Published: August 04, 2014 | Comments
Have you ever felt like you’re experiencing metrics overload? Wading through the innumerable metrics that you could be keeping can certainly inspire this symptom. When managing contact centers, the challenge is prioritizing which metrics matter the most, so that your dashboard will give you a clear picture of how your staff is doing.
If you’re trying to sort between whether it’s more important to include Average Handle Time or Time to Resolution, or if you should be measuring CSAT scores instead of NPS scores, read on. We’ve highlighted the must-haves for your dashboard.
Average Call Duration: A Simple, Insightful Metric for Improving Efficiency
When you’re looking for ways to control costs, make your customer service more efficient, and increase customer satisfaction, measuring average call duration (ACD) is an insightful benchmark to use. It’s easy to set up, applies well to a variety of settings (small customer support teams all the way to contact centers with hundreds of agents), and it will help you see gaps and inefficiencies within your support team.
What does ACD track?
ACD is a simple measurement that tracks the length of time a customer is on the phone. Calls are measured in minutes, and ACD doesn’t count the time the agent spends on pre-call preparation or post-call documentation.
What’s the optimum ACD value you should aim for?
ACD is one of those metrics that is specific to each business. If you have a complicated technical product, your ACD values will be higher, so don’t necessarily try to get the number lower if you have a complex offering. Tracking this number gives you insight into how long calls generally take, so that you can staff your center accordingly and bring in more staff during peak times. It will also show you patterns with how the different agents work with customers. Additionally, it’s a great way to see if call length changes are affected by coaching and training.
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): A quick way to measure satisfaction following a customer interaction
The industry standard for measuring customer satisfaction (CSAT) is done by expressing customer satisfaction on a scale of 0 to 100 (or sometimes 0 - 5, depending on the scale preferred), with 100% signifying complete customer satisfaction. Because customer satisfaction is a subjective measure, you tend to see large variances of the CSAT rates for companies in the same industry, and even within the same company over a period of time.
How is CSAT measured?
To measure CSAT, companies most commonly send out a follow-up survey with the simple question along the lines of “How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the service you received?” The responses are then graded on a scale and averaged out.
When should you use the CSAT metric?
If you’re considering whether to include CSAT on your dashboard, keep in mind that it’s especially useful anytime you’re trying to track the correlation between changes in training or procedures and the satisfaction of customers. As long as the method used to measure satisfaction does not change between pre- and post-change surveys, the CSAT score can help companies determine the effect of new initiatives on their customers' satisfaction levels.
First Call Resolution: FCR – A great tool for measuring efficiency
First Call Resolution (also called First Contact Resolution), tracks the number of customer contacts per issue.
It’s one of the most common metrics used in contact centers because it is one of the best measures of efficiency in solving customer issues.
Why is FCR so important?
FCR is definitely a metric you’ll want to include on your dashboard. The main reason? Faster resolution times equate to lower support costs. For basic issues, this may occur during the customer’s first inbound call; for more technical or complex issues, multiple calls are often inevitable.
When should you pay attention to FCR?
If you have set up new initiatives or training, definitely pay attention to your FCR metrics. Prior to implementing a new procedure or initiative, measure FCR and develop a baseline. This base¬line can then be compared to subsequent measurements taken after the procedural change, training, or coaching.
An improvement in FCR indicates progress; if it decreases, it’s time to take a look at your training program or consider changing procedures.
Escalation rate: How often do managers need to get involved?
The escalation rate is the final metric that we’ll discuss and recommend including on your dashboard. An escalation rate measures the number of events that require the call to be transferred to higher tiers of management. The event could be at the request of the customer or the representative. Escalations often happen if a customer feels that the representative doesn’t have the authority or knowledge to resolve the problem, or if the customer becomes increasingly angry and the agent decides to get a manager involved.
How do you lower the escalation rates?
The best way to get lower escalation rates is to prevent them from happening at all. It’s important to track this metric so that you can see how often it occurs, and if it’s occurring because of a lack of training – or if other factors are at play.
Set up your dashboard in a way that’s specific for your company and industry
The beauty of metrics is that they give you a gauge and they allow you to track progress. Pick the metrics that will best highlight the unique challenges your company has, and carefully monitor your metrics dashboard to see signs of progress, set a baseline, or to let you know when it’s time to offer more training and coaching to your staff.