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Why Outcomes Matter More Than Data

by Lauren Maschio There’s a quote that has often been attributed to Albert Einstein that’s particularly apt today: “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” Businesses increasingly lean on data to help them measure and improve all aspects of their operations – data, and the ability to use it effectively for insights, has become a critical enabler of growth, an improved customer experience and more. In fact, 65% of business leaders say data will be "vital" to their organization's future success. Global leaders from Google to Uber have found their competitive advantage in data.

But while big data is big business, with the big data industry expected to reach $247 billion by 2022, it’s not enough to collect data and outline trends. Consider, for example, an automotive dealer. The dealer can conduct aggressive marketing campaigns and show success by the number of Facebook likes it garners, for example, but if what ultimately sells cars is test drives, dealers need to be measuring and evaluating the activities that directly leads to test drives. After all, as the maxim states, not everything that can be counted counts.

Data analytics encompasses far more than trends and numbers; trends and numbers will get you nowhere if your analytics program is simply identifying trends rather than driving the business outcomes you desire. The goals of speech and text analytics should be directed at positive outcomes for your business and not just endless amounts of data collection.

In the contact center, a focus on outcomes looks something like this:

  • A financial services provider that was experiencing long hold times – a piece of data that’s relatively easy to collect – implemented an analytics program across its contact center and discovered that those long hold times were happening because agents were missing information. By training agents better, the provider was able to improve CX and CSAT – the real outcome the provider was looking for.

  • A large retailer used analytics to determine behavior patterns that could be used to identify fraud. Implementing a 2-step verification process and coaching agents on proper challenge questions reduced the fraud – the real outcome the retailer was looking for – by 50%.

Outcome-based metrics provide clear links between what your contact center agents do and those activities' impacts on the business. Do you know if your customers are happy? Perhaps your agents have been answered customer calls more quickly, but were you able to solve their problems? Is hold time a factor that has an impact on your bottom line? The basic question to ask yourself is "What are the business outcomes we have to achieve in order to declare success?" The closer to this outcome a metric tracks, the more valuable it is to monitor. You can focus your analytics on positive outcomes for your business in the following areas:

  • Customer retention: Your customer wants to cancel service or defect to a competitor. Analytics can help you intervene and keep that valuable customer.

  • Cost reduction: You can use analytics to reduce the wasted time and effort when agents spend unnecessary time on hold or on activities that are unrelated to customer interactions.

  • Sales effectiveness: Are your salespeople using the correct techniques to up-sell or cross-sell? Are they offering relevant promotions and pointing out the right benefits of your products and services? Analytics can help you find out and better train and coach your sales staff.

  • Corporate and regulatory policy compliance: You need to know if your business is always complying with corporate and regulatory policies; failure to adhere can regulations cost your business time and money.

  • CSAT: Satisfied customers are vital to your business. Analytics can help you keep on top of your customers’ wishes and inform you of important trends in CSAT.

Find out more how you can leverage omnichannel historical and real-time analytics insights to drive the outcomes you desire.

Lauren Maschio Lauren Maschio has over 20 years of marketing leadership experience in the high technology industry with more than 10 of those years in the contact center market. As a NICE senior product marketing manager for the Quality Management solutions, Lauren is responsible for driving strategy and thought leadership, campaigns, and sales enablement. Prior to NICE, Lauren has held senior-level global marketing positions at VoltDelta, Process Software, Compaq (now HP), Bay Networks (now Nortel) and CrossComm. Lauren holds a bachelor's degree in Marketing from Babson College and a MBA from Northeastern University.


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