Agents are the heartbeat of your contact center. The success of your operation depends on them, but let's face it, being an agent isn't easy.
Supporting every agent requires visibility into their day-to-day activity and performance—yet we know most contact centers are only able to review and evaluate around 2% of interactions.
Without full visibility, it's impossible to provide targeted coaching, personalized support, or data-driven feedback that can help agents excel in their role.
This is why Observe.AI was born.
In 2017, our co-founder and CEO Swapnil Jain spent six months in India and the Philippines observing contact center operations.
He walked the expansive floors and saw the massive workforce in action.
It was clear how critical contact centers were to business operations—and how much impact they had on both revenue and customer satisfaction.
But it was also clear that many of the legacy business processes were broken, including the support system for agent effectiveness.
- Supervisors were focusing on limited data when evaluating agent performance, instead of gaining a fair and holistic view.
- Trainers would hold group sessions and make coaching decisions based on a hunch, instead of providing targeted coaching based on specific needs.
- QA forms were designed based on some standard template instead of being custom-built to help agents focus on what mattered most.
- Worst of all, leaders accepted high agent attrition as the norm.
Today, we know the contact center is more critical than ever and the agent plays a central role as the face of your brand. But to improve agent performance at scale and drive true business impact, all of the above has to change—and it starts with visibility.
The Case for Contact Center Visibility
“We used to make significant decisions based on insights from the two or three percent of
interactions we could audit,” says Ken Fausel, Director of Customer Experience at Figo. “Now, with Observe.AI, we can make those decisions with confidence because we can map performance trends across a much larger data set.”
Customer conversations are a treasure trove of insights, yet most neglect to leverage them properly.
In our recent report, 99% of contact center leaders said they use insights from customer conversations to inform business decisions, but only a third of leaders said they are completely satisfied with the level of visibility they have into those conversations.
That means an astonishing 73% of leaders are making business-altering decisions without the proper visibility and are neglecting agent performance.
When it comes to supporting agents and driving business impact, this isn’t enough.
Here’s just one example: According to an internal analysis, when QA volumes increased from 0.1% of interactions to 19.15% of interactions, agent fail rates decreased by 20%.
When contact center leaders have full visibility into what’s happening on the front lines between agents and customers, they have more insight into where and how to help agents succeed.
A more data-driven approach, backed by 100% visibility into customer conversations, means more targeted coaching for agents on the metrics and behaviors that matter most.
But that’s not all.
5 Ways Observe.AI’s Conversation Intelligence Platform Benefits Agents
We all want agents to succeed. It’s a big reason why we built Observe.AI and are continuing to aggressively invest in developing our best-in-class conversation intelligence platform.
1. 100% visibility without the privacy concerns
Observe.AI uses automated quality assurance software to automatically evaluate customer conversations for key business-critical elements as determined by contact center leaders.
These can include the basics, such as “Did the agent greet the customer properly?” or “Did the agent meet regulatory compliance?” Our conversation intelligence platform can also analyze broader metrics like overall CSAT or hold time violations, so supervisors can better visualize agent performance in aggregate, either as individuals or teams, allowing for more targeted coaching based on data.
By nature, this allows contact center leaders to get a bird's eye view of team activity without agents worrying about 24/7 monitoring, or analysts combing through each and every customer conversation word for word, which also opens the agent up to subjectivity and bias.
Leaders get the visibility they need to make strategic coaching recommendations where they’re needed most, without agents worrying about them looking over their shoulder.
2. Integrated coaching that turns insights into action
Visibility helps leaders understand what’s happening. Coaching turns that knowledge into business results.
Observe.AI provides a curated set of metrics that help you effectively monitor performance of your entire team along with individual agents. Automatically identify top and bottom performers to prioritize coaching for agents that need the most guidance.
Best of all, it all happens in one place, allowing you to deliver timely and targeted coaching to your agents and track agent development and progress on the same platform, creating a self-contained feedback loop.
With Real-Time AI, contact center leaders can deliver curated coaching directly to agents as calls are happening for immediate impact. Contact center leaders can use post-call insights to customize in-the-moment guidance down to the individual agent or broadly across teams, so helpful prompts are triggered to the agents who need it most at the most critical moments in the conversation.
3. Eliminate bias and error in agent performance evaluations
Even the most seasoned QA analyst is susceptible to human subjectivity and error. “Getting every auditor and supervisor to score questions the exact same way all the time is impossible and that variance causes friction,” says Fausel from Figo.
If an agent feels their customer conversations are being graded unfairly, it may be enough for them to begin dusting off their resume. With Observe.AI, contact centers can automate the QA process with the support of their QA teams, to evaluate 100% of conversations and reduce human bias in the process.
“You could have an associate that is doing great 75% of the time, but we just happen to grab the 25% where they may have underperformed, which leaves them feeling unfairly judged,” says Fausel. “With Observe.AI, grading agents on a limited sample size is no longer possible because we’re evaluating every interaction and we’re coaching folks on an actual trend, not just a few instances.”
Should an agent still want to dispute a score, they’re able to do so within Observe.AI, creating a more democratic QA process and building two-way conversations instead of only coming from the top down.
4. Improved customer experience, backed by data
Complete visibility into customer conversations doesn’t just benefit contact centers and their agents. It also benefits customers.
When contact centers understand what’s really happening on the front lines of the business, they reduce customer effort and improve customer satisfaction.
Ardie Sameti, Sr. Director of AI and Innovation at Accolade, is using conversation insights to design better customer experiences. “We analyze why people call or message us and identify where the opportunities are within our interactions and the touch points to drive a consistent world class experience for our members,” says Sameti.
That may mean taking common customer requests that are simpler to handle and routing them to an automated or self-service system.
“We don’t see automation as a cost containment or cost cutting function,” says Sameti. “We're using it to double down on our people and build it around the individual who is engaging with our members so they can do their job better and not have to worry about the mundane tasks as much. At the core, we are a human powered service with AI and technology to augment and supplement our people to deliver the best experience possible.”
5. Better Transcription Accuracy, More Agent Trust
The foundation of a world-class conversation intelligence platform is built on transcription accuracy. Poor transcription accuracy has myriad downstream effects. Without accurate transcriptions of customer conversations, it is impossible to properly analyze what actually happened during an interaction and make sound business decisions for your agents.
Agents are relying on you to ensure they have the right tools, support, and insights. Low transcription accuracy undermines agent coaching and training, and can therefore contribute to negative performance metrics like low net-promoter scores and long-handle times.
On the other hand, accurate transcriptions ensure accurate agent assessments and the ability to recognize them for a job well done or get them the right support for improved performance.
Because high transcription accuracy leads to accurate assessments and appropriate training, you can avoid wrongful reprimands or terminations. Even better, you can show your employees you value them by appropriately giving bonuses and promotions. And you can help them feel supported in growing and succeeding by giving them the only coaching they actually need.
But conversation intelligence, equipped with high transcription accuracy, is more than a system that just recognizes words.
“What matters most is if the context behind the words is captured and critical business terms are recognized,” says Jithendra Vepa, Chief Scientist at Observe.AI. “These words and the intent gathered from tonality, frequency, rate of speech, and more, become the foundation to deciphering key moments and sentiments from conversations.”
It’s not just what the customer and agent says, it’s how it’s being said.
When your conversation intelligence platform can pick up those nuances, contact center leaders—and agents—get a fuller and richer understanding of what’s actually happening, and how to improve it.
The Future of Contact Centers Is Conversation Intelligence
In our survey of 300+ contact center leaders, 72% said conversation intelligence would help their contact center be more strategic in approach to QA, coaching, and agent performance.
More than 80% of respondents said they were currently using conversation intelligence, with the vast majority seeing strategic business value.
- 96% said conversation intelligence created more transparency in their contact center
- 94% said it enabled better agent coaching
- 92% said it helped them make more strategic business decisions
- 89% said it helped improve agent performance programs
- 89% said it helped improve their ability to engage with customers
- 87% said it helped reduce overall operating costs
Interested in learning more about how conversation intelligence can be a game changer for your contact center and help agents succeed? Schedule some time with one of our experts. We’d love to show you.