Looking Beyond Key Performance Indicators Within The Contact Center
Data offers us a fantastic way to gauge performance and success within the Contact Center. However what we see in black-and-white is not always what we could see.
To offer an example, I recall this client encounter:
Many years ago, I met with a collections contact center operation. As part of our KPI analysis, we reviewed the performance results of 5 collectors. Surprisingly, the manager of the collections department immediately pointed out the collector that had made the least amount of calls.
While other users were making 95-125 calls, the “slower collector” – their words not ours – had made 75-80 calls. The manager seemed embarrassed by this review and quickly made excuses for the specific lackluster collector. In my mind, the manager was taking a one-dimensional view of the quantity of calls.
Having seen the metrics, along with disposition results – some may refer to dispositions as wrap codes – I immediately noticed this:
The top performers had placed upwards of 95-125 calls, and had collected payments on approximately 55% of their calls. The so-called “slower collector” had placed 75-80 calls and had collected approximately 65% of his/her calls.
After a quick glance and quick visual calculation, I simply said: “Looks great. I see that your ‘high performers’ appear to be collecting payments on approximately 55% of their calls, while you’re ‘slower collector’ appears to be collecting payments on approximately 65% of his/her calls. Since you’re in the Collections Business, I would point out that your so-called slower collector is actually out performing on your company objectives over those that place more calls. Clearly there is something about the “talk-off” of the slower collector that is producing results. It might be a good idea to do some QA on the slower collector in order to discover what about his/her talk-off is producing results. I would do more QA on the ‘high performers’ as well. While the ‘high performers’ may be making more calls, it’s possible the focus on the quantity of calls is not producing the results you may seek as a collections organization.”
Focusing more on the KPI’s vs the overall goal is a mindset that I have seen many Contact Center Leaders, because that is a large part of their role. When the KPI’s don’t create a direct line to the goal of that team, in this case collecting dollars, bringing in someone to have a larger macro perspective can help reframe what good looks like for your organization.
This is one example of how being focused on only a single aspect of the KPIs didn’t really offer the true performance insights of the individual collectors. It was clear that the message to collectors on the floor was: “more calls = more payments” yet the overall objectives got lost in translation. Today, quality far exceeds quantity when considering Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty.