Last week, we previewed the promising new world of contact centre performance management. We established that contact centre performance management could liberate contact centre managers from time-consuming data collection and reporting and empower them to capture and share customer data company-wide. Now lets examine how to successfully implementand realise the benefits ofcontact centre performance management. Contact centre managers are busier than ever. Today, they must focus on productivity and quality as well as successfully share valuable customer data with sales, marketing, operations, product development and senior executives.
That means managers need tools to automate many of their departmental responsibilities. They no longer have the luxury of spending hours consolidating and reviewing agent data from multiple systems, including the automatic call distributor (ACD), quality management (QM), sales and workforce management (WFM). However, neglecting these functions to dedicate their time to delivering information to external departments would diminish their centres service excellence.
With performance management, contact centre managers gain a series of applications, tools and practices that capture and aggregate customer interactions, analyse them to understand customer intents and insights and enable them to act to improve quality and productivity as well as enterprise performance.
At a tactical level, contact centre performance management represents a series of measures and key performance indicators (KPIs) that must be captured, tracked and reported to ensure the contact centre meets its departmental objectives (including delivering world-class customer services, increasing sales and improving customer loyalty while boosting productivity).
From a strategic perspective, contact centre performance management is a means of translating corporate objectives into key performance indicators (KPIs) that correlate with corporate goals.
Answering the Call
The growth of contact centre technologies and increasing demands for customer insights from corporate constituents is making management of service environments increasingly challenging. Now, companies are looking for well-rounded renaissance people to manage their contact centrespolitically adept leaders who are good with financials, great with technology and as comfortable with sales, marketing and business functions and systems as they are with service.
Contact centre managers need new technologies to consolidate agent and customer information coming from multiple sources (such as ACD, analytics, CRM, computer telephony integration (CTI), QM, recording, sales, stress analysis, word spotting and WFM ) and analyse its impact on corporate performance.
They need systems to capture and measure KPI s and then convert them into actionable departmental and corporate intelligence. Performance management is uniquely positioned to help contact centre managers successfully align the objectives of service organisations with corporate revenue and profitability goals.
Contact centre performance management is a must have for any company that wants to remain competitive in an era where leveraging customer contacts is the priority. The new contact centre performance management solutions combine the best of the productivity and quality systems and applications developed during the past 25 years while opening and sharing valuable customer information with decision makers throughout a company.
The goal is to build a contact centre performance management program that is anchored by strong technology and opens contact centre data to sales, marketing and the executive suite.
Contact centres, in general, have matured at a rapid pace, but most are still in their quality management phase. QM yields wonderful benefits to agents and customers but its internal orientation is too limiting now that senior executives look to contact centres for help in improving corporate performance.
This change in corporate dynamics vindicates contact centre managers, who have understood for years the power and value of the customer information flowing through their environments. Contact centre performance management enables contact centres to share this information with the decision makers who are best positioned to use it to increase revenue.
Contact Centre Performance Management Cycle
Building a contact centre performance management strategy is an iterative five-phased process that requires the support of senior management. The process begins with the contact centre manager identifying the corporate goals such as increasing revenue by a given percent or decreasing customer attrition to which the contact centre will contribute.
In phase II, contact centre managers define the metrics and KPIs that measure how well their organisation delivers to these goals. During phase III, the department identifies and cleans up the data sources that are required to provide input for the KPI s.
Sources include ACD/PBX, CTI, QM, eLearning, CRM , surveys, etc. Once the data is cleaned up, its time to define the scorecards and dashboards in phase IV. Different constituents will require different data the contact centre will concentrate on agent productivity, quality and overall performance. The sales organisation cares about new sales and revenue and the executive suite cares about the performance and profitability of the company.
The success of the performance management process depends on the organisations ability to deliver customised views for each group of constituents. During phase V, specific actions are recommended and taken to address issues identified by the KPI s and metrics. An action may be creating a new agent training programme or changing a product.
Keep in mind that, like most shifts in business strategy and tactics, extending the scope of contact centres and moving from an internal quality and productivity focus to prioritising corporate goals requires fundamental changes in people, process and technology. Enterprises that seek to align contact centre and corporate goals must, therefore, go beyond the motions to actually embrace performance management as part of corporate culture.
Donna Fluss is the Principal of DMG Consulting LLC, delivering customer-focused business strategy, operations and technology for Global 2000 and emerging companies. Ms. Fluss is a recognized leader and visionary in customer relationship management and a highly sought-after writer and speaker. She is the author of the new, industry-leading 2004 Quality Management/Liability Recording Product and Market report. Contact Ms. Fluss at [email protected].