Call Center Measures

Updated: November 05, 2010

In order to run a successful call center, there are certain measures that should take place. There are 6 types of measures:

1- Customer satisfaction & loyalty

Customer satisfaction is appropriate in all environments and has the greatest value as a relative measure (e.g., how do changes in policies, services and processes impact customer satisfaction?). Data often comes from a variety of sources: outbound calls, mail surveys, email surveys, agent-assisted surveys at the end of calls.

2- Employee satisfaction

Studies have demonstrated that customer satisfaction increases as agent job satisfaction increases. Further, retention, productivity and quality often have a definable, positive correlation to agent satisfaction. Results of surveys to gauge agent satisfaction should be compared to job satisfaction levels in other parts of the organization. Data is usually captured via written or online surveys or one-on-one interviews.

3- Quality & first call resolution

- Quality is the link between call-by-call activities and the organization's most important high-level objectives. Criteria for quality measures generally include such things as entering data accurately, providing the correct information and capturing important information.
- First-call resolution is essentially an extension of quality, and components that lead to first-call resolution should also be built into specific quality objectives for agents (however, because not all aspects are within their control, these components must be selected carefully).
- First-call resolution may be tracked through quality monitoring samples, a database (e.g., customer information system) and customer surveys (asking customers whether the issues were resolved).

4- Service level & response time

- If calls don't get to the right places at the right times, then little else can happen. Establishing service level and response time objectives is a prerequisite to the planning necessary to ensure that the organization is accessible through whatever channel customers use. Real-time reports are also necessary for adjustments.
- Service level is available directly from IVR (routing system) or workforce management system (WFMS) reports.

5- Forecast Accuracy

If you don't have an accurate prediction of the workload coming your way, it's almost impossible to run an effective and efficient center. Forecasting the workload accurately is a high-leverage activity that is fundamental to managing a call center effectively.

6- Schedule adherence

- Having the right number of properly skilled people in place at the right times is another important enabler to everything else we're trying to accomplish.
- Many organizations also track average handle time - which is essential for forecasting, and for gauging the impact of process improvements and relative efficiency.
- Keeping an eye on the maximum strategic value, remembering that each person in the call center, whatever his or her role, has an impact on overall results. It is essential that the nature of call center objectives and responsibilities be understood at all levels.

Finally, we'll need to make sure measures don't become an end to themselves. It's often said that "what gets measured gets done," but I believe that's an over-simplification. Many organizations measure lots of things, yet not make sustained improvements in those areas. I am convinced that it's a matter of not only measuring the right things, but also focusing on them, working on them, building a culture that understands and contributes to them, building processes and ensuring that day-to-day activities and decisions support them.

How to achieve these measures?

Measures can be achieved by managing the performance; the performance management cycle has 4 elements:

1- Setting goals & objectives

- The first element of the cycle is setting goals and objectives. This phase includes supervisor-employee meetings and discussions about the goals and objectives that will be measured during the review period.
- One of the most important parts of the performance management process is the communication of these goals and objectives. If the representative is a new employee, the goals and objectives are clear; the efforts are focused on the employee meeting goals to be effective at their new position.
- If the representative is a more tenured employee the focus will be on meeting or exceeding existing goals, setting new goals and ongoing development.
- The purpose of this meeting is to come to an understanding of the primary functions and the levels of performance expected for "Good" performance. Employee input should be encouraged.

2- Providing ongoing feedback

- The second element of the cycle is ongoing feedback. Managing includes day-to-day supervision, training, reinforcing, tracking actual performance, and discussing employee progress toward achieving the performance expectations of the goals and objectives. Supervisors must provide feedback related to these day-to-day findings in order for the representatives to be aware of their performance.
- Ongoing feedback provides opportunities for the team member to improve. This feedback does not have to take up a lot of time, but it should be specific and consistent.

3- Coaching

Using the Performance Management Cycle managers and supervisors must observe behaviors and then coach to improve performance. Coaching is best done in a one-on-one setting using self discovery dialog. By coaching throughout the review period supervisors provide opportunities for team members to reach and exceed their performance goals and objectives.

4- Performance reviews

At the end of the review period, the supervisor and team member meet to discuss each performance-expectation and the employee's actual performance and results. This is the 6 months performance review. A performance rating is assigned for each principal function based on the comparison between the performance expectation and the employee's actual performance. New goals and objectives are created based on the level of performance displayed during the review period. My recommendation is to go a step further and conduct mini reviews on a monthly basis. This gives the employee an opportunity to correct any behavior or performance issues, helps facilitate ongoing feedback and helps us achieve our goals quicker.

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