How to develop a plan for using real-time metrics in the call center

Posted: 02/03/2020 - 09:57 | EnquiryLab

Today’s call centers produce an abundance of data and metrics, but it can be tricky to know how best to use it.  The sheer volume of that data can easily be overwhelming to understand and analyze, and without a plan for how to actually use it, you’re likely to just find yourself drowning in information.  Here, we will help you break down the process for implementing a real-time performance strategy into three important but easier to manage steps:

  1. 1.     Decide which KPIs and metrics are best for identifying performance benchmarks.  

This is a critical step in your process because choosing the wrong metrics may provide you with information that doesn’t match your performance goals.  For example, you can’t just monitor the number of calls in the queue if customer satisfaction is your primary goal.  Spend some time identifying which contact center goals you want to measure and then matching those to the appropriate metric or combination of metrics.  Be sure that you don’t just focus on the metrics that indicate problems; you should also decide on benchmarks for success.  You should establish thresholds for both ends of the spectrum:  at what point can you feel that everything is running smoothly and when do you have cause for alarm?  

  1. 2.     Develop a method to allow contact center stakeholders to view those metrics. 

All stakeholders in your call center should have visibility to what is happening in real time.  Without that information, managers cannot effectively make on-the-fly adjustments to maintain efficiency.  When managers know the details – such as volume forecasts are not matching actual demand or average handle time is surging – they can reallocate resources or take other action to mitigate the issues.  Without real-time information, agents can feel like they are working in a void, with no concept of what they have accomplished so far or what they may face during the rest of the working day.  

You will need to have systems in place to gather and share your chosen metrics.  This will vary depending on your call center.  Successful strategies often include a combination of methods:  digital signage or wallboards, mobile apps and desktop notifications.  You can further enable these tools with threshold notifications such as triggered messages or changes to the way the text displays.  

  1. 3.     Create a response plan for when action is required.  

What will you do when your real-time data indicates that something is amiss?  Beware of implementing a real-time performance strategy without this critical step.  Having a plan in place, ready to implement when needed, will allow your contact center to quickly adjust to changing conditions.  An actionable plan provides you with the adaptability and responsiveness to address the issues immediately, before they balloon into larger challenges.  

These three steps can help you effectively use the real-time data available from your contact center.  Choosing the appropriate metrics will help you measure your success in reaching performance goals, and then bringing visibility to that data allows all stakeholders to understand the real-time situation and feel vested in creating positive outcomes.  Finally, creating a response plan provides actionable steps for addressing any issues as they arise, rather than hours or even days later.  

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