Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Contact Centers Contribute to Business Intelligence System Success

December 05, 2007

The contact center of today has become so much more than the traditional call centers of yesterday. Contact centers are now multi-channel communication facilities that do everything from manage customer interactions to push add-on services. Agents in these centers are now also charged with gathering information that the organization can use to improve its offerings.

As important as this business intelligence is perceived to be, recent research has found that systems in place to provide it are failing to improve operational performance or even impact decision making within US and UK businesses. This finding is the result of a study conducted by market research firm Dynamic Markets.

The research is based on interviews with 218 operational executives and front line management. Conducted between November 2006 and August 2007, it provides a snapshot of current use and satisfaction with Business Intelligence systems and their impact on operational performance.
 
Although organizations throughout the world have deployed a number of BI tools, many are failing to receive the benefit that these tools are designed to provide. According to this research, 76 percent of companies end up making decisions before the BI information is available; 66 percent find the information out of date by the time it is available; 63 percent use the information to justify decisions after the fact; and 58 percent admit that business opportunities have been missed or problems not spotted as a result of the lack of information.

The impact of inadequate intelligence on the enterprise is significant. Dynamic Markets found that the average cost in lost revenue to an organization is US$478,686. The survey indicates that Fortune 500 companies are losing roughly $250 million per year in missed business opportunities as a result of inadequate business intelligence.

While BI was developed in order to allow organizations to gain more value from their customer interactions, this research has provided valuable insight into where these systems have failed.

Charles Nicholls, CEO and Founder of SeeWhy Software, which commissioned this research, said in a statement: “What is clear from this research is that all is not well in the world of BI. BI tools are perceived as hard to use, reports are out of date and largely irrelevant to daily operational decision making; and BI is seen as inherently retrospective.”

”Yet it is clear that managers strive for more, seeking information that can make a difference; that is relevant to operations now; that can give early warning of problems; or can present opportunities for the business,” Nicholls added.

Although this research provides powerful evidence that BI systems are failing, it is not necessarily an indication that information gathering in the contact center should stop. Instead, it is an indication that these systems need to more accurately and quickly capture, qualify and disperse the information to make it valuable to the company. In doing so, the benefits can be realized while also improving the experience for the customer in the end.
 
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for eastbiz.com. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.

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