Zeacom and featured in the Apr. Partner Roundup.">

If one were to compare the call center to a food, a pie would be a fitting representation. If the pie’s crust exterior were to represent the one-on-one interaction between caller and agent, the pie’s contents would be the data and issues occurring during these conversations.

All dessert lovers out there know it’s the filling that determines how delicious and satiating the pie will be. This holds true for the call center, as deeper analysis of the data produced from scenarios in which an agent is dealing with a customer – otherwise called business intelligence -- can gauge customers’ experiences and unveil trends or competitive information, ultimately leading to better decision-making and new revenue opportunities.

Without leveraging the advantages delivered by business intelligence, which comes in the form of performance metrics, enterprise reporting, knowledge management and more, the call center will not be all it can be.

For instance, if a contact center is aiming to trace any signs of customer dissatisfaction within calls, the use of speech analytics can rapidly and efficiently decipher words or phrases that may signify customer service issues. Taking it a step further, phrase identification can deliver information about the call, and emotion detection techniques can pinpoint changes in energy, volume and voice pitch.

When an organization has access to this type of crucial information, it is empowered to modify its customer service objectives to better target customers. As a result, existing customers will become more loyal due to an enhanced service interaction, the contact center will reduce unnecessary expenditures, and more agent time and energy can be spent focusing on more sensitive, critical issues.

A more recent development in the business intelligence space has been the creation of analytics tools to enable companies to gain a greater awareness of customer trends, preferences and product and service responses on social media channels. Just last week, Customer Relationship Metrics debuted its Social Media BI, a social media solution geared for businesses looking to reach out to customers on social media networks. In essence, Social Media BI takes the unstructured, raw and non-formatted comments, questions and posts made on these channels and puts them on a platform where analytics is then possible.

As put by an industry observer, "Contact center managers have to become masters of more than telephony. They have to understand complex human dynamics. They have to be able to use analytics and business intelligence tools to discern patterns of agent and customer behavior. As a contact center manager, make your CEO understand that you aren’t really responsible for 'calls' -- you are responsible for 'customers,' who are fundamentally more important to your company than calls."

Business intelligence tools enable call center managers to monitor agent performance in real-time and through valuable management reporting. At a glance, they will have a clear picture of what’s occurring in the call center so peak-time overloads receive optimal resource planning and management. Meanwhile, reporting techniques can mine data for specific information and map these trends to better comprehend issues and gain a general overview of the call center’s performance.

To learn about business intelligence tools from Zeacom, a contact center software leader specializing in unified communications solutions for meeting the business needs of both large and small enterprises, visit http://www.zeacom.com.