You know why contact center performance matters. Customer service is a key factor that nearly all customers (95%) consider when making purchase decisions, according to the top customer service trends our team at Stella Connect by Medalla uncovered as part of a research study of more than 2,100 consumers in the US and UK.
Understanding contact center performance management is vital for any business. In a study we conducted of more than 2,100 consumers in the US and UK, we found that 95% consider customer service when making purchase decisions. In the same study, 67% of participants say they stop doing business with a company after only a few negative customer service experiences. That’s why effective contact center performance management is the cornerstone for success.
If you’re unsure how to measure your contact center performance, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll explain how to see what your team is doing right, where there’s room for improvement, what your customers really think of your contact center experience, and how your contact center agents are influencing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
First, let’s review the top reasons why contact center performance management matters.
Measuring contact center performance can lead to fewer customer frustrations and more empowered employees. By investing in the face of your company, you’ll attract more customers — and retain more of your existing customers. Contact center performance management is the roadmap for problem-solving and adaptation so that you can deliver the best support and brand experience.
Here’s how contact center management ensures you’re operating cost-efficiently:
By monitoring your call center’s successes and failures, you’re able to develop best practices for common scenarios. Agents will have strong knowledge and clear pathways for policies and contacts. This can reduce lengthy customer interactions and any open or abandoned queries. Standard operating procedures allow you to hire and assign new agents faster. It also establishes expectations for agent performance.
Tracking agent performance can identify your team’s abilities, helping route customer issues to those with the most relevant expertise. You can tailor your customer interactions to improve turnaround and satisfaction.
Contact center performance management involves analyzing the timing and relevance of agent responses. Slow, complicated systems create hurdles for customers and agents, while streamlined tools improve the speed of addressing customer concerns. Insights into performance might indicate a need for modernized technology solutions. Investing in contact center solutions for queuing, customer data management and analysis, managing agent workloads, creating virtual assistants, and smart callback scheduling should set agents up for success.
Greater satisfaction leads to customer loyalty and encourages future orders (and/or fewer returns), and it also results in less agent turnover. Positive customer experiences motivate existing employees.
Tracking customer interaction data can help identify the root of customer concerns to speed up resolution times. That efficiency also translates to how customers perceive your level of care. Exceptional customer service means higher and more frequent conversions.
Your company’s public perception and its profit depend on your contact center agent performance. But to track contact center performance, you need to strategize your goals and choose data-driven benchmarks. These help to set standards, signal when you’re falling behind, and ensure that you match customer expectations (for all companies).
Are your contact center agents efficient and productive? Here’s how to close performance gaps.
For the best contact center experience, agents need the right structure and tools. So to improve your contact center performance, you also need to look at the big picture.
Organizations use this customer experience metric to improve contact center performance in three main ways:
This key performance indicator (KPI) is a measure of how happy your customers feel about your company compared with their expectations. CSAT can be in reference to your products, services, or customer service interactions.
As with the NPS® score, brands can measure CSAT using real-time customer listening surveys. Ask customers to rate their satisfaction level using a sale of one (very unsatisfied) to five (very satisfied).
To improve contact center performance, this can be measured at both customer service levels:
This KPI determines how easy (or hard) it is for customers to accomplish something, such as get help from your organization’s customer service team. Wondering how to calculate your CES score? Companies find out their CES score by directly surveying their customers. Ask them the level of effort a given task requires on a scale of one (high effort) to seven (low effort). Do so immediately following an interaction with your contact center.
As with NPS®, these scores help reveal who your promoters are (those with a five+ rating) and who your neutral/detractor customers are (those with a rating of less than five).
First contact resolution rate (FCR) is another top KPI for effective contact center management. It tracks the rate at which agents address and fully resolve customer problems within the first outreach. You want the lowest transfer rate possible over the phone, email, or during a live chat session — this includes escalating the issue and offering to return the call. A fast, direct FCR prevents the customer from reiterating their concerns and adding tension.
You can measure your company’s first call resolution rate by surveying customers after a contact center interaction and asking, “Did we resolve your problem today?” AI-powered Speech Analytics and Text Analytics can also be used to automatically analyze every customer interaction and assess whether a conversation has been successfully closed out during the first touchpoint.
Customer sentiment is a qualitative assessment of customers’ views, attitudes, and opinions. You can measure customer sentiment of a given brand, customer experience, or contact center interaction. Here a few methods for gathering data:
As part of their quality assurance programs, brands like Peek.com, Uncommon Goods, and SmartPak use real-time QA tools to review customer service interactions — agent phone calls, emails, and chats, etc. These conversations are evaluated in the moment across a range of customer service performance scorecard measures.
Automated QA reviews are conducted to measure agent performance on soft skills and hard skills and help brands assess whether contact center agents are successfully:
Knowing how to track metrics is just the beginning. Want to see your contact center performance take off? Get your copy of our guide to best practices: 4 Steps to Supercharge Contact Center Agent Performance. It has insights on how to strengthen your team’s performance to deliver better experiences for your customers.