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10 Tips to Set KPIs to Align with Your Company’s Goals

We are surrounded in our day-to-day world by metrics and measurements that track how we are doing, from the gauge in our cars that ensures we aren't speeding to the number on the bathroom scale we might not agree with at times.

Despite the comfort level with metrics in our daily lives, contact center operations frequently select the wrong metrics, or even more amazingly, have no metrics at all! Conversely, many contact center executives find themselves bogged down with too many metrics and suffer from "KPI paralysis."

Contact centers are a necessary, albeit complex element of the routine operations of your brand. More importantly, they play a significant role in elevating the customers' experience with your brand.

The right mix of KPIs can help you stay the course, which means you must dedicate time and careful consideration to choosing the correct combination to allow for an accurate and unbiased assessment of your contact center's performance.

Let’s define action steps you can take to select KPIs that best align with your company's goals.

1) Identify KPIs that reflect your business goals and brand strategy

Take a step back and look at the big picture.

What are your goals? Increased revenue per customer? Conversion of more customers from marketing? Maybe it's retention of dissatisfied customers or supporting frequently asked questions about a technical product.

Also, what are the goals of the contact center business? Are you trying to defer the customer to self-service? Are you limited with the staff budgeted for hours of support? What are the top KPIs that have the largest impact on the desired goals?

2) Define KPIs accurately

This step is essential: Make sure you define exactly what you will measure. How you define the KPIs will contribute to the validity of the measurement and ensure everyone measures the same way.

3) Calculate tools and data

Once defined, decide what data will contribute to this calculation and where and how you are acquiring it.

Do you have the tools to get these data points and calculate and provide reporting? Do you need to deliver the data in real-time? Will the data and reporting be supplied consistently?

4) Determine and communicate the KPIs' purpose

As mentioned earlier, the primary purpose of this exercise is to obtain a meaningful measurement of performance. The KPIs should be relevant and able to engage employees, inform management, or trigger action plans if performance goes lacking.

5) Set goals

What are the specific, quantifiable targets or target ranges? Are you able to review any historical data to see what is reasonable, or do you need to set the bar to match the competitive climate your brand is challenged with?

6) Get buy-in

Both your staff and stakeholders must buy into the process. Without it, people will not reference or use the KPIs to guide their business decisions, and may even hold the organization back in actively helping the business meet its objectives.

It’s essential to involve staff in determining both the measures and the desired results. This way, staff doesn't feel that results are just a "punishment," but a critical measure for both the brand's and their success.

7) Don't just go through the motions

All of this is a waste of time if no one is reviewing and analyzing the data to extract business-relevant insights to see how the data relates to brand or industry benchmarks or whether the metric is changing over time and what that means for the brand.

If you have buy-in and set the KPIs with the right staff and stakeholders, you should be able to avoid this common mistake.

8) Decide what happens if the KPI doesn't hit the target

It doesn't matter what the number on the scale says if you don't decide to do something about it. The same holds with KPIs, which is why you need to develop a specific action plan if a KPI falls outside of the target.

Ask yourself - do you have the right tools and team available to execute on these action plans? If you aren't using your KPIs to inform your decisions and drive performance, then you are wasting valuable time and effort.

9) Review regularly

Your competitive landscape changes constantly. For that reason, regularly review whether the KPIs you are capturing and measuring against are still useful to illustrate the performance of your contact center in supporting your brand, and whether new tools and technology are changing your operations to make you more or less efficient.

10) Refine the KPIs

If the needs of the business change and the reported KPIs no longer reflect that, it is time to adjust. Following the steps outlined above will not only make it easier this time around but also just as important.

If something is worth measuring, it's worth measuring right. Take the extra time to think through your company's KPIs to make sure they deliver value.