Interaction Analytics: Why CXOs Should Give A Damn


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Executive buy-in for Interaction Analytics

Is the topic of Interaction Analytics of genuine interest to executives?

Think of your own CXOs for a second. Although they may have mastered the headlines around Big Data given its perceived strategic relevance, few will probably know that the use of Interaction Analytics within their own contact centres is already a case of Big Data mining in action.

While this may be a case of ‘point proved’ to those in the know, there is still some ground to be covered in getting that message well socialised within your senior team. So how do you frame Interaction Analytics as a relevant strategic investment?

It depends on the individual and their own interests. So I’ve put the argument in a number of different ways. It’s up to you to match the argument to the person and add your own finishing touches.

But in all cases the intent is the same. Show them how they can gain immediate visibility into company performance against their own corporate objectives. In other words, talk their agenda.

Interaction Analytics For CEO/COO

The person at the top of an organisational tree sits at the centre of the most important decisions made within her company. They may stay close to the detail or prefer to orchestrate indirectly if that’s their style. But whichever way, they are most likely removed from regular, direct customer contact.

In effect, they are blind to the experiences and needs of a prime stakeholder. How then can they exhibit the kind of decisive leadership needed to survive today’s multiple challenges? This divorce from customer realities often extends to their own direct reports and possibility further down.

Hence a whole community can be living above the cloud line, relying on others to tell them what’s actually happening on the ground. Given the alarming speed of change that all organisations are now subject too, do you really think this remains a sustainable way to lead organisations?

This line of reasoning is the core strategic justification for Interaction Analytics. But how might this work in practice?

The output of Interaction Analytics is versatile and can serve many audiences when correctly packaged. I’d argue that it works just as well in the form of an executive dashboard as in its more traditional form as a team leaders’ tool to go hunting for individual interactions.

In fact mature deployments which have now reached senior attention are using dashboards. These track real time movements in enterprise wide KPIs (key performance indicators) that have proven correlation with core business plan objectives. Thus giving executives early insight into performance trends.

That said, the ability to drill down from executive level KPIs directly into an individual tranche of customer experiences is all part of Interaction Analytics’ real power. This direct link from executive level KPI to individual customer interaction provides a fast track for CXOs to ‘test the pulse’ and thereby discover what issues might need their intervention. It’s the easiest way for them to see their organisation from the outside in.

How many CEOs manage to incorporate an up to date, unvarnished view of customer needs given their day job? Revolutionary!

In effect, a customised executive dashboard is the best birthday present you can give a CEO/COO. It empowers them by giving immediate, uncensored visibility into company performance against corporate objectives.

Interaction Analytics For CCO/Customer Experience Director/SVP

In recent years a new set of roles have turned up. Chief Customer Officers (CCO) and those in charge of Customer Experience are in the front line of leadership, driving a more customer-centric future for their organisations.

I’ve met a few. Many are deeply enthusiastic about their mission. Some are understandably nervous in their appreciation of the sheer size of the task before them. Most are confused after their honeymoon period as to how they reduce their mission to practice.

I guess this is why Voice of The Customer (VoC) initiatives became so popular with this group. Finding out what matters to customers is a logical first step in prioritising their game-plan.

It is worth remembering that changing any organisation to become more customer-centric is deeply political and against the grain. Such new ways of working go head to head against the self interests locked within the existing organisational silos. So change is going to be slow, expensive and risky for those that initiate it. Therefore having the knack for making the right call on where to concentrate transformational efforts is crucial to this leadership role.

Even though VoCs are supposed to help identify customer priorities. In reality they often lag instead of lead Why? Customer behaviour changes so fast that traditional tools such as surveys and focus groups lack the near real time value of Interaction Analytics.

So the pitch for those who lead the senior team on the customer-centric agenda is that the way to prioiritize, generate business cases and then track improvements is via the power of multi-channel analytics. It’s a core competency they will need to get the job done and keep steering the transformation team in the right direction.

Interaction Analytics For HR Director/SVP

Culture, competencies and new behaviours traditionally fall under the remit of Human Resources (HR) and Learning and Development (L&D). In others words they are concerned with how their organisations function from a human perspective.

An increasingly common agenda for these teams is the development of ‘High Performance Teams’ in response to this fast changing business environment I’ve already mentioned. This way of working is meant to deliver improved innovation and speed to market, better use of the organisation’s talent pool and more sustained levels of performance.

While half the recipe for making this work is around structuring effective Learning and Development approaches, these teams need another type of input to succeed. Again Interaction Analytics proves relevant.

For a start the insight from Interaction Analytics can be used for building a unified agenda across customer facing teams. This is achieved by plugging them into a common source that provides visibility of market change and opportunity – such as customer needs and competitor activity.

Over time this can have a significant impact in helping to break down organisational silos. Thus Interaction Analytics can indirectly contribute to one of HR’s key mission – evolving the organisation’s culture.

Within customer service, Interaction Analytics can be used to reduce performance deltas, empower personal learning and development and drive improved service and sales metrics. In a more strategic way, the ability to quantify and rapidly spot customer trends leads to an improved level of organisational responsiveness. Again a typical top line HR ambition that is tough to implement.

So although Interaction Analytics and HR might not appear natural allies at first there are enough points of shared interest to make it worth a visit to HR leadership team to get them on board.

Take Away Insight

Interaction Analytics matters at every level. Those that lead organisations must have direct access to customer insight. The pace of change demands it.

Photo Credit: Steve Snodgrass via Compfight

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Martin Hill-Wilson, Hill-Wilson
Customer Service, CX & AI Engagement Strategist - Chair, Keynotes & Masterclasses. Brainfood is an advisory and education service. Advice in terms of co-designing practical engagement strategies that balance customer and business needs. These are orchestrated from a blend of live assistance, self service and proactive contact using whatever optimised mix of voice, text and video works best across realigned customer journeys.


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