How to Improve Your Call Center Metrics: 5 Call Center Best Practices

A contact center manager helping an agent improve

Enhance call center metrics with these best practices, including comprehensive analysis of all customer interactions across channels.

Wondering what your team can do to improve your call center metrics, like NPS®, customer satisfaction (CSAT), first contact resolution (FCR), and customer sentiment? Here are five call center best practices high-performing brands use to optimize these important KPIs, improve contact center agent performance, deliver results, and set themselves apart from the competition. 

5 Best Practices to Improve Call Center Metrics

Boost customer sentiment and satisfaction, reduce customer effort and calls, and improve the overall contact center experience and customer experience with these effective strategies. 

#1: Analyze every customer interaction across channels to improve call center metrics in real time

Leading call and contact center teams have evolved beyond measuring contact center performance by conducting manual quality assurance (QA) reviews of a random sampling of conversations after the fact. Instead, organizations at the top of the maturity curve are leveraging cutting-edge contact center solutions like AI-powered speech and text analytics to automate the process of analyzing 100% of customer touchpoints with the contact center — phone calls, emails, live chat, social media, SMS, customer feedback surveys, and more — in the moment. These tools provide instant scores for important metrics like customer effort score (CES), CSAT, NPS®, and sentiment based on reviewing the transcripts of all conversations across channels. They also can be used to evaluate churn risk, number of competitor mentions, FCR, how well agents are adhering to company scripts, their politeness during interactions, and their overall communications skills. 

These solutions shed light on FAQs, top customer issues and complaints, emerging trends, the root cause of poor contact center experiences, opportunities for agent growth, and fixes that can be implemented to improve future outcomes, as well as provide insights into how teams can better anticipate and meet customer needs to avoid issues that result in calls and inbound messages to the contact center in the first place. 

#2: Create the next best experience for all of your customers

While text and speech analytics can be used to look back at what’s already happened across touchpoints and optimize for future interactions, experience orchestration technology can be used to improve the 1:1 contact center experience in the moment. 

Experience orchestration enables organizations to gather an individual’s aggregate customer data from across channels — such as their search and purchase history, the customer feedback they’ve submitted in the past, and pertinent details from previous contact center interactions — to create comprehensive and continuously updating customer profiles.

Having these customer profiles can help improve call center metrics in a variety of ways. For starters, contact center queue management can be optimized so that the agent with the right skills for a customer’s individual needs gets assigned to handle the case. Then during the call, agents can use insights from these profiles to tailor the contact center experience and be in the know about why customers are reaching out for help, so they can minimize customer effort, provide the right information faster, and communicate with more empathy. In addition, experience orchestration tools can also automatically suggest recommended next best actions and resources for customers based on their individual history with the company.

#3: Detect customers at risk of churn before they leave for good

How often do customers reach out to a company’s contact center multiple times without a successful, satisfactory, or timely resolution? Probably more often than any business would like. Having the right amount of skilled, knowledgeable, and empathetic agents available to handle a fluctuating volume of incoming customer calls and messages can be tricky. Inevitably, despite contact center leaders’ best intentions, some customers may not get the attention they deserve as quickly as they’d like, and, as a result, contact and call center metrics like CSAT, NPS®, CES, sentiment, and FCR can suffer. 

Thanks to sophisticated contact center technology backed by AI, however, companies can build out predictive models that automatically flag when customers are at risk of churning and alert the appropriate contact center team member to proactively reach out to the individual and offer a satisfactory response to their question or resolution for their problem.

#4: Use real-time customer feedback and insights to elevate your contact center agent training and performance

Generic training sessions aren’t enough to move the needle for agents nor improve outcomes for customers. That’s why leading companies are leaning into personalized, 1:1 training sessions for agents, using customer feedback about — and AI analysis of — their recent interactions with customers to praise agents for what they’re doing right and point out any potential opportunities for learning and growth. Pro tip: Aim for a high ratio of praise to constructive criticism and be sure to end all training sessions on a positive note.

In addition, letting agents keep tabs on their individual contact and call center metrics inspires them to take ownership of managing their performance and motivates them to self-correct and keep the momentum going when things are working well. 

#5: Collect customer and agent feedback to strengthen agent satisfaction and retention 

When turnover is high and morale is low, contact and call center metrics suffer across the board. Gathering customer feedback and sharing it with agents is a powerful way to boost engagement — particularly when you consider that consumers are more likely to share feedback about positive experiences than negative interactions, according to Medallia Institute researchers. Some industry leaders, like ESPN, take things a step further by offering perks and rewards to top-performing agents — a strategy that’s helped the brand achieve consistently high CSAT scores of 91% year over year while also minimizing employee attrition.  

Giving agents the chance to share their feedback and suggestions for improving systems, processes, and policies within the contact center is another move that can help your company elevate agent productivity and retention and drive customer retention and satisfaction. 

Improve Call Center Metrics with Medallia

Knowing how to improve call center metrics is key to unlocking customer loyalty, future purchases, and long-term business viability — particularly when you consider that 52% of consumers say that negative customer service experiences impact their willingness to recommend a brand to others and 66% say these kinds of frustrating interactions cause them to consider doing business with other companies. 

Looking to build out a modern contact center that offers a competitive advantage for your company? Meet with a Medallia expert to create a world-class contact center experience.