Efficiency in Call Center Management: Understanding the Importance of KPIs

Call Center management requires the tenacity to understand and use key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the performance of individuals, teams or departments, or the call center operation as a whole. KPIs are quantitative metrics, which means they are measurable and subject to analysis. Each indicator represents key elements in the operations that result in the success of the call center in achieving its goals. Call center managers should be abreast in KPI analytics to know how the department is performing, and for faster and efficient solving of key element issues.

KPI Analytics and Data Driven Decisions
KPIs are used to determine if key elements in the operation are working towards the call center goals. Also, they are utilized to identify trends and as the basis to make data driven decisions that increase efficiency agents and optimize customer satisfaction to a level that brings in more opportunities. They can also be used as a point of reference to quantify progress towards objectives and goals; or in making comparative analysis to existing industry standards. A manager’s task is to interpret these analytics to make decisions that are aligned to the call center’s objectives and even long-term goals.

Top 5 KPIs To Guide A Manager In Making Data Driven Decisions

  1. First Call Resolution (FCR) – This measures the efficiency in resolving the issues of customers on the first call, satisfying the need in the least time and without necessitating for a follow-up or escalation to a higher level of authority, such as a supervisor or other department. Managers utilize this analytic to quantify the efficiency of the call process; whether the script provided or answer/resolution options available to agents are in line with most customers’ queries or issues. It also indirectly measures the agent’s performance or efficiency.
  2. Call Handling Time (CHT) – This analytic is quantified by the seconds an agent is conversing with the caller. Call handling varies on the issues presented or expressed by the caller. To make correct measurements on CHT, an average must be set across all agents, and on the type of call as per issues that the process handles. In an outbound call, managers should take note on how many seconds it takes an agent to make the pitch and persuade the customer.
  3. Transfer Rate (TR) – The TR analytic gives the manager a percentage of the agent transferring calls to a person higher than him/her or to another department. This measurement is in lieu with FCR, measuring both the efficiency of the agent’s performance and the call process. If the transfer rate is 25%, how much of the 25% is related to other departments and escalation/authority issues being transferred to supervisors. The percentage related to other departments reflects the issues that aren’t tackled or need the assurance of other departments. The transfer rate that represents escalation or necessitates a higher level of authority reflects the efficiency of the agent to answer/resolve the queries as well as the process and SLA.
  4. Service Level Agreement (SLA) – SLA is measured by seconds and analyzing the ability to answer a call and give the deliverables within the agent’s service level. This measures the issues that can be answered by the agent and the compliance of the agent of the procedures.
  5. Adherence to Procedure (ATP) – This analytic is reflected in a percentage of how good an agent is in following the call process. If it’s in an inbound process, the process involves greetings, response to issues/problems/queries or when to terminate or transfer calls. For outbound operations or sales, the ATP quantifies the agent’s ability to follow a pitch or a script that leads to a sale. ATP is measurable on an individual basis or per agent and can be across the team or department on the effectiveness of the options given to agents in answering calls or how persuasive the pitch/script is.

There are many KPIs that can help managers in making data driven decisions. These analytics are key elements in making the whole call center operations, including agent efficiency, work towards reaching objectives and goals.

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