How to Improve Contact Center Performance (With Data)

Contact centers are a crucial part of offering quality products. Long after the software has been built and the marketing campaigns have been run, there will still be agents helping customers reset their passwords and debug tricky issues.

This means we must do everything we can to ensure that our contact centers are operating at peak efficiency. Data analytics is an important piece of the puzzle, offering the kinds of hard numbers we need to make good decisions, do right by our customers, and support the teams we manage.

That will be our focus today. We’ll cover the basics of implementing a data analysis process, as well as how to use it to assess and improve various contact center performance metrics.

Let’s get going!

How to Use Data Analytics to Increase Contact Center Performance

A great place to start is with a broader overview of the role played by data analytics in making decisions in modern contact centers. Here, we’ll cover the rudiments of how data analytics works, the tools that can be used to facilitate it, and how it can be used in making critical decisions.

Understanding the Basics of Data Analytics in Contact Centers

Let’s define data analytics in the context of contact center performance management. Like the term “data scientist”—which could cover anything from running basic SQL queries to building advanced reinforcement learning agents—“data analytics” is a nebulous term that can be used in many different conversations and contexts.

Nevertheless, its basic essence could be summed up as “using numbers to make decisions.”

If you’re reading this, the chances are good that you have a lot of experience in contact center performance management already, but you may or may not have spent much time engaging in data analytics. If so, be aware that data analysis is an enormously powerful tool, especially for contact centers.

Imagine, for example, a new product is released, and you see a sudden increase in average handle time. This could mean there is something about it that’s especially tricky or poorly explained. You could improve your contact center performance metrics simply by revisiting that particular product’s documentation to see if anything strikes you as problematic.

Of course, this is just a hypothetical scenario, but it shows you how much insight you can gain from even rudimentary numbers related to your contact center.

Implementing Analytics Tools and Techniques

Now, let’s talk about what it takes to leverage the power of contact center performance metrics. You can slice up the idea of “analytics tools and techniques” in a few different ways, but by our count, there are (at least) four major components.

Gathering the Data

First, like machine learning, analytics is “hungry,” meaning that it tends to be more powerful the more data you have. For this reason, you have to have a way of capturing the data needed to make decisions.

In the context of contact center performance, this probably means setting up a mechanism for tracking any conversations between agents and customers, as well as whatever survey data is generated by customers reflecting on their experience with your company.

Storing the Data

This data has to live somewhere, and if you’re dealing with text, there are various options. “Structured” textual data follows a consistent format and can be stored in a relational database like MySQL. “Unstructured” textual data may or may not be consistent and is best stored in a non-relational database like MongoDB, which is better suited for it.

It’s not uncommon to have both relational and non-relational databases for storing specific types of data. Survey responses are well-structured so they might go in MySQL, for instance, while free-form conversations with agents might go in MongoDB. There are also more exotic options like graph databases and vector databases, but they’re beyond the scope of this article.

Analyzing the Data

Once you’ve captured your data and stored it somewhere, you have to analyze it—the field isn’t called data analytics for nothing! A common way to begin analyzing data is to look for simple, impactful, long-term trends—is your AHT going up or down, for instance? You can also look for cyclical patterns. Your AHT might generally be moving in a positive direction, but with noticeable spikes every so often that need to be explained and addressed.

You could also do more advanced analytics. After you’ve gathered a reasonably comprehensive set of survey results, for example, you could run them through a sentiment analysis algorithm to find out the general emotional tone of the interactions between your agents and your customers.

Serving Up Your Insights

Finally, once you’ve identified a set of insights you can use to make decisions about improving contact center performance, you need to make them available. By far the most common way is by putting some charts and graphs in a PowerPoint presentation and delivering it to the people making actual decisions. That said, some folks opt instead to make fancy dashboards, or even to create monitoring tools that update in real time.

Effectively Leveraging Data

As you can see, creating a top-to-bottom contact center performance solution takes a lot of effort. The best way to save time is to find a tool that abstracts away as much of the underlying technical work as possible.

Ideally, you’d be looking for quick insights generated seamlessly across all the many messaging channels contact centers utilize these days. It’s even better if those insights can easily be published in reports that inform your decision-making.

What’s the payoff? You’ll be able to scrutinize (and optimize) each step taken during a customer journey, and discover how and why your customers are reaching out. You’ll have much more granular information about how your agents are functioning, giving you the tools needed to improve KPIs and streamline your internal operations.

We’ll treat each of these topics in the remaining sections, below.

How to Improve KPIs in Contact Center

After gathering and analyzing a lot of data, you’ll no doubt notice key performance indicators (KPIs) that aren’t where you want them to be. Here, we’ll discuss strategies for getting those numbers up!

Identifying Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

First, let’s briefly cover some of the KPIs you’d be looking for.

  • First Contact Resolution (FCR) – The first contact resolution is the fraction of issues a contact center is able to resolve on the first try, i.e. the first time the customer reaches out.
  • Average Handle Time (AHT) – The average handle time is one of the more important metrics contact centers track, and it refers to the mean length of time an agent spends on a task (this includes both talking to customers directly and whatever follow-up work comes after).
  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) – The customer satisfaction score attempts to gauge how customers feel about your product and service.
  • Call Abandon Rate (CAR) – The call abandon rate is the fraction of customers who end a call with an agent before their question has been answered.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) – The net promoter score is a number (usually from 1-10) that quantifies how likely a given customer would be to recommend you to someone they know.

Of course, this is just a sampling of the many contact center performance metrics you can track. Ultimately, you want to choose a set of metrics that gives you a reasonably comprehensive view of how well your contact center is doing, and whether it’s getting better or worse over time.

Strategies for Improving Key KPIs

There are many things you can do to improve your KPIs, including up-training your personnel or making your agents more productive with tools like generative AI.

This is too big a topic to cover comprehensively, but since generative AI is such a hot topic let’s walk through a case study where using it led to dramatic improvements in efficiency.

LOOP is a Texas-based car insurance provider that partnered with Quiq to deploy a generative AI assistant. Naturally, they already had a chatbot in place, but they found it could only offer formulaic answers. This frustrated customers, prevented them from solving their own problems, and negatively impacted KPIs overall.

However, by integrating a cutting-edge AI assistant powered by large language models, they achieved a remarkable threefold increase in self-service rates. By the end, more than half of all customer issues were resolved without the need for agents to get involved, and fully three-quarters of customers indicated that they were satisfied with the service provided by the AI.

Now, we’re not suggesting that you can solve every problem with fancy new technology. No, our point here is that you should evaluate every option in an attempt to find workable contact center performance solutions, and we think this is a useful example of what’s possible with the right approach.

Tips to Boost Contact Center Operational Efficiency

We’ve covered a lot of ground related to data analysis and how it can help you make decisions about improving contact center performance. In this final section, we’ll finish by talking about using data analytics and other tools to make sure you’re as operationally efficient as you can be.

Streamlining Operations with Technology

The obvious place to look is technology. We’ve already discussed AI assistants, but there’s plenty more low-hanging fruit to be picked.

Consider CRM integrations, for example. We’re in the contact center business, so we know all about the vicissitudes of trying to track and manage a billion customer relationships. Even worse, the relevant data is often spread out across many different locations, making it hard to get an accurate picture of who your customers are and what they need.

But if you invest in solutions that allow you to hook your CRM up to your other tools, you can do a better job of keeping those data in sync and serving them up where they’ll be the most use. As a bonus, these data can be fed to a retrieval augmented generation system to help your AI assistant create more accurate replies. They can also form a valuable part of your all-important data analytics process.

What’s more, these same analytics can be used to identify sticking points in your workflows. With this information, you’ll be better equipped to rectify any problems and keep the wheels turning smoothly.

Empowering Agents to Enhance Performance

We’ve spent a lot of time in this post discussing data analytics, AI, and automation, but it’s crucial not to forget that these things are supplements to human agents, not replacements for them. Ultimately, we want agents to feel empowered to utilize the right tools to do their jobs better.

First, to the extent that it’s possible (and appropriate), agents should be given access to the data analytics you perform in the future. If you think you’re making better decisions based on data, it stands to reason that they would do the same.

Then, there are various ways of leveraging generative AI to make your agents more effective. Some of these are obvious, as when you utilize a tool like Quiq Snippets to formulate high-quality replies more rapidly (this alone will surely drop your AHT). But others are more out-of-the-box, such as when new agents can use a language model to get up to speed on your product offering in a few days instead of a few weeks.

Continuously Evaluating and Refining Processes

To close out, we’ll reiterate the importance of consistently monitoring your contact center performance metrics. These kinds of numbers change in all sorts of ways, and the story they tell changes along with them.

It’s not enough to measure a few KPIs and then call it a day, you need to have a process in place to check them consistently, revising your decisions along the way.

Next Steps for Improving Your Contact Center Metrics

They say that data is the new oil, as it’s a near-inexhaustible source of insights. With the right data analysis, you can figure out which parts of your contact center are thriving and which need more support, and you can craft strategies that set you and your teams up to succeed.

Quiq is well-known as a conversational AI platform, but we also have a robust suite of tools for making the most out of the data generated by your contact center. Set up a demo to figure out how we can give you the facts you need to thrive!

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WhatsApp Business: A Guide for Contact Center Managers

In today’s digital era, businesses continually seek innovative ways to connect with their customers, striving to enhance communication and foster deeper relationships. Enter WhatsApp Business – a game-changer in the realm of digital communication. This powerful tool is not just a messaging app; it’s a bridge between businesses and their customers, offering a plethora of features designed to streamline communication, improve customer service, and boost engagement. Whether you’re a small business owner or part of a global enterprise, understanding the potential of WhatsApp Business could redefine your approach to customer communication.

What is Whatsapp Business?

WhatsApp is an application that supports text messaging, voice messaging, and video calling for over two billion global users. Because it leverages a simple internet connection to send and receive data, WhatsApp users can avoid the fees that once made communication so expensive.

Since WhatsApp already has such a large base of enthusiastic users, many international brands have begun leveraging it to communicate with their own audiences. It also has a number of built-in features that make it an attractive option for businesses wanting to establish a more personal connection with their customers, and we’ll cover those in the next section.

What Features Does WhatsApp Business Have?

In addition to its reach and the fact that it reduces the budget needed for communication, WhatsApp Business has additional functionality that makes it ideal for any business trying to interact with its customers.

When integrated with a tool like the Quiq conversational AI platform, WhatsApp Business can automatically transcribe voice-based messages. Even better, WhatsApp Business allows you to export these conversations later if you want to analyze them with a tool like natural language processing.

If your contact center agents and the customers they’re communicating with have both set a “preferred language,” WhatsApp can dynamically translate between these languages to make communication easier. So, if a user sends a voice message in Russian and the agent wants to communicate in English, they’ll have no trouble understanding one another.

What are the Differences Between WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business?

Before we move on, it’s worth pointing out that WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business are two different services. On its own, WhatsApp is the most widely used messaging application in the world. Businesses can use WhatsApp to talk to their customers, but with a WhatsApp Business account, they get a few extra perks.

Mostly, these perks revolve around building brand awareness. Unlike a basic WhatsApp account, a WhatsApp Business account allows you to include a lot of additional information about your company and its services. It also provides a labeling system so that you can organize the conversations you have with customers, and a variety of other tools so you can respond quickly and efficiently to any issues that come up.

The Advantages of WhatsApp Messaging for Businesses

Now, let’s spend some time going over the myriad advantages offered by a WhatsApp outreach strategy. Why, in other words, would you choose to use WhatsApp over its many competitors?

Global Reach and Popularity

First, we’ve already mentioned the fact that WhatsApp has achieved worldwide popularity, and in this section, we’ll drill down into more specifics.

When WhatsApp was acquired by Meta in 2014, it already boasted 450 million active users per month. Today, this figure has climbed to a remarkable 2.7 billion, but it’s believed it will reach a dizzying 3.14 billion as early as 2025.

With over 535 million users, India is the country where WhatsApp has gained the most traction by far. Brazil is second with 148 million users, and Indonesia is third with 112 million users.

The gender divide among WhatsApp users is pretty even – men account for just shy of 54% of WhatsApp users, so they have only a slight majority.

The app itself has over 5 billion downloads from the Google Play store alone, and it’s used to send 140 billion messages each day.

These data indicate that WhatsApp could be a very valuable channel to cultivate, regardless of the market you’re looking to serve or where your customers are located.

Personalized Customer Interactions

Firstly, platforms like WhatsApp enable businesses to customize communication with a level of scale and sophistication previously unavailable.

This customization is powered by machine learning, a technology that has consistently led the charge in the realm of automated content personalization. For example, Spotify’s ability to analyze your listening patterns and suggest music or podcasts that match your interests is powered by machine learning. Now, thanks to advancements in generative AI, similar technology is being applied to text messaging.

Past language models often fell short in providing personalized customer interactions. They tended to be more “rule-based” and, therefore, came off as “mechanical” and “unnatural.” However, contemporary models greatly improve agents’ capacity to adapt their messages to a particular situation.

While none of this suggests generative AI is going to entirely take the place of the distinctive human mode of expression, for a contact center manager aiming to improve customer experience, this marks a considerable step forward.

Below, we have a section talking a little bit more about integrating AI into WhatsApp Business.

End-to-End Encryption

One thing that has always been a selling point for WhatsApp is that it takes security and privacy seriously. This is manifested most obviously in the fact that it encrypts all messages end-to-end.

What does this mean? From the moment you start typing a message to another user all the way through when they read it, the message is protected. Even if another party were to somehow intercept your message, they’d still have to crack the encryption to read it. What’s more, all of this is enabled by default – you don’t have to spend any time messing around with security settings.

This might be more important than you realize. We live in a world increasingly beset by data breaches and ransomware attacks, and more people are waking up to the importance of data security and privacy. This means that a company that takes these aspects of its platform very seriously could have a leg up where building trust is concerned. Your users want to know that their information is safe with you, and using a messaging service like WhatsApp will help to set you apart.


Finally, WhatsApp’s Business API is a sophisticated programmatic interface designed to scale your business’s outreach capabilities. By leveraging this tool, companies can connect with a broader audience, extending their reach to prospects and customers across various locations. This expansion is not just about increasing numbers; it’s about strategically enhancing your business’s presence in the digital world, ensuring that you’re accessible whenever your customers need to reach out to you.

By understanding the value WhatsApp’s Business API brings in reaching and engaging with more people effectively, you can make an informed decision about whether it represents the right technological solution for your business’s expansion and customer engagement strategies.

Enhancing Contact Center Performance with WhatsApp Messaging

Now, let’s turn our attention to some of the concrete ways in which WhatsApp can improve your company’s chances of success!

Improving Response and Resolution Metrics Times

Integrating technologies like WhatsApp Business into your agent workflow can drastically improve efficiency, simultaneously reducing response times and boosting customer satisfaction. Agents often have to manage several conversations at once, and it can be challenging to keep all those plates spinning.

However, a quality messaging platform like WhatsApp means they’re better equipped to handle these conversations, especially when utilizing tools like Quiq Compose.

Additionally, less friction in resolving routine tasks means agents can dedicate their focus to issues that necessitate their expertise. This not only leads to more effective problem-solving, it means that fewer customer inquiries are overlooked or terminated prematurely.

Integrating Artificial Intelligence

According to WhatsApp’s own documentation, there’s an ongoing effort to expand the API to allow for the integration of chatbots, AI assistants, and generative AI more broadly.

Today, these technologies possess a surprisingly sophisticated ability to conduct basic interactions, answer straightforward questions, and address a wide range of issues, all of which play a significant role in boosting customer satisfaction and making agents more productive.

We can’t say for certain when WhatsApp will roll out the red carpet for AI vendors like Quiq, but if our research over the past year is any indication, it will make it dramatically easier to keep customers happy!

Gathering Customer Feedback

Lastly, an additional advantage to WhatsApp messaging is the degree to which it facilitates collecting customer feedback. To adapt quickly and improve your services, you have to know what your customers are thinking. And more specifically, you have to know the details about what they like and dislike about your product or service.

In the Olde Days (i.e. 20 years ago year, or so), the only real way to do this was by conducting focus groups, sending out surveys – sometimes through the actual mail, if you can believe it – or doing something similarly labor-intensive.

Today, however, your customers are almost certainly walking around with a smartphone that supports text messaging. And, since it’s pretty easy for them to answer a few questions or dash off a few quick lines describing their experience with your service, odds are that you can gather a great deal of feedback from them.

Now, we hasten to add that you must exercise a certain degree of caution in interpreting this kind of feedback, as getting an accurate gauge of customer sentiment is far from trivial. To name just one example, the feedback might be exaggerated in both the positive and negative direction because the people most likely to send feedback via text messaging are the ones who really liked or really didn’t like you.

That said, so long as you’re taking care to contextualize the information coming from customers, supplementing it with additional data wherever appropriate, it’s valuable to have.

Wrapping Up

From its global reach and popularity to the personalized customer interactions it facilitates, WhatsApp Business stands out as a powerful solution for businesses aiming to enhance their digital presence and customer engagement strategies. By leveraging the advanced features of WhatsApp Business, companies can avail themselves of end-to-end encryption, enjoy scalability, and improve contact center performance, thereby positioning themselves at the forefront of the contact center game.

And speaking of being at the forefront, the Quiq conversational CX platform offers a staggering variety of different tools, from AI assistants powered by language models to advanced analytics on agent performance. Check us out or schedule a demo to see what we can do for your contact center!

Leveraging Agent Insights to Boost Efficiency and Performance

In the ever-evolving customer service landscape, the role of contact center agents cannot be overstated. As the frontline representatives of a company, their performance directly impacts the quality of customer experience, influencing customer loyalty and brand reputation.

However, the traditional approach to managing agent performance – relying on periodic reviews and supervisor observations – has given way to a more sophisticated, data-driven strategy. For this reason, managing agent performance with a method that leverages the rich data generated by agent interactions to enhance service delivery, agent satisfaction, and operational efficiency is becoming more important all the time.

This article delves into this approach. We’ll begin by examining its benefits from three critical perspectives – the customer, the agent, and the contact center manager – before turning to a more granular breakdown of how you can leverage it in your contact center.

Why is it Important to Manage Agent Performance with Insights?

First, let’s start by justifying this project. While it’s true that very few people today would doubt the need to track some data related to what agents are doing all day, it’s still worth saying a few words about why it really is a crucial part of running a contact center.

To do this, we’ll focus on how three groups are impacted when agent performance is managed through insights: customers, the agents themselves, and contact center managers.

It’s Good for the Customers

The primary beneficiary of improved agent performance is the customer. Contact centers can tailor their service strategies by analyzing agent metrics to better meet customer needs and preferences. This data-driven approach allows for identifying common issues, customer pain points, and trends in customer behavior, enabling more personalized and effective interactions.

As agents become more adept at addressing customer needs swiftly and accurately, customer satisfaction levels rise. This enhances the individual customer’s experience and boosts the overall perception of the brand, fostering loyalty and encouraging positive word-of-mouth.

It’s Good for the Agents

Agents stand to gain immensely from a management strategy focused on data-driven insights. Firstly, performance feedback based on concrete metrics rather than subjective assessments leads to a fairer, more transparent work environment.

Agents receive specific, actionable feedback that helps them understand their strengths and which areas need improvement. This can be incredibly motivating and can drive them to begin proactively bolstering their skills.

Furthermore, insights from performance data can inform targeted training and development programs. For instance, if data indicates that an agent excels in handling certain inquiries but struggles with others, their manager can provide personalized training to bridge this gap. This helps agents grow professionally and increases their job satisfaction as they become more competent and confident in their roles.

It’s Good for Contact Center Managers

For those in charge of overseeing contact centers, managing agents through insights into their performance offers a powerful tool for cultivating operational excellence. It enables a more strategic approach to workforce management, where decisions are informed by data rather than gut feeling.

Managers can identify high performers and understand the behaviors that lead to success, allowing them to replicate these practices across the team. Intriguingly, this same mechanism is also at play in the efficiency boost seen by contact centers that adopt generative AI. When such centers train a model on the interactions of their best agents, the knowledge in those agents’ heads can be incorporated into the algorithm and utilized by much more junior agents.

The insights-driven approach also aids in resource allocation. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of their team, managers can assign agents to the tasks they are most suited for, optimizing the center’s overall performance.

Additionally, insights into agent performance can highlight systemic issues or training gaps, providing managers with the opportunity to make structural changes that enhance efficiency and effectiveness.

Moreover, using agent insights for performance management supports a culture of continuous improvement. It encourages a feedback loop where agents are continually assessed, supported, and developed, driving the entire team towards higher performance standards. This improves the customer experience and contributes to a positive working environment where agents feel valued and empowered.

In summary, managing performance by tracking agent metrics is a holistic strategy that enhances the customer experience, supports agent development, and empowers managers to make informed decisions.

It fosters a culture of transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement, leading to operational excellence and elevated service standards in the contact center.

How to Use Agent Insights to Manage Performance

Now that we know what all the fuss is about, let’s turn to addressing our main question: how to use agent insights to correct, fine-tune, and optimize agent performance. This discussion will center specifically around Quiq’s Agent Insights tool, which is a best-in-class analytics offering that makes it easy to figure out what your agents are doing, where they could improve, and how that ultimately impacts the customers you serve.

Managing Agent Availability

To begin with, you need a way of understanding when your agents are free to handle an issue and when they’re preoccupied with other work. The three basic statuses an agent can have are “available,” “current conversations” (i.e. only working on the current batch of conversations), and “unavailable.” All three of these can be seen through Agent Insights, which allows you to select from over 50 different metrics, customizing and saving different views as you see fit.

The underlying metrics that go into understanding this dimension of agent performance are, of course, time-based. In essence, you want to evaluate the ratios between four quantities: the time the agent is available, the time the agent is online, the time the agent spends in a conversation, and the time an agent is unavailable.

As you’re no doubt aware, you don’t necessarily want to maximize the amount of time an agent spends in conversations, as this can quickly lead to burnout. Rather, you want to use these insights into agent performance to strike the best, most productive balance possible.

Managing Agent Workload

A related phenomenon you want to understand is the kind of workload your agents are operating under. The five metrics that underpin this are:

  1. Availability
  2. Number of completions per hour your agents are managing
  3. Overall utilization (i.e. the percentage of an agent’s available conversation limit they have filled in a given period).
  4. Average workload
  5. The amount of time agents spend waiting for a customer response.

All of this can be seen in Agent Insights. This view allows you to do many things to hone in on specific parts of your operation. You can sort by the amount of time your agents spend waiting for a reply from a customer, for example, or segment agents by e.g. role. If you’re seeing high waiting and low utilization, that means you are overstaffed and should probably have fewer agents.

If you’re seeing high waiting and high utilization, by contrast, you should make sure your agents know inactive conversations should be marked appropriately.

As with the previous section, you’re not necessarily looking to minimize availability or maximize completions per hour. You want to make sure that agents are working at a comfortable pace, and that they have time between issues to reflect on how they’re doing and think about whether they want to change anything in their approach.

But with proper data-driven insights, you can do much more to ensure your agents have the space they need to function optimally.

Managing Agent Efficiency

Speaking of functioning optimally, the last thing we want to examine is agent efficiency. By using Agent Insights, we can answer questions such as how well new agents are adjusting to their roles, how well your teams are working together, and how you can boost each agent’s output (without working them too hard).

The field of contact center analytics is large, but in the context of agent efficiency, you’ll want to examine metrics like completion rate, completions per hour, reopen rate, missed response rate, missed invitation rate, and any feedback customers have left after interacting with your agents.

This will give you an unprecedented peek into the moment-by-moment actions agents are taking, and furnish you with the hard facts you need to help them streamline their procedures. Imagine, for example, you’re seeing a lot of keyboard usage. This means the agent is probably not operating as efficiently as they could be, and you might be able to boost their numbers by training them to utilize Quiq’s Snippets tool.

Or, perhaps you’re seeing a remarkably high rate of clipboard usage. In that case, you’d want to look over the clipboard messages your agents are using and consider turning them into snippets, where they’d be available to everyone.

The Modern Approach to Managing Agents

Embracing agent insights for performance management marks a transformative step towards achieving operational excellence in contact centers. This data-driven approach not only elevates the customer service experience but also fosters a culture of continuous improvement and empowerment among agents.

By leveraging tools like Quiq’s Agent Insights, managers can unlock a comprehensive understanding of agent availability, workload, and efficiency, enabling informed decisions that benefit both the customer and the service team.

If you’re intrigued by the possibilities, contact us to schedule a demo today!

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