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3 Critical Measurements in the Outsourced Contact Center

In the outsourced call center world, we measure everything in terms of percentages: minutes and seconds, dollars and cents. Measuring deep into the trenches of the contact center is an absolute must. At the end of the day, the math needs to always work in the client’s favor. How fast are agents answering calls (Average Speed to Answer)? What is the Average Handle Time? Is the Service Level Agreement being met? So, it’s understandable that companies place so much emphasis on the fine details involved in outsourcing their call center operations.

With that said, the infinitesimal specifics are sometimes so close to the action that they don’t provide a measuring stick on the overall health of your outsourced campaign. As they say, “you can’t see the forest for the trees.” The fine details of the data roll up into “higher level” critical measurements that are of vital importance to the outsourced call center.

To see the “forest,” or in this case, the measure of success of the outsourcer, you must look at the center from a higher altitude. Go beyond the KPIs and metrics to understand these three critical measurements in the outsourced call center:

1. Agent attrition

Is your outsourcing provider able to retain agents? How does their attrition rate compare to the industry average? Lower than average attrition indicates a center with more tenured, experienced agents, ultimately benefiting your customers. Less hiring also contributes to lower agent training costs. High attrition rates can be a sign of a bumpy road ahead.

2. Forecasting

Forecasting can often be underestimated. To achieve a high resolution forecast a center should look at historic queue trends, down to every half hour of every day. Are there any new products, seasonality, promotions, or other factors that will increase call volume? Understanding call driver information and how metrics like Average Handle Time (AHT) stack contributes to posting accurate forecast numbers. And let’s not forget about measuring actual versus the forecast. If the forecast is consistently off, then that could be a sign of other problems in the process. The more accurate the forecast, the tighter the client and center can plan and schedule the staffing model.


3. Process Adherence

This is an area where clients are focusing more and more attention. Companies want to know why their customers are calling. This requires the agent to follow the correct process and enter in key attributes to the CRM or agent desktop. It could be information about their current membership plan or feedback on their last purchase that will help the client take the insights to improve the level of service or queue up a targeted marketing campaign. If a center can’t adhere to the defined process, the ripple effects will be in lost opportunities for clients to impact the customer experience.

Every contact center has ample tools and technology to report on thousands of data points. These data points are essential to forecasting, staffing, understanding customer interactions, and more. What they don’t easily provide is a high level view of overall call center performance. The real value comes in rolling up the numbers into digestible insights that communicate the health of your customer interactions. Going beyond the transactional data can help you determine this.

This post first appeared on the Blue Ocean blog.