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Queue time is one of the many metrics contact centre mangers optimize their staffing models around. Simply put, this metric measures the time the average customers spends waiting in queue for an employee to answer his query. This simple metric has many names within the multi-lingual contact centre industry; average wait time, average speed to answer and many more.
For a long time ACD stats used to be the only way to acquire reliable metrics, the contact centre industry simply had no other choice. Those stats and the metrics they produced used to be our only “compass” when it came to reading efficiency and effectives of customer service.
But as the customer service landscape is changing, so are the metrics, and new possibilities arise and take the scene by storm.
“Net Promoter Score” and “Customer Effort Score” are nothing new for leading brands and many business managers. Those two metrics are designed to measure customer lifetime value, focusing on long term values instead of short term cost optimization only.
The best part about introducing and implementing new metrics is the opportunity to correlate them against the old ones.
Are we optimizing towards the wrong metrics?
Customers can be perfectly happy and pleased with the customer experience even if they had to wait 15 minutes or more in queue, what matters is the outcome and the customer journey up until the very end.
But as with all metrics, there are flaws. Net Promoter Score and Customer Effort Score take a huge negative impact from just transferring a call to another agent – this kills the scores almost instantly.
So you can only imagine what happens when a customer query needs to be transferred to multiple agents.
Instead of the “out with the old, in with the new” approach, the contact centre industry needs to embrace the best of both worlds, instead of “hopping on a bandwagon” once again.
Social media is here to stay, there is no doubt about it.
Most of the time representatives are having a hard time getting the upper management involved, and explaining how social media ROI works seems at times an impossible task.
Maybe we should take a step back and stop perceiving social media as the “end-all, be-all” solution, and start perceiving it as what it truly; a valuable tool and influence channel that should solidify all our combined efforts.
Getting your brand out there and promoting it, is the most important factor of incorporating social media into your business strategy.
You simply have to be “there”.
Social media allows brands and organizations to tell their side of the story and build their presence online. Users can take a peek behind the scenes and glance at the process’s or check out the company culture before applying for a job.
Posting detailed information about the hiring process is one of many great features of social media, candidates will know exactly what to expect and will be able to decide if they even want to begin the hiring process – time gained for both parties involved.
The dreaded social media ROI.
Obtaining accurate social media ROI might be an impossible task, especially when you want to examine how many people you hired thanks to Facebook or Twitter, or how many of the active user base on your corresponding profiles are loyal customers.
Instead we should be looking at the tremendous value social media provides in brand and reputation building.
And how does your brand look online, is it a thriving online community or a ghost town?
Being actually good with people should be prerequisite to even become a team leader.
It is not about metrics, it’s about managing and motivating your “rag-tag” group of contact centre individuals in such a manner that they are able to attain certain goals.
It’s quite easy to notice the good team leaders, there are the guys or gals that know what their whole team was doing during the weekend on the Monday morning. They constantly reassure that they got their contact centre agents back when it comes to dealing with supervisors and management and will take the heat for any possible screw up without shifting the blame onto the team.
In short, they cherish people first, metrics second.
Do note that good sales representatives aren’t always good managers and vice versa, although having the same background as their colleagues will make them bond easier.
The more satisfied the customer, the more loyal they’ll be that is why the contact centre industry needs to embrace customer centricity.
It’s not mystery that first contact resolution is one of the main drivers for customer satisfaction. Even the smallest improvements to first contact resolution (FCR) have impact on increasing customer satisfaction, at a astonishing rate of 1:1, which quite frankly is huge.
First Contact resolution not only increases customer satisfaction, but improving FCR in your contact centre should be the top priority, simply because it greatly reduces costs. So there is without a shadow of doubt a business case for improving first contact resolution, as a result many companies are investing heavily in customer service training and analytics tools, to measure and improve this voluble metric. But is focusing mainly on FCR sufficient in order to maintain customer loyalty?
Keep it balanced.
Most certainly not. There are many vital aspects that correspond and impact customer satisfaction thus shaping customer loyalty, these “what-if’s” are:
- What if; you encountered a poorly trained contact centre agent?
- What if; the representative didn’t have sufficient product knowledge?
- What if; you had to be kept on hold for 20 minutes while listening to some ungodly music track?
- What if; the issue was resolved but the agent was rude and interrupted the conversation numerous times?
This is why overly focusing on one metric is a sign of bad management. Embrace the balanced scorecard tactic and evaluate your employees and customer service process’s using these criteria:
- First Contact Resolution
- Post contact IVR survey, ask the customer how would they rate the experience
- Customer retention metric to evaluate the likelihood of a customer leaving within 4 weeks
- Include Average Handle Time; despite all the hate it gets, if you wish you could keep it hidden from the contact centre agents
- Cross-selling abilities
- Average time spent on hold; waiting on hold is despised by the customers
- Number of appropriate escalations
- Employee satisfaction; happy staff = happy customers
First contact resolution is a vital metric which greatly impacts customer satisfaction and helps reducing costs, but focusing on FCR alone is simply not enough. Take all variable into consideration when trying to increase customer loyalty and act accordingly, ask the customers what parts of the customer experience you provide do they cherish and which ones do they despise, and get to work.