Performance measurement isn’t a new concept. Italian mathematician Galileo was already talking about the importance of measuring progress in the late 16th century: “Measure what is measurable and make measurable what is not so.”
Several centuries later, Galileo’s words still ring true for contact centers. These days, there are tons of key performance indicators (KPIs) and call center metrics to evaluate call center performance and call center agent performance. Take your pick — first call resolution (FCR), abandon rate, customer satisfaction (CSAT), and more.
To evaluate call center agent performance, companies should examine both agent knowledge and the overall performance of the call center.
While there are many KPIs to choose from, they’re not necessarily equal when it comes to evaluating performance. The right KPIs depend on the contact or call center. And, it’s important to integrate the assessment of multiple KPIs for a more accurate evaluation.
Important KPIs for evaluating call center agent performance.
Let’s take a deeper look at some KPIs that help contact centers measure their agents’ performance.
First call resolution (FCR).
FCR measures the percentage of customer queries that are resolved within the first interaction. If customers need to reach out multiple times to resolve a single issue, you likely have a low FCR rate. Not only does a high FCR improve customer experience, but it also indicates high efficiency in your agents.
Average speed of answer (ASA).
ASA refers to the average response time or amount of time that it takes for an agent to answer a call. Shorter ASAs indicate higher efficiency for your team.
Abandon rate, or abandonment rate, refers to the number of callers that abandon a call (hang up) while waiting for an agent to answer. It’s important to note, however, that abandon rates aren’t always indicative of a specific agent’s performance. Sometimes, a call center is overwhelmed or understaffed, resulting in long wait times.
Smart routing is a great tool for lowering abandon rates.
Net promoter score (NPS).
Net promoter score (NPS) is a metric that measures the likelihood of a customer recommending the company to friends, family, and colleagues. This data is often collected as a survey question, asking customers to rate the service on a scale of 1 to 10.
Customer satisfaction score (CSAT).
Customer satisfaction score, also known as CSAT, measures how satisfied a customer is after completing a call or other interaction with an agent. CSAT is usually measured through an interactive survey at the end of a call.
How to provide constructive feedback to your agents.
Begin with a self-assessment.
Invite your agent to assess their own performance and customer service first. Let them fill out a scorecard template and answer general questions about their work.
This gives your agents a chance to take the lead in their growth with your business. It can also help them practice self-awareness in their work and identify areas for improvement, creating a more collaborative dynamic between agent and manager.
Use evidence and leverage BI.
When providing constructive feedback to your agent, make sure they know where it’s coming from. Avoid telling them blanket statements without evidence.
Business Intelligence, or BI, analyzes your metrics and turns the data into actionable items. Call center agent scorecards are also great tools to show agents how their performance looks throughout calls. You can accurately fill out scorecards using technology such as real-time call monitoring.
Identify strengths and celebrate them.
Constructive feedback isn’t always centered around negative feedback or areas for improvement. It can also include positive feedback, so make sure you tell your agents what they’re doing right!
Some agents might perform lower when it comes to handle time and first call resolution while achieving high CSAT scores. This indicates that customers love chatting with them, and they provide exception customer experiences. Every agent has unique strengths, and recognizing them improves agent morale.
Always identify areas for improvement within the context of their successes. Low ASA may be a cause for concern — but if your CSat and NPS is high, it’s likely that your customers are engaged and happy with the service.
Post-evaluation best practices.
So you evaluated your agents’ performance. Now what? Close the loop with opportunities to address the points brought up in an agent’s evaluation.
Provide additional training.
If your agent displays a need for improvement in first call resolution or customer satisfaction, offer them additional training to help them improve. Call center agent training can take the form of courses, seminars, videos, and other activities that teach and inform agents about successful work practices.
Offer coaching sessions and mentorship.
Depending on their learning style, one-on-one learning can be more effective for certain agents. Consider offering mentorship opportunities or coaching sessions to help agents improve their performance.
A call center might consider establishing an in-house volunteer mentoring program for this purpose. And, don’t be afraid to offer incentives! Make it worth an agent’s while to volunteer for the program.
Call center agents have challenging jobs – it’s important to measure performance to ensure agents are consistently providing quality service. Evaluating call center agent performance isn’t only about criticism – it’s about effective call center management, measurable metrics, and of course, consistent support.