North American Customer Service Management Association

Support for Contact Center Professionals

Step 2 Data & Reports


Everyone is tracking the same types of data and using it to measure performance. Agents’ track their personal data; team managers’ track their team data and site managers compare data to other sites.

Contact centers tend to operate in stressful environments where you need to manage thousands of calls each hour while maintaining a high standard of customer services. To do this effectively, you need to be dialed into the latest metrics and KPIs such as current service level, call volume and call resolution rates. Use these contact center KPIs and metrics to track your performance through the busiest and most hectic days.

Metrics are personal. Not every manager utilizes the same data. An online shoe retailer for example doesn’t track talk times. They don’t care how long you talk with customers. From industry to industry metrics vary depending on what’s mission critical. You can get lost in the mountains of metrics or you can narrow down to your top five!

1. Quality Scores
Quality Scores were by far the most important metric used. They provide the ability to look at the overall caller experience and look at the conversations that agents are using on their phone calls. Scores can be provided at a high level to track how well the center is doing and they can also be taken down to agent level. Scores are typically measured over between 5 and 10 calls per agent per month, although when things get busy, the number of calls sampled starts to drop off.

2. Customer Satisfaction Scores
An old favorite that looks at the percentage of customers that are happy. This is simple and easy to operate. It can be carried out through a wide range of methods, the most common being a post-call IVR survey, or a follow-up email survey.

3. First Call Resolution (FCR)
Also known as ‘Best Contact Resolution’. This was a very common metric and looks at how many times a customer needs to call a company to get a problem resolved. This is a very good way of measuring a problem from the customer’s perspective. The problem is that it is quite difficult to accurately measure and tends to be rather subjective. For example, a repeat call could be about a different problem.

Here are some common ways that contact centers measure this.
- Can the agent give a satisfactory answer so that the caller does not have to call back (calls are monitored)
- Looking at the number of callers that call back within 7 days
- Looking at the calling party number within a set period
- Using a post-call IVR survey
- Looking at the quality of answer and “positiveness” of the call, measured by a third party

4. Service Level
This was one of the very first metrics to be produced by the ACD systems. It looks at the percentage of calls that are answered within a given time. The average figure seems to be between 80% of calls answered in 20 seconds and 95% of calls answered within 15 seconds.

5. Average Handling Time
This was for many years the most widespread contact center metric. It looks at the total amount of time that it takes to handle a call. This is a simple measure of efficiency. This measurement includes talk time, on-hold time as well as wrap-up time. It has had bad press in recent years because it looks only at efficiency but not at the outcome of the call. Critics say that it tends to encourage the agent to rush the caller off the phone rather than solve their problem.

The Best of the Rest There were a number of other ‘favorite’ metrics that did not make the top 10.
- Active and Waiting Calls
- Schedule Adherence
- Calls Per Hour
- Conversion Rates
- Employee Engagement
- Promise to Pay (typically used in debt collection)
- Abandon Rates
- Speed of Answer
- Customer Effort Score
- Non-value-add Calls (where customer could have self-served)

Many contact center managers at every level complain they don’t have real time data. They want to get their finger on the pulse to make actionable decisions and using yesterday’s report just isn’t good enough. The efficient and effective management of your contact center operations rely on access to real-time streaming data.

In the heat of the moment, managers are most interested in how many calls are in the queue, how many are holding and for how long are they holding? The next real time question is do you have enough agents to handle the calls in the queues? Can you see the agent’s status and determine a game plan? Quality and C-Sat scores are important to review and know each day and provide data for more long-term strategies. Real time data is for making minute-by-minute split decisions on the contact center floor. Handling the call volume is the name of the game.

Choose a contact center platform that provides real-time data with informative and intuitive real-time statistics. Today’s comprehensive contact center platforms provide fully integrated remote call monitoring and visual alerting ensures you achieve the highest possible level of contact center quality assurance and customer service. The cloud real-time analytics engine enables unsurpassed remote monitoring for real-time data capture. You want live agent and manager dashboards providing statistics. Agents want to know in real time how they a re doing and managers want to know in real time what can they do to make operations run more smoothly. Data is King. Get it live!

Step one in forecasting is gathering the data. You want stacks of historical data. History is the best indicator of the future. The first place to check is your contact center platform. A robust platform will have historical reports stored for up to a year. If your platform emails or FTPs reports automatically many managers save those reports. Seek out those managers. You want a contact center platform that saves the data! What good is data if you can’t go back to it? Too many contact center managers are frustrated because they can only go back 30 days!

Look for a contact center platform that can record every activity, store it, report it and allow you to export it for short-term or long-term storage. You want to be able to slice and dice the data per your companies needs. The data the contact center has collected is powerful and when used in strategic planning can provide insights and stories that no other organizational data can tell. Don’t let contact center providers tell you that you don’t need it because they can’t get it. In today’s world, that is unacceptable. Data is power!

Just imagine that every day before you get to the contact center, a file is emailed to you automatically with all the statistics you personally like in a format you prefer! Thinks it’s a dream? It’s for real! Today’s SaaS contact center platforms have the capability to email or FTP reports to you in a format you like including the data you care about when you want it. It’s simple if you have the right platform. Managers no longer should be running blind without the analytics they need to run contact centers. The contact centers of the 21st century are rich in data, rich in capability and rich in delivery. Set yourself up today with automatic reports. You will wonder how you lived without it.

Tips!

Don’t miss scheduled one-on-one monthly reviews with your team. Take notes from reports and daily observations to present to the agent. Your success depends on their success.
Save monthly results in a folder marked “Performance Reviews”. You won’t have to look for reports, re-run reports or hunt data down when it comes time to write reviews.

Take the Next Step!

Contact center managers never seem to have enough data whether it is real time or historical. Managers want to see activity in real time to make customer service and service level decisions and require historical data to be used in forecasting, identifying trends and performance reviews. Manages can’t improve poor situations if they can’t see what is going on. Choosing a best-in-class contact center that has the capability to track every action, report the action in real time and store it for historical reporting as well as delivery it to managers daily via FTP or email puts those managers in the driver’s seat. Knowledge is power and so is data. Give your managers what they need to be successful.

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The North American Customer Service Management Association (NACSMA) assists Service Center professionals with improving the delivery of Customer Care to their clients by providing a collaborative networking approach to operational issues.