Four Performance Metrics to Improve your Call Center


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4 PerformanceMetrics Four Performance Metrics to Improve your Call CenterCall cen­ters are at the core of the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence and are often under con­stant scrutiny from the pub­lic and indus­try to ensure a high level of ser­vice is pro­vided.  Busi­nesses today acknowl­edge that the sus­tain­able dif­fer­en­tia­tor between com­pa­nies is dri­ven by the level of cus­tomer care they pro­vide and the sub­se­quent impres­sion left with the cus­tomer at the end of each call. But how do you know if your call cen­ter is meet­ing its objec­tive in deliv­er­ing the type of cus­tomer expe­ri­ence set forth in your com­pany pol­icy? With­out mea­sur­ing key met­rics in your oper­a­tion, you won’t know if you’re suc­ceed­ing in your company’s goals of deliv­er­ing excep­tional cus­tomer care and prof­itabil­ity. The per­for­mance met­rics used by a call cen­ter should be com­ple­men­tary to each other so that the most suc­cess­ful out­comes can be achieved. Four performance-based met­rics that man­agers will want to pay atten­tion to include cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion, busi­ness value, oper­a­tional effi­ciency, and employee management.

Cus­tomer Satisfaction

Key Per­for­mance Indi­ca­tors (KPIs) that mea­sure cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion include the per­cent­age of aban­doned calls, the aver­age speed to answer calls, and First-Contact Res­o­lu­tion rates. These basic per­for­mance met­rics are the under­pin­ning of cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion and man­agers who pay atten­tion to these KPIs will have the most suc­cess­ful out­comes with cus­tomers and employ­ees. These met­rics can reveal sub­op­ti­mal sched­ul­ing pat­terns or areas where addi­tional agent train­ing is needed.

Cus­tomer Sat­is­fac­tion Sur­veys pro­vide direct feed­back from the peo­ple who mat­ter most–the cus­tomers. These sur­veys can pro­vide some of the most use­ful feed­back to man­age­ment to help tar­get train­ing where needed. While there is some­times a sting asso­ci­ated with neg­a­tive reviews, use such reviews as a means to bet­ter under­stand your oper­a­tion and then improve on those areas that need enhancing.

Oper­a­tional Efficiency

The per­for­mance met­rics used to mea­sure cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion must be con­sid­ered in tan­dem with oper­a­tional effi­ciency. In order to keep your call center’s oper­at­ing bud­get in line you need to mea­sure your operation’s effi­ciency. For­tu­nately, oper­a­tional effi­ciency and cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion aren’t mutu­ally exclu­sive, and with proper over­sight, both objec­tives can be achieved. Impor­tant KPIs to pay atten­tion to are:

  • Agent Occu­pancy: How long is your agent spend­ing time answer­ing or deal­ing directly with calls. A low occu­pancy num­ber may indi­cate over­staffing and high oper­a­tional costs. While a high occu­pancy num­ber is bet­ter, it needs to be bal­anced with the qual­ity of the cus­tomer interaction.
  • Aver­age Han­dling Time: This KPI mea­sures the time agents spend han­dling indi­vid­ual calls. Man­agers should look for long han­dling times as they can reveal inad­e­quately trained agents or bro­ken processes and tools.
  • Call Trans­fer Rate: Are calls being routed to the right agent the first time or are too many calls being redi­rected? This KPI will help man­agers hone in on infra­struc­ture inefficiencies.

Busi­ness Value

The rev­enue con­tri­bu­tion of your call cen­ter can be directly mea­sured by its total sales. By align­ing the proper reward struc­ture within your agency, man­agers can drive effec­tive agent behav­ior. To ensure that qual­ity leads are being con­verted to sales, man­agers should look at sales con­ver­sion in con­junc­tion with total sales. By under­stand­ing these key met­rics, train­ing can be tar­geted to those agents where the con­ver­sion rate to sales is low.

If your call cen­ter agents are effec­tively nur­tur­ing and retain­ing cus­tomers, your ROI for train­ing can be eas­ily measured.

Employee Man­age­ment

High turnover means high recruit­ment and train­ing costs, lower aver­age skills, and a more costly oper­a­tion offer­ing poten­tially worse ser­vice. Com­pa­nies that invest in employee train­ing and allow for career advance­ment have lower turnover, more sat­is­fied employ­ees and more sat­is­fied customers.

Ongo­ing, effec­tive, and rel­e­vant train­ing is impor­tant and moti­vat­ing for your employ­ees. If you want them to con­sis­tently per­form prop­erly then you have to pro­vide your agents with the tools to do so.

Using the above per­for­mance met­rics allows man­agers to tai­lor train­ing to those issues and top­ics. Train­ing for the sake of train­ing isn’t effec­tive. Make sure your train­ing cov­ers the top­ics and issues your agents are encountering.

By pay­ing atten­tion to the above four per­for­mance met­rics your orga­ni­za­tion will not only enhance your cus­tomer expe­ri­ence, but you’ll have hap­pier more moti­vated employ­ees and higher prof­itabil­ity.  The amount of data that is gen­er­ated within a call cen­ter doesn’t have to be over­whelm­ing; you just need to know which met­rics mat­ter and then tai­lor a train­ing pro­gram around your find­ings.  Good man­agers know that oper­at­ing an effi­cient and prof­itable call cen­ter doesn’t require pay­ing atten­tion to all the data gen­er­ated by their call cen­ter — it sim­ply requires know­ing which met­rics mat­ter and focus­ing on those.  These four per­for­mance met­rics will help you get started!


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