Building a Resilient Contact Center with AI-Driven Performance Intelligence

Key takeaways from Pathlight's session on Building a Resilient Contact Center with AI-Driven Performance Intelligence at the Customer Response Summit hosted by the Execs In The Know community in Austin, Texas.

Last updated on: 
August 10, 2023
Lauren England
Lauren England
March 10, 2023
5 min read

The Pathlight team attended the Customer Response Summit hosted by the Execs In The Know community in Austin, Texas last week. The theme was “Creating Moments That Matter” focusing on Passion for Customers, the Power of Technology, and Purpose-Driven Leadership. Over 190 CX leaders from different industries attended the summit to learn, share, network, and engage with each other. 

Pathlight hosted a fireside chat with Ancestry’s Sr. Manager of Strategy, Workforce, and Analytics for Member Services, Stéphane Grossi to discuss: Building a Resilient Contact Center with AI-Driven Performance Intelligence. 

Stéphane has been with Ancestry for over 11 years and focuses on customer service, product support interactions, business processes, and financial planning. He has worked in a wide range of industries and companies including eBay, Teleperformance, Verint, and AT Kearney to name a few. 

Here are the key takeaways from the session:

Strategies for doing more with less

Today, in the face of an economic downturn, leaders in every department are asked to tighten their belts and do more with less. Here are some strategies to prepare, protect, and optimize productivity, and build resilience in the contact center:

  • Preemptively tighten the belt. Think about the worse case scenarios that can disrupt service operations and make a plan to tackle them ahead of time. For example, Ancestry moved its entire support staff remote before COVID spiked, enabling them to continue delivering customer service without downtime. 
  • Build redundancies. Spread your support team across multiple locations and outsourcing partners to ensure uninterrupted customer service. Ancestry leverages 3 BPOs and 2 internal teams spread across 7 countries to stay ahead of unexpected downtimes in any particular support site. 
  • Constantly test new concepts. Don’t settle for the status quo. It’s easy to get comfortable with what your team or company is doing, especially if you’re successful. You have to evolve and change over time to meet your customer and business needs. Three years ago, 90% of Ancestry’s support requests were phone calls. Today, 50% are phone and 50% are through digital channels such as social, chat, SMS, and email. Meeting customers where they are, in their channel of choice is vital for success.

Framework for managing performance

Efficiency and performance are at the top of everyone’s mind today, especially with tightened budgets and hiring freezes. Here are some tips for managing the performance of the customer support teams, and building focus and alignment across your organization. 

  • Focus on 1-3 goals. While customer service teams have multiple KPIs, pick 1-3 KPIs to focus on per quarter. You don’t want your agent to be focusing on too many KPIs at once, they will miss their targets. Pick and choose a few goals you want your agents to focus on first.
  • Get quickly to the no. It is important to be agile and move quickly when you are testing, evaluating, and making decisions on goals. It is important to move faster to a no instead of a slower yes. Focus on what is quickly attainable, and continuously assess, pivot, realign, and test again. 
  • Get buy-in from across the organization. Make sure the support team’s goals align with the company's goals. Get buy-in from every stakeholder within the company — from the leadership team down to the frontline employees. Customer retention is a top priority for Ancestry, and every team, including the support team, executes toward achieving this goal.

Essential tools for driving productivity, quality, and efficiency

Similar to the challenges that Ancestry discussed in their session, for organizations everywhere, data is the gateway to new opportunities. It’s limitless in use and the amount generated is increasing at an exponential rate, especially for customer support teams that use multiple different platforms to manage the growing number of customer service requests. With the right platform, organizations can take control of their growing data, find meaningful insights from diverse data types, make it available to the right people and systems, and empower data-driven coaching and performance management. 

Business Intelligence (BI) Platforms don’t cut it

BI tools like Tableau, Power BI, or Salesforce Einstein Analytics claim that they can connect to various data sources, consolidate all of them in one place, and are easy to use. However, that is not the case. 

  • BI platforms are hard to use and do not seamlessly integrate with all the data sources, especially data sources that don’t communicate with each other. 
  • BI platforms require a full-time employee to manage and maintain, and building reports are complex and take long, sometimes up to a year, to create. 
  • BI platforms only provide reports, not insights — someone has to analyze the reports to extract meaningful insights. 
  • Without built-in coaching and communication tools, the BI reports are not actionable, making coaching a cumbersome process and hard to track over time.  

Invest in a Performance Intelligence Platform 

Data is a strategic asset for a business. The goal is not only to collect data but to use it intelligently. It should guide and justify decisions continuously, and enable frontline action in real time.

A Performance Intelligence platform like Pathlight seamlessly integrates data across multiple contact center systems to provide a single-screen view of performance in realtime. The AI-driven platform automatically analyzes performance data and offers intelligent insights on next best action for coaching and improvement. What’s more, using the built-in 1:1 capability with automated agendas and integrated metrics, managers and employees have insightful and actionable meetings. 

Pathlight streamlines and summarizes performance into a single Health Score to make easier and faster for agents and managers to understand how they are performing against the organization’s top priority metrics. What metrics go into the Health Score is completely customizable, and can be drilled down to see what is driving the score up or down such as CSAT, Average Handle Time, Time to First Response and more. Managers can set mini-goals for individuals and teams to streamline their focus. 

Prior to Pathlight, Ancestry’s support leaders and managers spent hours every week to consolidate data from multiple sources to get a unified view of performance and coach the team. BI platforms took more than a year to implement and deploy. With Pathlight, they were up and running within 6 months with limited effort from their team. Managers spent more time coaching the team and they saw significant improvement in performance, especially high priority metrics such as reduction in chat handle, across the board. 

At Pathlight, we believe data should be thought of as the connective tissue of your organization—permeating and fueling collaborative gains across teams. We want to help you. For a limited time, we're offering a complimentary 30 min consultation to evaluate and develop a performance management framework for your team. Connect with us.

Want to see a custom demo of Pathlight or get help finding the right plan? We'd love to chat.

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