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Cut through copious contact center data with contact center KPIs

Expert Donna Fluss shares contact center KPIs that managers can use to measure contact center performance -- and when to apply them.

For more on contact center KPIs

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Learn how to assess contact center performance through KPIs

Contact centers are among the most tracked and measured departments in an enterprise. Most, but not all, contact center routing and queuing solutions (automatic call distributors, or ACDs) are great at keeping track of the transactions that they process. More often than not, department managers have plenty of reports and data yet struggle to find the information they need to effectively manage their departments. This is where contact center key performance indicators (KPIs) can help.

Table 1 (click table to enlarge) contains a list of typical contact center KPIs. The KPIs vary based on the purpose of the contact center; KPIs for an inbound customer service contact center are different from those for a technical support group. Managers should look through this list and select the contact center KPIs that will best help them meet their contact center (or technical support organization, help desk, etc.) and enterprise goals.

Table 1. Contact center KPIs for inbound call centers and technical support centers (click table to enlarge)

I recommend taking a balanced approach to measuring the performance of your department. Since contact centers and technical support organizations are people-intensive, it’s logical to emphasize productivity measures, but not at the cost of customer satisfaction and quality. Use a combination of contact center KPIs that address productivity, effectiveness, customer satisfaction, quality, training and possibly revenue if you are managing an inbound customer service group. For a technical support organization, the emphasis shifts to closing cases and keeping the number of dispatches as low as possible.

Managers need credible and accurate data to optimize the performance of each agent or technician, team, site and their departments. The ACD is a great starting point for obtaining the necessary information, but is the source for only productivity and some effectiveness metrics. The rest needs to come from other systems and sources and then be consolidated to generate the information required to manage your department.

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