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Build a call center strategy using best practices for call center metrics

According to Lori Bocklund, you need to set call center targets based on many factors about your business. Learn how to build your call center strategy using best practices for metrics in this expert tip.

How should we set call center targets for the following metrics?

-Wait time before an agent answers the call
-Wait time before the caller abandons the call
-Percentage of calls abandoned
-Average duration of calls

You need design a call center strategy and set targets based on many factors about your business ndash; your goals, the products/services you offer and support, the call center role, budgets, staffing levels, caller tolerance for delays, competition, alternative channels, etc.

Ideally, you'd start by building a call center strategy that is balanced across key areas (productivity, quality, customer satisfaction, financials, employee satisfaction) and tied to business goals. That will help you define the appropriate metrics to use, and then you can begin to set targets. For example, most centers today will use service level rather than wait time or average speed of answer (ASA), and won't set a target for duration of calls (although they may very well monitor it for trends and anomalies).

Here are some best practices on call center metrics:

  • Call center metrics are aligned with accountabilities, achievable, and drive appropriate behavior.
  • Metrics are defined in support of the business goals, and accountability is well defined and aligned within the center and its support partners.
  • Metrics include a few key items with targets, while other items critical to success are monitored for trends or anomalies.
  • The center has a balanced view of performance across efficiency/productivity, customer experience, employee satisfaction, and financial performance using metrics such as service level, handle time, utilization, adherence, quality scores, customer satisfaction, turnover, cost or revenue measures, self service rate, first call resolution rate, and technology performance.
  • Tools, processes, and qualified resources are in place to assess performance and take action to optimize operations – tactically and strategically.
  • Call center agents understand the goals, can achieve them, and have access to appropriate information to manage performance; accountabilities are aligned, with senior staff focused on strategic goals while the staff in the trenches manages day-to-day operations.

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