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TASKE Technology's Call Center Blog

Every minute of every day in our contact centers we monitor activity. Is the number of abandon calls increasing? Are agents spending too much time on individual calls? Are queues staffed appropriately for current call volumes? These are just a few of the questions we need to ask to stay on top of real-time activity—and take corrective action when necessary—if we want to meet or exceed expected service levels.

To complement real-time monitoring on a day-to-day basis, you may want to consider using historical reports. These reports provide information about past activity over various periods of time, giving you insights into evolving patterns. These insights are invaluable for identifying trends in activity that may turn into service degradation issues, giving you time to make the necessary adjustments to head them off.

Let’s look at three ways that you can use historical reports to improve contact center service levels:

Follow trends over time for your key performance metrics

Historical reports are often used to evaluate key performance metrics (KPIs), which measure performance over time based on specific business objectives. For example, the telephone service factor (TSF) is a measure of the percentage of calls being answered within an acceptable timeframe (usually no more than 30 seconds). TSF is a common KPI because it’s a measure of how quickly your agents are responding to customers. If historical reports show that the TSF has decreased incrementally over the past fiscal quarter, you can investigate factors that changed during this timeframe. Once you’ve identified possible causes, you can take corrective steps to improve this KPI before it becomes a serious issue.

Compare statistics for resources with similar responsibilities

Just as historical reports are useful for monitoring KPIs over time, they also provide useful information about resource activity over time. For example, average call handle time is an important statistics for determining whether your team is meeting defined service levels. Agents need to spend enough time dealing with customer issues to understand and resolve them appropriately. However, you don’t want agents taking too much extra time to make small talk with customers. Historical reports can help you compare average call handle time for various agents over time. While average call handle time may increase during a short‑term period, you may want to investigate if this statistic is consistently higher for one agent in a group.

Forecast staffing requirements for shifts

One of the most challenging aspects of maintaining service levels is making sure that shifts are staffed appropriately. Too few agents may mean that call wait times increase, which likely means higher abandon rates. On the other hand, you don’t want to over-staff shifts given that labour is already the highest cost to your contact center.

Historical reports complement the real-time data that you monitor on a day-to-day basis. These reports let you see trends over time to identify both your successes and areas for improvement. Of course, the value you’ll get from reports depends on the accuracy of the underlying data and how you’re generating them, which we’ll talk about in next month’s blog.

See you next month.

Tags: abandon rates, agent activity, agent productivity, business objectives, call handle time, call volume, customer satisfaction, customers, forecasting, historical data, KPI, metrics, real-time data, real-time monitoring, reports, scheduling, service levels, statistics, trends, TSF.

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