Managing the performance of unified communications and contact centers is a demanding and complex job. Leaders rely on a set of critical metrics to help them drive performance and meet important business goals.
In this webinar, you'll learn the top metrics that matter, with real customer use cases to illustrate why. You'll also learn how focusing on managing these metrics has helped IR customers meet their KPI targets, and deliver transformational results for their companies.
IR | BrightTALK
Host: Tim Poindexter, VP, Global Field Marketing @ IR
Speakers: Christina Styers, Account Executive @ IR
Kerry Gregg, Solutions Engineer @ IR
Hi, I'm Tim Poindexter. Welcome to today's webinar. Today we're going to focus on Critical Metrics: UC & Contact Center Leaders Focus On For KPI Achievement.
And joining me are our guest presenters Christina Styers and Kerry Gregg. Welcome.
Hey, Tim. How are you doing?
Great. Glad to have you both here today.
Alright. So let's go through some logistics before we jump in.
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So with those logistics in mind, let's get to know our speakers a little bit more. Christina over you tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi, my name is Christina Styers and I'm a Territory Manager for IR, and I've been with the company a little over two years. My specialty is collaborating with customers and educating them on new ideas and perspectives. I listen to them so that I can help them achieve their results at the end of the day. Thank you so much. Glad to be part of this webinar.
Excellent. And Kerry.
Thanks, Jim. My name is Kerry Gregg. I'm a Solutions Engineer based out in Dallas, Texas. I've been with IR for about five years. And my job basically is pre-sales engineering, but I do support customers from a post-sell perspective, in order to let them provide or provide them the best value for the tools that they have for monitoring management.
All right, well, great. Thank you both for joining me here. And I'm Tim Poindexter; I'm Vice President of Global Field Marketing. I've been here for five and a half years, but I'm not the star of the show today—it's our guest presenters, Christina and Carrie. Looking forward to hearing from them and their experiences working with some fantastic customers.
So we're gonna jump in and I have my first question for you. The question is: “What are the most important metrics to executives responsible for managing contact center and unified communications technology?”
Thank you so much, Tim. I think I'll take that one, Kerry, for us.
So, what we have found, there are approximately 25 for contact center and about 20 for unified communications. But what we've done is we've actually narrowed that down today to roughly three to five.
For contact center, it’s going to be your Active Waiting Calls, Peak Hour of Traffic, Call Abandonment, and Core CSAT. And then on the UC side it’s going to be—right now, with the COVID—people and businesses want insight into the at-home user experience.
Alright. Let's put a recap of those on there. So, Call Abandonment, CSAT, Active Waiting Calls, Peak Hour of Traffic and Remote User experience.
Looks like some of those are contact-center specific and a number of them are related to the UC environments, as well.
And the next question is—those are great metrics. But why are those so important? What's the impact to the business? And why are those some of the most important metrics to leaders?
So, Kerry, if you don't mind, I'll take a few of them and then I'll let you take a few of them, as well. So let's talk about the Active Waiting Calls.
So with Active Waiting Calls, that's going to provide the view into how many calls are in queue with real-time into the knowledge of the Contact Center load. Your team needs to have an eye on these metrics to be able to pace up their work accordingly. And the managers are also able to measure and ensure traffic is going to the appropriate teams based off skill set. So activating calls is a really critical metric to keep an eye on.
And then, another Peak Hour of Traffic. Obviously, you want to know your peaks—so how much volume is coming into a contact center, what those peak hours, so you can staff accordingly.
Now, one is going to lead right into the next. So, if you know that you have a Peak Hour Traffic, say, at noon, you're going to want to staff higher at noon than you do, say at 9am, because it then ties into one of your next ones—Call Abandonment.
So, if you have a lot of callers waiting in queue, the longer they wait, there's a 60% chance or greater that they're going to abandon that call if they're on hold longer than 48 seconds. So that's the neat stat that, again, one ties right into the next.
Also, that all then ties back to your CSAT. Is the customer satisfied if they're waiting on hold forever? Or they don't ever get their call answered because you don't have enough staff in your team to answer those calls.
Yeah, Christina. That reminds me. You and I were catching up about this recently, and you shared another component of that Call Abandonment. It's really interesting to know who's abandoning the call.
And I think what you shared with me is if the caller is on the phone for a while with a representative and they end up abandoning that call, that might be a sign that they just haven't had their question answered adequately. And they're frustrated, and they just don't want to deal with it anymore. And that can have a massive impact on customer satisfaction, whether you measure that through Net Promoter Score or something else.
In fact, this thing that you shared with me was in the back of my mind because I was recently on the phone with a service agent at a company that makes smart thermostats. And I installed one in my home and it kept dropping from my wireless connection. And there is no documentation on their website that would help.
And I emailed them and they said: “Well, try this. Try that and the other thing. And that didn't work, so I had to call. I tried to call in and he had no good answer for what my challenges were.
And he was like: “Well, let me put you on hold and I'll see if I can find this out.” I waited on hold for two or three minutes, and I finally just hung up and resolved to return this thermostat because they couldn't get their act together.
And that's just a small example of that scenario and action. But savvy business leaders are very cognizant of those situations and looking for ways where they can avoid having the situations happen for their customers because we all know that it's much harder to gain that new customer than it is to retain an existing customer. And it's so important to drive customer satisfaction. Have a good user experience, and make sure that people will be your advocates and be a long-term customer.
Yeah, Tim, you're dead-on. And Call Abandonment is one of those items that is extremely multi-layered. So it's not only from the example that you gave. So let's dig into that—and we can a little bit later on—but it's about ownership. Who hung up? And why did they hang up?
And it’s providing insight into those, absolutely.
I might put one twist on this. We've talked about how important a Contact Center is. Certainly, Call Times and Abandonment Rate. But, really, the COVID-19 has redefined how businesses do business.
With the majority of the contact center workforce being sent home, really, a whole new paradigm is being created, one that's never been considered until now.
So, say, in a normal BCP response, such as fire store damage, most companies had a hot standby area that employees or agents will report to and work from that location.
Guess what? This model was quickly deemed unusable. Employees were forced to work from home office, in basements or, even, kitchen tables. So a deployment scenario that’s never been considered, not only were businesses forced to make this decision, but they had to do it really quickly.
So again, if you've a contact center which is the life of your company, now you've got more complexity with people working from home.
Yeah, that's exactly right. In fact, I think I may have heard a dog barking in the background, with this contact center agent I was speaking to. Which, by the way, I think is totally fine.
We're all in this work from home environment together and so I think it's given people—they’re a little bit more gracious because they recognize the challenges. You might hear a dog barking on occasion or a kid might walk up and ask for a little bit of help. And I think that something about that is actually a really humanizing work element. And so that's all fine.
I think the challenges are when people are working from home, we don't know how strong their internet connection is going to be. We don't know if they're on DSL or if they’re on cable. What kind of bandwidth they might have if they've got noisy neighbors going on. They might have a good Wi-Fi system set up in their environment or an old one.
So there are a lot of really interesting challenges that come into play in delivering a good quality connection and being able to track things in this new environment so I think that's the final area: being able to monitor work from home performance—whether that's in a contact center, whether that's in UC.
And I wanted to add one other thing. We talked about Peak Hour Traffic in the context of a contact center, but we're speaking with Bill Haskins at Wainhouse Research, recently, and he was pointing out that Peak Hour Traffic actually matters for people collaborating on UC platforms, whether it's Avaya, Cisco or Microsoft.
And the example that he used was the—let's say, I think he said that like 11am Eastern was one of the busiest times in terms of internet traffic during the workday.
And the reason is because, you have the bulk of users in the United States up online—there's my dog barking in the background. And you have people doing video conferences, but you also have Europe online at the same time. So people are using Cloud, video conferences or collaboration services all the same time throughout the entire world.
There could be some issues as a result of these services just really been hit hard. And in some cases, we've heard of teams changing their meeting schedule in order to have a better experience as a result of that. So Peak Hour Traffic applies not just to contact center but also to UC.
Alright, any other things to add on that one before we move on?
Just one final thought. On the Active Users and Peak Hour Traffic. The two are going hand-in-hand right now, because you also have a large majority of people that have children at home, and the bandwidth for Zoom in the home internet is also affecting that, as well.
So, we're seeing a lot of companies change the schedules, even though you have a peak hour of traffic, but also working with their specific situations, based off skill set. “Who can take calls—” Then say, “Oh, I can't take that call right now because I have two kids on Zoom at 11am.”
Yeah, exactly. I think my kids are having a Zoom meeting right now so I know exactly what that is like.
You really have to watch the Abandonment Rate during this time also. When they start having voice calls out there and they don’t have bandwidth, people are going to hang up.
Yeah, that's a good point. All right, so let's keep moving. Next question. It’s popping on the screen here now.
So far, we've talked about these metrics: Call Abandonment, CSAT, and examples. So what are some components and applications that are involved in these business processes around Call Abandonment, CSAT, Waiting Calls—that sort of thing. And why are these challenges, in monitoring these things aren’t getting it right? Why are they so difficult to solve?
Kerry, I might direct this question to you.
Yeah. Thanks, Tim.
Absolutely. Just by looking at the screen that you had there and the PowerPoint, there's so many different applications and devices and areas across a network that, say, UC has to traverse.
Not just network issues, some high utilization or packet loss or things like that, but all the different areas that you have to go to. Say, from a remote home worker, that's doing transcoding through a gateway, or so forth out there.
What are the different tools we've got to manage these? It's a whole lot of different vendors out there, instead of just a specific vendor. What you might have to open up three or four different tools in order to be able to see visibility into problems that may be happening out there. So this definitely is going to be causing all kinds of issues out there if you're trying to be in a reactive instead of response type mode to where you have problems out there.
So everything that we talked about from the home worker, Wi-Fi problems, to Internet, to VPN concentrators, to the network piece in there, back to the proxy server, SPCs and everything in between there, needs to be monitored and quickly be able to identify where there's problems.
So it does provide a high level of complexity for users out there, especially nowadays with remote home work.
Yeah, that's a great point. And this slide, I think, kind of underscores that one of the things that we've found is that these large global complex enterprises that—we have many of those in our customers' side—they have dozens of technology vendors in place throughout their UC and Contact Center environment.
And they could be platforms like Avaya or Cisco or Microsoft. Or they can be SPCs or other components or servers that are involved in the mix.
And one of the challenges is that a lot of these platforms or devices might have a vendor-supplied monitoring solution, but typically that monitoring solution only handles that bit of the platform.
My dog is barking so I might actually turn it back over to one of you and we will go to the next one here.
Alright. So the next question is—let's talk about some IR customer use cases. And how IR solutions may have helped customers who have some of these challenges. I think we have some really interesting stories here and, Christina, I think you're going to kick us off by talking about a large global financial institution you're currently working with, and the call abandonment issues that they're facing.
Actually, I'll take the first two and then we'll kick it over to Kerry for the final one. This large financial institution had a specific scenario where they were trying to find out the root cause of Call Abandonment.
And just to give you an idea of scope. They have 3 level-two, technical guys that are spending three to four hours a day just trying to find the root cause of call abandonment.
They have a request that comes in, they have to download all the records, look through every single call to try to find the root cause.
What we were able to do is work with them to build a dashboard in Prognosis that allows them to see from the agent calling out to the customer. If the call abandonment occurred on that flow, or if it was from the customer calling into the agent and they hung up.
What were those call hold times? All of the key metrics that drive into creating visibility into call abandonment and giving them insight into root cause. They're now taking it one step further and providing insight in another dashboard and visibility with role-based access to the contact center managers, so they can then see: “Okay, it was the customer that hung up.” or “It was the agent that hung up.” But if it was a technical issue. we're only going to enter cases for technical issues. Thus, reducing the amount of cases that are going into their voice team.
So, that is a great example of being able to look at Call Abandonment and pay attention to the metrics that matter most specifically to an individual customer and what they're trying to gain as far as insight into that metrics.
Did that answer your question, Tim.
Yeah, absolutely. I think that's certainly a really powerful story there. And the next one is really about Peak Hour Traffic and Active Waiting Calls, which in this case we're tied to CSAT and one of the top three insurance providers, so that's reasonably specific there.
Give us some detail on what they're facing, and how you're helping them.
Yeah, absolutely. So again when I introduced myself, one of the important things to me is to be able to collaborate with the customer, understand and listen to what their challenges are, and also give them new ideas or perspectives on how to achieve results at the end of the day.
Well, so, with my introduction I say that because this comes, the customer came to me and I said: “Listen, we have all of our traffic running through our SPC. And I—by virtue of saying that one of my top priorities is to listen to a customer—I like to turn into a three-year-old and ask “why”.
So I asked why. Why do you have all the—everything running through your SPCs as it is our only source of truth. Because if we know the Call Volumes associated with Call Transfers, we will know the volume of traffic going to a specific group. And if you recall what I mentioned earlier, if you know the amount of traffic going to a group, you know what their hold times are, then you're going to be able to do—what? Move agents from one group based off skillset to take calls in this new group that has a high volume of traffic.
That's reducing your hold times and improving CSAT. So I follow that Call Flow through with this customer to say: “Okay, what do you need from us? We need visibility into the SPCs, we need any and every dashboard you can give us to show us all of the metrics that we can measure through the SPCs to be able to make on-the-fly decisions to help reduce hold times because we need to improve our CSAT.”
“Okay, well, who cares about CSAT?”
“Well, executives care about it.” So at the end of the day, it was about creating visibility to improve CSAT, all with dashboards giving visibility into the SPC monitoring those key metrics.
That’s a great story. And I think for our final use case today, we've had a lot of companies—with COVID of course—going to 100% work from home.
And we mentioned some of the challenges earlier about monitoring at-home workers and the unique challenges that arise from different environments. Where maybe they've got a couple of kids who are doing online classes and they're on Zoom all the time; we don't know how strong their bandwidth is.
So people are looking for ways to monitor the performance of UC and Contact Center applications for their at-home workers and they're turning to us, to see if we can help them with that. So, Kerry, talk to me a little bit about how we're helping in this way.
Sure, Tim. Thanks. Really, if you think about home workers, it's not one specific silo, it's all the different silos out there.
So definitely, contact centers—what we're kind of talking about today. And many companies provide equipment to support the contact center agents, such as PCs, monitors, VPNs, phones. Everything needed really to equip agents with a resource to continue operations and handle customers’ needs.
But being remote created a lot of new problems and issues, mainly around voice quality and user experience. Even if customers could get to an agent, if they were unable to communicate clearly without interruption, the risk of them going somewhere else is high. So, in the event that Prognosis can’t provide that information from a user experience or a MOS core experience to let agents, supervisors or managers respond quickly on that really helps the overall Abandonment Rate that we've talked about before.
They can remove agents that continue to have bad problems and there's different areas that we can look at to see how come they've only got calls that lasted 20 seconds or 25 seconds out there.
They can remove them from the skillset, until we do some analysis on what's happening. Is it the Internet? Is it wireless? Is it the PC? Is it the proxy?
So being able to do that, respond quickly and get your customers into agents that can answer questions quickly and help them resolve issues is really kind of what it's all about right now. For prognosis being able to monitor its users.
Tim, also with that at-home user—just to interject for just a second. So we've also seen the Callback feature not getting routed correctly because, again, the systems had been touched and it's created complexity. So we've seen a lot of adjustments that have had to been made, and providing insight into that and being able to test it real-time has been invaluable to a lot of customers.
Yeah, the callback feature. Is that were when you call in and they say: “Hey, look. Our agents are busy but if you like, we can call you, you won't lose your place in line.
I love that feature because I can still go about my day instead of waiting for the whole of music to finally stop. Everybody should have that.
Well, the problem is that they’re losing their place in line.
Maybe that’s for another webinar topic.
Alright, so let's start to bring this home. The next question—and we're almost done here—is, based off of the customers that you worked with and what you're seeing, do you have any recommendations for UC contacts and executives who might have some similar challenges to what we've discussed so far today.
Absolutely. Get with your teams and find out what challenges they're having and see what tools you have in your tool belt. You never know what you have right there at your fingertips that you can maybe dip into role-based access to provide visibility.
For example, the use case I provided with the financial institution, they not only created a dashboard, but then figured out that they could give access to another team to, again, help them meet their KPIs in their metrics. So those two really go hand in hand.
In addition to that, creating alerts and alarms based on those top metrics, that unique clarity insight that matters most. That's a large component of it.
And then, again, it's about open communication. The more you're asking and the more you're listening, it'll help solve those challenges and help you achieve your goals.
That's great. And I would just add—I have a reasonably large team and my team is spread out all over the world. And one of the things that my team said is really important to them is they have a lot of competing priorities; they’re trying to accomplish a lot of different things.
And it's really important for them to have clarity on what matters the most. And so, as a leader, I see it’s my responsibility to provide that clarity about what the most important things are. And if there's 20 things to do, but there's only time to do three or four of them, what are the things that we're going to spend the bulk of our energy, effort and resources on?
And one way that I can do that is by communicating more clearly and then giving them regular feedback and visibility into the performance against what those key goals are. And so I think that that ability to provide real-time visibility to a variety of different business users, to give them clarity and a reminder—not just what they're supposed to be focusing on but how well they're doing against that target—is an incredibly important tool to align the business to execute against the most important things for itself.
That is definitely an important thing that all leaders should be looking at closely.
Alright, let's, let's bring us home here. Kerry, I'm going to have you start with this one. Final question—we've hinted on it throughout. How do IR solutions help solve challenges that we've talked about today?
Right. Now, great question. And the answer is really being able to provide real-time information on what's actually happening across your enterprise out there.
So, Contact Center, your different applications. So it could be anything from, again, the communications manager, or the call manager, the proxy you've got, all the way to the network piece, all the way up to remote end-users out there.
So, if we can monitor and bring all this into one pane of glass, one specific tool we're using out there, and we can see all the different components out there, and then we can make this proactive where we're seeing problems that are beginning to happen—really before it impacts, say, your home workers or your contact center agents out there.
Then, we're one step ahead of keeping that CSAT high because of the customers that are coming in, talking to them, not only are going to get their questions answered but they're also going to have good voice quality, good user experience out there.
Yeah, that's great. It's important to kind of stay ahead of these metrics so you can see the leading indicators and take action before you sort of enter a dangerous area.
So, thanks for that overview. I'm going to share just a few more slides about IR.
Our sweet spot is that we are multi-vendor. And we're going to cover the Contact Center, we're going to cover Unified Messaging, Call Recording, your SPCs. We're in the cloud or on-prem. We’re on Cisco and on Skype, Microsoft Teams, and many of the other technology vendors that are in those environments.
We can deliver visibility across the entire stack, in one place, which will really help people see a clear picture of the truth and make quick decisions to positively impact their environment. The other thing I'll add is that we have some really exciting new product announcements that we're going to be making at our virtual conference called IR Connect, which is coming up October 19th through 23rd.
And that's open to anyone so please register and join—it's free, and there's gonna be some amazing content. I'll share a little bit more about that later.
As we've discussed the value propositions for our solutions is that we can deliver that complete end-to-end visibility. And it's not just end-to-end visibility we can do it in real-time. This is a big differentiator.
A lot of the platforms that collect data streams and dashboards for you have a 24 hour turnaround time, or they have some latency involved with them. We can deliver this insight in real-time so you can make decisions and stay on top of things. And make a good decision that can stop the situation that’s starting to get bad, to getting really ugly.
In the Contact Center specifically, we can really help with the operational component; but the operational component in terms of making sure that all the technology works. Of course, the reason that that matters is because we want to deliver an amazing experience to the customers that are calling in. And the technology dramatically impacts their experience.
Of course, training your agents and making sure that they have good scripts and playbooks is important, but if there's a bad connection, if there's dead ends in your phone tree or IVR, that's going to leave a bad taste in people's mouths, as well.
And so there's a lot that we can do there.
And of course, we have leading vendor lines partnerships across three major players: Cisco, Avaya, Microsoft. This one talks a lot about Skype, but actually we have a ton of Teams coverage, as well. And again, we'll be talking more about our capabilities against Teams at IR Connect coming up.
And, then, finally I think it's really important people—with not just with multiple vendors, but they live with multiple delivery mechanisms—so some people have on-premises. Some people have Cloud. Majority of large organizations actually have both; that’s what we call a hybrid environment. They might have Avaya on-premises Contact Center and they might also have some users maybe on Microsoft Teams or Cloud. And they really want to be able to see both, and monitor and track against both of those things.
And so we can monitor on-prem, on cloud and hybrid; and also Prognosis can deploy on-prem, on cloud and hybrid.
So we're not just talking about monitoring, we’re also talking about how we can be deployed as well.
Finally, IR has been around for a long time. And we have a history of innovation, delivering great outcomes for some large organizations. You can see a list of some large companies that we work with at the bottom.
Millions of endpoints under management. We are publicly listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and we've had a fantastic year this year. And so if you're interested in working with us and see if there's ways that we can help you meet your business goals, we'd love for you to reach out and have a conversation with us.
Finally, the last thing is—IR Connect is a full-scale virtual conference for IR customers, partners, prospects, industry analysts—really anyone who is interested in the areas that we have solutions for.
It's totally free. It's going to be online. Check out ir.com/events/connect. You can register and we'd love to have you there. We're going to be doing some product launches, strategy overviews. This year, we're launching the IR Academy, which is a great place for free solution training and accreditation against our technology set.
We're also going to have guest speakers from Alliance partners like Cisco, Avaya and ACI, as well as insights from customers and industry experts. So check it out. Attend a little or attend a lot.
I think that there's a lot of value you can get from that.
All right, last thing here is—we’d love to stay connected with you.
If you'd like to connect with Christina, Kerry or myself, you can check us out on LinkedIn. Happy to get connected with you.
And if you want to have a conversation about how we might be able to help you reach your objectives, we'd love to have a tailored solution discovery to see how we can help.
Alright, so that is the commercial bit.
We did have a couple of questions come in through the chat, so I'm going to turn off the slides for a little bit, we'll go back to video mode, and let's see if we can answer all these questions in the last few minutes that we have together.
Question number one. Kerry, I think this one's for you.
I thought we were going to do rock, paper, scissors.
I did that in my mind and Kerry won. You can have the next one.
What is the number one challenge, Kerry, that IR customers are experiencing with at-home users right now?
Yeah, it's a great question. Really, the number one challenge reported by companies is visibility under most remote workers. They cannot monitor remote workers, say, from an overall perspective.
Questions around: “Are they registered? Are they able to receive and make calls? And, of course, what kind of voice quality are they experiencing at the time?” With Prognosis, we have the visibility and then we can provide those metrics for you, and help you manage them. But that's what I am hearing the most out of all the customers that I’ve been working with.
Okay. That's fantastic.
And Christina, we are running out of time here so we'll be a little bit brief on this question—but go ahead Christina, on this one question for you.
Can you go into a little bit more detail—and I'll add my words here—brief detail because we don't have a lot of time left, about the implications of Call Abandonment for the customers you're working with.
Absolutely. I'll make it brief and concise. Abandon Calls equals Abandoned Customers. And each Abandoned Call represents a missed opportunity. So it's not only going to provide your customer with excellent service, but the ability for you to generate revenue. So that is the implication.
Alright, well. Thank you, Christina. Thank you, Kerry. Appreciate your insight and your joining us this morning. And for those of you in this webinar we appreciate you, as well.
Please remember to rate the webinar. Provide any feedback that you think would help us make future webinars better for you. And if there's anything we can do to help you and challenges that you face, please reach out. We’d love to work with you to help you be successful in your environment.
And on behalf of Christina and Carrie everyone here at IR, I'm Tim Poindexter. Thanks for joining us. I hope you have a wonderful day.