As we head into 2020, data is becoming more crucial for successfully running a call center than ever.
In the past, the efficiency of a call center hinged on management’s ability to identify flaws in their processes and opportunities to improve the running of the center.
In the coming year, we expect to see AI take on more of these responsibilities in the contact center: Handling routine tasks, routing inquiries to the best place, and suggesting areas for improvement.
But, which areas are we to measure?
Measurements Maketh the Machine
Regardless of a computer’s power, the numbers it crunches still have to be decided by a human somewhere.
As contact center managers rev up their brand-spanking-new AI to help them execute their 2020 plans, which metrics should they be tracking?
Here are the top 4 metrics your call center should be tracking in 2020.
Metric #1: Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction. It’s why we’re all here.
Your customer satisfaction scores — or as they’re affectionately known: CSAT scores — indicate how well your agents are performing at their core task, solving customers’ problems.
They can be arrived at in a variety of ways, but are typically the result of simple customer surveys aimed at measuring sentiment. These should be sent out at the end of every customer interaction and ask for a simple rating of that interaction.
Regardless of how you arrive at your CSAT score, it’s one that should always be top of the list when looking at the effectiveness of your call center.
The customer satisfaction level depicts the organization’s performance and profitability … – Vipul Srivastav
Metric #2: Agent Satisfaction
There is no question that the way employees feel influences how they treat the customers they interact with. As Shep Hyken has noted, “A brand is defined by the customer’s experience. The experience is delivered by the employees.”
It’s no surprise then that the organizations providing the best customer experience are also leading the way in their employee engagement ratings.
Measuring your agent satisfaction — not just agent turnover — is as important a metric as customer satisfaction.
It’s no use measuring retrospectively, once disengaged agents have left the organization. Call center managers should be proactively working to stop employees disengaging and, ultimately becoming another turnover statistic.
In the last couple of years, we’ve seen more and more service decision leaders look to agent satisfaction as an inverse tactic to improve customer satisfaction rates and we hope to see a lot more.
Metric #3: First Call Resolution Rate
First call resolution rate (FCR) is an old friend of the call center manager. The best way of winning consumer loyalty is by resolving their problem as quickly as possible.
“According to SQM Group, only 3% of customers who have a problem solved during the first service interaction are likely to churn. Compare that to the 38% of customers who are likely to churn if the issue isn’t resolved after the first call.” – Clint Fontanella
First call resolution tracks the percentage of inquiries that are completely resolved without having to transfer, escalate, or return the call. It should be measured across all channels of service, to determine which is most effective at resolving issues in a single interaction.
It can also help you focus on areas that require improvement, for example, if customers are frequently asking complex questions about a product or service, there are probably steps you can take to reduce the number of inquiries.
The industry standard for FCR is 70-75%. How does yours measure up?
Metric #4: Service Level
Service level is another classic call center KPI that doesn’t usually get a lot of attention; We think it will become increasingly important as contact centers transition to ‘Experience Hubs’.
It’s a crucial metric, particularly for inbound contact centers. It’s typically measured as the percentage of inquiries answered within a pre-specified amount of time. This was traditionally measuring the time taken to pick up a phone call, but in 2020 should be measured across all channels. Setting the service level for your call center should be done with care and attention to you and your team’s needs.
It’s important because it’s directly tied to customer service quality. It tells you how accessible you are to your customers, as well as how many agents are needed at any time. It will determine your call center’s ability to handle call volume fluctuations and is directly tied to your customer satisfaction level.
After all, if there’s one thing we know everyone hates, it’s being kept waiting on the phone.
Customer Satisfaction Rules the Roost
No doubt as AI spreads to call centers far and wide, new KPIs and analytic tactics for the contact center will emerge.
But the success or the contact center today — and the Experience Hub of the future — hinges on the same thing as it always has: customer satisfaction.
All other KPIs for your call center should be designed to help improve that Mother-of-all-Metrics; The three other metrics discussed here all contribute to greater customer satisfaction in one shape or form.
Together, these four should give you, or your new AI software, the data you need to improve your call center’s performance in 2020 and beyond.