The Complete Guide to Contact Center Performance Management
One of the most effective ways to increase customer loyalty and boost sales is to level up your customer support strategy. You want your customers to feel valued and to get value from every interaction they have with your organization.
The key to making this happen is to build a high-performance contact center. The contact center is the hub of your customer support efforts, so, as a contact center manager, you want to make sure everything, from your processes to your reporting, is working toward the goal of exceptional customer experience.
Read on to find out what managers can do to boost performance in our complete guide to contact center performance management.
What Is Contact Center Performance Management?
Managing contact center performance revolves around two things: information and communication.
- Contact center managers need the right performance metrics. Then, they need to take that data and develop strategies to enhance the contact center.
- Managers also need to communicate those strategies, as well as performance feedback, to empower the agents to continually improve in their roles.
Why Is a High-Performing Contact Center Important?
When you make resolving issues feel effortless for your customers and help them derive value from your product or service, you’re leveraging your customer support strategy to offer what Gartner calls “value enhancement.”
Doing this can lead to economic benefits for your organization. For example, Gartner has found that the probability that customers will stay with a company is 82 percent when customer support reaches the value-enhancement level, compared to 61 percent for a low-effort resolution and 37 percent for a high-effort resolution.
Additionally, research by PwC reveals that U.S. consumers will pay 16 percent more for products if they are getting a good customer experience. On the other hand, 32 percent will stop doing business with a brand they loved after one bad experience.
Your contact center is the heart of your customer service efforts. It’s what you use to interact with customers, solve their problems, and ensure they feel supported. So, you want performance to be as high as possible so your company can reap the rewards of high customer loyalty.
How to Optimize Contact Center Performance
To increase performance and empower your agents, contact center managers can follow these 3 steps:
1. Use the Right Contact Center Metrics to Gauge Performance
Step one – establish your key performance indicators.
Here are some of the most useful contact center metrics you might want to use to help you understand performance:
- First-call resolution – this shows the percentage of calls that are resolved in one contact.
- Abandoned and missed calls – you’ll need this metric to find out if you have customers who are hanging up before they connect with an agent or slipping through the cracks in other ways.
- Average speed of answer – this metric shows you how long a customer waits for contact once they enter a queue. You might look at this metric if you have a problem with abandoned calls to find out if a long-wait time could be frustrating customers.
- Daily transfers by agent – this and other agent metrics like the number of interactions per day and hold data can give you a detailed look at individual agent productivity and help you compare performance between agents.
If your contact center software uses artificial intelligence, you can dig even deeper into customer experience.
AI interaction analysis will evaluate every call transcription to track the sentiment of the conversations between customers and agents. When you can see which conversations are positive, negative, or neutral, you can identify which agents are delivering a good experience and which ones might need more training and guidance.
2. Set Achievable Goals
Once you know what metrics you’re looking at, you can establish your baseline numbers. Then it’s time to start goal-setting and strategizing.
- Set goals for your agents as a group and individually. Be honest about any performance gaps and offer specific guidance to help those agents who are underperforming.
- Identify what areas your agents need training for and create a plan to give them the mentorship and upskilling they need.
- Talk with your team about what their ideas are for improving the customer experience – as your agents are the ones interacting with customers directly, they can offer invaluable insights into what your contact center can do to better serve your customers.
3. Manage Contact Center Staff Levels
As you look at your reporting data, you might find that your contact center is over or understaffed. If it’s overstaffed, not only are you losing money, but your agents might feel disengaged at work. Even more problematic, if it’s understaffed, your customers could be waiting too long and your agents are likely stressed.
Look at metrics like average handle time, average wait time, and the number of calls in each time interval to understand how well your agents are handling current call volumes. If there’s a problem that can’t be fixed with a reasonable increase in productivity, consider hiring more agents so you’re properly staffed.
The Best Software for Contact Center Management
When you have the contact center analytics and reporting you need to track performance, set goals, and ensure you have the right number of agents on each day, you can operate a high-performing contact center.
If your current software isn’t delivering the insights you need, check out Intermedia Contact Center. With built-in reports for agent performance, queue performance, and service quality, as well as customer reports and AI analytics that reveal call sentiment, you have all the data you need to optimize your contact center and deliver a superior experience with every interaction.
Intermedia Contact Center also integrates with your other communication and business apps, helping your agents be even more successful. Learn more about how a powerful, affordable contact center can help your business.