Outsourcing: A Numbers Game That Adds Up

January 07, 2015

The big trend this year in call centers is going be ‘performance metrics’, where the powers that be will start taking an even closer look at what they’re getting for their money. That means more pressure on managers and workers to deliver ROI along with consistently good customer service.

One way that some companies might overcome this scrutiny is by taking a fresh look at their metrics and see exactly what’s happening. And according to JaNae Forshee, Senior Workforce Optimization Practice Manager at call center leader inContact, it will be time well spent.

“Performance metrics in contact centers are similar to casinos,” Forshee wrote in a recent blog post. “At least, it’s not uncommon to see the practices that are antiquated, or measured because ‘they always have been’, ‘we pay bonus on that metric’, ‘it’s attainable’, and ‘everyone’s doing it.’ Have you heard or used those phrases before? If you answered yes, then you are rolling the dice in your contact center,” she concludes.

But all is not lost. Forshee lists a number of ways companies can move beyond the old ways and bring their measurement standards up to speed. They include the following:

Ask Why and How: “Typically, contact centers roll over past measurements and add new metrics without asking the why/how question,” she notes. “Pretty soon, metrics are being managed rather than performance, which was what the metrics were supposed to control and improve in the first place.”

Focus on the Metrics that Matter the Most: “Performance Metrics can be categorized into two areas: Service (quality) and Efficiency (cost-focused),” Forshee says. “Take the time to review the metrics at all levels to ensure they contain both service and efficiency metrics. As long as you have agents, there won’t be a shortage of things to measure. The trick is to measure the right stuff.”

Double-sided Metrics: “Because there are countless metrics that can be measured within your center, it is important that they don’t contradict behaviors or goals that your organization is trying to meet,” she observes. “Otherwise, your agents may feel overwhelmed and feel the ideal performance is not attainable.”

Be Realistic: Make sure you are getting the true number for your metrics. “Anyone can manipulate the numbers to make things look better than they really are,” Forshee says.

‘R and R’: Reward and recognize those that are performing well. “Employees like to know that their efforts are not going unnoticed by their manager,” she says. “If you have high performers or have improvements in performance, celebrate them. A little praise goes a long way, so don’t forget to reward the wins both big and small.”

In short, your metrics have taken on a bigger role in your organization. Just make sure you’re measuring all the correct parts for the greatest return on what you’ve invested.

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