Richard Snow's Analyst Perspectives

Knowlagent Increases Agent Utilization and Customer Satisfaction

Posted by Richard Snow on Jul 25, 2012 11:41:35 AM

Knowlagent has carved out a unique position in the agent performance management market. Everyone involved in running a contact center knows how difficult it is to manage agent time so that agents are available within service level agreement specifications to answer inbound customer calls, have sufficient time to carry out other essential tasks such as breaks, training, coaching and making outbound calls, but not burn themselves out. Our research into agent performance management shows that many companies, especially those with a small number of seats in their contact centers, use spreadsheets or specialized workforce management systems to try to achieve this delicate balance. Because of the limitations of these systems, most centers can only work with 15-minute slots as they attempt to optimize agent utilization. Even with the best planning, the random nature of inbound call patterns means that agents typically have two-minute slots of ideal time, and these can occur at random intervals, according to research sponsored by Knowlagent that we carried out. Knowlagent has therefore developed a product called Knowlagent RightTime that monitors in real time what agents are doing and then seeks to allocate tasks to agents to optimize their time within the parameters set up by the company – a process it calls automated intraday management.

The product works by monitoring what agents are doing through integration with the telephony and workforce management systems. It aggregates wait time into larger slots which it can then make active by allocating other tasks for agents to carry out. The latest release of the product adds more tasks that can be allocate during these wait times, including handling other forms of interactions (email, text messages, social media), taking online training courses, coaching, after-call work, back office tasks such as updating a customer’s details and collaborating with other agents to resolve issues. As Knowlagent moves forward, its plan is to work with more vendors and integrate with more systems, as well as identify more potential tasks agents can carry out and prioritize them so agents are working in the most effective way to improve the customer experience and deliver targeted business outcomes. A quick look at its website shows it has successfully case studies that show how organizations are making better use of agent time, getting the balance between active tasks and breaks, and most importantly improving customer satisfaction by providing better customer experiences.

Despite the introduction of more automated self-service capabilities, our research into customer relationship maturity indicates that organizations still rely heavily on contact center agents to deliver good customer experiences and expected business outcomes. Our research found that optimizing agent utilization is a top priority for which Knowlagent can help address. Managing their time and the tasks they work on is critical to achieving this success. Knowlagent allows organization to take a more granular and proactive approach to reaching these goals.

Regards,

Richard J. Snow

VP & Research Director

Topics: Customer Analytics, Customer Experience Management, Voice of the Customer, Knowlagent, Customer Service, 360-degree view of the Customer, Agent Performance Management, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Workforce Force Optimization

Richard Snow

Written by Richard Snow

Richard leads Ventana Research’s Customer and Contact Center Performance Management research practice, which is dedicated to helping organizations improve the efficiency and effectiveness of managing their customers, throughout their lifetime and across all touch points, including the contact center. He conducts research exploring the people, process, information and technology issues behind customer operations management, contact center management, and customer experience management. He also works with senior business operations and IT managers to ensure that companies get the best performance from today’s highly complex application products. Richard has worked in management and consulting leadership positions in the technology industry including with Price Waterhouse, Sema Group and Valors. In his work, he has been involved with all aspects of delivering highly complex IT solutions to a variety of clients in the telecommunications, financial services and public sectors. Richard has specialized in delivering customer care and billing solutions for telecommunications operators, and several multi-channel contact centers for organizations in both the public and private sectors.