One of the questions that I get most in regards to metrics in my role as a Customer Success Manager is, "What are the industry standards"? Often times, the response I most want to give them is, "Why does that matter?”
Too many times, contact centers try to fit their contact center into a mold of what they or their higher ups believe their contact center should be, without looking at the big picture of what it CAN be. Almost all contact centers are going to look at their metrics in different ways; and yet those specific metrics affect them all differently.
One of the biggest challenges these contact centers face is simply being able to be honest with themselves about what they can and cannot accomplish. Not every company has the same budget, the same business model, or the same exact needs from their contact center.
A great example of this is a federally funded contact center that I support. For a long time they were struggling with the fact that their leadership was looking to have an SLA within “industry standards”. After working hard with them to try and reduce their average speed of answer and average talk time to get them to where they wanted to be, we ultimately had a conversation about whether what they were asking for was realistic or even really what they wanted. Our discussion led to them realizing; an 80/20 SLA is simply not realistic for us, and is driving us towards poor quality scores, unhappy customers, and worst of all, an extremely high attrition rate.
Once they had this realization, we worked to define metrics that really matter to them. Raising their SLA to an attainable goal and then helping them work to improve it slowly, allowed them to bring their care agents’ job satisfaction back in line and helped reduce the cost of hiring and training new employees. They do not have “industry standard” SLA’s, but they DO have metrics that are measurable, attainable, and that ultimately further the goals of their contact center.