Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Unified Reporting

Unified Reporting is a term that is used often in the call center industry. Unified Reporting unifies data into single reports. By taking data from multiple sources and creating a single report out of that data is a unified report.

Unified Reporting (UR) provides a snap shot view of the most important KPI's from various data sources.

  1. Snap Shot View: This is a report that is updated continuously so the information is real time and accurate. You do not want to make a decision based on old information.

  2. Most important KPI's: These will vary by company and industry. The KPI's should include metric information more than statistics. Metric information shows how well someone or some group is performing. Statistics just show what has been done. For example, average handle time is a statistic while CSat is a metric.

  3. Data Sources: These are different software applications that are also in operation in the call center. In the call center industry these sources could be any of the following: ACD, WFM, CRM, Ticketing Systems, Customer Satisfaction surveys, or other in house data source. There are many different applications in the call center and this is just a short list.

Unified Reports can take different shapes and sizes depending on how the report is going to be used. Reports can be displayed on LCD screens, LED wallboards, Agent and Team leader desktops, web based reports, configured as email messages or as short flash reports through an SMS message.

Furthermore the unified reporting would change based on the person viewing the report. Agents will see real time information about their performance, team leaders will see reports for the groups they manage and managers will see reports that are more historical than real time and will be for the entire call center.

Unified Reporting is an ideal way of bringing together critical data from the many call center applications. Saving time, being more efficient and reducing the many headaches that come with trying to find critical data are the benefits of unified reporting.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

At-home agents

My nephew just started working out of his home rather than at the office. He asked me about some things that he should be doing to make certain his sales do not drop off. I was thinking about this and realized how similar his situation is to a work at home agent. So I created a list of things that a work at home agent should have to be able to be effective. This list is not in any priority.
  1. The right tools: This is a basic assumption that can be overlooked. Phone, computer, high speed access to the internet and company network, headset, desk and comfortable chair.
  2. Work Space: A dedicated place to answer the phone and work. This needs to be comfortable too.
  3. A quiet environment: There is little worse than talking to an agent and hearing the dog barking or dishes clanging in the background.
  4. The proper attitude: Not everyone can work from home. Some agents need social interaction. Years ago I had a work from home sales rep quit because he could not "hang out at the water cooler" and get caught up on gossip. During the interview process be sure to determine if they have the proper attitude.
  5. Dedication: It is easy to log on and then place yourself into some type of non working status. Agents that work from home need a schedule and they need to be dedicated and stick to the schedule.
  6. Feel like part of the team: Include all agents in contests, share information, send messages and make them feel like part of the team.
  7. Back up plan: The agent should have a notebook and pencil ready for when (not if) the internet connection or network access is lost of denied.
  8. On-going training plans: All agents need on-going traning. Agents that work from home may miss out on the team leader or manager immediate support therefore training is important to keep at-home agents up-to-date.
  9. Access to real time statistics at their desktops: Real time information will let the agent know their status and that of the call center and can be prepared for heavier call volume. The ability to change the statistics and metrics they see would be helpful.
  10. Priority access to team leaders or managers: Working from home does not mean at-home agents do not have trouble at times. Because they are at home and do not take as much team leader or manager time they should have priority access when needed.

Spectrum can provide the Real Time desk top statistics and metrics. Contact Us for more information.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Statistics and Metrics for Call Center Agents

While we already know there is a difference between call center statistics and metrics (see my blog dated June 2, 2010) what many call center managers are unaware of is what metrics and statistics they should be providing to the agents.

Each level of the call center (agents, team leaders, managers and senior management) need to see not only different statistics and metrics they also need to see a different timeline for the information. Agents need to see real time information about how they are performing. Furthermore, the statistics and metrics can and should change based on the call center industry.

The statistics and metrics the agent views on their desktop should be real time and about themselves. Occasional group information and current status for the day are also relevant and useful but nothing further out than that. To improve efficiencies and become more effective an agent needs to see how they are performing right now so they are able to change their behavior.

Here are some of the top Metrics and Statistics agents should be viewing on their desktop:
FCR - if available
Customer Satisfaction Rating (CSat) - if available
Abandon Rate
Service Level

Some industries and agent skill level will need to look at different metrics and statistics. At Spectrum we always recommend these metrics and explain why they are important to the agent.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Contact Center Activity Monitoring

The Spectrum June newsletter discussed Unified Contact Center Reporting (UCCR) and the benefits of this type of reporting.  Spectrum Unified Contact Center Reporting is a complete solution for capturing real time and historical data from contact center applications and building real time reports with proactive alerting for monitoring the contact center business processes.  This month the Spectrum newsletter will discuss one aspect of UCCR: Contact Center Activity Monitoring. 

In 2002 Gartner Group coined the phrase Business Activity Monitoring which means the aggregation of real time activities inside the organization.  Spectrum’s CCAM refers to the aggregation of real time and historical information inside the call center. 

Contact Center Activity Monitoring (CCAM) is the process within UCCR that captures the real time and historical data from various call center applications. Call center applications store and provide access to their data in different manners.  It is for this reason that an effective reporting tool must have multiple methods of being able to connect and capture that data.  Spectrum’s neXorce software has six methods of capturing real time and historical data.

Key Benefits of CCAM:
  • The Call Center is able to make immediate informed decisions;
  • The Call Center is able to react quickly to the changing status in the call center;
  • Managers can make changes to the agents and team leaders to take advantage of the status change within the call center.

Through an alert notification at her desk top a call center manager is made aware that the Csat rating for the day is dropping, abandonment rate is going up yet the number of calls taken for the day is normal.  By drilling down on the web based report the manager is able to see that the AHT has gone up on two new groups (Split skills).  The manager knows these two groups were specifically created to handle calls relating to changes in customers policies.  The call volume was not expected to be this high. The manager look at other group call volume, messages two team leaders to log agents out of the slow groups and log them into the busier groups. This transaction takes less than 5 minutes.  Now the manager is able to review the two new groups and work on anticipated call volume for the future.

Spectrum is a leading provider of Unified Contact Center Reporting.  Contact Spectrum today to learn more about Contact Center Activity Monitoring and Unified Reporting.

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Dan Boehm
VP Sales and Marketing
+1713 986 8839