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Last month, we talked about how KPIs can help you measure whether your contact center is meeting business objectives. We also covered a few KPIs that are generally accepted as core measures of service levels in a contact center: first call resolution, telephone service factor, and abandon rates.

Now, we’ll look more closely at KPIs for more specific contact center service models. In general, contact centers provide inbound or outbound call services. (Some contact centers may provide both types of service models, but for our purposes, let’s look at them independently.) In the case of inbound call services, callers initiate contact. Customer service and product support are common examples of contact centers for inbound call services.  For outbound call services, agents initiate contact, such as for product sales or charitable donations.

Although KPIs are all based on specific business objectives, KPIs for these models should be different. Inbound call services are generally measured on customer satisfaction while outbound call services are measured on revenue generated.

To help understand the relationship between business goals and contact center services, let’s look at a fictional business with an objective to maintain their current market share. This business has two contact centers:  one handles inbound calls for product orders and one handles outbound calls selling extended warranties for products.

Inbound Calls Contact Center

To maintain market share through increased customer loyalty and satisfaction, agents handling customer calls for product orders want to provide a positive experience.  KPIs for this contact center might include measuring how long customers waited before being answered and how long calls were put on hold after being answered. These KPIs are good indicators of whether customers may be frustrated because they are waiting for service. This contact center may not use KPIs related to cost reduction if the business sees investment in the contact center as a way to maintain customer satisfaction.

Outbound Calls Contact Center

For warranty sales, agents are responsible for selling extended warranties to customers who have already purchased products. To maintain market share through retention of existing customers, these agents want to sell as many warranties as possible. For the contact center, this means contacting customers before the manufacturers’ warranties expire. Here, a KPI may be the number of calls made, assuming that the number of warranties purchased is a percentage of the number of calls made. Another KPI may be the call duration. Agents need to keep customers on the phone long enough to explain the benefits of extending a warranty, answer any questions, and complete the warranty purchase. Short call durations  may indicate that customers are hanging up on the agent. Long call durations may indicate that callers have many questions because agents aren’t presenting information clearly. Longer calls may also be an issue because they reduce the number of calls an agent can make during a shift.

KPIs provide an ongoing measure of activity in your contact center. Occasionally, KPIs may reflect values that are not inline with acceptable targets. For example, wait times may temporarily be longer than you’d like because call volume increases for some unexpected reason. However, as long as KPIs over time are consistent with defined targets, you know that your contact center is contributing to the success of your business.

We’ve covered quite a bit of information about KPIs. We hope you’ve learned something new. If you have any questions about KPIs or you want to share your experience, feel free to comment on the blogs and we’ll join you in a discussion.

See you next month.

Tags: inbound contact center, KPI, metrics, outbound contact center, statistics.

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