Is Your Contact Center Measuring the Right Things?

Voice of the Customer

Is Your Contact Center Measuring the Right Things?

Is your contact center stuck in the last decade, measuring the same things you’ve always measured – service level, handle time, after call work? These types of operational metrics are important to running the center. But are you also measuring things that are strategic, customer centric, and that make a real difference in how the business operates?

Can you easily link what you measure to the success of your company, or are you left simply rattling off a batch of figures that don’t mean anything to your CEO?

Link Metrics to Corporate Strategy and Goals

We strongly recommend that you look at measures from your CEO’s perspective.  Successful contact centers closely align their measure to strategic corporate goals.  Some examples follow.

If your corporate goals are to reduce operating costs, key metrics include:

• adherence;

• attrition rate;

• average handle time (ATT + ACW);

• cost per contact;

• occupancy;

• service level; and

• self service completions.

On the other hand, organizations that are focused on customer experience and loyalty track the following measures:

• abandon rate;

• cost per contact;

• customer effort score;

• customer experience;

• employee engagement;

• first contact resolution;

• Net Promoter Score;

• quality of contact;

• service level; and

• transfer rate.

Note that these new or changing metrics may require changes not only in what you capture, but in the methodology and technology to gather and present the new data.

Develop Dashboards and Scorecards

Once you identify the metrics that support your strategy, develop balanced scorecards for each of your audiences. Provide different information to different audiences based on their specific focus.

• Define the audience for each measure (e.g., corporate leaders, contact center leaders, supervisors, reps).            

• Identify how information will be provided and delivered (e.g., dashboards).

• Define the frequency of delivery (e.g., daily rep scorecards on individual first contact resolution, handle time or number of calls handled, weekly C-level dashboards that roll up statistics for the entire center).

Keep in mind that executive dashboards are meant to be quickly scanned and comprehended. The dashboard should be no more than six to eight key items that represent how the contact center is contributing to corporate goals. This type of snapshot should be delivered weekly or bi-weekly.

Don’t Forget to Measure Multichannel

Another area where many contact centers are stuck in the past is understanding and measuring success across multiple channels. Let’s move on from telephone-centric metrics into the world of social media, texts, chat and multimodal interactions and measure success on these channels in similar ways. If you measure first contact resolution in your voice calls, measure it on social media, mobile sites, chat and e-mail as well.

And as we add channels, it’s especially important to quality monitor all channels to ensure a consistent, branded customer experience. If you are focused on improving the customer experience, measure how you deal with customers at key moments of truth such as filing a claim, contact during a warrantee period, or renewing a service contract.

Finally, understand the costs associated with these metrics – if you can, understand the cost of a transaction that isn’t once and done, on each channel and across channels, for example.

So next time you’re stuck on the elevator with your CEO, you’ll have meaningful information to share with him or her. And you’ll be able to prove how valuable your contact center is to the corporation.

Elaine Cascio and Lisa Stockberger are vice presidents and practice leaders at Vanguard Communications Corp. (, a consulting firm specializing in customer experience, self service, contact center processes, change management, operations and technology. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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