Your company’s inbound call center is a crucial liaison between your products and services and the customers that keep you in business. A poorly-functioning inbound call center can impact sales, returns, and the flow of information to key personnel. That’s why it’s important to monitor different metrics relating to your call center’s overall performance. It’s even more important to thoroughly understand these metrics and identify both areas of strength as well as certain aspects that need improvement. The following is a breakdown of the top key metrics that should be monitored in any inbound call center, and ways to measure successful performance.
If a customer needs assistance or is dissatisfied with your product or service, they will reach out to connect with your company through your call center. It’s critical to note that the way the customer’s call or chat is handled will have an impact on their satisfaction. An inefficient connection process with long wait times may increase the likelihood that your customers will be disgruntled by the time they reach your representatives. This may even give the impression that your company is trying to insulate itself from customer contact.
The extent to which your customers can quickly reach a live agent by phone or chat is a direct reflection of the technology and efficient processes employed by your call center. When call resolution workflows are streamlined and your employees can quickly and efficiently enter and access data, they will have more time to take new calls. An excellent connection metric involves an efficient process (both during and after a call) and the initial phone routing and answering technology.
Companies that use call center software can achieve higher levels of efficiency in processing and routing calls, enabling representatives to power through higher volumes of incoming omnichannel communications. Call routing can be sorted based on the problem the consumer is facing, the method through which the customer is choosing to connect, or even by priority. Agents can be trained accordingly and each call can be routed to a customer care agent who is skilled and trained to handle and resolve the issue at hand.
Through efficient call routing and by ensuring agents are skilled in the areas that they will be offering support in, customers are more likely to have a positive experience with your call center. This way, they won’t become dissatisfied by the initial connection. If your employees are not hitting connection goals, investigate the call and post-call process for inefficiencies.
Call disposition metrics
Hang-ups, long hold times, and multiple transfers for the same call can indicate serious problems in your inbound call center. In an ideal world, most customer service issues should be resolved on the first contact, all within a brief window of time. In order to get there, though, employees must be empowered to give top-quality customer service and resolve issues on their own. The way you empower them is with a program of continuous training and a thorough, effective customer service flow chart.
In outdated call center models, most first-tier agents won’t have the authority to work on any issues that go beyond simple troubleshooting steps, even if they know how to resolve a customer’s issue effectively. Instead, they must reroute the call to a second-tier agent who may or may not be aware of the issue, forcing the customer to explain the matter once more in hopes of reaching a solution. Such tiered-structures have proven to be ineffective, as they result in decreased productivity and leave customers dissatisfied.
Product training, troubleshooting, and regular reviews of common customer complaints, on the other hand, will ensure your service representatives are as knowledgeable as possible and are authorized to handle the problems at hand. This reduces the need for your employees to put customers on hold or transfer them to other associates, and it gives the customer confidence that your team is competent and knowledgeable about your product or service.
If there are standard troubleshooting steps that need to be taken by every customer prior to moving to a specific incident-based solution, consider noting these steps in the automated voice system. This way, customers can perform the steps before reaching an agent and move onto a more technical-based support option should the issue not be resolved.
In addition to detailed product knowledge and an efficient flow chart to direct the customer experience, call center operations should ensure their agents’ soft-skills are polished, as well. Customers notice when they are interacting with companies that create an atmosphere of continuous improvement, and call disposition metrics will certainly reflect your company’s efforts.
Customer satisfaction metrics
While the initial connection and call disposition affect customer satisfaction, these communications with your customer base hold a wealth of information that should be constantly mined. Collecting comprehensive data through call system software can help direct new and existing product development as well as changes to company policy. If your customer service team can’t collect or communicate this data, your business development team may suffer.
To help improve performance, many call centers implement post-call surveys. These surveys tend to be voluntary as to ensure all results received are given with the desire to improve the overall customer service experience. Frequently asked post-call survey questions include inquiries about a customer’s satisfaction with wait times, the services offered by the agent, and if their issue has been fully resolved.
Customer satisfaction metrics and the details contained within common customer complaints should be a subject that receives company-wide focus. It’s important that these results are shared in company-wide meetings with directors of development, product design, user experience, and more. These individuals can then proactively address common concerns to keep customer satisfaction metrics rising.
Call center operators should always keep in mind that the inbound call center is the front line of a team that must be functioning efficiently and communicating across all departments in order to keep the company moving in the right direction. By monitoring metrics pertaining to hold times, agent routing, and issue resolution on first contact, inbound call centers will be more likely to meet customers’ expectations and maintain a positive standing that ensures customers remain loyal to your products, services, and brand.