Using Call Center Evaluation to Make a Measurable Difference in Your Organization
Executive management wants to know what effect their call center quality program is having on the organization. It is contributing to company growth? It is helping to detect problems, uncover opportunities, and increase customer satisfaction? In what way and by how much?
Call center supervisors want to be able to show their teams are making a measurable difference. Performance metrics such as Average Hold Time (ATH)and First Call Resolution rate (FCR) are considered the gold standard for measuring how efficient and productive call center agents can be. But when the focus is only on those measures, you may not be getting a true picture of agent performance, or the best experience for your customers.
Call Center Evaluation: Are You Driving the Right Behaviors?
Agents trying to reduce their Average Handle Time may be inclined to rush their calls and pressure customers into making decisions quickly. Likewise, to raise their FCR score, agents often need to spend more time on the line in order to understand and resolve an issue to the complete satisfaction of the customer. To agents, it often seems like AHT and FCR are at odds with one another when it comes to providing quality service.
While AHT and FCR remain powerful KPIs, there are additional aspects of the call center evaluation that can paint a more accurate picture of agent performance. Providing data-driven feedback to agents on behaviors such as call center etiquette or problem-solving ability allows agents to be more in control of their own performance and more motivated to engage and improve.
Best Practices for Call Center Evaluation
Organizations that want to see measurable returns from the dollars invested in call center quality programs would be wise to implement these best practices for call center evaluation:
- Make sure you are measuring the right KPIs to achieve your call center quality goals
- Use BI to bring all that data together into meaningful performance scorecard for each agent
- Leverage your BI to create structured and personalized quality programs tailored to the strengths and weaknesses of each agent
Call Center Evaluation: Measure the Right KPIs
Measuring the right call center KPIs is critical to getting the results you want. Call center KPIs should drive agent behaviors that increase efficiency, optimize customer experience, and grow revenue. Since many call center evaluation processes are still manual, agents often complain that evaluators are too focused on a single KPI or randomly cherry-pick a tiny sample of their interactions for evaluation – failing to see the thriving forest for the few scraggly trees.
Today’s organizations collect an overwhelming amount of data on agent performance. A standard call center may measure customer survey results, first contact resolution, average wait time, conversion rates, calls per hour, abandon rates, average handle time, call wrap-up, forecast accuracy, cost per call, agent attrition and absenteeism, call sentiment, quality scores, and more. To be useful, all of this data needs to be combined intelligently, creating a full picture of call center performance. Only then can you determine which KPIs are driving the right behaviors to achieve company goals. The importance of business intelligence (BI) in achieving this goal cannot be overstated.
Call Center Evaluation: Bring All Your Data Together Intelligently
A professional call center needs maximum information to assess operational effectiveness and to get an accurate picture of its current position, and where its opportunities and challenges lie. Your call center should be analyzing each KPI metric, as well as the interplay between them, for each agent. For example, one agent in your call center handles many more calls per hour than the other agents. His AHT is the lowest and his wrap-up work is completed in the least amount of time. For this he is given high marks. But when we look at his feedback surveys, customers are not overly satisfied or willing to recommend your brand.
How can that be?
When you bring all performance metrics together in an integrated fashion, powerful analytics can be applied to investigate issues like these. The combination of multiple metrics plus the possible correlation between them can tell you a lot more than an isolated measurement can.
Turns out, this “super” agent does almost all the talking and structures the conversation to elicit yes/no answers from callers without allowing them to indulge in lengthy answers or explanations. While each call is finished quickly, many customers are left with a nagging feeling that their issues were not fully understood, and they wonder if they made the right decision
Perhaps this agent can benefit from personal coaching on call-center etiquette. Likewise, armed with this insight, the organization can adjust the way their metrics are weighted and scored in order to promote agent behaviors and performance that contribute to corporate KPIs.
Turn Call Center Evaluation into a Plan of Action
Bringing data together and gaining insight is valuable only if you are able to act and operationalize the opportunities you discover. Knowing what each agent must do to improve performance and being able to implement such a program is key to achieving your business goals.
The best programs for driving performance and recommending tasks should be able to identify specific employees who need assistance, and the metrics they should work on. Transparency is critical here. Agents who can see and track their own metrics trust they are being evaluated fairly. So much so, they’re often motivated to self-evaluate and seek out coaching in order to improve their scorecard.
The program should be measurable, defining objectives and interim milestones to be achieved. Good programs recommend explicit tasks that will help the agent adapt his behaviors and achieve his objectives. Involve the agent to make sure the plan is relevant and be willing to tweak it based on his or her perspective. Nothing motivates like time, so make tasks and program milestones time-bound. That way, agents and evaluators can gauge progress and adjust the program if needed.
Call Center Evaluation is Better with NICE Performance Management
NICE Performance Management (NPM) is a comprehensive, adaptive solution for motivating call center agents to constantly aim higher and achieve their quality goals. NPM uses built-in AI technology, smart analytics, personalization, coaching guidance, and agent/supervisor dashboards to help you create structured and personal programs to drive agent engagement and performance. Your SMART Performance Program may include recommended tasks, personal coaching, gamification, incentive opportunities, etc. that can be tailored to help each agent and supervisor focus on adapting behaviors and improving KPIs.
NPM gets call center agents involved in how they are performing. Interactive dashboards show them their personal results, ranging from raw metrics to their quality evaluation on each call. No need to ask the supervisor for the data. It’s all at their fingertips. NICE has found agents love this transparency and the ability to take responsibility for the things they can do to improve their performance.
NICE customers who use NPM have reported 230% increase in their Net Promoter Score; 42% improvement in agent productivity, 15% reduction in headcount, and millions in revenue created by agents – just to name a few of the KPIs that show executive management how call center evaluation contributes to corporate goals.