November 14th, 2018 11:58am | Analytics, connectX, Contact Centres, evolve, PaymentAssist,

By Laura Waterton, Oak Innovation

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, particularly for sectors like retail, hospitality and taxi hire.

As customers prepare to splash on presents, parties and Christmas puddings, contact centres handling customer enquiries, purchases, orders and reservations can likewise anticipate an influx of traffic.

Ensuring adequate staff to manage higher volumes of calls is paramount to the customer experience; it shows you value their time. Extensive queues, on the other hand, raise the stress levels of everyone concerned.

However, the solution is not always as simple as hiring more people; staff forecasting is notoriously difficult, and – bah humbug! - you don’t want to spend more money and effort than necessary on hiring and training new employees just for Christmas.

This is where call analytics can help.

Evolve from Oak Innovation monitors call traffic data, providing business intelligence to help you respond more quickly to peaks and troughs, whilst supporting flexible and responsive workforce management.

Here’s how:

  1. See more clearly, move more quickly

Live wallboards and real-time reports show call and agent stats in the moment, so it’s easy to spot unusual or increased activity. This buys supervisors time to respond on the fly to changes and pull in more resource before queues lengthen and problems arise.

  1. Manage agents intelligently

Supervisors can view agent status, including who’s on a call and how long for, who’s doing post-call follow-up, on a lunch break, in a meeting etc. If waiting times are starting to creep up, they can bring people back online to keep things moving.

  1. Create blended teams for flexible resource

If the number of incoming calls escalates further, a supervisor can route them into different queues or to an ‘overflow’ team. Some contact centres go even further by training staff to handle all media, so that human resource can be distributed wherever it’s most needed at any one time. It’s more cost-effective, and enables skilled staff to provide an end-to-end service.

  1. Resolve critical and difficult calls

Some calls need particular attention to resolve complex or ongoing issues. An agent recognising an incoming caller ID or number can escalate the call for supervisor support. Supervisors in turn can receive and transfer calls, listen into and interrupt conversations, or whisper advice to agents during the call.

  1. Use quiet periods to call customers back

Historic reporting will help you identify quieter periods (even in your busiest financial quarter), where you can use your staff resource to work through a ‘lost’ call report to retrieve business.

  1. Use speech analytics to improve service

Speech analytics lets managers search calls for key words indicating ‘good’ and ‘bad’ customer scenarios and sentiment. It makes for a more informed approach to quality assessment than ad hoc call selection, supporting improvements to scripts and services. If a particular issue is identified as causing a current spike in traffic, you can create a recorded message so customers know the matter’s in hand.

  1. Introduce payment automation to save on staff

Introducing automated services can ease the strain in busy periods by freeing up agents. Organisations taking a lot of payments over the phone could benefit from transferring customers to Oak’s cloud PaymentAssist service, where the transaction is processed securely in line with PCI DSS regulations.

  1. Use CRM integration to improve first call resolution rates

Long waiting times, multiple transfers and having to repeat yourself does not make for a great customer experience. By using a CRM integration app such as ConnectX alongside call analytics, agents have the customer record to hand when the call arrives, complete with previous orders, ongoing issues etc. Should the call need to be transferred, the record is transferred too. You’ll save time, improve outcomes and help ensure both staff and customers have a merrier Christmas.


For more information about Oak call analytics and business intelligence, contact our Sales Team on 0800 9889 625 or email

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