Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  31 Mar 2011

INFOTECH: Reporting - is Your Contact Centre Using the Best?


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Contact centres are dealing with increasing complexity in a highly competitive arena. To be profitable, operations need to be cost efficient and outputs need to meet performance goals and promises. Reporting is core to achieving this.

Without accurate, relevant and timely reports on performance, whether that be people, campaigns or technology, it's hard for contact centre managers and administrators to manage and control operations and to get the best, most cost-efficient results. Even though reporting is built into most contact centre solutions, it's important to continuously assess whether the reporting solution you use is optimum.

There are three key report classes you cannot be without - historical reports, real-time reports and custom reports. Each has its benefits. A historical report will enable retrospective assessment of setup, operations and strategy, and allow for forward planning. Real-time reports allow for assessment of current performance and, if necessary, adaptation on the fly. Custom reports will ensure key indicators or thresholds are set and monitored, or specific data sets are generated to ensure informed decision-making on critical issues.

Real-time reporting is especially important, giving contact centre management immediate insight into key metrics - for example, how many calls are in the queue or whether agreed Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are being met. Historical reporting, on the other hand, is very useful for planning. Annual campaigns offer a useful example: with historical statistics on hand, the expected number of inbound calls can be predicted, which assists in planning how many agents will be needed.

However, for call centre managers the most useful reports are, without doubt, those that can consolidate what is happening across platforms, systems, channels and priorities.

Reporting software should be able to monitor and measure identified KPIs regardless of whether agents are doing inbound or outbound calls or a hybrid of these, and whether they are communicating with clients using voice or multimedia channels. In addition, agents should be able to add information, such as call classification, for use by the reporting solution. This will aid in providing information as to whether the contact centre is achieving first call resolution, and gives the call centre manager insight into key events, like what kinds of calls are coming in and whether agents are able to appropriately manage the calls.

Another key element of reporting is agent performance assessment and workforce management. Data and reports generated by contact centre specific solutions need to be able to integrate with business intelligence and performance management solutions, as well as the company's HR applications and databases. This calls for open systems and platforms.

Reporting facilitates decision-making. Accurate, timely and relevant reporting - and a reporting solution that can integrate with other key data and applications -- enables good decision-making. Ensure your solution meets basic standards and compare them to the best. Proven and highly rated reporting solutions are available and can add value to any contact centre operation.- like the solutions of Presence Technology a strategic partner of Spescom DataFusion - provide a good benchmark.

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