Got the Call Center Blues? Improve Your Results with Key Performance Indicators
Call centers and business process outsourcing (BP) businesses usually measure things like Average Call Duration (ACD), the number of calls a given representative takes during one shift, Average Handle Time (AHT), Time to Resolution (TTR), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), etc. A Business Intelligence (BI) solution suite can help your business to establish and monitor key performance indicators and provide personalized dashboards to Call Center Managers and representatives alike.
It is a given that every enterprise now understands the need for metrics and measurements and the business benefits inherent in metrics. But, that doesn't mean that every enterprise or business manager understands how best to leverage these metrics or even which tasks, activities and results to measure. To effectively use key performance indicators (KPIs) within an organization, one must first understand the results and tasks that drive their performance and how they impact objectives and goals. For example, monitoring and measuring the number of pencils in stock, does not tell a business what techniques help them to sell more pencils. But, what if your business employs a call center or business process outsourcing (BPO) to serve its customers, partners or suppliers? What should your business measure?
Call centers usually measure things like Average Call Duration (ACD), the number of calls a given representative takes during one shift, Average Handle Time (AHT), Time to Resolution (TTR), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), etc. A Business Intelligence (BI) solution suite can help your business to establish and monitor key performance indicators and provide personalized dashboards to Call Center Managers and representatives alike, so that everyone in the department or division can see concise, clear results and quickly adapt behaviors or processes to improve these results.
Here are a few key performance indicators for business process outsourcing, and/or call centers that will help your call center to measure performance:
Customer Satisfaction - In most organizations, this metric is all-important. That is because there would be no company without its customers! Your metric might be ranked on a scale of zero to five or one to ten with the top number indicating that the customer is supremely satisfied. Remember that this metric is based on a customer experience with your call center representative and is therefore a subjective measure, so this metric must be averaged over time for the department and for individual representatives in order to create a true picture of overall customer satisfaction. To calculate this number, the call center will typically present a survey at the end of an online chat, or send out an email with 2-5 questions about customer service. Your business may choose to measure customer satisfaction on an ongoing basis, or randomly survey customers or you might use this metric following a new training class to measure the effects of that training on customer satisfaction.
Average Call Duration - This key performance indicator for call centers is used in most call centers to measure the time spent on a call by a call center representative. KPI for BPO or for call centers is typically based on the assumption that a shorter call is better for the organization because the call center can better leverage its resources and won't have to hire as many people. However, it is important to understand the nature of the calls the call center is taking, and whether they handle a diverse set of issues. Sometimes, a business will segment its call center team so that the more complex calls are handled by certain team members. That makes it easier to monitor average call duration and ensure that the results are not muddied by the fact that one call should take 1 minute, while another, more complex call, might take 10 minutes. Let's say your call center is staffed by nurses talking to insurance subscribers about health care issues. Those calls will definitely take longer than a call center that supports customers who bought gifts online and want to know how to return a product. Therefore, the Average Call Duration metric is not always about getting the calls down to the lowest possible length! In other words, be careful to measure 'the right things' when it comes to average call duration. If you want to measure the amount of time the agent spends on pre or post call activities, don't lump it into the Average Call Duration metric, or you will further dilute the accuracy of the results. When you’re looking for ways to reduce the length of a call, you will often want to focus on training and, for new agents, ensure that a mentor or coach is online with the agent for a period of time, listening in to the calls and making suggestions.
First Call Resolution (FCR) - It is important to consider this metric to measure how many times a customer has to call in before a ticket is closed or an issue is resolved. This metric helps the organization to better control its resources and hold down its costs by mitigating the addition of call center representatives. The more times a customer has to call, the lower your customer satisfaction and the higher your resource costs.
Other metrics to consider when establishing KPI for call centers include the number of issues escalated to senior call center agents, technical support, management or other levels of call center support, as well as call center attrition and burnout. If you are spending money on interviewing, hiring and training call center agents and losing them in 90 days, you will have to look closer at your training procedures, number of hours on shift, customer handling processes, and other factors in order to protect your investment in resources and ensure that your call center team is stable.
As you can see, there are a lot of factors to consider in BI for call center and call center metrics. Like any other business, it is important to first understand what drives your business success and then establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and meaningful, personalized KPI dashboards using business intelligence software to monitor results and adapt quickly to opportunities and challenges.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shambhavi Vyas: I am working as Business Intelligence consultant. I focus to provide simple BI Solution with great TCO to my clients. I focus on BFSI industry and have also worked with other industries to offer best value to my clients and partners. I like socializing and participating in BI forums and groups.