Blog - Call Center Outsourcing

Customer Experience – the Common Metric in a Multi-Channel Center

07/18/2013

Customers have the ability to reach out to your contact center at any time, any way they wish (if your contact center is on top of multi-channel requirements). To ensure a great customer experience, agents will provide the same answer regardless of the type of transaction. It does not matter if it’s email, social media or phone call, the customer should have the same positive experience.  How do you ensure that the customer has the best experience, regardless of how they reach out? Align the multi-channel metrics of your contact center.

Agent performance is measured against defined metrics.  These metrics are known as key performance indicators (KPIs) and may include measurements such as average handle time, agent first-call resolution and average hold time.  Performance monitoring software automatically tracks these metrics and can alert management of unexpected changes in the KPIs allowing issues such as a spike in call volumes to be handled in real time. Therefore, with a little planning, your team will have access to real-time information that lets you know about spikes, handle times and quality so that every transaction, regardless of type, is handled effectively.

Tracking the metrics is great, but what if you notice a trend you want to address? It’s time to ensure that your contact center has processes and contingencies for when the numbers are lower than you want, either at the group or individual level.  The most common response to a drop in KPIs is training.  If you are tracking the right KPIs, your team will be aware of issues and able to either schedule or create the right type of training to address the challenge.

When a whole group shows a decline, that signifies a different issue. It may be time to review the training and ensure that the information is the most current. Particularly with new service and product roll-out, it is critical to update training modules to reflect the most recent updates.

You’re In the Green

So all of your KPIs are in the green – the agents are meeting every metric and ensure that transactions are closed.  Everything is rosy, allowing you to put your feet up and enjoy a job well done, right?  Maybe – maybe not.  Since most KPIs measure what your agents are doing, they only show what is happening inside the company.  Your customers may have a completely different opinion of how your company is doing, one that is directly at odds with your KPIs.

A recent study by Aspect Software found that 64 percent of consumers do not feel valued when they contact customer service.   The most common causes for this dissatisfaction included being directed to an automated response system and having to repeat themselves.  The addition of social media as a support channel did little to improve this frustration, with only 7 percent saying this channel provided the quickest resolution and best customer experience.  However, a quarter of respondents admitted that they threatened to tell others about their experience or use social media to air their frustrations in order to expedite a solution from customer care.

We know that the voice of the customer is strong and can echo good or bad sentiments quickly. The most effective means of ensuring your customers are happy is to align all the metrics regardless of the channel. If first transaction resolution is key to customer happiness, then that should be the standard on email, Facebook and a call. Agents will be successful if the KPIs put the customer first, regardless of the channel. It will be much easier for the contact center to ensure a consistent, smooth customer experience with all the metrics aligned, thereby ensuring happy customers.

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