Contact centers have evolved over the years, and are still evolving to meet changing customer demands and expectations. It wasn’t too long ago when customers were required to call into a contact center for the most basic of reasons, whether it was to update their address, pay a bill, or get general information regarding a product. Nowadays, many customers prefer to self-serve for not only basic tasks, but for increasingly more complicated tasks as well. What this means for contact center management is that the KPIs that were once effective in measuring performance are no longer sufficient or relevant.
With so much emphasis on creating quality customer experiences as a way to differentiate your organization from the competition, you’ll want to ensure that the KPIs you’re monitoring and using to make policy changes actually effect customer experience outcomes. Many contact centers are relying on KPIs that were effective 5–10 years ago, but do little to reflect the reality of today’s customer.
In a study conducted by ICMI, it was found that many contact centers haven’t yet realized the need to deviate from traditional stats to deliver customer experiences that set them apart from the competition. Nearly 68% of contact centers studied are still relying on “abandonment from queue” as the most commonly used KPI, even though it is arguably the least effective in helping evaluate the quality of customer experiences. After probing the respondents for which KPIs they felt most important for managing customer experiences through the contact center, the response was Quality Monitoring, followed by Average Wait Time, Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) surveys and FCR scores. While all these KPIs are important, they are not indicative of delivering the types of experiences that customers want.
At first blush, it seems to defy logic. Why wouldn’t Quality Monitoring provide valuable data about call interactions that help shape customer experiences? The problem is, all too often, quality monitoring programs focus on policy compliance and process without offering much insight for actual customer experiences. Additionally, research done by SQM on call quality monitoring’s impact on FCR and CSAT shows that there is little correlation between call Quality Monitoring ratings and FCR and Csat ratings. This isn’t to say that valuable insights can’t be gleaned through Quality Monitoring. In fact, effective Quality Monitoring programs provide companies a platform for identifying obstacles to the customer experience in addition to providing trainers something tangible to work with in developing training programs.
So which KPIs should contact centers pay attention to? The quick answer is many of them together. If creating customer experiences that set your organization apart from your competition is the goal then your KPI tracking needs to be analyzed in context and in tandem with a number of metrics. Here are the KPIs that should be considered together to help identify customer sentiments so that efforts can be directed to where they’ll have the greatest impact:
•Net Promoter Score
•First Call Resolution (FCR)
•Quality Monitoring paired directly with customer insights
When these KPIs are considered together, your organization will have a more holistic view of the customer’s perspective and the services they receive through your contact center. Only when these are looked at jointly can the appropriate training programs, policy changes, marketing strategies, and customer journey maps be created.
Keep in mind that if you’re contact center is focusing on the rising cost per contact, don’t be alarmed by this metric. As self-service options become more available and frequently used by customers it is only natural that the nature of the calls coming into your center are more complex, require a greater level of service, and thus cost more. This isn’t a failure on your contact center’s part, it is simply the reality of the changing environment and another reason why focusing on KPIs of yesterday may not be serving your best interests. Of course, keeping costs in line matter, but they must be considered in a broader context.
Better together is the new standard for KPI monitoring and analyzing. A 360 degree view is much better than a 90 view, so keep tracking your KPIs, but don’t silo them. You’ll have a much better view of your customer and contact center and can react appropriately to stay ahead in your field.