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Call Center Metrics & Command Center

Executive Summary

To improve the efficiency of the a contact center, it is necessary to implement industry standard metrics.

  • A call center has an opportunity to improve its efficiency by leveraging the right measures to drive accountability at the department, supervisor, and associate levels
  • There are several industry standard call center metrics that the a contact center will benefit from implementing
  • A cross-functional task force was developed to implement the right metrics for the contact center prior to peak season
  • The role of the command center is changing to support these initiatives and to more effectively manage the network

The Current Contact Center Environment

An analysis of the a contact center uncovers some improvement opportunities.

Accountability
Associates fundamentally know that they should be on the phone, but the right measures are not implemented to monitor this behavior.
As a result . . .

  • Supervisors do not have the right information to hold associates accountable for doing the job that they are being paid to do
  • Management does not have the right information to hold supervisors accountable for their associate’s production
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Overall call center efficiency
The role of the command center is not truly defined
A lack of accountability at the a contact center presents an opportunity to drive network wide cost improvements

  • Forecasting is not ideal as the “off the phone time” is not properly managed
  • By improving the amount of time that certain associates are performing their jobs, we can experience network wide cost savings

Call Center Metrics

Industry Standard Call Center Metrics – Associate Level Metrics

Implementation of some industry standard metrics will improve accountability at the associate level in the a contact center.

There are three key metrics which will be implemented to drive and measure behavior at the associate level. These metrics can also be rolled up to the supervisor, manager, and director levels

Compliance:

  • The total amount of productive time versus the total scheduled time minus exceptions
  • Productive Time/(Scheduled Time – Exceptions)

Adherence:

  • The amount of time that an associate was productive relative to the specific times in the day that they were scheduled to work, not including exceptions
  • Productive Time/(Scheduled time – exceptions at the minute level)

Productive to Paid:

  • The amount of time that an associate was productive versus the amount of time that the associate was paid
  • Productive Time/Paid Time

Industry Standard Call Center Metrics – Contact Center Metrics

Implementation of two metrics at the call center level will help drive efficiency network wide.

There are two additional key metrics which will measure efficiency at the call center level

Occupancy:

  • Measurement of the amount of time the associate is working with the customer relative to the amount of time they are on the phone
  • (Talk + Hold + After Call)/(Talk + Hold + After Call + Available)

Utilization

  • Measurement of amount of time an associate is ready to take a call relative to the amount of time they are logged into the phone in a paid state
  • (Talk + Hold + After Call + Available)/Staff Time

Call Center Metrics Definitions

The below chart details definitions for the call center metrics and their key components.

Call Center Metrics Definitions – Exceptions

The below table details definitions for the exceptions that associates utilize to record off-phone time.

Call Center Metrics Targets

In order to improve the efficiency of the call centers, targets have been set for the metrics.

  • Targets for adherence and compliance are based on previous experience from call center professionals on the task force
  • The targets for productive to paid are based on expected off phone hours for associates

* Depends on where historical productive/paid is measured

Call Center Metrics – Compliance Example

The below details how compliance is calculated for an associate on a sample day.

Compliance
The total amount of productive time versus the total schedule time minus exceptions

John is scheduled 9am-6pm with an unpaid lunch and 2 15 minute breaks (450 scheduled minutes). He had no other exceptions that day

At the end of the day John was on the phone, aftercall, or available for a total of 437 minutes as he took an extra break of 13 minutes

John’s compliance for the day is 97.1% and is calculated as follows:

437 productive minutes/450 scheduled minutes = 97.1%

Based on the standards set forth for compliance, John did not achieve the 98% target

Call Center Metrics – Adherence Example

The below details how adherence is calculated for an associate on the same day.

Adherence
The amount of time that an associate was productive relative to the specific times in the day that they were scheduled to work, not including exceptions

John checks his schedule at the beginning of every shift to confirm break and lunch start/stop times. He had no other exceptions this day

John is scheduled 9am-6pm with an unpaid lunch and 2 15 minute breaks. John’s scheduled breaks are at 11am and 3pm. And his lunch is at 1:00

John’s friend’s break is scheduled at 11:30 and he decides to take a 15 minute break at that time instead of at 11:00. John took his 3:00 break and 1:00 lunch on time and for the right duration. John also took an unscheduled break for 13 minutes at 5:00

His adherence that day is 89.6%. The calculation is as follows:
(450 scheduled minutes- 43 minutes out of adherence)/450 minutes= 89.6%

In this case, unscheduled breaks and taking breaks at the wrong time resulted in John missing the goal of 95%

Call Center Metrics – Productive to Paid

The below details how productive to paid is calculated for an associate during a pay period.

Productive to Paid
The amount of time that an associate was productive versus the amount of time the associate was paid
The productive to paid metric is calculated as follows:

Productive time = talk time   +   hold time   +   wrap-up time   +   transfer time   +   available time / paid time

Talk time, hold time, wrap-up time and available time are pulled directly from the Avaya phone switch

Paid time is pulled directly from the Ceridian time system

“Accounted for time” can be seen and pulled directly from the associate’s schedules and/or exceptions

It is important that all paid time and exceptions time are logged properly to ensure the integrity of the data

Call Center Metrics – Productive to Paid Example

The below details how productive to paid is calculated for an associate during a pay period.

Productive to Paid
During the last pay period, John is paid 80 hours.
John’s “accounted for time” for the pay period was:
2 30 minute team meetings     (1 hour)
1 day PTO             (8 hours)
File review            (1 hour)
10 15 minute noon meetings     (2.5 hours)
20 15 minute breaks         (5 hours)
System downtime         (.5 hrs (30 minutes))
Training             (4 hours)
Total:             22 hours
John’s maximum productive time total was 58 hours (80 hours – 22 hours)
John’s actual productive time (from Avaya) was 55.5 hours.
Thus, John’s productive to paid was 69.4% for the pay period, which is just below the 70-72% target.
From this example, we can see that John had “unaccounted for” time, totaling 2.5 hours ( 58 hours – 55.5 hours).  Had he been on the phone in a productive state during this time, his productive to paid would have been 72.5%, which is acceptable given this short time interval

Call Center Metrics – Compliance Example

The below details how compliance is calculated for an associate on a sample day.

Compliance

The total amount of productive time versus the total schedule time minus exceptions

Jim is scheduled 10am-7pm with an unpaid lunch and 2 15 minute breaks He had also has a scheduled team meeting for 60 minutes. His total scheduled minutes are ____________

At the end of the day Jim was on the phone, aftercall or available for customer a total of 365 as he took an extra break of ____ minutes

Jim’s compliance for the day is calculated as follows:

____ productive minutes/____ scheduled minutes = ______%

Based on the standards set forth for compliance, Jim ____ achieve the 98% target

Call Center Metrics – Adherence Example

The below details how adherence is calculated for an associate on a the same day.

Adherence:
The amount of time that an associate was productive relative to the specific times in the day that they were scheduled to work, not including exceptions

Jim checks his schedule at the beginning of every shift to confirm break and lunch start/stop times. He also has a 1 hour team meeting today

Jim is scheduled 10am-7pm with an unpaid lunch and 2 15 minute breaks. Jim’s scheduled breaks are at 11am and 3pm. And his lunch is at 1:00, and team meeting is at 3:30. His total scheduled time is _____________

Jim’s friend’s break is scheduled at 2:30 and he decides to take a 15 minute break at that time instead of at 3:00. Jim took his 11:00 break and 1:00 lunch on time and for the right duration. Jim also took an unscheduled break for 25 minutes at 4:30. Jim went to the team meeting on time.

His adherence is calculated as follows:
(____scheduled minutes- ____ minutes out of adherence)/____ scheduled minutes= _____ %

In this case, Jim’s adherence to schedule was _______%  which is ______ standard. This is a result of  ____________________

Call Center Metrics – Productive to Paid Example

The below details how productive to paid is calculated for an associate during a pay period.

Productive to Paid
Jim was paid 80 hours for the last per pay period.
Jim was scheduled (and took ) off the phone time of:
2 30 minute team meetings     (1 hour)
1 day PTO             (8 hours)
File review             (1 hour)
10 – 15 minute noon meetings     (2.5 hours)
20 – 15 minute breaks         (5 hours)
System downtime         (.5 hours)
Training             (6 hours)
Total Off Phone Time:         24 hours
Jim’s actual Avaya productive time totaled 52 hours.
Jim’s maximum productive time was _______hours  (______hours -_______ hours)
Jim’s “un-accounted-for time” was ______hours  (______hours – _______ hours)
Jim’s productive to paid was _____% for the time period (______hours / ______ hours).
If he did not have “un-accounted for” time of ______ hours, his productive to paid would have been  ______%  (______ hours / _____ hours)

Frequency of Reporting

Most of the metrics will be reported on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

Interaction Between The Metrics

Balancing the activities between the metrics, and understanding the metrics is a skill that will need to be developed over time.

Issues and Risks to Call Center Metrics

Implementing these call center metrics into the culture does present some risks that need to be addressed.

Next Steps

The following tasks need to be accomplished to successfully implement these call center metrics into the business.

Educate stakeholders on the metrics

  • Supervisors
  • Associates
  • Command Center
  • Produce reports and communicate results
  • Start producing reports based on desired frequency
  • Teach management how to interpret reports and tell the right story
  • Include metrics on appropriate business updates
  • Revisit implementation
  • Evaluate how the implementation went
  • Take necessary actions to further progress the implementation
  • Include appropriate accountability to metrics – target ASAP
  • Factor metrics into associate scorecards and incentives where appropriate
  • Ensure that supervisors are held accountable for team’s actions
  • Launch and complete phase 2 – metrics for non-call center functions
  • Develop appropriate productivity metrics for non-phone roles
  • Target implementation

Command Center

Changing The Command Center

By revising thse command centers focus, the overall efficiency of the network will improve.

Improved functionality of technology currently utilized

  • Better utilize Witness and Blue Pumpkin for scheduling, forecasting, and reporting (additional modules and training)
  • Figure out ways to better link in with network call centers to be more effective real time managers
  • Network view of performance

Redefine and streamline the schedule exceptions process

  • “Floor Management Model”

Establish the role and presence of the command center within the  site and the network

  • Supervisor and command center roles in determining off phone activities
  • Usage of EOP’s and WFA empowerment to make decisions based on pre-established EOP’s

Changing The Command Center – Off Phone Time

As we begin managing to the new metrics, we will fundamentally change how we manage off phone activities.

Off-phone time (including non-phone productive time) will be pre-approved, and pre-scheduled whenever possible.

  1. All pre-scheduled, pre-approved off-phone activities should be included in the agent’s schedules
  2. Supervisors will work with their scheduling liaison to ensure that these are included in the schedule
  3. Any un-planned / un-scheduled off-phone time must be approved by the command center representative BEFORE the agent is authorized to go into an aux state.
  4. The command center associate on-duty will determine if the off-phone activity (e.g. “exception”) is approved or not, taking into account a variety of factors:
  • Occupancy – Site and Network-wide (if applicable)
  • Current performance – site and network-wide (if applicable)
    • Service Level
    • Abandon Rate
    • Calls in queue
  1. If the off-phone time is denied
    • A reason will be provided
    • In most cases, an alternative will be provided
      • For example – “Now is not a good time.  However, we are projected to be overstaffed at 3:30.  Let’s look at it again then.”

Changing The Command Center – Exceptions Process

We will also implement a floor management model to enhance communication at the contact center location.

The exceptions process will change —  dramatically before peak.

The command center will begin tracking changes / approved exceptions real-time, each interval, and input them directly into the database.

  • NO SHAREPOINT entry required for approved exceptions!!
  • Handling “unknown length of time” exceptions

Time off requests will be requested via the sharepoint as they are today—at least for now.

  • “Time Off Manager” module purchase is in discussion
    • Includes Shift Swap, vacation and leave early requests
    • Would eliminate the need for Sharepoint requests
  • “Shift Bid” module purchase is also in discussion
  • Both would be done via Witness Impact 360, by the associate

Changing The Command Center – Escalated Operating Procedures

We will also update our Escalations Operating Procedures to better meet the needs of the business.

Every business will have an updated EOP – Escalations Operating Procedure

  • Outlines goals for the center and the network
    • Service Level, Abandon Rate, AHT, Occupancy
    • Identifies what to do when goals are not being met (e.g. Code Red might mean “Cancel all off-phone activities”)
  • Will be followed and managed network-wide by the command center
  • Once updated (mid-October), the EOP will be communicated to all supervisors and managers

This will be our guidepost in all decision making

Changing The Command Center – Floor Management

We will also implement a floor management model to enhance communication at the contact center location.

Every business will have a “Floor Phone” and “Manager on duty.”

  • Required for every hour the business is open
    • Up-staffing the command center to ensure coverage
  • The command center will contact the floor manager when the EOP is not being met
    • At the site/center level
    • At the individual agent level
  • The expectation is that the floor manager take action based on the contact.  Examples of reasons why the floor manager would be contacted include:
    • “Agent 1 has been in after-call wrap up for 80 seconds”
    • “Agent 2 is scheduled to be on the phones, but is in Aux.”
    • “We have 8 calls in queue.”
  • What should the floor manager do in these instances?

Changing The Command Center – Floor Management

When the command center is moving to another place it need to operate more effectively network-wide.

  • Set –up as a more “real-life” Command Center
  • Associates can see real-time what’s happening across the network
    • Including Weather at various sites and locations
    • High level and drill down views
    • To include IVR’s and network level calls coming in real-time.

Look for more information on the move date in the next few days.

Changing The Command Center – Next Steps

Next Steps:

  • Updated EOPs for your business areas
  • Training on Floor Management and “etiquette”
  • Effective date for interval tracking & elimination of Sharepoint exception requests
  • Update on addition of new modules for agent time off and schedule changes

Appendix

Developing the Productive to Paid Target

It is important to understand the expected time off of the phone when establishing the productive to paid target. Note: this is an annual target.

Historical Performance for the Metrics – Associate Level

Adherence has performed as below. Compliance and productive to paid were not able to be calculated historically at this juncture.

The figures above are produced from Witness. August is blank because of challenges that have existed with Witness
Compliance is not available at this time due to the calculation of the fact that witness has not calculated the metric in the past. In the future, this report may have to be calculated outside of witness
Productive to paid is not available because of the manual nature of the calculation.

Historical Performance for the Metrics – Call Center Level

Occupancy and utilization have performed as indicated below

Occupancy and utilization have increased since the beginning of the fiscal year
Results have reached a plateau over the past several months
More stringent focus on the metrics will enable us to reach the desired targets

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