TASKE Technology's Call Center Blog

A lack of data is not likely a problem for your business. In fact, your contact center may have volumes of data about how many calls it gets in a day, how long callers waited to be answered, how many callers gave up waiting before they were answered, and so on. While these statistics are certainly valuable to you on a individual basis, you may want to consider leveraging further. Many businesses have found value in using statistics as metrics for key performance indicators. In other words, you can measure activity in the contact center to determine whether it is meeting higher-level business goals.

Let’s look at an example. A business in a very competitive market wants to keep as many customers as possible while giving new customers a positive experience.  One of the objectives for this business, then, is to maintain a relatively high customer satisfaction rate.  While this business objective affects all of its organizations, customer-facing units such as sales and support need to be particularly aware of changing conditions that could decrease customer satisfaction. Responding quickly and appropriately to these changes can mitigate any short-term concerns before they become long-term headaches.

The contact center for this business is using KPIs to monitor activity critical to customer satisfaction. Obviously, customers will be frustrated if they wait too long for an agent’s time, either before or after being answered. Recognizing this, the contact center uses two KPIs for keeping wait time and on hold time under one minute. Using these metrics together provides a better picture of customer service than each statistic on an individual basis. While wait times can easily be minimized by answering calls quickly, customers are no less frustrated if they are then put on hold while the agent answers other callers.

Choosing or reassessing the KPIs that are appropriate for your contact center will take some time and input from several stakeholders. To help you get started, consider three KPIs that are generally accepted as core measures of service levels in a contact center:

  • First call resolution.

Are customers satisfied with the outcome of their first contact with your contact center? Do they need to call back more than once about the same issue? A customer with repeat callbacks on the same issue is not only an unhappy customer, but one may consume significant amounts of agent time and  system resources. While this KPI is a good measure of customer satisfaction, it can also indicate where agent training may be needed, as well as other opportunities to improve productivity or operations.

  • Telephone service factor.

Are agents answering calls in an acceptable timeframe? For example, you may want calls answered in less than 30 seconds to be as responsive as possible to your callers and to minimize the number of abandon calls. The TSF gives you the percentage of calls that were answered within a specified duration. If you see a low TSF value, you may want to investigate why calls are ringing longer than you’d like. For example, a queue may be short-staffed or call volume may have increased unexpectedly.

  • Abandon rates.

How many callers are hanging up while waiting to be answered? Typically, long wait times are the reason behind high abandon rates, and can lead to a negative impression of your contact center, and probably the business overall. If you see high abandon rates, take a look at your call volumes. If they’ve increased, you may want to reassess queue staffing requirements.

Whether your KPIs measure revenue generation, cost control, operations, performance, or customer and employee satisfaction, the most important thing to remember is that you want to assess whether your contact center is contributing to the success of your business.

Check out next month’s blog, when we’ll discuss KPIs for two specific contact center models: inbound call handling versus outbound call handling. In the meantime, we’d like to hear about how you use KPIs, particularly if you’ve developed any best practices around your KPIs or have a success story you’d like to share.

See you next month.

Tags: abandon rates, first call resolution, KPI, metrics, statistics, TSF.

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