Defining Contact Center Metrics That Really Matter

Defining metrics by which you will measure the performance of your customer service support staff will ultimately help your contact center’s success. These contact center metrics and KPIs are essentially the guidelines to improving and growing your customer service and support team. They’re benchmarks that point to how far you’ve come.

It’s normal to want to control and measure every aspect of your customer service. After all, the more data the better, right? Think again. All the heaps of data you will collect will need to be analyzed and transformed into results. It’s no use collecting metrics if it isn’t useful data. Without defined customer service metrics that matter, you risk information overwhelm. And let’s face it, we’re all overwhelmed these days!

Gathering data can be a time-consuming chore. Therefore, it’s wise to choose the metrics you will evaluate with care.

Below, we’ll review how to choose the right metrics for your customer service support to optimize both your time and your team’s performance.

What is SLA in a Contact Center? 

Your customer service support center is working in line with an organization that has specific goals to be met. A service level agreement (SLA) is the set of internally determined standards that are used to guide decisions, and a commitment to maintaining a certain level of service, typically involving a specified percentage of handled contacts within a period of time. Perhaps sales need to be increased, technical support needs to be stronger, or even bookings and appointments need to be bolstered. Analyzing your SLA is one way to decide the customer service metrics that matter.

Depending on the organization’s need, select relevant KPIs that make sense. Assisting with tech support? First Call Resolution might be more important than Average Handling Time. Taking bookings for a popular chain of restaurants? Average Handling Time may be more appropriate.

To choose the customer support metrics that matter, it’s important to review the Service Level Agreement signed with the organization to align agent goals.

Actionable contact center metrics 

Metrics in your contact center ultimately serve the purpose of measuring ways to improve. Customer support metrics that matter are ones that can move the needle! If you or your contact center team can’t take action upon the results, then it becomes useless. Actionable KPIs can also ensure agent feedback is taking place in a way that’s useful for contact center team members.

For example, let’s say you have a poor CRM and it requires agents to do more manual research. As a result, agents may take longer to complete their “After Call Work.” Yet, for whatever reason, you know this aspect of the business is very unlikely to change. The means might not be there, or there might be other priorities and pressing issues. This is all dependent on the SLA, the organization, the kinds of challenges the agents resolve, and much more. It’s unique to you!

Focusing on the customer service metrics that matter means getting laser-focused on the metrics that are in your power to improve and change. Although they are all useful, not all KPIs will be appropriate for your customer service support center. 

CX metrics that your customers care about

When a customer calls, they have certain expectations in regards to the service they receive. Generally speaking, they don’t like to wait long and expect a friendly and knowledgeable person to assist them. Isn’t that what we all want, after all? In this case, tech support metrics, such as Average Abandonment Rate and Average Time in Queue, can help determine how much time a client is willing to wait — and if your organization needs to align the staff’s shift schedules to decrease customer waiting time. What your customer cares about is what you should care about. These are the customer support metrics that matter.

Measuring such customer-centric KPIs will cause a direct impact on the happiness of your customers and you’ll lay the foundation for immediate results. Furthermore, metrics like these can help motivate call center team members — because they’ll understand just how their efforts connect to direct results.

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Successful contact center metrics

Just because a stat can be measured doesn’t mean it will be used. Perhaps you decided to measure the Occupancy Rate of your agents to see their productivity. Occupancy Rate can be defined as the percentage of logged-in and available time that an agent spends in active call handling versus in an idle or available state. It’s a good idea for some contact centers and agent teams — but the ultimate outcome should be evaluated to decide if this is one of the customer service metrics that matter for your call center. Although you may think you’re measuring productivity, this metric could potentially demotivate or put additional stress on your staff, depending on the goals set around it. As a result, taking action upon the Occupancy Rate can be dangerous and potentially lower office morale, ending in a negative result. It’s all about balance. Adopt metrics that will bring positive change and improvements.

Metric calls seem harmless to measure — but it’s important to avoid falling into a “Let’s measure it and see what happens” mindset. This can cause unnecessary work for your QA team when they should instead focus on more productive tasks such as training and bringing results.

By defining metrics most necessary for your contact center, you can optimize your team’s time and make measuring and analyzing more efficient, allowing you to see results faster.

Stop wasting your time and start using call center metrics that matter. Everyone will appreciate the actionable CX metrics used to improve productivity and processes.

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