What Do Baseball and Contact Center Technology Have in Common? More Than You Think

Spoken | August 9, 2016

When the Oakland A’s—the professional baseball team that inspired the book Moneyball—integrated big data analytics into its team strategy, it changed the game forever. By leveraging available data, the team manager was able to assess specific players’ values and performances to assemble power-packed lineups for each game. The result: one of the most influential strategies to hit major league baseball.


But why are we talking about baseball? Well, the management of a sports team is not all that different from the management of contact center agents. When contact center managers implement comprehensive data analysis solutions—such as a best-in-class software-as-a-service (SaaS) system—they can assess their own “team players” with the same effectiveness as the Oakland A’s.  Here at Spoken, we’ve learned a thing or two about managing teams and equipping them with the tools they need to succeed.


The right technology can provide actionable data for the purpose of addressing universal internal problems as well as agent-specific issues. Below are three elements of a robust SaaS analytics tool that will help you see big results from your big data:

  1. Call Recording for the “Instant Replay” It’s hard to solve a problem when you can’t replay the scenario that went awry. Features such as call recording, however, allow managers to gain insight into contact center agents’ historical performance to pinpoint areas that may need improvement.As such, the training process is expedited and teams are able to become stronger, faster.  And be sure to select a call recorder that captures the entire call, cradle-to-grave, including Interactive Voice Response (IVR) interactions, agent interactions, transfers and post-call surveys for the 360-degree view of the caller experience. Also, if you have an on-premise recording system, consider moving to cloud call recording to enable a higher capture rate with greater ease.
  2. Real-Time Data Reporting to flag the play When you’re unaware of a live issue your agents are experiencing, you prolong the existence of subpar customer service over hours, days or even weeks. Selecting a data analysis system that provides immediate evaluations—that include red flags for call quality in real time—will, in turn, speed up the coaching process while improving the customer experience. Rollup reports have their benefits, but they can’t flag the play and save a call in real time. Real-time data visualization tools such as Spoken Engage offer a color-coded heat map to easily view the red zones that need quality and coaching attention that might benefit from a supervisor barge-in to the call. (For more information on how Engage works, view the Spoken Engage demo video.)Engage heat map 2015
  3. Third-party evaluations for “fresh eyes” Just as some baseball teams hire outside coaches and specialists to take players out of their comfort zones, so call center supervisors should consider hiring outside quality firms to provide uniform evaluations of agent performance from an unbiased point of view. One of the tenets of Moneyball was that the sport was very adamant that it knew what it was measuring and that its metrics were correct—so they kept overpaying for players who didn’t live up to expectations. Hiring a third-party evaluation firm (such as HyperQuality’s agent evaluations) to apply consistent quality metrics to the entire team can give a balanced, fair view of actual performance and help supervisors target areas to coach for improvement.


Baseball season is fast approaching. The players are in training camp, preparing for action. This spring, are your agents ready to hit ’em out of the ballpark? If not, now’s the time to deploy the right tools to improve your big data analytics technology.


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