Why Conversation Excellence is the New Normal for Contact Centers

September 24, 2021

Articles

In the past two years, a huge chunk of sales and service traffic shifted from in-person touchpoints to online self-service or to contact centers. For you, that means more customer conversations than ever are starting in the contact center — an incredible opportunity for growing your bottom line.

But you need to be able to make the most of every single conversation, consistently.

The traditional answer to this is, “We need to collect more data on what’s going wrong on our calls.” But most contact centers already have the data they need to make that happen. Adding more on top of that doesn’t leverage change — it distracts from it.

Conversation Intelligence Creates an Execution Gap

Now, what the heck is an execution gap? It all started with the introduction of Conversation Intelligence a few decades ago.

Conversation Intelligence is all about gathering big heaping spoonfuls of information from the conversations happening between your agents and your callers: Sentiment, competitor mentions, coachable moments, positive feedback, call scores, etc.

But just like piles of wheat don’t magically become bread, neither does this data alone lead to more sales or happier customers. Yet the focus of Conversation Intelligence is to continuously source more insights, as opposed to putting insights into practice for more sales and better service.

Realistically, most of your insights don’t result in a lasting change of agent behavior, despite all the training, coaching, and communication contact centers have been applying for decades. We present to you the modern contact center’s worst enemy: the Execution Gap.

Conversation Excellence Turns Your Insights Into More Sales and Better Service

Conversation Excellence is about scaling insights to your entire organization at the push of a button. It means taking all the insights from your conversations, delivering them as a recommendation to all agents in real-time, measuring which recommendations are effective, and iterating from there on. No gaps, no wondering what to do with the information you’re gathering; just a closed loop of improvements.

How Does Conversation Excellence Actually Work?

Conversation Excellence follows four, continuously repeating steps for ongoing improvement:

  1. Source your insights: Most contact centers have a great understanding of what makes an excellent conversation and where conversations are falling short. This is a collection of insights from your top performing agents, company best practices and, potentially, legal guidelines.
  2. Scale your insights: This is where old methods of training and coaching often fail. Scaling recommendations to your entire team is most effective with real-time recommendations on every single call, not over the course of weeks in post-call sessions.
  3. Analyze in real-time: After scaling new tactics and recommendations to your agents, you need to understand which recommendations resulted in a positive call outcome. This crucial step of Conversation Excellence was impossible prior to Real-Time Guidance technologies.
  4. Iterate your changes: With your data updating after every call, you’re empowered to make changes at a moment’s notice. Are customers more likely to buy your product when agents use one phrase over another? Scale out changes to ten, a hundred, or a thousand agents at the push of a button.

Better Conversations Means Better Performance Across the Board

Conversation Excellence isn’t a theory. It’s tested — and proven — every day by sales, collections, and customer service teams using Real-Time Guidance.

National General, a leading property and casualty insurance provider, wanted all reps to consistently conduct great discovery, knowing it would lead to more sales. They used Real-Time Guidance to give their reps the best discovery questions live on the call. After a 14 week A/B test, reps on Balto had a 16% better conversion rate.

ONLINE Information Services used to use a post-call analytics platform that helped them find coaching opportunities for agents. But the platform was so complicated that the time spent finding those opportunities completely cut actually acting on them. When ONLINE switched to Real-Time Guidance, it made identifying key insights much faster and enabled them to roll out changes to agents at scale. After that, compliance averages increased by 115% and management saved 15+ hours a week in productivity.

Before Real-Time Guidance, UGA Finance struggled with high handle and hold times. Agents had to get up and talk to a manager every time a customer had a question they didn’t know. Using Real-Time Guidance, managers could store all the information agents needed into the platform so they always got the answers they needed. Agents got more productive and handle times shrunk because they no longer had to rely on managers on the call.

No backlogs of insights, no wasted time on coaching the same points over and over. When contact centers choose Conversation Excellence, they’re leveraging customer conversations into real business results.

Balto’s Real-Time Guidance is built for Conversation Excellence. If you’re ready to put your calls to work as they’re happening, schedule a demo today.

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