It's remarkable that so many companies have invested so heavily in IVR systems and so few companies have good reporting on what is actually happening in their IVRs.
Sure, everyone has some IVR reporting happening, but it's typically ad-hoc, cobbled together snapshots of manually assembled data. And the reporting is usually tantalizingly close to, but not quite what the operational team or the executive teams really want to see. On top of all of this, coordinating the reporting across multiple IVRs on multiple platforms and across multiple lines of business is just a dream.
Here are 4 good steps to get you started with fixing your IVR reporting woes:
- Define which IVRs and Lines of Business are In-scope
Draw the battle lines. Which LOB is in and which is out. Which IVRs on which platforms will be a part of your new Reporting Program? Perhaps start small with a few IVRs within your line of business. If successful, pitch your Reporting Program to other groups in the company. Or if you can, immediately go big and draw in many IVRs across many lines of business.
- Define Your Key Reporting Metrics
Determine a minimal set of core metrics that will apply to all in-scope IVRs. These metrics should be done at both the State Level (how many callers pressed zero at a specific menu) and at the Task Level (how many callers successfully obtained their account balance). Work with a consulting team experienced in IVR metrics to work with your existing reporting team to define the key metrics.
- Overhaul Your Call Logs
Many IVRs today product text log files that are largely incomprehensible to parse to determine State Level and Task Level results. It is vital to support a unique call identifier (so call segments can be "stitched together" later, even across multiple logs), to support clear state definitions (so each state in the IVR "state machine" can be clearly tracked for state events like valid selections, opt-outs, error-outs...) and to support clearly documented task-based paths through the IVR (that each represent a unique business task a caller wants to accomplish like paying a bill, etc). Beware, many log files produced today on many platforms are very difficult to use to generate state-based statistics and are impossible to use to generate task-based statistics for reporting. If your log formats can't support this, overhaul your code to write more information into your logs. Consider using rich data log formatting already done on other platforms - no point in re-inventing the wheel. Some log formats even have task-based tags embedded in the application code - an excellent approach.
- Design Your Reports
I recommend a multi-tiered approach for reporting to support a typical organizational structure found in an Enterprise company. Each organizational level has appropriate level-specific reporting metrics. For example, whereas the executive team will want a high level view of trends in the IVR (containment, repeat call, call length, etc), the operations team will want to see all the gory details hour by hour.
Follow these steps and you'll be on the right path. Watch for future blog posts from me where I'll go into a bit more detail on the above. Or reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'd be happy to chat with you more.
09-28-2010 4:25 PM
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