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Why Oh Why Are Metrics Such a Daunting Task?

We measure:

  • Service (ASA, Abandon Rates, +)
  • Quality (FCR, Skill Levels, +)
  • Efficiency (AHT, ACW, +)
  • Profitability (Cost per Call, Conversion Rates, +)
  • Employee (Turnover, Satisfaction, +)
  • Customer Satisfaction (Surveys, Focus Groups, +)

However, my question to each of you: how did your company decide which metrics were the right ones for management? More importantly, what does management really do with the information?

Many times reports become so overwhelming, those spiral monthly notebooks so thick, and those Excel spreadsheets so large that when they are delivered to the executive’s desk they are not reviewed unless a solution is needed to solve revenue loss.

My suggestion? Think about what you want management to know about your contact center and ask your staff for input.

First, get copies of all the management reports that your department prepares and have a roundtable discussion with the staff who prepares them.  Many times you will find that “they inherited” the task and do not really know why the report is needed in the first place.

Then, meet with management to find out what they really want to know about your contact center and decide on metric objectives.

Finalize the content of the reports and decide if columns of numbers or graphs will tell your operational story.  Remember, a picture is far better than a thousand words.

I am a firm believer that defining the following metric objectives affects everything you need to operate successfully and how satisfied/happy your customers and employees are:

  • Service Level (“x” percentage of calls handled in “y” seconds)
  • Abandoned Call Percentages
  • Customer/employee feedback surveys with defined acceptable results

As an example, when you merge the call statistics with the revenue generated and lost from these calls you will always make a good case for the resources needed to meet your company’s metric goals.

Keep in mind that regular staff meetings, meetings with all departments that interact with your customers and walking the workfloor gives you enormous insight on how your contact center is satisfying your staff and customers.

It is always a good idea to step back, look at the basics and decide the best way to move forward.  Applying this concept should help you decide on the best metric approach for your company.  Good luck!  

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