Measuring the reality of the customer experience. (Call Center/CRM Management Scope).
Customer interaction analysis technology has evolved so that contact centers can now run an operation that aligns its measurements with the organization's business goals, focus on improving customers' experiences and still keep productivity up and costs down. True ROI comes from delivering the best customer experience possible with the ability to improve all areas of the business based on sophisticated, closed-loop data capture, and analysis from the gold mine of actionable information found in the contact center.
Measuring Effectiveness And Quality
At the most basic level, measuring efficiency is agent-centric and delivers interaction optimization; measuring effectiveness is customer-centric and delivers business optimization. In a world where costs must be kept in check, too often productivity goals can get in the way of efforts to optimize customers' experiences. When contact centers focus only on agent-centric measurements, other indicators of business success such as customer satisfaction and loyalty, or upsell success and closure rates, might be ignored.
Business performance data are scattered across multiple systems within the contact center. Because these data have traditionally been difficult to collate, inrerdependencies among key metrics are not recognized, tracked or managed. As a result, it is almost impossible to evaluate the real business costs and benefits of decisions made within the contact center.
By correlating both hard and soft metrics, managers can identify which agents are best at meeting quantitative goals and providing superior customer service at the same time. For instance, by comparing talk time with first call resolution, you can identify agents who excel at solving the customer's problems in the briefest amount of time -- key candidates for best practices modeling. At the same time, you can identify those agents who rake the most time to achieve call resolution and earmark them for more training (see Figure 1).
Similarly, when a decision is made to increase productivity, it can often adversely affect quality, as in the case of mandating a restriction on talk times. One undesired effect would be a reduction in customer satisfaction, but unless the conract center is measuring both, no one will recognize the link. On the flip side, recording customer satisfaction surveys immediately after a call is finished and including these scores on the agent's score card gives a more exact overall picture of the agents capabilities.
Measuring effectiveness and quality is just as important as measuring efficiency and quantity. Business objectives should become the bottom line in deciding who, what, where and when to measure, i.e., what key performance indicators (KPIs) are important for the contact center. Then data capture, consolidation, analysis and reporting can become a closed-loop process that benefits everyone when the information is distributed to the entire organization and the customers experiences are improved.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): The Who, What, Where And When Of Measurement
To ensure success, any performance management system must incorporate metrics that are appropriate and relevant. These measures include subjective metrics, such as evaluation scores and call outcomes, as well as more traditional quantitative metrics such as call handling times and number of transfers. Users can balance multiple objectives by understanding how different metrics are interrelated, When monitoring KPIs, the effect of new training programs, improved customer - facing processes and tailored product offerings quickly becomes clear.
With the right KPIs and analysis technology. contact centers can understand not only what happens in the call center, but also why it happens. The ability to roll up, drill down or drill across data at any level -- including listening to the actual call recordings underlying the data -- gives an unparalleled opportunity to understand reality from the customer's perspective. Detailed analysis can include drilling down through different levels of the organization, across time for trend analysis or comparing departments or product lines against each other. A data mart that includes recorded customer interactions delivers a full understanding of what is happening in the contact center and helps pinpoint the best opportunities for management action.
A few examples of KPIs from different data sources that can provide extremely useful information can be found above in Table 1.
Current Technology For Complex Data Analysis
Traditional query and reporting tools tell only a part of the story and cannot achieve sophisticated analysis. New central performance management systems can integrate data from different sources and incorporate metrics that are directly relevant to key business objectives. These systems can then distribute the critical business intelligence captured by the contact center to all areas of the organization.
Until now, contact center managers have spent precious time each week compiling performance statistics rather than coaching agents. Today's technology eliminates the need to manually gather performance data, instead providing on-demand or on-schedule data import from identified sources, without any human interaction. Performance management systems allow for different KPI configurations and goals for different workgroups or contact center divisions, enabling everyone to be measured using the right metrics and goals. Score cards provide a clear summary of performance in relation to selected KPIs.
When researching a performance management system, be sure it can:
* Provide KPIs that reflect the needs and goals of the business,
* Share information quickly and cost-effectively across the entire organization,
* Use score cards to provide an intuitive summary of performance,
* Identify performance against user-defined goals,
* Drill down through the data to uncover what happens in the contact center and then drill across to understand why it happens, and
* Link recorded calls directly to performance statistics.
Contact Center Analytics Benefit The Entire Organization
The potential of the information gathered in the contact center is extraordinary. Are there business processes that limit agents' ability to provide customers with superior service? Are there technology issues that result in long idle times between calls? Are there training needs that, if met, could boost quality across large groups of agents? This information exists within the contact center and analysis identifies where and how to improve business processes, enhance the quality of the customer experience and impact the bottom line.
Executives can better understand why customers choose to leave the company, product managers can listen to actual customer opinions about their product, win-back teams can become more effective and trainers can build their programs based on teal interactions between agents and customers. Causes of variations in customer satisfaction and customer retention rates can be better understood.
Departmental managers in sales, marketing and finance can see the impact of new programs, campaigns and trend performance. Recorded customer feedback can provide the development team with important information for future product releases.
When agents can see individual, team and corporate performance against goals, they are more likely to perceive their roles as a critical component to the organization's success.
Contact centers no longer need to be perceived as a back room where money flows out and nothing of value comes in. They contain a gold mine of insights into the organization and its customers' experiences with the company, and by acting on those insights, the contact center can be transformed from a cost center into a value center.
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
Table 1 KPI Data source Talk time vs. ACD, predictive call resolution dialer and CRM/ desktop application Quality monitoring Quality monitoring scores vs. customer application, satisfaction scores customer satisfaction surveys Call resolution ACD, CRM/desktop vs. agent pay apps, payroll software Calls per hour Predictive dialer, ACD KPI Strategy Talk time vs. Use this KPI to determine the call resolution relationship between talk time and call resolution. Resolution could be a closed sale, a promise to pay (collections) or a completed work ticket in a help desk or customer care environment. Benchmark those agents with the lowest talk times and highest resolution rates. Record these agents' calls for "best practices" training. Quality monitoring This KPI can help you identify scores vs. customer areas of subjectivity in your satisfaction scores quality monitoring process. Use it to identify supervisors that consistently score agent quality our of alignment with customer feedback. Use the recorded calls to identify training opportunities for agents and supervisors and to create more objective scoring forms. Call resolution This KPI can help you determine vs. agent pay whether your best-paid agents are really your best performers. Use this KPI to create incentive plans that balance tenure with productivity and quality. Calls per hour Simply mandating agents handle more calls with in each hour may reduce revenue results or customer satisfaction, so the goal for this KPI should be to balance productivity (number of calls) with quality (accomplishing objectives).
For information and subscriptions, visit www.TMCnet.com or call 203-852-6800.
Marlene Rosati is director of marketing for Eyretel Inc., a provider of voice and data recording, quality monitoring and analysis systems designed to support and enhance customer experience management (CEM).
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|Publication:||Customer Interaction Solutions|
|Date:||May 1, 2002|
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