Monday, January 19, 2009

Visibility - the key to optimal contact centre performance

A lot can happen in a contact centre in a very short time so real-time visibility is vital. Without it, you are driving blind, a rather scary thought.

In my view, visibility comes in two parts, both inextricably linked;
· real-time reporting records the results of the interactions, ‘what’ is happening right now.
· voice recording tells us ‘why’ we are getting the results.

For example average talk-time is a key measure as it directly links to productivity. Simply establishing average talk-time as a KPI and measuring it historically without the ‘why’, often results in trade-offs with customer satisfaction. If you tell your CSR’s to reduce talk-time they will often deliver your requested result by cutting calls short resulting in an unhappy customer. A much better approach is to identify benchmark calls from high performing CSR’s and compare them to the calls of underperforming CSR’s. When you show a CSR how he/she can reduce their talk-time rather than just tell them to reduce talk-time you get a much better result.

I mentioned real-time reporting. This in my view is very important. When your supervisors can readily identify an excessively long call and give prompt feedback to the CSR, it generally leads to a lift in performance: In the same way that a coach trains an athlete.

So if you are concerned about the performance of your contact centre, my advice is to take a good look at your capability for real-time comprehensive visibility and you will be on the way to delivering optimal performance.

John Chetwynd
Managing Director
Telnet Services Limited