For L&D managers there are two questions that constantly plague them. They want to know: “Are we training for the right things?” and “How do we know if the training has really worked?” Without having accurate data available, finding these answers can amount to a guessing game or matter of perception and this often makes it difficult to justify further training investments to the board.

But what if you could accurately pinpoint the causes of high AHT or low CSAT in your contact centre? What if you could set a benchmark and then track progress after training has been implemented to reflect an accurate return on investment? With analytics, managers have a tool to do exactly this; accurately identify training needs, track progress and performance and calculate the ROI. From this perspective analytics are both the start and end point for training, helping L&D managers ensure that the programmes they implement are both correctly targeted and effective.

Analytics as a starting point

To improve performance in a contact centre there are six aspects that a manager might consider when asking the question: “What needs to change?”

The first is compliance. Are agents capturing all the details required? Are they providing customers with an explanation of the process so they know what to expect. Manual listening can easily identify non-compliance, but analytics can go into much more detail to verify these findings.

Conversion – With customer contact, there’s often an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell. Are agents correctly identifying and actioning these opportunities? Analytics can provide the accurate data to support this and even identify the reasons why agents might not be taking up sales opportunities. This is vital information when identifying training needs.

Control – Are agents saying things they shouldn’t be, or using jargon that confuses customers. Analytics can be used to flag certain words or phrases and provide data from tracking agents’ conversations.

The customer experience is affected by how well agents are able to provide the customer with a positive experience. Manual listening can identify areas for improvement which can then be backed up with a more detailed analysis using speech analytics.

How the Contact handler or advisor handles a call can make a big impact on the customer experience. There is often an opportunity to connect with the customer and build rapport by showing empathy. Speech analytics can be used to identify what top agents do differently and this can then be taught to other agents in the team through training modules.

Historically, many managers have a tick-box approach to Coaching, because they don’t always understand what’s involved in coaching effectively. Speech analytics can help identify coaching needs.

How this can be practically implemented can be seen from a case study of an auto insurer. After running detailed analytics and taking the above six elements into consideration, it was identified that there was scope to:

  • Increase sales conversions by increasing agent’s confidence to close sales
  • Enable efficiency savings by reducing Average Handling Times
  • Reduce the number of repeat calls, adding to efficiency savings
  • Provide a better customer experience through greater personalisation

The analytics formed the foundation from which a quality framework was created with customised training programs for both the contact centre advisors and managers. This approach ensured specific training needs were met that would align with the company’s business objectives.

How analytics show how effective training has been

The real power of analytics comes into play in terms of tracking progress and identifying how successfully changes have been implemented. This provides the data for determining ROI.

In the case study mentioned above, the objective was to measure how effective training had been in four areas, namely, improving compliance, control, conversion and the customer experience. In terms of compliance, analytics showed a 92% increase in agents confirming to customers how to change appointments online. There was a 50% increase in agents using features and benefits to influence bookings. The use of negative language decreased by 76% and positive language increased by 75%.

What this meant for the insurance company was an 18% reduction in repeat calls – just from agents mentioning to customers that they could use the website instead. The number of customers using self-service channels increased by 22% and the number of sales by 2%. In addition by shaving 30 seconds off AHT, the efficiency savings amounted to £330,000.

Being able to use analytics to track changes following training shows how effective it has been. For managers, it also provides a benchmark for continuous improvement. Analytics supply the data needed to justify the time and money spent on training and highlight the return on investment. You can be sure that no board member will argue the point when results so clearly show the benefits to the business.

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