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A Better Way to Measure Your Contact Center Success

Join Bob at Contact Center Expo & Conference, where he'll deliver a session to help you re-evaluate your contact center metrics and drive success.

No matter your role in the contact center, there is one constant-- metrics are a part of almost every aspect of your day. Contact center leaders are constantly balancing quality vs. quantity and customer experience vs. costs.

Most recently, with the movement from multi-channel to omni-channel, the scope of relevant metrics has grown exponentially. Managers are no longer just looking at telephony metrics, but they must also consider measurements across other channels like web-chat, text/SMS - and even video. With the addition of effective CRM tools, there are even more ways to measure success. But the simple question still remains: What are the right metrics and how do I ensure the measurement is making a positive impact on my center?

Measure Success

In many ways, success metrics are specific to the business. A support center that manages mostly transactional technical inquiries will have a different set of metrics than a traditional service organization that handles general customer service questions. They may define success by the ability to combine measurements – to tie analytics and data together – even when the data often lives across multiple systems (CRM, Case Management, Telephony, Digital Channels, Emails, etc.).

At Bluewolf, we work with our customers to help them clearly define organizational success - and then work to find metrics that support those expectations. We have found three consistent areas of measurement to consider: traditional contact center metrics, customer experience/customer journey metrics, and agent metrics.

Traditional Contact Center Metrics: Contact centers continue to evolve – but for more than 30 years, the basics have not changed drastically. While there are many metrics that are relevant to your success, service level, average handle time (across every channel) and occupancy should still be a part of every reporting package.

The newer channels are putting pressure on managers to understand and manage their workforce in new ways. Chats, texts/SMS, emails all have a traditional-spin with average handle time and service level expectations being similar to inbound calls. New digital channels like social service and video push workforce management expectations – and make a universal single queue almost impossible.

Customer Experience/Customer Journey Metrics: As companies begin to integrate new channels into their centers, it becomes even more important to track the entire customer journey— not just specific “siloed” interactions. Organizations need the ability to blend case-specific data with more traditional metrics. The goal is to understand the entire experience as it relates to customer service. Bluewolf recommends the blending of four key metrics that we believe should drive (and measure) customer experience: first-contact resolution, customer effort, customer satisfaction and net promoter score.  Each one takes a specific slice of the customer experience.

Agent Metrics: When we think about agent metrics, it is easy to revert back to traditional measurement - average handle time, average cases/interactions handled and schedule adherence. Our focus usually shifts to the productivity of the agent, group or overall center. However, we believe there are several other metrics that can help measure whether we are providing the right tools and support to the agent to allow them to be successful.

Knowledge Availability is a new metric designed to track how often agents can “find the right answer at the right time” to successfully solve customer issues.

Researchers at the University of Missouri found that the link between customer satisfaction and loyalty was nearly twice as strong when employees were highly satisfied with their jobs. Understanding Employee Satisfaction - especially the front line - is the first step.

Employee Turnover is one worth considering. High turnover rates require a follow-up agent survey to understand why.

As we have discussed, contact centers are never short of data and measurements. We have found that one of the most important questions to ask is “What changes have we made based on what we are measuring?” Measurements should drive change, improvement and success. Expanding your thinking around the agent and customer will allow you to understand more about the experience of both.