Enkata, as I wrote not long ago is continuing to expand the range and capabilities of its products for optimizing employee actions while maintaining a firm foothold in analytics for the contact center and agents. Its latest release, Action Center, maintains this position with a focus on improving employee performance.
The product captures data about how employees use the systems on their desktop, and enriches this data using other sources, such as CRM, ERP and HR systems. At the heart of Action Center is a rules-based engine that users create to define what they want to look for in the data. The analytics tools use this engine to discover patterns in the data and determine how employees actually spend their time – for example, what applications they access, what data they access and enter, how much time they spend in each application and where they spend that time, and even how much time they are idle. The application has various options so that users can visualize the data in the format most useful to them. It also includes the ability to trigger alerts or workflows when it finds a requested pattern so that supervisors or managers can be alerted that action is required. This allows companies to close the loop between identifying what has happened and why it happened and taking action to improve outcomes in the future.
This is a very timely release, as my research on the agent desktop and customer service shows that agents have to use multiple systems to resolve most interactions. In fact, in 65 percent of companies this is the case for every interaction, resulting in an increase in average call handling time (65%), and negative impacts on the customer experience (49%) and agent satisfaction (31%). To address this issue, mature companies are capturing data on how agents use their desktop, which among other things helps them identify best practices as found in 58 percent of organizations, improve processes (53%) and identify training needs (50%) according to our Agent Desktop Benchmark Research. Since Action Center supports these capabilities, I recommend that companies evaluate how it could be used to improve their employees’ performance.
Furthermore, it can help companies realign how they monitor and assess employee performance. In my experience, and based on the results of my research, many companies focus on a set of metrics that doesn’t align well with their business objectives. For example, agent utilization remains an important contact center metric, but companies often don’t concern themselves with what agents are actually doing as long as they are busy and queue lengths stay short. Action Center will tell them what employees actually do and how they do it. Using this information companies can put in place programs to ensure employees follow best practices and deliver the best outcomes. This might seem a bit like Big Brother watching, but in today’s highly competitive markets, the most successful companies will tread this line, and their employees will continue to have jobs and be more effective at conducting them.
Richard J. Snow
VP & Research Director