Being Informed Doesn’t Transform - How Leading Companies Scale Contact Center Excellence

It’s not breaking news that improving metrics like conversion rates, AHT, and CSAT ultimately leads to more money in your pocket. Or, even better, not having to fight your CFO over the contact center budget next year.

Yet, many leaders struggle to consistently drive their most important contact center metrics forward.

The key to driving improvements across the contact center – and staying ahead of the competition – is changing rep behavior at scale.

But let’s start with the basics.

Reps Make Or Break Your Contact Center

Rep performance continues to be the main lever for improving your contact center’s performance. In the end, reps influence the outcome of deals, control handle times, and drive customer satisfaction. One rep interaction can make the difference between another sale and a lost customer.

Considering the hundreds, if not thousands, of daily conversations your reps are having, even a fraction of a percentage point can help you hit revenue targets, improve customer satisfaction, and ensure your organization views the contact center as more than a cost center.

But how do you systematically improve rep performance across your whole contact center?

You Know What's Wrong. But You Can't Fix It.

Most contact centers follow a similar process for rep development. First, you find out what’s wrong so you know what to fix. That’s commonly done with call recordings, QA scores or post-call analytics tools that automate the process.

Next, you coach reps one-to-one, sometimes even live on a call. If you find widespread patterns, you might change the onboarding process or put the issue on everyone’s training schedule.

But then, within a week, reps forget half of what they learned (59%, to be precise) or get tongue-tied on their next call. Even worse, with an average annual turnover of 100% in the contact center space, many reps leave the company and leave you to train their replacement from scratch.

In short, it’s easy to figure out what’s going wrong on calls. The hard part is quickly turning insights into action and making a lasting change in rep behavior.

Acting on knowledge is an issue organizations have struggled with for ages. It is especially prevalent today, where we have more information available than ever but no more time to act upon it. In fact, we’ve probably only gotten busier and less capable of turning information into transformation.

But when you act on knowledge, especially at a faster rate than your competition, it creates a powerful strategic advantage. If your company relies on the contact center for revenue generation and cost reduction, this has the potential to add more to your bottom line in a matter of weeks.

But how do you set your organization up to act on knowledge? The old way is the process of gaining knowledge, trickling down changes through the ranks and praying they’re applied. In the contact center, we know this often fails at the rep level for all the reasons we discussed earlier (forgetting, attrition, ineffective training).

The new standard is using technology – not only to gather information – but also using it to change behaviors at scale.

Using Technology For Rep Behavior Change

In the past, so-called post-call analytics tools were thought to grant organizations the power to make reps perform better. (In case you’re not familiar with post-call tools, they record and automatically analyze what’s being said on your calls to understand what makes or breaks a call.)

And these tools do, in fact, enable behavior change by providing a wealth of information. They tell you what’s winning deals, why customers get upset or cancel their contract – they could even tell you when a rep isn’t being compliant.

But they fall one stop short of actually fixing what’s wrong or doubling down on opportunities for improvement. Post-call analytics tools only provide the information – after the fact – and require significant time and effort to act upon it.

For your contact center, this means updating the onboarding process, scheduling training sessions, hiring more managers, measuring improvements – you know the drill. It’s a painful process that may or may not produce results in an unknown time frame.

Not exactly appealing.

How Real-Time Guidance Changed The Game For Contact Centers

Four years ago, we painfully experienced this endless cycle of messing up a call, analyzing what went wrong and failing to turn our newly acquired knowledge into more closed deals. So we decided to build a solution for it: Real-time guidance.

In a nutshell, real-time guidance listens to both sides of a conversation (rep + caller) and shows your rep what to say, or not to say, live on the call. This app sits on the side of your reps’ screen, guiding every call and changing behaviors in the moment.

How does the AI know what the rep should say? It’s simple. You just tell it what works well. A few examples:

  • What increases conversion rates is asking discovery questions that allow your rep to close the deal by providing value rather than losing it on price.
  • What lowers handle times is having the right information available without ctrl+f searching pdf documents.
  • What prevents compliance issues are reps that always provide accurate and complete information no matter the location of the caller

The AI identifies these situations based on trigger words or phrases you provide and tells the rep what to say next, or what soft skills to apply, in real-time. Of course, we don’t want to sound like robots, so the AI allows them to put their own spin on what’s being suggested. Given the scalability of technology, this happens on every single call, for every single rep, every hour of the day, every day of the year.

Best of all, it just plugs in, turns on and you can watch it work. No complex coding. No big implementation. No waiting for IT.

Conversion Rates, CSAT, AHT Are Off The Charts

The implications for improving rep performance at scale are so enormous that they’re almost unbelievable.

Our lead data scientist Jordan Navin regularly conducts statistically significant A/B tests for our customers to evaluate the impact of using real-time guidance. Their findings indicate real-time guidance is not just an idea that works in theory, but technology that delivers real results:

  • 20-35% increase in conversion rates
  • 75% decrease in ramp time
  • 132% increase in close rates for one of the largest health insurance companies in the US (read more)
  • 25% increase in customer satisfaction (learn more)
  • 53% decrease in average handle time (learn more)

Sounds crazy? That’s what we told Jordan. He double-checked. And he’s technically Dr. Jordan Navin and a former USDA Economist. If Jordan double-checked, it’s definitely real.

So what’s our takeaway?

You want to improve your contact center. You want to generate more revenue while keeping operations efficient.

We’ve learned that your longest lever to hit those goals is rep performance. And that the quickest way to improve rep performance is effective behavior change at scale.

And finally, you know that knowledge alone can’t change behaviors. It’s acting on knowledge that turns the contact center into a reliable, scalable revenue machine your competitors would die for.

Ready To See How Real-Time Guidance Can Help?

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