Contact Centre

​Why Inbound Contact Centre Performance Isn’t All Numbers

To see how agents are doing and where they have room to improve, every inbound contact centre uses key performance indicators (KPIs) every day. But if you focus your attention on the numbers, you’re only seeing part of the picture.

While your inbound contact centre solution will include a range of reports on things like call lengths and outcomes, these quantitative facts don’t effectively capture all the things that really determine call quality.

To help you monitor and train your agents more effectively, here is a short guide to what quantitative data can tell you – and how to get the qualitative data that could really drive your success.

What rigid metrics can and can’t tell you

Whether your inbound contact centre delivers customer support and advice or is focused on sales, your operational efficiency counts for a lot. In some ways, the people in your contact centre are expensive resources and your callers are items on a never-ending to-do list. As we wrote about in our blog post, Powerful Metrics for Contact Centre Success, empirical data can be a powerful way to monitor the interaction between these two parties.

Some common metrics that inbound contact centres will concentrate on include:

  • Call outcomes, as identified by the use of call disposition codes

  • Call lengths and average handling time

  • Agent downtime between calls

  • Inbound call queue lengths

Significantly, each of these metrics can help contact centre managers to see when things are going wrong. If call lengths are particularly long, your queue stretches into double digits, and agents seem to be idling for long periods, you can act to uncover the root cause and make impactful changes. The right inbound contact centre solution will let you see these things in real-time.

However, when your contact centre’s operations are essentially functional – when performance is meeting your basic expectations – the quantitative data held in most reports doesn’t help you drive performance to its absolute best.

Sourcing qualitative data on contact centre performance

Unlike metrics that seek to measure things in clear terms, qualitative data describes experiences and events. As you can imagine, this is incredibly useful in an inbound contact centre environment where we really need to answer complicated questions like:

  • Do our agents feel motivated?

  • Was an agent helpful and friendly?

  • Do our customers feel satisfied with their experience?

These are all things that call lengths and handling time simply can’t tell you. However, capturing qualitative data isn’t always as easy as running a report.

Here are three strategies to get you started.

1. Customer satisfaction surveys

Using a web-based form or an automated IVR system after agents end a call, you can record customer feedback while it remains fresh. Using a simple scale, your customers can log how satisfied they are, how well their issues what your customers – the most important people of all – really think.

2. Analysing call recordings

While many contact centres store call recordings for the sake of compliance, they’re rarely used unless something goes wrong. One good approach can be to take a random selection of calls and appraise them based on predetermined criteria. For example, you could listen to 20 calls and, on each of them, rate things like friendliness, helpfulness and how informative they are on a scale of 1-10.

3. Ask your agents

Finally, your agents will often have useful opinions on how you can improve your inbound contact centre environment – but these are rarely captured in the confines of a performance review. Instead, consider additions to your environment like anonymous feedback boxes, brainstorming sessions and incentives to encourage agent feedback.

Technology to support your performance

Both numerical reports and more informal feedback play important roles in improving your contact centre performance. The right inbound contact centre solution will help you bring those things together in one place.

For example, your solution could be focused on handling your inbound calls, but also offer a way to configure small-scale outbound campaigns to gather customer feedback. With technologies like WebRTC, you could also capture information from your customers and your agents in web-based forms that are integrated with the rest of your infrastructure.

As a result, you won’t just see what the numbers are telling you – you’ll see what people are telling you, too.

Discover Hostcomm’s inbound contact centre solution.

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