Since the vast majority of customers (86 percent) admit to ending business with companies based solely on poor customer service experiences, call center executives need to be able to nimbly measure and adjust the workload of their agents. And in the age of big data, there is no limit to the array of different metrics you can use to track your agents’ efficiencies on the phone, many of which you can directly tie to customer satisfaction.
Keep in mind that when building a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) matrix, identifying the right metrics is critical. A center with a heavy technical service remit, for example, won’t be accurately measured by Average Call Durations (ACD), while escalation rates might be naturally higher in certain industries than others. Maintaining the right balance and optimizing KPI for your center’s success are paramount. Rule of thumb – no two call centers are exactly alike. What works for your call center might not align with your neighbor, based upon industry differences and overall initiatives.
Here are just a few common call center metrics you can use to track performance:
• Average Call Duration (ACD): A measure of the average call length for an individual agent. What it’s best for: Easily identifying the most efficient agents, and those who need further training.
• Call Quality: An attempt to quantify the elements of a successful call. Standard elements vary based on industry but typically include call openings, call closings and asking if further assistance is required. What it’s best for: Can be customized to incorporate key terms for your call center.
• Customer Service Satisfaction Score (CSAT): CSAT scores are often in response to the single question, “How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the service you received?” Simply put, they measure customer satisfaction, and there are several ways to measure the data. What it’s best for: Direct read of customer satisfaction and can be customized to measure various aspects of the call experience.
• Escalation Rate: How often an agent sends customers to higher-ranking agents for resolution. What it’s best for: Identifying needs for further training/revised inquiry strategies.
• First Call Resolution (FCR): How many customer issues are resolved on the first call. What it’s best for: A high FCR rate is a sign of an effective and properly trained workforce.
• Resolution Time: A measure of how quickly customer issues are solved. What it’s best for: Identifying agent efficiency.
Successful call centers are constantly testing, learning and training their agents, based on performance data. Some of the metrics above will be huge growth indicators for your center while others will prove to be ultimately unimportant. The key contributor to any business intelligence program is to ensure that it directly relates to the center’s business goals and that data provided is analyzed accordingly. As you establish your KPIs, always remember to keep your major business goals top of mind.
Customer service reps are definitely the ‘most-metriced’ job in any organization; and your post reinforces that. The traditional metrics cited only add to rep stress. Reps can have a strong ambassadorial and business leverage role, but sustaining metrics like these as a standard of performance add little to that opportunity. Since customer satisfaction correlates so poorly with downstream behavior, and the other metrics (ACD, CQ, ER, FCR, RT, etc.) are all about productivity, where is the dimensional (not anecdotal) proof that these metrics enhance either the customer experience or the front-line employee experience?
If the inward goal of these metrics is to generate ever higher productivity (and stress) with little regard for the impact on either the rep or the customer, then they certainly succeed on that level.