An interesting piece in a recent Contact Center Insider, jointly presented with HP, about the correlation (or lack of) between the vast amounts of data generated spawned by contact centres, and the not-very-deep analysis of this data to work out improvements to the Customer Journey.

Some thought-provoking stats from this post:

  • 1 in 5 centers say their top challenge is too much data from too many sources with no method to consolidate it
  • More than 1 in 3 center managers struggle with identifying and measuring their KPI’s
  • Only 39% of them use their data to identify customer trends

This to me is a recipe for chaos – and for creating unhappy customers.  I’ve been working in centres up and down the country and abroad for over 25 years, and (massive generalisation) the majority seem more concerned with ‘Average Handling Time’ (my pet hate) than ‘How Easy is it for Our Customers to Do Business with Us?’

One of the most satisfying consultancy gigs I’ve done over the past few years involved helping a distressed contact centre director in a FTSE 100 household-name company to make sense of the tsunami of data in which she was drowning.  Around 300 agents, and data from 11 separate systems.  Each of her Ops Managers was spending the equivalent of 1 person-day per week just compiling reports.  And that’s before they could get around to leading and coaching their advisors.  It was such a mess it took her two days and a room-full of paper just to explain it all to me.

I ‘borrowed’ a 19-year whizzo from their IT department to work out how to get all this into one Excel worksheet per advisor, one collated sheet per team, and one worksheet that rolled it all up into one 1-page report.  It took me and my captive whiz-kid two days to work out how to do it, and then half an hour per day to update.  My contact centre director thought we were both geniuses.

The truth is, and I may be doing myself out of a job here: it’s actually not that difficult.  I’m not saying it’s easy: just it’s not that complex or complicated.  The main thing that may need to change is your own mind-set and that of your management team.

To quote again from the conclusion of the Contact Center Insider/HP white paper: “The secret to reducing customer effort & increasing customer engagement is gathering deep insight on your customers’ needs & preferences, sharing that insight enterprise-wide, fixing the gaps, & deploying systems that empower everyone involved to deliver an efficient, memorable experience.

It’s time to make things easier for your customers – before the competition does”.

My own rule of thumb: if you can’t get it all onto 1 A4 sheet, or 1 Excel worksheet that fits on your screen –  then do you really need all that additional info?

If any of this rings a bell with you, please do call me on 01536 525100 or email me at

And you can read/download the original piece here: