Call Center Performance Metrics: Shaping Tomorrow's Reporting Strategy
by Jay Minnucci, President, Service Agility
Contact center leaders operate in an environment that is continually evolving. New communication channels pop up seemingly overnight, marketing departments routinely devise new products and services that need our support, and our own internal systems are swapped out and upgraded soon after (or sometimes well before) we mastered the old versions. Through it all, customers expect service that is quicker, customized, more accurate, more comprehensive, and friendlier. To a great extent, success for a contact center leader comes down to the ability to adapt to all this transformation more quickly than the competition.
Change has been with us in contact centers since we first came to be. The complexity drove our need for a way to keep score, and the link between contact centers and metrics was forged. This link quickly became part of our DNA, and in the formative years of the industry it served us exceedingly well. Unlike other customer-facing organizations, we knew how many customers would ask for service every interval of the day, we knew how long it would take to serve them, and we even had some insight into how well they were served. Buoyed by the insight these traditional metrics provided, we have enjoyed the luxury of objectivity and the ability to plan effectively.
Of course, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Every contact center leader can recount stories of how a frontline supervisor used misunderstood metrics in place of common sense, often with disastrous results. The insight becomes a crutch, and well-intentioned team members suffer from paralysis by analysis. Consequently, the overabundance of data ironically leads to the wrong actions, or more commonly no action at all. The entire purpose of metrics — defining opportunities to make the greatest positive impact — becomes lost among volumes of spreadsheets that provide mountains of data but no useful intelligence.
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