Assess – 5 Easy Ways to Improve Agent Performance In Your Call Center (Post 2 of 6)

Call Center Assessment

One easy way to improve agent performance is to assess. As you’ll recall, last week’s post in this series began by emphasizing the importance of launching a positive, mental attitude or PMA. This week we will delve into the importance of assessment.

Call centers rely on the collection of data to function. The data sources can include: ACD, CRM, IVR, QM, WFM, manuals, and/or spreadsheets. Call center management relies on the accuracy of that collected data. Then, management assesses the data to make determinations as to the proper adjustments to be made for goal achievement. The most successful contact centers “cut to the chase” and analyze the data to goal-set toward a positive experience for the customer. The effort is grounded by service tactics on the “calls in queue per hour” or on an “average handle time” that will ultimately affect contact quality. However, accurate metrics that exclude consideration for quantitative and efficiency calculations can have a negative effect on the customer experience – and increase costs for your call center.

Consider the following, 6 KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that can shed some light on improving agent performance:

[step_graphics style=”5″ color=”#db3939″][step style=”5″ text=”1″ headline=”First%20Call%20Resolution%20(FCR)”]%3Cp%3EFCR%20is%2C%20perhaps%2C%20the%20KPI%20that%20affects%20customer%20satisfaction%20more%20than%20any%20other%20metric.%20Higher%20customer%20satisfaction%20numbers%20with%20higher%20FCR%20numbers%20can%20lower%20operating%20costs%2C%20lower%20risk%20of%20lost%20revenue%20to%20competitors%20and%20elevate%20employee%20satisfaction.%20%20To%20be%20sure%2C%20it%20is%20important%20to%20clarify%20exactly%20what%20an%20FCR%20is%20for%20your%20call%20center.%20%20For%20example%2C%20if%20your%20agents%20are%20selling%20products%2C%20then%20the%20goal%20is%20for%20the%20result%20of%20each%20first%20call%20to%20close%20the%20sale%20on%20that%20call.%20%20%20%3C%2Fp%3E%0A%3Cp%3EAlways%2C%20always%20keep%20in%20mind%20that%20the%20customer%20has%20an%20opinion%20in%20this%20matter.%20%20Using%20surveys%20to%20ensure%20quality%20resolution%2C%20especially%20if%20transfers%20ensue%2C%20is%20a%20way%20to%20measure%20success.%3C%2Fp%3E%0A%3Cp%3EHere’s%20a%20custom%20formula%20for%20your%20convenience%3A%3C%2Fp%3E%0A%3Cp%3EFCR%20%3D%20%23resolved%20incidents%20closed%20on%20first%20contact%20%20%20%20%20x%20%20%20%20%20100%25%3Cbr%20%2F%3E%0A%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20total%20%23%20incidents%3Cbr%20%2F%3E%0AOr%3Cbr%20%2F%3E%0AFCR%20%3D%20total%20incidents%20resolved%20-%20total%20incidents%20reopened%20%20%20%20%20x%20%20%20%20100%25%3Cbr%20%2F%3E%0A%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20total%20incidents%20opened%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][step style=”5″ text=”2″ headline=”Customer%20Satisfaction”]%3Cp%3ECustomer%20Satisfaction%20is%20a%20significant%20KPI.%20%20Data%20sources%20like%20surveys%20and%20studies%20disclose%20the%20invaluable%20necessity%20for%20a%20customer%20satisfaction%20metric.%20%20The%20customer%20experience%20is%20the%20essence%20of%20the%20success%20of%20each%20call%20interaction%20between%20agent%20and%20customer.%20%20As%20you%20may%20already%20know%2C%20surveying%20customers%20at%20the%20end%20of%20the%20call%20is%20an%20excellent%20way%20to%20learn%20how%20well%20the%20interaction%20went%20for%20the%20customer.%20%20It%20is%20priceless%20feedback%20for%20management.%20%20Most%20feedback%20is%20collected%20through%20a%20few%2C%20scaling%20questions%20that%20make%20for%20a%20smooth%2C%20data%20collection%20experience%20for%20the%20customer.%20%20Occasionally%2C%20higher-level%20questions%2C%20like%20open-ended%20questions%2C%20might%20be%20used%20when%20management%20is%20fine-tuning%20their%20process.%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][step style=”5″ text=”3″ headline=”Forecasting%20Accuracy”]%3Cp%3EBeing%20able%20to%20predict%20the%20need%20of%20your%20call%20center%20is%20beyond%20important%2C%20it%20is%20critical.%20%20The%20last%20problem%20you%20need%20is%20unhappy%20customers%2C%20irritated%20agents%20and%20out-of-control%20costs.%20%20Furthermore%2C%20the%20same%20is%20true%20about%20overstaffing.%20%20Bad%20management%20leads%20to%20wasted%20resources.%20%20If%20you%20need%20metrics%20to%20forecast%20your%20call%20load%2C%20check%20your%20center’s%20workforce%20management%20system%20or%20anywhere%20in%20the%20system%20where%20the%20necessary%20data%20can%20be%20collected.%3C%2Fp%3E%0A%3Cp%3EFormula%3A%20%25%20Offered%20of%20Forecast%20%3D%20Calls%20Offered%2FCalls%20Forecasted%20*%20100%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][step style=”5″ text=”4″ headline=”Service%20Level%20%2F%20Response%20Time”]%3Cp%3EService%20level%20and%20response%20time%20are%20fundamental%20metrics.%20%20These%20metrics%20tell%20you%20if%20you%20are%20allocating%20your%20resources%20appropriately%20to%20reach%20your%20goals.%20%20When%20creating%20objectives%20for%20service%20level%20and%20response%20time%2C%20create%20them%20by%20building%20a%20consistency%20factor%20into%20the%20management%20plan.%20%20Ensuring%20that%20service%20standards%20are%20met%20and%20maintained%20hourly%20is%20the%20key%20to%20consistent%20performance.%3C%2Fp%3E%0A%3Cp%3EHere’s%20another%20formula%3A%3C%2Fp%3E%0A%3Cp%3E%25Service%20Level%20%3D%20%5B%7B(CallsAnswered%20%2B%20CallsAbandoned)%20%E2%80%93%20(CallsAnsweredAftThreshold%20%2B%20CallsAbandonedAftThreshold)%7D%20%2F%20(CallsAnswered%20%2B%20CallsAbandoned)%5D%20*%20100%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][step style=”5″ text=”5″ headline=”Self-Service%20Accessibility”]%3Cp%3ESelf-service%20systems%20has%20made%20customer%20service%20more%20efficient%20and%20effective%20when%20done%20well.%20%20The%20metric%2C%20self-service%20accessibility%20is%20crucial%20to%20measuring%20the%20interactions%20customers%20have%20with%20IVR%20and%20Web%20applications.%20%20Again%2C%20by%20being%20able%20to%20measure%20and%20manage%2Fcontrol%20what%20can%20be%20measured%20and%20managed%2Fcontrolled%2C%20costs%20savings%20can%20be%20realized.%20%20However%2C%20when%20self-service%20systems%20are%20utilized%2C%20there%20is%20the%20opportunity%20for%20poor%20service%2C%20from%20the%20customer’s%20point%20of%20view.%20%20So%2C%20it%20is%20important%20to%20surgery%20customers%20while%20taking%20advantage%20of%20the%20latest%20monitoring%20tools%2C%20to%20ensure%20a%20quality%20experience%20for%20each%20customer.%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][step style=”5″ text=”6″ headline=”Contact%20Quality”]%3Cp%3ESupervisors%20or%20managers%20usually%20evaluate%20contact%20quality%20by%20the%20reviewing%20customer%20calls%20with%20agents.%20%20Management%20will%20rate%20the%20quality%20of%20each%20call%20from%20the%20customer’s%20viewpoint.%20%20For%20accuracy%2C%20a%20scaling%20system%20of%20measuring%20each%20customer’s%20satisfaction%20is%20used%20by%20management%20in%20accordance%20with%20goal%20attainment%20aspirations.%20%20The%20questions%20of%20the%20scaling%20system%20are%20geared%20around%20the%20appropriate%20structure%20of%20an%20ideal%20call%3A%20appropriate%20greeting%2C%20professionalism%2C%20data%20capturing%2C%20appropriate%20questioning%20of%20customer%2C%20FCR%2C%20data%20collection%20accuracy%2C%20etc.%20%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][/step_graphics]

So, when evaluating and assessing ways to improve agent performance in your call center, don’t hesitate to use these KPIs as a guide.  This list is not exhaustive, but it is a great start to taking charge of your call center and taking it to extraordinary heights!

Next week, look forward to Post #3 on “5 Easy Ways to Improve Agent Performance In Your Call Center: Plan.”

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To your success,

Greg Meares

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About the Author: Greg Meares

As a Sr. Consultant for Performance Connections, Inc., Greg's primary objective is to provide value to organizations that are focused on raising brand awareness. Additionally Greg works on improving the customer experience, through business process re-engineering, and call center best practices. Greg is an industry expert and is often called upon to provide his analysis and solution oriented approach to improving performance in the BPO and Call Center industry.

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