3 KPIs to monitor in 2015


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So much infor­ma­tion and so lit­tle time! This is not an unfa­mil­iar lament amongst small-to-midsize con­tact cen­ters. With so much data read­ily avail­able to con­tact cen­ters, it’s some­times hard to know which met­rics really mat­ter. For com­pa­nies that don’t have the lux­ury of big bud­gets, the amount of infor­ma­tion avail­able is some­times over­whelm­ing. It’s no won­der, then, that fewer than 50% of com­pa­nies have a good han­dle on their Key Per­for­mance Indi­ca­tors (KPIs). Know­ing which met­rics mat­ter and how they fac­tor in to your company’s strate­gies takes time and resources.  Suc­cess­ful call cen­ters have dis­tilled the KPIs that are most use­ful to their oper­a­tions and cus­tomer expe­ri­ences while win­now­ing out those facts and fig­ures that are dis­tract­ing. Let’s take a look at three KPIs that suc­cess­ful call-centers mon­i­tor and use to con­tin­u­ously improve the customer’s expe­ri­ence and the bot­tom line.

1. First Call Res­o­lu­tion (FCR) 

It can be argued that FCR is the sin­gle most impor­tant KPI regard­ing cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion. The research and con­sult­ing com­pany Ser­vice Qual­ity Mea­sure­ment (SQM) found that for every one per­cent improve­ment in FCR there is a cor­re­spond­ing one per­cent improve­ment in over­all cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion. Amongst the top per­form­ing con­tact cen­ters in terms of cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion, the aver­age FCR rat­ing was 86%, while other cen­ters hov­ered around an FCR rat­ing of 67%.

In addi­tion to higher cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion rat­ings, boost­ing FCR scores also ben­e­fits con­tact cen­ters by:

  • Low­er­ing oper­at­ing costs. When FCR rates are low, there is a lot of cost asso­ci­ated with the high num­ber of repeat callers.
  • Bet­ter cus­tomer reten­tion. When customer’s issues are resolved on the first call, they are less likely to defect to your competition.
  • Improv­ing employee sat­is­fac­tion. When employ­ees can help a cus­tomer resolve their prob­lem on the first call, there is a boost to morale. Addi­tion­ally, employ­ees are more sat­is­fied with their job if they aren’t deal­ing with a lot of frus­trated cus­tomers who need to phone in mul­ti­ple times to resolve an issue.

Focus­ing on boost­ing FCR rates is impor­tant, but there is more than meets the eye with this KPI. Defin­ing a “resolved call” can be sticky. Is it when an agent doesn’t need to trans­fer the call to another depart­ment, or is it when no fur­ther action needs to be taken? You cer­tainly can’t go wrong by aim­ing to meet both def­i­n­i­tions, but remem­ber, it’s the cus­tomer opin­ion that most mat­ters. If cus­tomers aren’t sat­is­fied with how their issues are resolved, then a higher FCR rate means lit­tle.  To get the most out of higher FCR rates, make sure you’re cap­tur­ing cus­tomer opin­ions through sur­veys. This win­ning com­bi­na­tion will yield the best over­all results!

2. Aban­don­ment Rates 

Track­ing aban­don­ment rates is another impor­tant KPI, as it can alert con­tact cen­ters to inef­fi­cien­cies in the queue process or other issues that are prompt­ing the cus­tomer to hang up or abort a live-chat con­ver­sa­tion. If your com­pany offers both phone and live-chat sup­port, then you’ll want to track aban­don­ment rates sep­a­rately, rather than lump them together. Most suc­cess­ful con­tact cen­ters have low aban­don­ment rates, but here too, chas­ing the low­est num­ber doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean higher cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion lev­els. In a paper pub­lished by HDI, they found that lower aban­don­ment rates have lit­tle impact on cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion lev­els. Only when aban­don­ment rate lev­els increase above seven or eight per­cent do cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion lev­els drop. If lower aban­don­ment rates have lit­tle effect on cus­tomer expe­ri­ences, then why does this KPI mat­ter? It mat­ters because con­tact cen­ters should be look­ing for the “sweet spot”—if this num­ber is too low, there are higher over­head costs to achieve a lower rate; if this num­ber is too high, you run the risk of frus­trat­ing you customer.

3. Response Time 

This KPI is an umbrella term that often includes Aver­age Han­dle Time (AHT) and Aver­age Speed to Answer (ASA). These met­rics are fun­da­men­tal to con­trol­ling costs and ensur­ing pos­i­tive cus­tomer expe­ri­ences. Mon­i­tor­ing your response time allows you to see how acces­si­ble your agents are to cus­tomers and give you a mea­sur­able tool for proper staffing lev­els. In terms of set­ting bud­gets, this is arguably one of the most impor­tant KPIs to con­sider, as it tells you how effec­tive you are in pair­ing cus­tomers with agents.

While this KPI is nuanced, sim­i­lar to those men­tioned above, with ade­quate train­ing, you can reap huge ben­e­fit in terms of pro­duc­tiv­ity, cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion, and lower over­head costs.

As with any met­ric, you’ll want to focus on the big­ger pic­ture and not just the num­ber. At the end of the day, what mat­ters most is the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence, and if you’re just chas­ing a bet­ter score, then you’re lim­it­ing its over­all value. When the afore­men­tioned KPIs are uti­lized in tan­dem with mea­sur­ing cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion, you can max­i­mize their poten­tial in help­ing you become a world-class con­tact center.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jodi Beuder
We help organizations create a positive connection between customers and brands. We promote synergy through integration as it builds on the decades of collective history of renowned expertise. MHI Global is your comprehensive source for customer-management excellence solutions to compete in today's ever-changing, customer-centric environment.


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