correlated business results. WFO can help contact centers to operate more effectively, make it easier (and more engaging) for agents to do their jobs, and to drive more satisfactory customer experiences.
As part of this, analytics are increasingly being tied together with WFO tools to help contact centers identify a particular customer and the nature of their inquiry or other known attributes so that they can be automatically connected with the right agent who can support their needs and preferences. This includes (but isn't limited to) the use of speech, desktop, and text analytics.
Analytics are also being used by contact center leaders to maximize agent productivity and performance. This includes the use of analytics to monitor omnichannel interactions between customers and agents to ensure that agents are using the right terminology and processes to deliver exceptional customer experiences as well as meet regulatory requirements in financial services, healthcare, and other industries, says Tom Goodmanson, president and CEO of Calabrio.
For its part, inContact has continued to build out its WFO and analytics capabilities, both organically and through its recently-announced acquisition of Uptivity (formerly known as CallCopy). Uptivity provides a full suite of WFO tools for the mid-market, including speech and desktop analytics, agent coaching, call and desktop recording technologies, as well as quality assurance, performance management, and workforce management applications that dovetails well with inContact's existing WFO capabilities.
inContact clearly saw a great opportunity to combine Uptivity's strengths with its own - company leaders spent 14 months negotiating the terms of the deal before it was announced in early May, says inContact CMO Mariann McDonagh.
"The acquisition is very good for inContact as clients are interested in acquiring WFO capabilities from their ACD vendors and minimize the number of vendors they need to work with," says Donna Fluss, CEO of DMG Consulting LLC.
It'll be interesting to learn how other companies are approaching the use of WFO and analytics in the contact center during Call Center Week. Organizational leaders are increasingly leaning on performance management and analytics tools to improve operational efficiency in the contact center while continually striving to improve the customer experience.