Which performance driver is most important to your call center? Well, it depends on your organization’s goals and the priorities that you’ve established for the contact center. In our experience working with virtual call centers, here are our top 4 performance drivers.
Call Center Performance Drivers Fall into Four Distinct Categories:
- Customer satisfaction
- Employee satisfaction
- Revenue generation
1. Customer Satisfaction
Some contact centers are excellent at understanding what makes customers happy, but not all of them are good at actually doing what it takes to make customers happy.
Here are some metrics to measure your customers’ satisfaction:
- How fast agents answer the phone, including average speed of answer and service level.
- How customers rate their experiences in a post-contact survey.
2. Employee Satisfaction
Your employees can tell you in your monthly opinion survey what they see as being employee satisfaction drivers. Start by asking universal questions about job satisfaction or personal fulfillment; then ask open-ended questions about what is satisfying and what aspects of the call center job isn’t. In follow-up surveys, include questions about management’s performance in relation to the satisfying (and dissatisfying) factors identified in the earlier survey.
These should definitely be included as key employee satisfaction drivers:
- Training: Are your workers getting the preparation that they need to do the job right?
- Team-leader support: Are your workers getting the help that they need?
- Feedback: Do your workers know where they stand in your expectations and performance criteria?
Cost-control is probably a main concern for your call center, even though call centers offer a very efficient way to communicate with a large number of customers. Still, organizations frequently have large contact center costs, so directors have good reason to scrutinize those expenses.
Items that affect the efficiency of your call center include:
- Repeat calls from customers who don’t get a first call resolution
- Call length
- Agents occupancy
- Average cost of making an agent available to answer the phones (wages, benefits, management costs, fixed costs, and so on)
- Non-production time (time that agents spend away from the phone, which is measured through WFM adherence)
- Frequent agent sick days, absenteeism and high yearly turnover rate
4. Revenue Generation
Improvement in your call center’s profit generation can have a greater effect on profit margins than lowering costs. In relatively large contact centers, small improvements in retention rate (keeping customers who call to cancel services) represent hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in saved revenue. Earthlink still has $800,000,000/year in dial-up Internet customers in 2014. Similarly, small improvements in selling and up-selling (attempting to have the customer purchase an upgrade, an add-on, or a more expensive item) can represent hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. How many Direct TV products will double the offer for only additional shipping and handling?
In addition to your retention rate, consider these key revenue metrics, or measures for quantitatively assessing revenue generation:
- Conversion rate
- Revenue generated per sale
- Cancellations per call
- Revenue lost per cancellation
You should examine all of these items in great detail because they will help you attain your call center’s goals. Call center managers who have firm control of their results dig deep into these aspects of operations to better understand why they reach the results that they do, and how to affect those results for a more positive future.
A full time business analyst can research cost-control drivers to identify opportunities to improve efficiencies, especially in a relatively large call center.