Dick Bourke encourages us to start measuring qualitative factors, instead of using certain, more traditional, metrics.
If you are a call centre or quality assurance manager, then you likely use metrics to measure your agents’ performance. Most call centre metrics measure things like average call duration, the number of calls in queue and resolution time.
Yet, whilst data like this is has been important, and still has its place, it is now more widely stated that qualitative insights are often as, if not more, important. Unfortunately, there has been less focus on how qualitative factors impact the customers call centre experience.
According to a recent article in Forbes written by a contributor from Bain Insight, improving call centre quality includes changing what you measure. This is so your organisation can focus on improving the customer experience—which leads to fewer calls from unhappy customers.
Using Net Promoter Score, a leading metric for customer loyalty, and comparing it to internal call agent quality metrics can provide valuable insight into how agent performance measurement compares to customer loyalty.
Using “first-call-right” metrics should replace average handle time metrics. An organisation can monitor its average handle time to better understand the resourcing requirements, but overemphasising this metric often results in fewer first-time resolutions and poor customer experience. This will most likely end up costing the organisation more over the long run.
As a call centre or quality manager, you can’t ignore the impact of customer emotions on your bottom line. Yet, many traditional call centre metrics fail to measure how customers feel.
The speed in which your agents’ answer and resolve a customer call is important but it does not communicate how a customer feels after interacting with the call centre agent. It also does not express how the agents’ behaviour impacts the customer’s feelings.
Looking at how well the agent engages with the customer is the key to improving call centre quality and performance. Here are several important tips to help you measure and improve the quality of your call centre interactions.
When a customer reaches out to a call centre for service, they want to be heard and feel as if the agent understands what they are going through. Empathy helps create a memorable, positive customer service experience.
So, if the customer feels like the agent doesn’t care, they are not likely to feel compelled to continue doing business with the company. Empathy is important when it comes to optimal customer service.
Empathy occurs when the agent celebrates the customer’s success with them. When an agent shows empathy, they truly understand the impact that the problem is having on the customer’s day. Having empathy for the customer’s situation will propel the agent to help ease the customer’s pain by doing everything that they can to remedy the situation.
So, how can you measure whether your agents are empathetic towards customers? Here are several questions that your metrics should answer to determine if your agents employ empathy in their interactions with customers.
- Was the agent interested in what the customer had to say?
- Did they actively listen to the customer without interrupting them?
- Was the agent flexible in meeting the customer’s needs?
Go Above and Beyond
Call centre agents can meet customers’ needs by going above and beyond in the interaction. Customers want to feel like the agent appreciates them.
When a call centre agent goes above and beyond, it lets the customer know that they are valuable and appreciated.
Here are some ways to measure whether the agent went above and beyond:
- Did they address the customer’s needs—even if the customer did not state them?
- Did they provide a wow experience to the customer?
- Did the customer respond to their attempts to go above and beyond?
Follow Company Procedures
How well the call centre agent understands and adheres to your company’s procedures is important. It may be invisible to the customer, but if the agent does not provide the caller with the correct information or ignores company policy, it can adversely affect service downstream not to mention the bottom line and company reputation.
Therefore, you should use a metric that measures business critical issues, whether agents are following company procedures. Here are some questions your metrics should answer:
- How well does the agent know their job?
- Is the agent providing factual information?
- How does the agent handle requests that are outside their area of expertise?
- Is the agent professional?
Meet the Customer’s Needs through Sales
Are your call centre agents listening to your customers and listening for the opportunity to provide value? Trying to sell something to a customer that they do not want is an imposition on the customer and is likely to make them feel irritated.
For example, if a customer calls your call centre because they want to order a computer for their child and the agent tries to sell them an upgraded suite of software for business use, the agent has not actively listened to the customer.
On the other hand, selling a parental control package to a customer buying a computer for their teen is a great way to meet that customer’s needs, especially if the customer has expressed worry about their teen visiting inappropriate sites on the internet. Your quality metrics should be able to answer the following questions:
- Did the agent offer upgrades to the customer during the interaction?
- Were the upgrades appropriate based on the customer’s verbalisation during the interaction?
- Was the agent listening to what the customer wants and needs?
- Did the agent try to sell something that would enhance the customer’s experience?
- Was the product offered a better version of something than the customer wanted?
Scorebuddy Call Centre Quality Management and Agent Engagement
Call centre metrics must include information that measures non-quantitative things like empathy, rapport and content. Call centre managers must understand whether the agent’s behaviours during the interaction fostered empathy and rapport.
Also, the manager must work with the agent on developing behaviours that will help provide a great customer-service experience.
One way to do that is with the Scorebuddy’s Call Centre Quality Management and Agent Engagement solution.
Scorebuddy helps to measure non-quantitative performance factors and can help you work with the agent on improving behaviours that directly impact customer service.
Also, Scorebuddy allows managers to give agents feedback on behaviours that will enable them to do their jobs better.
Here are some of the ways that your call centre can use the Scorebuddy to improve quality control:
- Understand what is happening during an agent customer interaction
- Understand what agent behaviours are contributing to great customer service and which ones are struggling
- Provide agents with constructive, consistent and immediate feedback to help them better engage customers and provide an excellent customer service experience
- Engage agents and give them tips to help them perform their job better
- Help to develop an action plan for teams and individual agents when their performance does not meet standards
- Identify trends and problem areas in real time
- Highlight positive trends and what your team is doing well
- Create detailed reports of qualitative data
- Identify trends and make beneficial change
Monitoring qualitative factors will be more likely to ensure that your team delivers excellent customer service. It will help improve customer loyalty, satisfaction and agent effectiveness.
Measuring qualitative factors can help you decrease agent turnover and costs.
Find out more by visiting scorebuddyqa.com
So true, nailed it.