Improve Visibility into Operations Using Business Activity Monitoring Tools

Next Generation Communications Blog

Improve Visibility into Operations Using Business Activity Monitoring Tools

By Tracey Schelmetic

It's a challenge every business faces eventually: keeping your customers during an economic downturn. You may not have the marketing budget to prospect for more customers, and you may not have the budget to launch new, flashy product lines, but you have no choice about one thing: you need to keep the customers you have. In other words, you need to figure out how to prevent churn, oftentimes with fewer human and technology resources than you had just a few months ago.

So what advantage is it that the companies who manage to do just this have over the companies that don't? Best-in-class performance, according to a white paper from Aberdeen Group. Easy to say, but what does this actually entail?

To determine the top performers, Aberdeen Group used aggregated performance index metrics based on a set of 12 key performance indicators. Indicators of top performers included the following:

--Six and a half times higher year-over-year improvement in customer operations performance versus other companies

--Five times higher year over year improvement in sales operations performance over other companies

--Six times higher year over year improvement in service operations performance

These top performers were also 84 percent more likely to use operational forecast tools as part of their sales and customer-facing management process; 38 percent more likely to have automated the tracking of operational performance versus department and company goals; and 79 percent more likely to enable access to and analysis of operational data within an hour or less of business activity taking place.

What these companies have, essentially, is information. Not just any information, but the right information via effective use of business intelligence software. Top-performing companies are more likely to focus on business intelligence investments on operational requirements and use real-time or near real-time data sources to address day-to-day business processes.

To accomplish this, according to a 2007 Aberdeen Group study, must first address a number of questions, including understanding what data to use to generate intelligence, having the proper skills to interpret the analysis yielded by business intelligence solutions, understanding the timing of the decision making, and understanding how to use the data to generate meaningful reports that are relevant to the business.

What top performing companies have over other companies (classified as “average” and “laggard”) is essentially speed. Speed in understanding their business intelligence data and being able to implement it and use it in a timely way to make a difference in business processes and operations. What's important, however, is to first understand the wide number of metrics a call center generates, how variance in them affects contact center processes, and how they can be improved.

Aberdeen Group offers some best-in-class models that take into consideration the wide variety of key performance indicators (KPIs) and how changes in contact center processes can affect them. Each contact center has a unique pulse: a combination of its people, its goals, its internal communications, its business processes, its performance indicators and the data it generates. Understanding these processes – taking the “vital signs” of the contact center and understanding how to improve them via business intelligence – is what sets the winners who keep their customers from the average performers who watch their customers walk away without knowing why.

Read the full white paper click here.

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