It is crucial to timely measure the efficiency of work in the operation of any company or organization. Call centers aren’t an exception. It may seem that the main call center metrics lie in the total regular number of calls. It’s not that simple, though. It’s not all about the calls, but more about their quality and usefulness for clients.
For instance, a turns to a call center to get some additional info about products or services a company provides. While waiting for a response, however, they may become confused with the voice menu and push random digits for the following 10 minutes trying to get to speak with a live operator. Situations like this are sure to affect the performance readings.
In order to measure the efficiency of a call center’s work, we should first define - what call center metrics to take into account in the first place. A list of such metrics can then be made into a more generalized set of KPI - key performance indicators. Regular, thorough monitoring of these indicators can help a call center increase profits and identify which workflow aspects should be optimized to boost the overall quality of performance.
Standard Call Center Metrics for Defining KPI
All KPI points can be roughly subdivided into three groups: a) indicators of productivity, b) general level of service, c) quality of operators’ work.
The major productivity indicators when it comes to call centers include the following.
Time of wait for an operator response. This indicates how easy or difficult it is for a client to get an answer from an operator. A ratio of waiting time can help understand how much time the initial connection usually takes and how much client loyalty depends on it.
Average time of refusing to continue waiting. It’s important to see how much time clients are ready to put into waiting for their turn to connect with an operator before they put the phone down. Such unsatisfied clients, as a rule, then go to another company. This is among the crucial call center performance metrics.
The preciseness of IVR routing. These metrics allow for assessing how well an interactive voice menu is configured. With this ratio, you can define how much of a complete response was provided via the IVR routing. In this aspect, the number of users that choose the IVR and get their questions fully resolved against the total number of IVR users can be compared.
A number of questions resolved during the first contact. This parameter allows for identifying how many clients get their issues solved on the first try. In order to boost these metrics, you should decrease the tendency of redirecting clients to other departments.
A number of lost calls.The statistics concerning clients that couldn’t consult with an operator for some reason. There is special software to help indicate the total number of missed calls. These calls can be processed separately in order to minimize their number further on.
Level of operators’ stress load.A very useful call center performance metric to help settle with staff numbers. It’s important to find a golden middle here: on one hand, operators shouldn’t experience downtime, on the other - they shouldn’t be swamped with work. The dynamics of this aspect should be indicated in order to define peak hours. This indicator can be measured by making out a ratio between the total time the operator spends speaking with clients and the total number of their work hours. The most optimal reading is 70%-80%.
Average call processing time. Last but not least among the major call center industry standards metrics. This indicator can be measured both for a single operator and for a call center as a whole. It, basically, describes the total time a call takes (including the wait time, pauses, and direct communication). By studying this criterion, you can see how the topic of the client’s call affects the length of it. It also shows whether the average call time is increased with prolonged pauses, which is a sign of unsatisfactory discipline in an organization.
Level of service
The second group of metrics characterizes the whole level of a call center`s service. This call center metrics list starts with the position of the same name.
The level of service. It describes the speed of taking calls, i.e., call center capacity. It can be measured as a percentage ratio between the number of calls and the time it takes for clients to get answers. The perfect metric is 100% (an operator answers at once). But 80% is a pretty high result (an operator responds in 20 seconds after the initial connection at the most).
A number of redirected calls.A crucial inbound call center metric. It implies a percentage of calls that operators redirected to other employees directly competent in the question as opposed to a total number of inbound calls. It allows an understanding of how frequently calls are redirected to other departments and which client questions can be answered by regular call center employees.
Quality of call center employees' performance
Every other company has an authentic matrix for evaluating the quality of operators’ work. It depends on many aspects of the specifics of a certain company’s operation. There are also, however, universal properties that should be considered by call centers engaged with any type of business activity. These include:
An ability to properly implement certain procedures (deal-making, proper greetings, and goodbyes);
Software skills (to fill out and interact with databases, client cards, etc.);
Verbal communication skills (quality of diction, level of confidence, tone of voice, absence of transition phrases between questions and of forbidden words);
There are numerous ways to increase the call center performance quality metrics, like the following.
Employment of IVR systems for automated service
IVR or Interactive Voice Response is software that features an interactive menu with an automated series of standardized messages and call routing capabilities.
The system allows to:
Reduce the response waiting time;
Lower human resource costs, as the system is able to provide sufficient service for 30%-60% of clients;
Decrease the operators’ workload;
Automatically sort out clients based on their questions;
Positively affect the business image;
Facilitate company promotional efforts;
Easily integrate with other systems.
Despite all the mentioned benefits, however, the interactive voice menu can also have some negative aspects to it. For one thing, all clients may have to go through the same information a bunch of times before they get to start solving their questions. In order to avoid this issue, pay attention to the system structure and enable clients to effortlessly contact operators directly. The client’s distress may be caused by:
A necessity to listen to one and the same piece of info several times;
An absence of direct, fast connection with an operator;
CRM system for personalized client interaction
CRM is an automated system that allows for managing all the in-house processes and automatically building up efficient communication within the company.
With the help of a dedicated CRM, you can:
Select a product for a client based on their history of interaction and personal information captured in the database;
Introduce call processing regulations to increase the speed of staff performance;
Implement sales planning and income prediction;
Automatically sort out the database of contacts for outbound calls;
Automate routine in-house tasks.
WFM system for work time management
A WFM system is a separate module for staff work time planning (as well as workload planning, optimal schedule generation, personal employee efficiency measurement, etc.).
It`s quite simple to interact with such software: you define the required level of service quality, an amount of staff, work schedule, holidays, breaks, and such while it automatically calculates the optimal workload for every other employee.
Using such software allows to:
Decrease the staff numbers to avoid excesses and build an optimal balance between the volume of work and number of people;
Efficiently indivision employees based on their professional qualities;
Evenly and systematically distribute the workload for all experts;
Track work time;
Reduce overtime work compensation expenses.
Avoiding the staff burnout
Oftentimes, people consider a job in a call center as temporary. Because of that, employee turnover commonly reaches up to 40%. This happens, as a rule, due to in-house organizational reasons or a high level of emotional load. The latter cannot really be completely eradicated, but it can be compensated.
The overall quality of employee performance can also be affected by the following factors:
Satisfaction with the position;
Access to regular training and mentoring on the initial stages of work;
Flexible work schedule;
Access to the lounge zone;
An ability for employees to interact with each other;
Career growth opportunities.
You can increase the level of employee satisfaction and lower emotional burnout risks with special approaches to management and corporate culture cultivation.
Employees` understanding of KPI
In order for a company to work more efficiently, every employee should be interested in their personal and professional growth. That’s why workers should be aware of key metrics by which their performance is assessed and compensation is calculated.
Staff training & mentoring
Experienced supervisors should regularly work with the staff. They should go through call recordings and discuss all the nuances with operators. Initially, they should listen to ongoing calls and give operators hints during online dialogues.
Coach sessions where all the major mistakes and practical cases are reviewed are also quite efficient. During such sessions, all the questions an employee might have got gradually resolved. Employees should also be provided with profiled knowledge as to the specifics of the company and the products or services it offers.
The main goal of any remote consulting is to solve a particular issue articulated during the first call. Every businessperson knows that it’s client satisfaction that eventually converts into company income. Thus, high-quality service is of essential priority.