Jan 19, 2016
An important, but often overlooked, aspect of any successful business is a thorough competitor analysis. While call centers should primarily focus on developing an excellent product and maintaining outstanding customer service, they can also benefit from an exploration and analysis of what their competitors are doing in the marketplace.
By studying the strengths and weaknesses of their peers, call center managers can gain a broader insight into the overall market and how to best position their call center in that space. Ensuring you have the best information on not only your competition, but the marketplace as a whole, can be difficult to get a handle on.
Business intelligence software simplifies this process by presenting data in intuitive yet deeply customizable reports. Instead of spending time collecting and organizing information in spreadsheets, call center managers can utilize a completely integrated, automated tool to quickly present information on metrics such as agent performance, team efficiency and company profitability, which in turn can be used to optimize performance and day-to-day operations.
Gathering Competitor Research
The first step in any kind of competitive analysis is to gather as much information as possible about your competitors. A company’s website and marketing materials are a good place to start in terms of finding out about available services, pricing and value propositions.
For more specific information on revenue and company growth, business statistics and data are sometimes available through government or trade association reports. Customer reviews can also be valuable when it comes to learning how a competitor’s actual customers feel about a company.
Although time-intensive, experiencing a competitor’s products and customer service first hand can be one of the most insightful ways to size up another business. By actually calling into a competing call center, it’s possible to gain valuable insight into things like wait time, number of agents required to resolve an issue and how agents conduct themselves.
Once a comprehensive understanding of the competitor’s business is complete, this data can be compared with business intelligence reports.
Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses
TCN’s call center technology relies on a simple, intuitive interface to organize enormous amounts of data for BI analytics, while minimizing data entry errors and eliminating the need for time-consuming spreadsheets.
Customizable dashboards create real-time reports with insight into agent performance, call length and success rates, cost summaries and general call center metrics.
With TCN, agents can be monitored, scored and evaluated on a variety of performance indicators, making it easy to compare internal productivity against competitor data. For example, shorter calls are evaluated based on call time and not employee reporting, thereby minimizing user error.
A wait time versus active call time comparison is built-in as a reporting template on TCN’s platform and can assist in identifying high wait times relative to competitors. Calls can even be organized by area code to help determine what geographic location agents are contacting most often and which areas yield the highest success rates.
Optimizing and Forecasting
Once company strengths and weaknesses have been identified, this information can be used to optimize overall call center performance. Undesirable results can be identified and addressed with a specific plan, one that’s possibly been informed by competitor research.
Key metrics related to cost and employee forecasting can help accurately plan for seasonal and other cyclical business changes and project expected results. Once implemented, BI analytics show exact gains and losses from implemented changes and further steps where refinements can be made to optimize operations.
Competitive analysis is just one of the ways that business intelligence tools improve overall call center productivity and efficiency. Reviewing a competitor’s service will help identify weaknesses and/or opportunities in a business model, while BI analysis drives data-based decisions that help refine and improve your organization’s overall efficiency.
For more information on how business intelligence technology can help your call center run more efficiently, check out our Top 10 List When Considering a Cloud-Based Contact Center Solution whitepaper.
About the Author: Charlie Jergins
Charlie Jergins started with TCN in 2012. Since then, he has held many positions including: Implementation Engineer, Consult & Retention, and most recently, our Business Analytics team. He now enjoys consulting with and developing value propositions such as revenue and expense projections as it relates to Business Intelligence.