Contact center metrics are one of the best ways to solve a common contact center problem — inconsistency. Imagine a customer calls into customer support and has their issue resolved within a few minutes. They feel good about their experience, and the customer support team sets a quality standard.
However, if the next time this customer calls in, they have to spend 10 minutes on hold only to have to call back two more times to have their issue resolved, this quality standard is shattered. The customer is left feeling frustrated and let down.
By tracking contact center metrics, you’ll be able to manage service quality, customer experience, outbound dialing, operational efficiency, and costs more effectively.
To make sure your contact center team consistently delivers an exceptional customer experience, let’s look at these five types of metrics and how they work to improve customer success.
Service quality is the ability of customer support teams to provide fast and effective service every time a customer calls in. Service quality is essential for retaining customers and lowering churn risk. Support teams that understand this concept are able to help customers become successful because they get the help they need when they need it.
There are many ways to measure service quality, but the most common is SERVQUAL. With this approach, support teams use surveys to ask customers how they rate their actual experience with their initial expectations. For example, surveys will capture whether or not support teams are as helpful as they claim to be.
There are five elements that make up SERVQUAL. They include:
- Reliability. This is the ability of service teams to consistently and accurately deliver on the service they promised.
- Assurance. This is the support team’s ability to build trust and confidence with customers by showcasing their product knowledge.
- Tangibles. This is the appearance of physical factors, like buildings and employees, and digital ones, like websites and social media accounts.
- Empathy. This is the ability of the support team to show how much they care about customer experiences.
- Responsiveness. This is the ability of support teams to answer customer questions quickly.
Examples of the types of questions to ask on SERVQUAL surveys include:
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how helpful was the customer support rep?
- What aspect of the interaction stood out to you the most? The rep’s knowledge, patience, other?
- How satisfied are you with our product? Why?
- How likely are you to continue using our product? Why?
- Was your issue resolved during this call?
- How long did you have to wait before speaking with a customer support rep?
The data captured from SERVQUAL surveys shows you where gaps exist between customer expectations and reality. The survey also identifies which opportunities will help reduce the gap over time.
The best time to send this type of survey is immediately after a service call. The experience is still fresh in the customer’s mind, so they can share specific examples.
Use VoiceSage to send rich media message (RMM) surveys to increase response rates. These surveys are interactive, so customers don’t have to leave the text to participate. Automate the process so that responses are automatically uploaded to your CRM where you can review and analyze the data.
Learn more about customer satisfaction surveys: Customer Satisfaction Surveys: Success Metrics
Tracking customer experience is important because of the influence it has on success. Positive experiences ensure customers keep using a product — which eventually leads them to experience the product’s promised value. This value solves a pain point or issue.
There are multiple metrics available to measure customer experience. Three of the best ones include:
- First call resolution. This is the rate at which issues are resolved after one call. To track this monthly, divide the number of issues resolved during the first call by total calls. Quick resolutions help users stay on track for success. For example, if you have an app and a customer calls in to report a bug, the sooner they get an answer, the sooner they can return to using the app. The more calls it takes to solve an issue, the more frustrated users become and the higher the churn risk. Download our First Call Resolution Template for free.
- Average wait time. This is the amount of time customers have to wait before their call is answered. Divide wait times during a set time period by the total number of calls to calculate average wait time. The longer customers wait, the more frustrating the experience becomes.
- Self-service usage. Track how often users use self-service options to get the help they need. Ideally, customers turn to self-service options before calling into customer support. For this to happen, tools need to be easy to use and full of information.
These contact center metrics can be tracked in your CRM. To improve them, send SMS messages after customers call in to find out if their issue was resolved. Send follow-up messages that ask users to provide feedback or rate their experience. Share this information with the support team as a way to figure out how to improve first call resolution rates and wait times plus increase self-service usage. For example, you might need to develop a more robust knowledge center to help the team find what they need faster.
Create automated campaigns that use the VoiceSage template feature. Set campaigns to automatically send every time an action is triggered in a CRM database — like when an issue is marked resolved.
These campaigns can include SMS messages with tips on how to optimize using the tools and new features available. Another option is to use RMM to send short videos of feature demos.
Outbound dialing is a proactive way to add value, improve customer experience, and ensure customers are successful. However, because outbound calling can be time-intensive, you need to track contact center metrics to see where to make the process more efficient.
Contact center metrics that help determine the success of this approach include:
- Conversion rate. This refers to the number of customers who complete a task after customer support calls them. Tasks can include downloading a new app or signing up for an event. It’s calculated by dividing the number of tasks completed by total outbound calls.
- Calls per hour. This refers to the number of people that contact center agents connect with each hour. Ideally, the more calls agents make, the more customers they can nurture, educate, and respond to.
To free up some of the support team’s time, use interactive voice messaging (IVM) as part of your outbound call campaigns. Prerecord messages that remind customers of new features, new ways to use a product, upcoming info sessions, and more.
Go one step further by segmenting your customer list so that each segment receives timely, relevant messages. With VoiceSage, you can create separate contact lists for your segments and create custom IVMs for each group. This way, customers get the information they need to enhance their experience while the support team avoids dealing with silent calls and hang ups.
One major determining factor of customer success is the efficiency of the products support teams use. Operational efficiency metrics measure the internal processes teams use to navigate customer calls. Customers benefit and thrive when they have access to a support team that gives them what they need, when they need it.
Contact center metrics that track operational efficiency include:
- Average handle time. This is the amount of time it takes to resolve a call. The formula is (Total Talk Time + Total Hold Time + Total Wrap-up Time) / Number of calls handled. Further analysis will show what processes save time and which ones are time-consuming and disrupt efficiency.
- Call wrap-up. This refers to the work agents have to do after a call ends — for example, add call notes or update customer info in the CRM database. Too much time spent wrapping up takes time away from talking to customers. To improve wrap-up time, automate manual processes.
- Forecast accuracy. This is the difference between forecast inbound calls vs. actual inbound calls during a set period.
Use automation to help improve overall operational efficiency. Start by setting triggers that enable customer support reps to spend less time wrapping up. For example, when a call ends, that should trigger automatic updates to the CRM and send messages to customers to confirm the result of the call and ask for feedback.
Learn how to improve customer experience with mobile messaging: Digital Customer Experience: How APIs Enhance CX Strategy
Running a customer support team is expensive. You have to compensate the team for their time, source equipment and software, and invest in training and development. This is why you need to use contact center metrics to determine whether your investments are having the desired effect on customer experience and success.
Use the following contact center metrics to analyze cost:
- Cost per call. This compares the cost of running a contact center to the number of calls received. To track this monthly, take the number of completed calls per month and divide it by the cost to run the contact center that month. Costs vary based on factors like the size of the team, size of the customer base, time spent on phones, and customer contact rate.
- Agent attrition. This contact center metric measures agent turnover. To calculate this on a monthly basis, the formula is (total number of agents at the end of the month – total number of agents at the start of the month) / average number of agents that month. The lower the number, the better because this indicates a high retention rate and less time spent training new agents.
- Agent absenteeism. This refers to the number of contact center agents who miss work because they call in sick, skip work on purpose, or book vacation time. This is calculated by dividing the number of missed days by the total number of workdays. Agent absenteeism affects customer success if there are dedicated agents who can’t be reached when needed.
Managing contact center costs is another opportunity to use automation. To minimize long-term costs, use mobile messaging when possible. For example, if there is an issue with your product, proactively send SMS messages to customers, letting them know. This helps minimize calls to the contact center, where they risk going unanswered if there isn’t enough staff due to attrition and absenteeism.
Making Contact Center Metrics Work for You
Contact center metrics are incredibly important to how your team operates as well as how effective they are at helping customers. Track these metrics regularly, and use your analysis to pinpoint issues and uncover opportunities. The more diligent you are at tracking these metrics and making changes, the better off your team will be, and the better the customer experience will be.
To find out more about VoiceSage can help you improve your customers experience, contact us today.
Published on: 4th November 2019