Identify the (Contact Center) Signs – Become a Yogi

We are in the final week of the baseball season (none too soon for my hometown Braves!) and the World Series is coming up—one of my favorite sporting events to watch. There's a lot that goes on throughout a baseball game, but one aspect of the game that has always fascinated me are the signs. During a typical nine-inning game, there are hundreds of taps, touches and tugs, each conveying a complex of strategies and plans among pitchers, catchers, and fielders; batters, coaches and managers. Some of the greatest players were known for their ability to read their opponents’ signs. Former New York Yankees great Yogi Berra was famous for his ability read the shadows cast by a catcher's fingers and use that to get a jump on the next pitch.

Just as in baseball, there are also signs during various customer interactions and those signs can be difficult – but important – to detect.

What are some of the signs you may be missing during customer interactions?

Churn signs: Wait for a customer to call and ask to cancel their service, and it will be very difficult if not impossible to change their mind. This same customer most likely gave indications of dissatisfaction in the past – when they called with pricing complaints, had technical difficulties, or mentioned competitor names.

Sales opportunities: Customers may casually mention something that’s not directly related to the issue at hand, but in fact presents a sales opportunity, if identified in the moment.

At this point you might be wondering, how could such golden opportunities slip away? Let’s just say that the agent who can dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s AND pick up on every subtle signal a customer gives off would be the call center equivalent of Yogi Berra! But, Yogi didn’t come to those skills on his own, nor did he do it quickly. It took many years and many coaches for Yogi to become the skilled player (and later coach) he was. Today’s contact centers can’t wait for their agents to grow into a Yogi on their own.

How do we find and decode the signs, so we can capitalize on these valuable insights? First off, you need speech analytics! It analyzes all of your spoken interactions, indexing them for new and interesting topics and enabling you to find those decisive moments that turn a customer one way or the other. But to really seize them, you need to explore and search your interactions, finding all of the calls where a customer gave that sign, so you can hear how your agents are handling each situation. You need to be able to hear who is Yogi Berra and who is isn’t. Those who aren’t, you can now teach.

Sounds good, but want proof? Attend our session at ICUC 2016 to learn more about how speech analytics works and the impact that it can have on your business. And remember: The better a customer service agent can pick up on signs, the more likely he is to hit a customer service homerun every time. All you need is smart, automated technology to help see the signs.