Thursday, May 21, 2009

Guiding Call Center Workers to Data Quality

Data Governance and data quality are often the domain of data quality vendors, but any technology that can help your quest to achieve better data is worth exploring. Rather than fixing up data after it has been corrupted, it’s a good idea to use preventative technologies to stop poor data quality in the first place.

I recently met with some folks from Panviva Software to talk about how the company’s technologies do just that. Panviva is considered the leader in Business Process Guidance, an emerging set of technologies that could help your company improve data quality and lower training costs on your call centers.

The technology is powerful, particularly in situations where the call center environment is complex – multiple environments mixed together. IT departments in the banking, insurance, telecommunication and high-tech industries have particularly been rattled with many mergers and acquisitions. Call center workers at those companies must be trained where to navigate and which application to use to get a customer service process accomplished. On top of that, processes may change often due to change in regulation, change in corporate policy, or the next corporate merger.

To use a metaphor, business process guidance is a GPS for your complicated call center apps.

If you think about it, the way we drive our cars has really improved over the years because of the GPS. We no longer need buy a current road map at Texaco and follow the map as far as it’ll take us. Instead, GPS technology knows where we are, what potential construction and traffic issues we may face – we simply need to tell it where we want to go. Business Process Guidance provides that same paradigm improvement for enterprise applications. Rather than forcing training on your Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) with all of its unabridged training manuals, business process guidance provides a GPS-like function that sits on top of those systems, providing context-sensitive information on where you need to go. When a customer calls into the call center, the technology combines the context of the CSR’s screens with knowledge of the company’s business processes to guide the CSR to much faster call times and lower error rates.

A case study at BT leverages Panviva technology to reduce the error rate in BT's order entry system from 30% down to 6%, an amazing 80% reduction. That’s powerful technology on the front-end of your data stream.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own and don't necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer. The material written here is copyright (c) 2010 by Steve Sarsfield. To request permission to reuse, please e-mail me.