How To Evaluate the Effectiveness of Your Call Center

By Walter Lash

Your call center is the frontline of your customer experience operations. It requires ongoing, diligent monitoring. To effectively manage your customer experience, you need consistent tracking and measuring of metrics that are fundamental to determining agents and call center performance.

Why is call center performance evaluation so important? 

More than ever, your call center is intertwined with every other aspect of your business. Call centers don’t work in vacuums. Rather, they must be closely aligned with sales, marketing, shipping and nearly every other department so that they can be a successful customer touchpoint. Your call center enables your business to achieve greater success just as it can seriously tarnish your brand.

Which call center performance measures are most important? 

First Call Resolution (FCR)

How often are your callers resolving their issues during their first call? This important metric is closely aligned with customer satisfaction (CSAT). According to Service Quality Measurement Group there is a one percent improvement in customer satisfaction for every one percent improvement in first call resolution.

Top ranking customer satisfaction ratings typically have a first call resolution rate of greater than 85 percent. Centers that have high first call resolution rates generally have lower operating costs and higher employee satisfaction.

Response Time

How quickly are customer interactions handled? This important metric can be measured by minutes, days or hours to determine the amount of resources required to effectively field calls. Many industry experts consider response time to be the most obvious indication of what customers experience when connecting with a call center. Faster response times reflect a better customer experience.

Self-Service Accessibility

Self-service channels have become increasingly embraced by customers because they offer speed and convenience. For businesses, they deliver enhanced service efficiency and reduced costs. However, they shouldn’t be considered channels that are simply deployed and forgotten. Just like with assisted-service channels, your IVR system, website, chatbots, and other self-service channels require ongoing evaluation to determine how effectively they assist customers.

If your call center relies heavily on self-service channels, it’s important to watch closely for glitches, siloes and hindrances that prevent customers from shifting to assisted-service when they want to escalate an issue. Specialized monitoring tools can help identify failures and weaknesses that need to be addressed.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

Evaluating your customers’ satisfaction shouldn’t be a one-time or annual task. With customer preferences shifting faster than ever before, it’s important to grade experiences while still fresh in their minds. IVR-based, post-call surveys enable you to rate interactions, usually on a numeric scale and provide the opportunity for the customer to give feedback. With VHT’s Mindful Platform you can even deliver these post-call surveys through the text channel for better completion rates and higher engagement.

Social Media Spillover

This call center metric determines the number of callers that take to social media channels to comment or complain about service they did or didn’t receive when dialing a call center. For example, a cable provider that experiences an outage is likely to get an influx of calls that drives up the hold time. A growing percentage of callers facing longer than normal hold times will turn to social channels like Facebook and Twitter to get the help they need for their problem. Customer posts, mentions and tweets highlight call center and operational failures in a way that can have long-term impact on a brand.

Social media channels aren’t platforms just for pushing out marketing-driven content. With customers using them specifically for service, they need to be closely monitored to manage comments and feedback and effectively integrated with other communication channels. VHT’s Mindful can enhance social channels by offering users links to digital web-based scheduling for callbacks to reduce customers’ continued activity in social channels.

Proper evaluation is essential

Evaluation through metrics and monitoring is a fundamental aspect of call center management. Data collected and evaluated provides insights, as well as direction on how to make improvements to the customer experience. It also can highlight key areas for reducing operational costs and lowering employee churn.

With the right tools for measuring call center metrics and a commitment to effectively using the data derived from them, you can gain a competitive edge over the many businesses that continue to manage operations without data-driven guidance. Get in touch to ask us how Mindful can offer key metrics you won’t get anywhere else.

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