North American Customer Service Management Association

Support for Contact Center Professionals

Step 4 Agent KPI’s


Many contact centers operate in a stressful environment where you need to manage thousands of calls each hour while maintaining a high standard of customer service.

To do this effectively, you need to be dialed into the latest metrics and Key Performance Indictors (KPIs). KPI is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively your company, department, and agents are achieving business objectives. It measures the level of success based on the contact center’s goals and expectations.

What drives your contact center? By tracking daily performance from the busiest and most hectic days to the slowest days for an accurate measurement. KPI’s can provide insights into personal and team continuous improvement areas, customer satisfaction and agent satisfaction. By following the analytics that your company provides, which can provide insights into where and how to drive the business, you can determine additional coaching and training needs as well as overall performance.
Here are the most common KPI’s for a contact center.

- Average Time in the Queue
- Average Speed of Answer
- Average Abandonment Rate
- Average Handle Time
- Average After Call Work Time
- First Call Resolution
- Customer Satisfaction
- Service Levels
- Quality Assurance Scores

There many more, it just depends on what is important to your business. For example, an online shoe retailer does not track agent talk times. They don’t care how long you talk with customers because they believe talking is good. There is no reason to hurry folks off the phones.

Imagine going to a sports game; basketball, hockey or football for example, and both teams are very active in getting baskets, putting the puck into the net, or kicking footballs over goal posts yet no one is keeping score! Would the game be as exciting? No of course not! Everyone wants to win, so keeping score is a way to determine who is winning. It determines who is more successful. Everyone loves a nail bitter of a game where both teams are scoring and we must have a winner.

That’s the team’s score, but what about the individual players? What player had the most baskets, the most field goals, the most assists or the most yards ran etc.? The metrics can overwhelm the average fan, but to the players it is vital information that helps them continuously improve their game and when the entire team is pushing to improve, they become the winning team! Every athlete must give their personal best for their team to excel.

Anyone who wants to improve keeps tracks of their statistics. It is difficult to beat yourself if you don’t know where you currently stand. It is difficult to beat the top performer if you don’t know how far away you are. Agent statistics are like ballplayer stats except they don’t show up on baseball cards. They like their stats in a dashboard!

The real question is how do Agents get access to their own metrics?

In many contact centers, an agent’s specific data is old by the time they get it. Your competitive and conscientious agents are striving to be top performers and are always screaming to know “How am I doing?” If they could see in real-time how they were doing, they would keep pushing to beat themselves and those at the top. It is very motivating and exciting for agents to compete.

So where is the agent Dashboard showing their talk times, hold times, abandoned calls, and how much time is spent in after-call work? People who want to be great need to know at every minute where they stand so they can improve. Therefore, athletes always know their stats and lifetime averages.

An enterprise-comprehensive contact center platform has the capability of providing agent metrics right on their desktops! The platform tracks all the activity and reports it to a dashboard for agents. When agents’ login to the hosted platform, the agent dashboard, with its metrics, allows them to see in real-time how they are doing. A real sophisticated dashboard provides inbound and outbound statistics, shows the queues the agent is logged into as well as a full menu bar with user status, script preview, chat features and more.

Seeing your own numbers live is very motivating and will encourage agents to perform at their highest levels. Looking at yesterday’s call reports is like yesterday’s news. Give agents what they need to be successful.

Customer Satisfaction scores are an old favorite that looks at the percentage of customers that are happy. This is simple and easy to collect and 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. Implementing a Voice Data analytic system automates this process by converting the audio file into text for later analysis. Customers prefer the voice data analysis because they don’t have to stay on the line and answer questions.

Customer Satisfaction metrics provide an assessment of your call center's performance from your customer's perspective. These types of metrics are important for any service-based industry, including retail and call centers. This data is usually collected through customer surveys that ask general questions, including call quality, call resolution, and how satisfied the customer was with the service received regardless of outcomes.

Customer satisfaction is a tricky metric. Many times, on the customer satisfaction survey there are things the agent has no control over. When agents are evaluated on interest rate for example – something they have no control of – how high or low it is it can demotivate agents and some will give up on this metric altogether because it is a no-win situation. If this is a tool to measure how “satisfied” the customer is and how well the agent satisfied them, stick to asking about elements that agents have control over. When they have control over what they are being measured on, they will do what they can their metrics to “exceeds” or whatever high score you deem to be the goal.

Service Level is an old metric. It 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. For example, in industry average seems to be between 80% of calls answered in 20 seconds and 95% of calls answered within 15 seconds. It depends on your business.

What is interesting is SLA is measured starting from the queue. What about all the time before the caller gets into the queue? How long does a caller have to wait before getting into the queue? Does your company have long forced greeting on the front end? The caller has to hear every product, every piece of news and promotion that is going on before they can chose an option. How about IVR options, how many does the caller have to listen to? Do you require them to keep choose several times before speaking to a live person? All this takes time, all this activity annoys the caller and by the time the caller reaches the agent they are so upset and wiped out they forgot why the called. All this time in the front impacts service levels and customer satisfaction and non of this is controlled by the agent yet the agent is evaluated and measure on these metrics.

Tips!

Avoid loaning out your rock star. Star performers are dependent on their team. Rock stars thrive with familiar team members, coaches, managers and resources
Celebrate all wins. No matter how small. Just match the celebration to the achievement. High fives and handwritten notes go along way.

Take the Next Step!

Everything in a call center is measured, analyzed and improved upon KPI’s and metrics drive performance, which drives success. You determine what metrics are important to your business then you want to track them, report them live and capture them for historical purposes so you need an enterprise-wide contact center platform that has the capability to track every action that happens in the contact center.

When you provide agents with real-time data they will thrive to be the best. Great agents always want to know where they stand and how they can improve; give them modern day tools to help them keep score. Scores drive the agent and the agent drives the team and the team wins the game!

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