Keeping data integrity intact: Tips for contact centers

Faith Ocampo Published on June 21, 2016

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What happens when brands make decisions based on erroneous information?

Call centers generate massive amounts of data every day. The big data explosion in these frontline organizations is effected by the use of multiple channels, allowing brands to interact with several customers at once.

Generally, we’d say it’s a good thing. The more customer data we have, the more we’re able to understand who we market to and who we make our products for. But what happens when we can’t even trust our data?

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In an ideal scenario, both big and small decisions are informed decisions. They’re driven by insights extracted from customers themselves. Marketing strategies, customer experience improvement, and promo gimmicks can almost be fail-proof if they’re anchored to reliable sources of information.

However, data integrity can be tarnished in many ways, and you may not even notice it. Some possible causes of errors are encoding lapses, faulty analysis, and inefficient data gathering. When managers make decisions based on incorrect and incomplete information, the consequences can hurt the company a lot. Baseless actions lead to unnecessary expenses and irrelevant customer programs. In short, false data not only impedes growth—it completely works against it.

To avoid tainting the customer information your call center gathers, remember these.

1. Improve the way you generate data.

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The term “big data” reeks of promise and auspicious opportunities for customer service strategists and marketers but only if the information you’re able to generate is of high quality. Customers generate data in a variety of ways. As they reach out to companies to voice out their concerns, they leave footprints that are useful for decision-makers. Examples are:

    • the channel of their choice;

    • the complaint itself (which may point you to bigger product/service issues); and

    • their expectations.

So instead of trying to fix problematic data, why not enhance the way you gather them? To minimize errors, most call centers automate their data gathering mechanism. Using data analytics tools, these firms are able to convert raw information to actionable plans. You just have to make sure that the software you’re using is properly integrated with your other processes. Both marketers and call center managers must have access to these customer data and be able to use them in the right way.

 

2. Gather data for a purpose.

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You must have a purpose in mind before you even start generating new data. This will allow you to identify the kind of details you need (facts, figures, or qualitative insights) and the processes they must undergo (organization, statistical analysis, or qualitative interpretation) before they assume a readily applicable form. Without this sense of direction, or even just a general idea of how the data will be used, you won’t be able to make sense of the information at hand.

Having a goal would allow you to monitor every step in data generation, starting from the moment the information is produced up to the application stage.

 

3. Managers are responsible for data integrity.

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Someone should be watching over customer data at all times to ensure that they’re kept safe and are being put to proper use. For many contact centers, identifying the right person to take on this task is often difficult, primarily because several departments make use of data. IT specialists, for instance, are primarily responsible for data security. Customer service managers, data scientists, and marketers are also involved in gathering and analyzing data.

 

Faith is a digital media enthusiast aiming to become an active part of the tech world by sharing her insights. She likes to blog about everything digimarketing, technology, and social media.
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