Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Call Center Metrics Changing Agent Behavior

The statistics and metrics you provide (display) to your call center and agents should be changing their performance.  If you are not seeing a change in performance this could mean:
  1. You are not reporting the proper metrics;
  2. Your goals are not set properly;
  3. You are not showing (displaying) the correct metrics and statistics;
  4. You do not show the appropriate amount of concern to your agents.
Performance change typically means the agents and team leaders regularly meet and exceed the stated goals for the call center.  First call resolution ratings are up customer satisfaction is improving and other metrics and statistics are improving when the performance in the call center is changing for the positive. The performance improvement could also mean that agents are communicating more often and call center morale is improving.  These changes can be hard to measure and track but should not be forgotten.

Proper Metrics
Each industry has a given set of metrics that are most appropriate for their industry, business and skill sets.  This means a financial call center will report on a different set of metrics than a call center in the utilities sector.  Within the business groups will look at a different set of metrics. Finally agents with different skills should see different metrics. If the metrics the agents are looking at are not relevant to them they will not improve the overall performance of the call center or their own performance.

The goals that are set will trigger threshold alerts and messages to the agents. If the goals are set too high or low it will trigger an alert message to the agent too often.  (How often do you pay attention to a car alarm going off?) Set the goals properly for the metric based on the industry standards, your staffing levels, time and day of the week and your agent's skill sets. Each group should have its own level of thresholds not one level. For example, in the insurance industry a new policy group would want to keep a very low abandon rate while the cancellations group may have a higher abandon rate.

Show the correct metrics and statistics
The metrics and statistics that are reported and displayed to the call center will change depending on how the agents receive this information.  Metrics and stats can be displayed on an LCD screen, wallboard, desktop, IP Phone, email, web report, printed report or on a smartphone.  The type of metrics and stats the agents read will change based on how the information is viewed.  Group level metrics and stats belong on a LCD screen, wallboard and first level of a web based report.  Agent metrics and stats belong on the desktop, IP Phone, email, smartphone and second and third level web reports.

Be concerned about the metrics and statistics
If you do not care if a metric or statistic threshold has been exceeded should your agents care?  Your management style is entirely your choice, however, it is very easy threshold alerts to change agent behavior.  Also recording how often a threshold violation has occurred will also be useful during reviews with the agents and team leaders.

The proper use and reporting of metrics and statistics in your call center will improve the overall performance in your call center. If you are not seeing an improvement in performance it could be one of four reasons for this lack of performance change.  As a manager you should also review your goals at least annually to ensure on-going performance improvements.

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
+1 713 986 8839

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