Published: August 13, 2015 | Comments
Dashboards and digital signage, aka wallboards, can and should play a key role in managing your contact center. These tools represent simple, effective ways to provide insight to both managers and agents regarding their contact center's current conditions and overall performance. The more readily available this information is, the more informed and better prepared the contact center and all of its personnel will be to serve customers.
But to truly maximize the utility that digital signage and dashboards have to offer, companies need to focus on their ability to help manage performance in real-time. Companies with real-time visibility of their contact center and individual agents' performance through dashboards and wallboards will have major advantages, creating new possibilities for customer service excellence.
Here are just a few of the most compelling reasons why your company's contact center would benefit from dashboards and wallboards with real-time performance management capabilities.
"Contact centers are fast-moving places."
1. Real-time awareness of contact center conditions
The most important function of dashboards and digital signs is to provide awareness of how the contact center is functioning in a concise, clearly visible, easy-to-read format.
With real-time capabilities, contact center managers and agents can gain the timely information they need to operate at peak performance and better serve customers. They can look and see how well the contact center is performing at any given time and be notified with an alert when critical performance and customer satisfaction KPIs become out-of-compliance - for example, when contact volumes or abandonment rates rise to reach higher-than-planned levels. Real-time KPIs can also measure progress toward daily goals for customer satisfaction, support cases closed, revenue generated and much more. All of this information is readily available at a glance, ensuring that all relevant personnel remain informed.
What's more, select personnel such and managers or supervisors can receive instant alerts remotely via text or email on mobile devices when metrics reach threshold levels, allowing for an immediate response.
Without real-time, on the other hand, contact center managers and their staff will need to wait a day, or even days, to compile reports and evaluate past performance. Not only is that frustrating, but it’s ineffective because you can’t undo what’s already happened. The customer judges their experience by the service they receive that very moment. Poor customer service will only serve to hurt the company's reputation and future customer relationships, so it is imperative to manage service levels in the moment. Real-time KPIs and alerts allow you to do just that.
Additionally, business leaders can turn to real-time dashboards and digital signs in their contact centers to better understand and improve agent performance. If an agent runs into trouble on a difficult call, a supervisor can assist with corrective action immediately, avoiding a more serious customer service issue.
2. The ability to adjust on the fly
On a related note, real-time dashboards and digital signage are essential for enabling contact centers leaders to adjust as situations and plans change. Perhaps most notably, consider the issue of daily staffing. Contact center managers need to make sure that the right number of agents are available at every scheduled interval without over-staffing to deliver the best possible customer service while keeping costs down. But daily activities in a contact center are unpredictable. With random contact arrival and speed of service measured in seconds, spikes in contact volume can cause a tremendous amount of chaos if not addressed immediately. Therefore, 'right-staffing' is not only a daily necessity, but a moment-to-moment necessity in a contact center.
Real-time performance management allows for quick, informed decisions.
With real-time management capabilities, contact center leaders are immediately notified when contact demand changes or service levels dip. With that knowledge, decision-makers can adjust their staffing strategies to account for evolving situations and ensure consistently excellent service. This enables them to maintain consistent service level goals throughout the day and meet their end-of-day objectives without having to over correct by deploying costly over-staffing strategies in an effort to catch-up.
In fact, leveraging actionable, real-time data has been shown to help achieve service levels goals with 5 percent fewer staffed hours and reduce abandon rates by as much as 60 percent. Real-time data also offers a great way to provide executive management with the information they need at a moment's notice and to quickly see the contribution the contact center is making to the top-line goals.
3. Key performance metrics in one place
Real-time dashboards and wallboards using performance management software have the ability to consolidate and display KPIs gathered from a variety of third-party systems and data sources. Applications such as the automatic call distributor, workforce management, quality management and many others can all contribute to a single, unified view of the contact center.
Additionally, real-time signs and dashboards can incorporate data from other departments and systems, such as sales, marketing, human resources, enterprise resource management, supply chain management, billing and more. This means that contact center managers and other personnel can gain a complete understanding of the organization as a whole, as well its clients. This insight can lead to better strategy and improved performance.
Managers need to know when agents are struggling.
4. Agent engagement and motivation
Another very important reason to embrace dashboards and digital signs with real-time capabilities in the contact center is that they can have a positive impact on agent engagement and job satisfaction. The vast majority of contact center agents want to perform well at their positions, and this is only possible when they are aware are of real-time conditions that help bring them closer to the customer experience (think metrics like numbers of calls waiting and longest wait). They need to know what is happening, both in terms of their own performance and the contact center as a whole, in order to self-manage and deliver the best support possible.
Another way to motivate agents is visualize and share team and individual progress towards productivity goals. Agents and teams who are producing like to be recognized and those that are not will be motivated to do better. Without real-time dashboards and wallboards, agents will often feel under-engaged, as well as unsupported. This in turn can lead to a higher absenteeism rate and lower agent retention - both of which will hurt the contact center's productivity and bottom line.
Real-time dashboards and digital signage have been shown to reduce agent absenteeism by as much as 9 percent, while decreasing staff costs by up to 10 percent.
5. New Channel Management
Newer contact channels such as email, chat and social (ex. Facebook and Twitter) are becoming increasingly popular and more commonly used. The challenge of integrating and managing queues for all of these new channels becomes far more manageable with real-time dashboards and digital signs.
When new channels are introduced, it’s difficult for a contact center manager to ensure that agents and other resources are being allocated in the most cost-efficient and effective ways possible. Making matters even more complicated, the nature of the issues handled by agents on each different channel will vary. For example, customers will likely feel that phone calls are more appropriate for complex or involved problems, while chats are used as more of a 'short burst' communication where customers are looking for quick answers to simpler questions.
Providing real-time visibility of across all channels of contact ensures that everyone has an accurate sense of performance and is aware when service level metrics are out-of-compliance. Given this insight, managers can make in-the-moment decisions for staff adjustments and agent coaching to improve customer service.
With all of these benefits in mind, it's clear to see why real-time performance management through dashboards and digital signage/wallboards is essential for boosting contact center performance across the board.