Showing posts with label call center metrics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label call center metrics. Show all posts

Monday, November 24, 2014

Metrics that Matter in your Contact Center

Do you know what metrics are most important for your contact center?

While every business is different, these are the KPIs that are likely on your list:

•    Average Handle Time
•    Calls per Hour
•    First Call Resolution
•    Abandoned Calls
•    Average Wait Time
•    Completion Rate
•    Forecasted Call Load vs. Actual
•    Scheduled Staff vs. Actual
•    Waiting Calls
•    Average Call Value

Knowing what to monitor is a good first step. But obtaining the necessary metrics and reports on these KPIs, while there is still time to improve them, is even more important.

Effective monitoring requires a workforce optimization solution that delivers operational data, preferably in real time. The more information you receive – KPIs, scorecards, alerts, dashboards, reports – the better equipped you will be to take effective action to better meet the customer service goals of the contact center.

No wonder so many contact centers have adopted WFM solutions from Monet. Our systems are designed to optimize the utilization of your resources, which makes all the difference in improving service levels, making forecasts and schedules more efficient, and lowering costs.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Does Your Workforce Management System Deliver Real-Time Metrics and Analytics?

workforce management system metrics and anallytics
Data – on customers, on agents, on technology – is the life’s blood of the contact center. A workforce management (WFM) system plays a key role in collecting and analyzing this vital information source.

From the moment a call arrives, to the time it takes an agent to greet that customer, to the content of the conversation and the resolution (or lack thereof), WFM should be tracking and reporting on what has transpired. This is the data that will be used to evaluate customer behavior and assess agent performance.

And yet, even with the massive amount of data that is generated by each call – or, as in some contact centers, by email, online chat sessions, social media and other forms of customer interaction – a manager cannot achieve genuine visibility into the moment-by-moment occurrences at his business unless these performance metrics are captured in real time.

If a manager discovers on Tuesday that Monday’s call volume forecasts were not matched to demand, adjustments can be made for the following Monday, but that doesn’t change what happened the previous day, or the number of calls that may have been lost because customers grew impatient and hung up.

With real-time data, managers can address challenges as they arise, limit the damage and prevent small issues from evolving into major concerns.

The Risk of Non-Real Time Data
The provision of satisfactory customer service is the top priority at nearly every call center. This has always been a challenge but perhaps never more so than at the present time, when consumers are always pressed for time and busy with a dozen other work and family situations. When they call a contact center, they expect a satisfying service experience, and don’t really care about the problems of call center forecasting or scheduling or adherence or unexpected agent absences.

If a customer’s call is not handled quickly, courteously and professionally, that customer now has a way to share his experiences with thousands, or perhaps even hundreds of thousands, of other current and potential customers through company website message boards, email and social media. By then, the damage is done.

At a time when one negative experience can snowball into a PR disaster, it has never been more critical for call center managers to be made aware of problems while they are happening, and not hours or days later. A system must be implemented that consistently delivers professional customer service, with automated procedures that immediately identify and communicate problems to agents, managers and supervisors. Real-time data makes this possible, by allowing call centers to be proactive, rather that reactive, to negative situations. 

The Benefits of Real Time Information
Many call centers still lack the means to measure and track the key performance indicators (KPI) necessary to improve forecasting, staffing, scheduling and adherence in real-time.

But with a real-time workforce management system, managers gain access to a unified view of key performance metrics such as:
  • Adherence

  • Service levels
Answer and abandon metrics
  • Average handle time (AHT)
Average speed of answer (ASA)
Average talk time (ATT)

  • Forecast accuracy

  • Labor costs and staffing

  • Shrinkage and absenteeism

As the system automatically collects and displays real-time and historical performance data at agent, group and center level, KPI data is distributed through consolidated, web-based reporting, and alerts are delivered for situations such as calls running too long, agents becoming available and system failures that require more immediate attention.

Now, managers and agents can react to events as they are happening. The faster data becomes available, the faster it can be analyzed and decisions made based on its content.

In addition, real-time WFM should also allow for the ability to import or integrate other data to extend the metrics, and weigh them in conjunction with other KPIs.

WFM software can also set up scorecards for agents and supervisors that can assist with the conversion from reactive responses to a more proactive approach. While these will be chiefly utilized by agents and managers in the ongoing quest for better customer service, they can also be created for other specific company groups – for example, some call centers set up a cost scorecard for the company’s Chief Financial Officer, that can deliver such metrics as cost per sale, cost per contact, etc.

Choosing a Real-Time Workforce Management Solution
The selection of WFM software should be based in its ability to provide the insights and metrics to help call center personnel make better decisions. A comprehensive solution would include all of the following features:

•    Real-time performance snapshots and insight into emerging trends
•    Display of vital information on one screen, rather than multiple screens
•    Detection of patterns across multiple dashboard components
•    Identification of inefficiencies in agent skill sets
•    Generation of trending reports to provide evaluation feedback by day, week, month, quarter and year
•    Identification of actionable changes in your scoring process
•    Comparison of peers, groups or departments to highlight collective gaps and performance gains

Additional benefits can be derived by accessing this software in cloud, starting with the cost savings in not having to budget for the purchase of hardware, software, database or business intelligence tools. A lower investment means a more rapid return on the investment made in the cloud application, and updates and upgrades can be delivered automatically as they become available.

This type of WFM application can be accessed anywhere at any time via the Internet. As with any other business, call centers are discouraged from having all of their system data housed in one physical location. But with cloud computing, there is never a question of redundancy if a server breaks down or becomes overloaded.

There are environmental benefits as well, as information is stored in a climate that minimizes energy usage. And because servers can be shared in a virtual environment, the result is fewer servers and a reduction in the power required to operate and cool them.

With a workforce management solution that delivers alerts, and can monitor performance in real-time, it’s possible to transform call center performance management from a reactive to a proactive approach. Tools such as scorecards, key performance indicators, real-time alerts, agent analytics, dashboards, and customizable reports deliver a constant stream of intelligence helping you take the right action to better meet your business goals now and in the future. To learn more, we invite you to watch this workforce management demos.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Which Workforce Management Metrics Do You Track?

Workforce Management Metrics to track
Workforce management metrics track a number of issues vital to the success of a contact center. Some attention should be paid to tracking all of them as they relate to performance efficiency and customer satisfaction. But if that is not always possible, these are the metrics that should receive the most scrutiny.

Average Handle Time (AHT)
One of the most significant factors in staff calculations is the center’s average handle time, or the transaction time from the customer’s initiation of the call.

Average Talk Time (ATT)
Productivity is impacted by calls that take too long to resolve.

Average Speed of Answer (ASA)
This metric also has a direct impact on the number of abandoned calls, all of which represent potential missed sales or customer support opportunities.

After Call Work (ACW)
Often misinterpreted as non-productive time, ACW should be measured as a percentage of total handle time and adjusted accordingly.

Labor Costs/Staffing
Decisions on how many agents to schedule per shift affect both customer service and company budgets, so any data that helps clarify the needs of the call center can greatly improve efficiency.

Schedule Adherence
How closely does the work shift align with the schedule prepared in advance?

Forecast Accuracy
Even forecasts that are on the mark may eventually need to be re-assessed based on changing company or market conditions.

If you would like to learn more, we invite you to watch a short video about how to track key workforce management metrics in real-time from a single dashboard.

Friday, June 7, 2013

What is Workforce Optimization Software?

Workforce Optimization (WFO) software is not just one solution to call center service challenges – it is a full suite of automated services that can help a call center achieve its business goals and compliance requirements.
Workforce optimization software for call centers - Monet Software
When choosing a workforce optimization software product, make sure it includes each of these features:
  • Workforce Management
  • Call Recording
  • Quality Management
  • Screen Capture
  • Performance Management and Agent Analytics

Workforce Management

Forecasting, scheduling, intra-day management and exception planning are all part of workforce management. Make sure the software allows for real-time adherence, so adjustments can be made quickly before they can impact service levels.

Call Recording

A call recording solution is invaluable in agent training, coaching and troubleshooting and establishing best practices. It also helps to resolve transaction disputes and determine regulatory compliance. You’ll want to invest in a solution that archives and retrieves calls quickly for review.

Quality Management

The quality management process incorporates dashboards, scorecards, agent analytics, customized reports and key performance indicators, to improve service levels, optimize utilization of resources and enhance cost management.

Screen Capture

Screen capture adds video to the voice recording of an agent’s interactions, providing a visual record of how agents employ the technology at their disposal. This aids in agent training, and can help call center staff improve their performance in such key areas as first-call resolution.

Performance Management/Agent Analytics

By analyzing the scorecards and reports produced by workforce optimization software, call centers can become more proactive in their quest for improving customer service, rather than reacting to events that have already occurred.

Watch this video to see how a unified workforce optimization solution can help your call center improve performance by breaking down organizational silos and making it easier to share data across functions in your center.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Workforce Management Visualized with Dashboards

When it comes to workforce management (WFM), seeing is not only believing, it’s the fastest and easiest way to track status, progress, and real-time activity at a call center. Dashboards provide that visual display of call center data, providing insight into every key WFM process. Call center management rely on dashboards to improve efficiencies.
Workforce Management Dashboards - Monet Software
Workforce Management Dashboards

How accurate have your forecasting efforts proved? Both daily and long-term forecasts can be checked quickly through tables and charts on forecasting dashboards.

Review past call volumes to create tomorrow’s schedule. Find out who’s in, who’s on break and who’s on vacation. Accurate scheduling plays a vital role in meeting call center targets in performance and quality of service.

Adherence alerts on the call center dashboard identify instances where scheduled activities vary from the current call center status.

Besides forecasting, scheduling and adherence, other key WFM metrics that can be reviewed via dashboard include service levels, answer and abandon times, average handle times, average speed of answer, average talk time, and labor costs/staffing.

Of course, a workforce management solution will generate detailed reports on these topics and more, which will be invaluable in future planning. But dashboards provide an instant snapshot of what is happening at that very moment. There is no substitute for a clear visual display of configurable metrics to help manage the floor activity of the call center. For more visuals and videos about workforce management, please visit our demo center on our main website.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Call center Performance Metrics Solution receives Customer magazine 2012 Product of the Year Award

Monet Metrics product of the year awardWe are very excited that Monet Metrics has been recognized as Product of the Year for exceptional innovation by TMC’s Customer magazine. CUSTOMER magazine, the industry’s source for news, product information, and strategies for communications that engage customers and potential customers, has named Monet Metrics as their 2012 Product of the Year Award winner. In a statement, the magazine said: "Monet Software was selected to receive Customer Magazine 2012 Product of the Year Award for its achievement in advancing customer experience management technologies." In summary, the solutions delivers the following benefits to call centers:
  • Better decisions through actionable intelligence and flexible real-time dashboards: Monet Metrics sets a new standard by transforming call center management from a reactive to a proactive approach. Pre-built reports and metrics make relevant data readily available to proactively manage call center performance.
  • Improved productivity and agent motivation through scorecard capabilities: Scorecards, key performance indicators (KPI), real-time dashboards and customizable reports deliver a constant stream of intelligence helping call centers take the right action at the right time to better meet their business goals.
  • Key performance indicators right at your fingertips, anywhere and anytime: Call center managers and supervisors can make more informed decisions, resulting in higher customer satisfaction, more cost control and better utilization of resources. It also frees up time for supervisors and managers to focus on working with agents, coaching, training and planning, instead of collecting and analyzing data.
The 15th Annual Product of the Year Award winners are published in the January/February 2013 issue of Customer magazine, For a demonstration of Monet Metrics, please follow this link to watch the call center performance management overview demo.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

New call center workforce optimization demo center

call center workforce managment demo centerWe just launched a new demo center for our unified call center workforce optimization suite. The demo center makes it easier to browse through the various call center workforce solutions and watch the videos you are interested in. It is organized by the four solutions components of Monet WFO Live: Workforce Management, Call Recording, Quality Management and Performance Management. 

Monet WFM
  • Workforce Management Overview: This video provides a short introduction to workforce management for contact centers and an overview of Monet WFM Live.
  • Accurate Forecasting: Learn how to run simulations to calculate a precise forecast for future call volumes, agent requirements and average handle time for any time interval of the day, based on historical data from ACD systems.
  • Efficient Scheduling: See how the advanced scheduling engine incorporates all call types and other activities to generate staffing schedules that optimize a wide range of factors - agent availability, expected call volume, service level goals and center budget.
  • Effective Staffing: Learn how the solution helps call center managers and supervisors to accurately forecast call volumes and conduct 'what-if' scenarios, including seasonal call volumes and special days.
  • Intra-day Management: Watch how to track key metrics throughout the day and quickly update required and assigned agents instantly, based on surpluses and shortages for each time period of the day.
  • Exception Planning: See how an integrated exception calendar simplifies scheduling of agent exceptions such as time off and one-time or recurring training meetings for contact centers.
  • Interactive Dashboards: Watch how a graphical display lets call center managers and supervisors drag and drop breaks, lunches and other changes to make updates to schedules and staffing in real-time.

Monet Metrics

Monet Record
  • Call Recording and Monitoring: Learn how to easily capture, monitor and manage customer interactions with call recording to improve your customer service as well as ensuring regulatory compliance.

Monet Quality
  • Quality Management and Assurance: This demo video is currently being produced and we will add it to the demo center shortly.
Please take a moment and browse through the demo center and stay tuned for more videos coming soon.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Call center performance management metrics in real-time

Performance management is a critical part of managing call centers and is essential to help you align your people, processes and systems to your goals and objectives, such as customer satisfaction, cost control and revenue goals. However, many call centers lack the means to measure and track their key performance indicators (KPI) necessary to improve forecasting, staffing, scheduling and adherence in real-time. Only if you get alerts and can monitor performance in real-time, you can transform call center performance management from a reactive to a proactive approach. Tools such as scorecards, key performance indicators, real-time alerts, agent analytics, dashboards, and customizable reports deliver a constant stream of intelligence helping you take the right action to better meet your business goals now and in the future.
Call center metrics and performance management with real-time dashboards
With real-time performance management, you can get easy access to a unified view of key performance metrics at any time that allow you to quickly adjust parameters such as forecast, schedules and staffing, or automatically trigger other events. Metrics such as:
•    Adherence
•    Service levels
•    Answer and abandon metrics
•    Average handle time (AHT)
•    Average speed of answer (ASA)
•    Average talk time (ATT)
•    Forecast accuracy
•    Labor costs and staffing
•    Shrinkage and absenteeism

Systems automatically collect and present real-time and historical performance data at agent, group and center level. Key performance indicators, scheduling information and service level indicators can be distributed to call center employees through web-based consolidated reporting, giving them the information to do a better job. This will also rree up time for supervisors and managers to focus on working with agents, coaching, training and planning, instead of collecting data – all resulting in better service to your customers.

If you are interested in learning more about this, please watch our call center performance metrics demo video on our website.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Call center metrics have to be actionable - what does that mean?

There is often the question about the type of call center metrics you should track. But equally important is how "actionable" these metrics are. So, what does "actionable" mean?
  • Do I have access to metrics at the time when I can still have an impact (e.g. adherence, performance)?
  • Can I actually make a change at that moment and have an impact (e.g. re-calculate forecast, adjust schedule, monitor calls)?
So, how can you make metrics actionable? The use of scorecards, key performance indicators (KPI), real-time dashboards and customizable alerts deliver a constant stream of intelligence helping call centers take the right action at the right time to better meet their business goals. This will transform call center management from a reactive to a proactive approach and helps make more informed decisions faster, resulting in higher customer satisfaction, more cost control and better utilization of resources. Some additional benefits are:
  • Provides management with a unified view to monitor and analyze key performance metrics, such as agent adherence, service levels, labor costs and staffing resulting in more informed decisions.
  • Motivates agents to self-manage their performance and take action with coaches and supervisors based on real data and KPI’s (key performance indicators) to meet business objectives.
  • Frees up time for supervisors and managers to focus on working with agents, coaching, training and planning, instead of collecting and analyzing data. 
For more information about this topic, please watch the call center performance metrics video on our website.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Call center performance management metrics and tips

Often, it is not the sheer number of different call center performance metrics that drive success, rather how well they are presented (graphics versus numbers), how accessible they are (now in real-time versus later) and how they relate to each other (having a big picture versus a "siloed" view). With rising customer expectations and cost pressure, call center performance management becomes ever more challenging. Here are three things to consider when thinking about improved and more effective call center performance management: 

Dashboards: Make data easy and simple to understand
There is that saying "a picture is worth more than a thousand words" - the same is often true for numbers. Having access to detailed reports with lots of numbers is necessary, however, often a simple dashboard with key metrics provides the right amount of information to see if you need to take action throughout the day.

Real-time: Make data actionable and pro-active
For some data and metrics it is fine to review them at a later point and draw conclusion, however, there are a few key metrics that you should get in real-time. This allows you to make changes right then, when you see an issue coming up, such as out-of-adherence, changing call volumes and call pattern (compared to your forecast).

Integration: Connect the "dots"
The challenge in a center is often to optimize one variable (metric) without compromising another. For example, a reduction in call time could impact call quality or customer satisfaction. If you have access to "connected" data you can better understand how one change might affect the overall performance of your call center. Also, it helps different teams and departments (that often act as "silos") better work together by sharing "cross-functional" call center metrics. Unified workforce optimization solutions that integrate workforce management, call recording, quality and performance management can help accomplish this.

If you would like to learn more, please watch the various call center workforce optimization videos on our website.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

7 Tips for improved schedule adherence in your call center

How do you get your staff to show up for work on time and stick to their planned schedule and break times? This is one of the most challenging jobs related to managing any call center - making sure there is the right number of staff with the right skills available at the right times of the day. Here are seven tips that might be helpful to improve schedule adherence in your call center:
1. Quantify the implications of missing staff
First, you need to understand the effects of schedule adherence in your call center. This starts with measuring adherence and quantifying the implications on service level, costs and other metrics that are critical for your business. Typically, a lack of adherence results in understaffing and decreased service levels. In order to compensate for this, call centers might increase staffing, which results in higher costs. Here is an example of the cost implications of out-of-adherence.
2. Set reasonable adherence goals
Identify adherence goals and objectives based on the unique characteristics of your call center environment and also take a look at benchmarks of other call centers. When defining your goals, please consider the following:
  • Include your staff into this process from the beginning
  • Define minimum expectations
  • Average handle time of calls
  • Identify potential barriers that might prevent adherence
3. Identify the reasons for attendance and adherence problems
Basically, there are three different reasons for adherence problems:
  • Don’t know: the agent may either be unclear about what the expectations are, or they may be unaware of how their behavior is not meeting the expectation. Giving the agent timely feedback can help resolve the problem.
  • Can’t: the agent may require more training, although adherence problems are rarely lack of training. More likely there could be a barrier that prevents adherence.
  • Won’t: the agent may lack motivation or may be receiving improper consequences. The most effective consequences are: Positive, Immediate, and Certain.
For more details please read this post about schedule adherence challenges.
4. Identify rewards and consequences that support adherence goals
Reward agents that adhere to their schedule (e.g. 95% within adherence scores) through recognition within the team and tie bonuses to good scores. It is also critical that all agents are aware of the consequences for out-of-adherence behavior; this establishes their responsibility towards the success of the call center.
5. Communicate the “power of one” to all staff
Emphasize the “power of one” to highlight the importance of every agent’s adherence. Using tables or charts available to make “adherence” visually quantifiable can be helpful. So can activities like "Ball Toss" in which six agents are paired off and given a ball which they must toss back and forth. Replace one person in the pair and keep the toss moving. Then take one person away without providing a replacement to show how quickly understaffing can create stress and dropped balls – which, of course, represent "calls".
6. Review your tools to manage and track adherence
Workforce management software helps automate schedule adherence tracking and reporting capabilities. Review the tools you have available in your call center and evaluate if you have the need for more sophisticated adherence tracking tools:
  • Real-time dashboards
  • Alerts and notification
  • Adherence reporting by agent, group and center
  • Exception management
  • Adherence tracking for all activities
  • Accurate forecasting of call center volumes
  • Automated scheduling
7. Measure and monitor
You can only manage what you measure. Make adherence monitoring & reporting and the regular review with your team part of your staff meetings. Over time, the whole team will more and more appreciate the importance of adherence and it will get "internalized" into your service culture.
For more detailed information, please read this whitepaper "Strategies for improving Schedule Adherence".

Monday, July 25, 2011

Important call center metrics: Agent turnover

Working in a call center is demanding due to the nature of fluctuating call volumes, emotions calls, and time pressure. As a result, many call centers experience a high turn-over. It's not uncommon that some centers experience 30% or more - meaning that 3 out of 10 people leave and need to get replaced and trained. A high turnover has a negative impact on costs, productivity and service quality of the center.

How can you reduce turnover in a call center? First, you need to measure your turnover, and try to identify and track the reasons for the turnover. Second, you need to find ways to improve working conditions - here is a list of tips and ideas where to start :
  • Hire the "right" people - make sure you understand the challenges of your customer service or call center work and select people that can best deal with it
  • Engage - make agents part of the team by listening, encouraging them to make improvements, etc.
  • Flexibility - Providing more flexibility in their work schedule is a great way to motivate your team
  • Schedule - Use good WFM tools to create an accurate forecast and optimal schedule resulting in less overworked (and happier) agents
  • Adherence - Monitor and track schedule adherence to make sure that the call load is spread "fairly". A few agents that are not in their seats, will cause a lot of "pain" to the rest of the team.
  • Create a positive work environment - culture, office space, equipment, etc.
For more ideas and tips on call center agent motivation, please read our previous blog post.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Important call center metrics: schedule adherence

In our recent post about the importance of call center metrics we talked about the need to break down the goals and objectives from an organizational level, to a call center level, all the way down to an agent level. One such metric that is critical for most call centers is schedule or agent adherence. Let's define how it gets measured and discuss ways to improve it.

What call center adherence measures? It can be considered a measure of agent productivity. It measures the percentage of time an agent is actively working on the phone compared to the time the agent is supposed to be on the phone based on the schedule. For a more detailed discussion about adherence, please check out the whitepaper "Strategies for Improving Schedule Adherence".

Potential causes for out-of-adherence and ways for improvement:
  • Agents might not be familiar with the individual impact of adherence on overall service levels: Educate them and explain how a 10 or 20 minutes out-of-adherence can have a big negative impact on the overall service level of the whole group or call center.
  • Lack of clear definition of phone and non-phone activities: Clearly communicate the different types and explain what is included in the schedule.
  • Schedule is too rigid: Can create too much pressure for agents and the need to take extra "breaks". Evaluate the situation and talk to your team.
  • Schedule is too flexible: Lack of accountability might result in out-of-adherence. Again, evaluate and discuss with your team. Also, there are ways to include flexibility into your schedule using tools or software, such as shift bidding.
  • Adherence doesn't get measured and tracked: You can only manage what you measure, therefore, you need to find a way to measure adherence. Set clear goals, communicate to your team, measure adherence and review with your team on a regular basis. You can also consider using incentives for "good" adherence behavior.
  • Forecast and/or scheduling assumptions and calculations might be inaccurate: Make sure to include all call and non-call activities into your schedule.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Call center metrics: Abandon Rates

In follow up to our post about call center metrics goals, we are now starting to talk about specific metrics; the first one is Abandon Rates. Abandon rate is the percentage of calls that hang up before an agent could take the call (and did not get a busy signal).

What it measures:
  • It can be considered a measure of customer satisfaction. If customers hang up a lot, they might not like the speed of service.
Potential causes and implications:
  • The longer it takes to answer a call, the higher are abandon rates
  • People who might have called wrong number hang up when they notice it (typically in first 10 seconds)
  • High abandon rates can inflate future call volumes (2nd, 3rd try of same caller), resulting in even higher rates

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Call center metrics - what's important?

There are many call center metrics you can track, so the key question is often: What is really important for my call center? We have compiled a list of call center metrics that are usually used to measure performance. But before you select the metrics, you should first establish the overall goals and objectives for your specific business and call center operations. There are a couple of strategic goals and objectives that might apply to your call center:
  • Contribute to profitability of your business
  • Deliver services at lowest possible costs
  • Maximize revenues
  • Continuously improve customer experience and satisfaction
  • Optimize the management of your workforce
Often, it is a combination of several goals, but it is important to rank those based on importance for your business. In the next blog posting, we will list 10 key metrics that you you might use to measure performance based on your prioritization - please stay tuned.