I originally wanted to title this blog “Answering the Musical Question: How Do You Know What You Don’t Know If You Don’t Know That You Don’t Know It?”

Then I realized that the title had so many characters that it would pretty much exclude me from Tweeting about it, so I decided to back off and keep it simple. Man in field with binoculars_iStock-184320883_resized.png

But the rejected title really does describe the job of desktop process analytics in the contact center, even if it didn’t make the cut. It’s an effective means of finding out what you don’t know so you can do something about it.

I’m a huge fan of analytics of all descriptions in the contact center. Gazing into my analyst crystal ball, I see analytics being the foundation of all contact center solutions and strategies in the not-too-distant future. Analytics will be part of every decision matrix whether major or minor.  Analytics solutions will proliferate throughout the enterprise, with many of those solutions starting in the contact center and finding their way throughout the rest of the organization, including the middle and back office.

Lately, speech analytics seems to be grabbing all the headlines, and I’m fine with that. As the saying goes, any press is good press, so I expect to see the high profile of speech analytics drive interest in other analytics solutions, especially desktop process analytics.

Desktop process analytics addresses the study of time and motion that occurs at the agent desktop. There is a general misconception in the contact center industry that desktop process analytics is another “Big Brother is watching” solution designed to drain the last drop of potential productivity out of each agent’s performance.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

While desktop process analytics does identify variations in agents’ skills and training, it also identifies often overlooked system performance issues that go unreported yet impede call progress and impact performance metrics.

Most managers and supervisors today still rely on the review of random recordings on the quality management solution to uncover system issues that impact performance. The flaws in this strategy are obvious and if agents don’t report system issues as they occur, they often go unaddressed—to the detriment of the customer experience.

Desktop process analytics can pinpoint system problems such as error messages that impede call flow; screens hanging and causing delays in call completion; and slow page rendering that hinders efficient customer service. How many times have we, as customers, had an agent apologize during a call because the “computer is slow today?”

Desktop process analytics identifies these and similar issues before they become barriers to optimizing the customer experience.

Similarly, desktop process analytics can help users identify agent deficiencies and (re)training or coaching needs. When agents take a lot longer to complete particular steps in a process than others in their group, accessing multiple systems or spending excess time in the knowledge base to find answers, that can be a red flag. The opposite can also signal an opportunity—agents who aren’t using the knowledge base may not be providing accurate information or delivering a consistent experience to customers.

Desktop process analytics also functions as a data gathering tool, working along with performance scorecards to provide management with visibility into agents’ execution against key performance indicators (KPIs). In this capacity, desktop process analytics further proves its value as a key decision-making tool while supporting and reinforcing the overall performance of the agent team.

I submit that the identification of problems at the desktop, if presented properly, will not be viewed as another “Big Brother” activity by most agents. Rather, I believe most agents welcome the identification of problems not rooted in their work habits and that, once addressed, have a positive effect on their performance and subsequent compensation.

The elimination of system latency and error issues has an unquestionably positive impact on metrics such as average handle time (AHT) and first call resolution (FCR). Improvements in agent skills and knowledge have a similarly positive impact on agent performance with the added bonus of improving workforce morale. A workforce that is performing well in concert with a system that is firing on all cylinders makes for a happy workplace.

My admiration of analytics aside, I believe the implementation of desktop process analytics in the contact center has the potential to save thousands, if not millions, of dollars in lost productivity while positively impacting agent turnover rates. Like others in the contact center analytics family, desktop process analytics is an overachiever. Don’t overlook it.