By outsourcing the customer support process to a third party you are entrusting the well being of your customers in a different company. There are many outbound and inbound call centers which can perform the job admirably. But at the end of the day it is your business and you have to know about the results your customer care partners are bringing. Measuring the performance of a process and that of the agents involved in that is an important metrics for the call centers. When it comes to measuring the performance there are various metrics used by the call centers. They use the popular metrics or customize some based on their settings. But there are some common metrics that are widely used in the call center outsourcing world for measuring performance and these are:
- First Time Call Resolution
- Quality Scores
- Service Levels
- Customer Satisfaction
- Average Handling Time
- Net Promoter
- Right Party Connects
- Revenue Per Call
In many instances such metrics can create confusion and hindrance in work too. You would definitely not want a thing that was implemented to help in the management process become a hindrance. There are many call centers that use the measurement metrics just for the sake of it, rather than using it as a tool to improve and learn about their processes.
Problems with Computer Generated Metrics
The augmentation of technology in the measurement process has made the situation worse. Technology can analyze things minutely without taking into consideration other factors. One of the biggest uses of technology comes in during the customer surveys. There are various reasons why any organization carries out the customer satisfaction surveys. Some of them are:
- Just to please the immediate boss.
- For self gratification and not for any learning.
- To please all the staff and show them that a systematic approach is being followed.
So, in all these cases the prime motive of customer satisfaction surveys is defeated. The organizations are not eager to learn about their frailties and areas to expand. They do not take any measures to improve services which may help in reaching out to customers better. Certain customer satisfaction surveys are done after long gaps, and during these gaps many customers already shift to another brand. Customer satisfaction surveys should be done regularly and not once in a blue moon. The questions for the survey should be picked after much thought. Asking silly questions to customers is just a waste of time and money.
Does this really matter to customers?
Yes, proper conducting of a customer satisfaction survey has direct impact on the psyche of the customers. This is one area where they can vent their feelings. They can tell what they feel bad and what they liked about the services of a company. If there are silly questions, which do not probe into the customers’ psychology then the customers cannot opine freely. They are limited by choices. Even an angry feedback from the customer is very important it helps organizations better their services. Good customer satisfaction surveys show that the organization is professional and that it cares about the customer experience. Standing in the customers shoes, it has to be said the survey matters a lot.
Target Based Measurements
Businesses should always set targets to achieve greater heights. This is fine in all the other areas, but not so in terms of performance measurement metrics. When the measurements are dependent on the targets there can be various problems. Suppose the management is measuring the first call resolution rates and they have set 92% as the target. Once this target is attained they will automatically raise the target to 93%. The management will not rest until they attain a complete 100%, so where is the logic in this? It seems the targets are set so that they cannot be attained. This is where the problem lies. So, the target based measurements do not work.
Things to Follow
It is important that the best practices should be followed while measuring the performance of the employees and the processes. Some of the best practices are:
- Always make a list of the right things to measure and measure them. The selection should be thorough. There is no point in measuring the easiest things.
- Measurements should be done for things that can be analyzed and reviewed and actions are taken based on them.
- Include things that are relevant at the present time. This is why the metrics should always change over time.
- Though, do not hurry in changing the metrics. Give a set of metrics some time, so that it can be viewed and compared. This will show the trends.
At times measurements can take into account not only the customers but the internal staff too. The insights and feedback from the staff often prove valuable in understanding the weaknesses within the organization. Benchmarking can also be included in the survey metrics. You can ask people to compare your services against that of certain leaders in the sector. This will give you new insights into how the services can be bettered and made as per the world standards.
The end thing of performance measurements is that they should be done intelligently. The employees should not allow one key aspect slip for another. This is very evident in the Average Handling Time. The agents in their bid to reduce AHT often sacrifice with customer satisfaction. So, the staff should be informed that they cannot sacrifice one aspect for the sake of another.