Your Call Center: Which Real-Time Metrics Matter Most?
Posted by Megan Webb-Morgan on May 16, 2013 in Business Software, Phone Systems [ 2 Comments ]
Your call center generates an enormous amount of data that can be analyzed in a variety of ways. Understanding which real-time data metrics are the most important can help your call center maximize efficiency, streamline processes, and improve customer service.
According to Luke McKeever, CEO of Portrait Software: “As markets continue to become more competitive, it will be those organizations that use intelligent, company-wide data to fully understand the needs of their customers and to make relevant and timely offers, that will ultimately succeed.”
Base your company’s strategy on the following metrics in order to help your company’s call center stand out:
First Call Resolution Rate
Your first call resolution rate (FCR) is derived from the number of calls resolved upon first contact divided by the total number of calls received. It shows how many times your average customer has to call you before their situation is resolved; preferably, customers want to call only one time.
- FCR is an effective way to measure your call center’s efficiency and success. Analyzing how many calls it takes in order to create a “happy customer” can help you to identify where better resolution paths exist.
- Increasing your FCR enables your call center representatives to spend less time on each customer, enabling them to serve more customers in the same amount of time and reducing operating costs for your company.
- Good FCR rates gives your reps opportunities to cross-sell or up-sell to satisfied customers.
The plethora of data created by your call center can help you predict what kind of call volume you’ll have hour by hour, and what types of skills your reps will need in order to handle the volume.
- Your call center metrics can help you to appropriately size your workforce for any given day, hour, or skill needed, depending on peak traffic, special events, and any internal or external influences (seasonality, wage laws, etc).
- These metrics help you direct your workforce where it’s needed in order to maximize both efficiency and customer service. It prevents you from having too many agents on the clock during a slow period, resulting in wasted money, as well as from having insufficient agents available to handle peak traffic, resulting in less effective customer service.
Cost per Call
Cost per call – the number of calls an agent handles in an hour divided by their hourly pay rate – can vary in importance depending on the needs of your company. Many businesses base their assessment of call center agents on their cost per call rates, and direct their overall cost-cutting strategy towards minimizing the length of each call.
- Cost per call rates do not take into account external factors like call volume or upsell opportunities, and can result in a decrease in customer service and satisfaction.
- According to Kimberly Collins, managing VP at Gartner CRM, “If your organization wants to lower customer support costs minimizing the length of a call with the contact center might be a target. But if the objective is to upsell or cross-sell to each customer, then identifying what sequence of events leads to a ‘conversion’ or sale would be more appropriate.”
The importance of certain real-time call center metrics can depend on what the goals are for your call center. Increasing opportunities for upsells or cross-sells can be the main goal of one company, whereas another company might get the best benefit from a low cost-per-call rate. No matter what strategy your call center follows, your first call resolution rate and workforce management analytics are integral to maximizing your call center’s effectiveness.