The Key Metrics Call Center Reports Can’t Show You
By Christine M Harrell
Call center software gives a manager access to an immense array of statistics that track how the contact center performs.
However, call center reports don’t show everything and shouldn’t be the only resource used to gauge the department’s success. Important but hard-to-measure factors include customer satisfaction, employee morale and proper training.
Customer satisfaction might be the most important measure of a contact center’s success. Order lines, customer assistance, technical support, and other phone centers all exist to provide some kind of service to callers.
If customers are unsatisfied with how the call is handled, the company loses business. A recent survey by Natterbox showed nearly two-thirds of consumers polled had cancelled a service because of a badly handled telephone call.
A simple step is to have agents ask customers at the end of a call to rate the experience. The agent can enter the rating into a desktop application so it is tracked on call center reports.
However customers aren’t always honest if put on the spot and tend to say things are fine when they are not. Another option is to have a third-party conduct surveys. Clients will be more honest and the company will find problems more easily.
Contact center work is stressful. A typical agent experiences long periods of tedious and repetitive calls, occasionally punctuated by a lambasting from an irate caller. Agents may feel trapped, chained to their desks and unable to walk around to clear their heads. Phone jobs often have no structure for advancement, leaving agents in dead-end positions. Eroding morale leads to lower productivity, high turnover, and falling statistics on call center reports.
Agents who spend some of the day on non-phone duties tend to experience less stress. Agents should be given regular breaks, and should be allowed to take spontaneous breaks after a particularly upsetting phone call.
Break large contact centers down into tiers to give agents hope for advancement and something to aspire to. The most important thing managers can do is listen to agent complaints and take them seriously.
When call center reports show a slowdown in the department, it may be because agents are struggling with unfamiliar duties. The contact center is using new software, or is offering new services to callers, or is experiencing some other change in daily operations. It might also indicate employees need a refresher on basic operations.
Training deficits are most pronounced in new agents but they show up in experienced workers as well. One problem is that veterans might be embarrassed by their ignorance and try to cover up their mistakes. Adequate initial training is critical to easing the learning curve but follow up instruction is important to keeping skills fresh.
The best way to deal with problems like these is to handle them before they show up as diminishing numbers on call center reports. Take a proactive stance to keep the department productive and efficient.
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