By Rob Cook, Director of Carrier Services
In Part I of my series on Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), “What Every CTO Should Know…,” I covered some keys trends about the future of cloud-delivered UCaaS and how important omnichannel communications have become for nearly every business no matter what industry you’re in.
The truth is UCaaS has been around for so long that it might be fair to say that many CTOs, and even the implementation vendors, may be taking some of its complexities for granted. I’ve seen very large companies hire industry-leading vendors to implement their UCaaS solutions and still make critical mistakes that cost them a lot of time and money.
So, that’s precisely why in this Part II post, I will cover the KPIs I believe you should focus on to measure implementation success and real business outcomes as concretely as possible. While this may sound like it’s ‘back to basics,’ it most certainly is… mainly because I’m still surprised by how many companies or implementation vendors (or both!) overlook these points.
Well, we’re all not quite communicating telepathically yet, or 100% by text, SMS, IM, and chat. This means effective enterprise telephony is still essential for employee productivity, agent retention, customer satisfaction, and more. Here are key KPIs to monitor in this arena:
- Agent performance
- Agent attrition and satisfaction
- Call quality, volume, and duration
- Agent and customer tone and sentiment analysis
- Cost per contact (from cradle to grave)
- Average handling time
- First call resolution success
- Customer satisfaction
- Seamless CRM integration (to enhance and simplify customer journeys)
Remember, your agents and your customers (which may be external customers and your employees) are all seeking positive interactions each and every time they interface, so the more you can analyze the details of how that support is going, the more you can identify where additional training is needed, and/or how to improve customer communications and expectations, and so on.
Agent turnover is also costly, and so is customer attrition. So, having these kinds of meaningful KPIs driving the implementation and ongoing solution monitoring can help you catch issues early and head them off before they snowball into costly ‘mountains.’
A few other key words of caution:
- Be sure your implementation vendor has done their homework on your telephony portability, all of your data connections and systems (on both ends), and what type of voice solution you’re using.
- Don’t forgo end-user training after rollout to be sure your agents (whether in-house or outsourced) are highly productive from day 1.
I’ve seen companies execute UCaaS rollouts and then forgo end-user training to save a few dollars on the back end, only to have internal support costs go through the roof because the agents are learning the system on live support calls. It’s a recipe for poor customer service and a classic case of ‘cutting off your nose to spite your face,’ for lack of a better idiom. These all must be factored in for a smooth transition and successful management of your environment.
* An important note here on AI
The latest AI technologies are adding incredible benefits to UCaaS solutions and the customer support process, so don’t disregard the value of using AI to your advantage. For example, some integrated AI tools can now create unique algorithms for specific customers or those that fit into a particular profile and then route them into a pre-identified support queue uniquely designed to meet their needs.
This kind of personalization experience and omnichannel support
is the future, so the more you begin to embrace AI to your advantage now, the more competitive you’ll become (and stay) in the months and years ahead. I won’t get too deep on AI here, but just note that it is proving to be a substantial benefit to improving customer workflows, reducing response and handle times, and predicting customer behaviors. If you’re interested in drilling in on this now, here’s a useful report from Harvard Business Review on “How AI is Helping Companies Redesign Processes” to help.
Maybe more on this to come as Part III in my UCaaS series.
Meetings (Audio/Video/Web Conferencing)
Meetings, of course, play a crucial role in collaborative environments, and now more than ever in the post-COVID era. Be sure you consider these KPIs for monitoring meeting effectiveness:
- Connection quality
- Meeting attendance
- Meeting duration
- Meeting recordings
- Overall user experience
Unified messaging also consolidates various other communication channels, e.g., e-mail, fax, and voicemail… although some of these are becoming increasingly obsolete while others are holding on longer than many of us thought possible. The sooner you streamline and enable seamless interactions here as well, the better off you’ll be. Here are the KPIs to note on this front:
- Message response time
- Message volume
- Message delivery rate
- User adoption rate
- User satisfaction
Instant Messaging (Personal and Team)
Real-time communication through instant messaging, including support chatbots and team collaboration tools (e.g., MS Teams, Slack, Skype, etc.), has transformed collaboration like no other segment of a cloud-delivered UCaaS suite. Employees and customers alike now expect to be able to connect via IM, and when done right, these tools can dramatically improve productivity, efficiency, and satisfaction levels. Be sure you are setting KPIs for these metrics:
- Instant message response time
- Resolution and handling
- Overall usage metrics
- Sentiment analysis
With the growing importance of remote work, mobility features are crucial. Whether you’re in B2B or B2C, you likely have users on mobile that needs to be carefully accounted for, so be sure to monitor these KPIs to ensure effective mobility:
- Mobile app usage (active users and sessions to measure adoption and engagement)
- Call handoff success rate
- Mobile data consumption
Communications-Enabled Business Processes
UCaaS solutions can integrate communication into business processes for enhanced efficiencies and to streamline workflows and productivity. These KPIs should be accounted for as part of your UCaaS strategy:
- Integration uptime
- Process efficiency
- User feedback (customers, employees, and agents)
Implementing a UCaaS cloud-delivered solution offers businesses significant benefits in terms of communication and collaboration, but you cannot improve or fix something you cannot see. It’s easy to get lost in the complexities of implementations and rollouts quickly. To ensure you’re positively impacting business outcomes, be sure you’re monitoring KPIs for each major segment and overall based on what’s most important to your business.
If this all makes sense, but you’re still unsure where or how to start, don’t hesitate to reach out; we’re always here to help.
Ready to advance your unified communications strategy?
Let us help prepare you for a more robust omnichannel initiative and provide direction based on your unique industry and/or environment. Contact us today at (800) 544-8877.
“As Director of Carrier Services, Rob brings more than two decades of UCaaS and Telecom experience to pinpointing UCaaS strategies with high-performance technologies.”Rob CookDirector of Carrier Services