Quit Rolling the Dice with your Performance Metrics

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contact center metricsEveryone likes the slot machine when they are winning, right? Or when the cards are falling in your favor, dice rolling on your lucky number… you get the point. I’ll be the first to admit, I love winning. It is like a burst of energy, an insurmountable feeling of excitement and joy. Until, you lose and end up going home broke.

Performance metrics in contact centers are similar to casinos. At least, it’s not uncommon to see the practices that are antiquated, or measured because “they always have been”, “we pay bonus on that metric”, “it’s attainable”, and “everyone’s doing it”. Have you heard or used those phrases before? If you answered yes, then you are ROLLING the DICE in your contact center.

Performance measurements are the most important items within your contact center. They tell if you are selling things, if your customers are happy, if your staff is adhering to their schedule, and so on. The goal in measuring performance is to move the needle. Improve X to solve Y. So, let’s look at some tips that will move you from the dollar slots to a high roller section.

  1.  Ask Why and How?

When was the last time you asked “Why are we measuring this metric(s) and how does it help us meet our goals?” Chances are, the answers are “because we always have” and “no”, respectively. Typically, contact centers roll over past measurements and add new metrics without asking the why/how question. Pretty soon, metrics are being managed rather than performance which was what the metrics were supposed to control and improve in the first place.

  1. Focus on the Metrics that Matter the Most

Performance Metrics can be categorized in to two areas: Service (quality) and Efficiency (cost-focused). Take the time to review the metrics at all levels to ensure they contain both Service and Efficiency Metrics. As long as you have agents, there won’t be a shortage of things to measure. The trick is to measure the right stuff. Quality and cost-focused metrics help keep you dialed-in to what matters the most. However, agents will typically find ways to improve or meet goals that are strongly focused on. Be sure that is not being done at the expense of other meaningful metrics.

  1. Double-sided Metrics.

Because there are countless metrics that can be measured within your center, it is important that they don’t contradict behaviors or goals that your organization is trying to meet. For example: metrics such as AHT, ASA, and ACW are all performance metrics that contribute to Utilization/Productivity of an employee. So, your employee scorecards should include these productivity metrics, and supervisors should monitor the contributing metrics for use in coaching sessions to improve individuals’ performance. Otherwise, your agents may feel overwhelmed and feel the ideal performance is not attainable.

  1. Be Realistic

As you review your performance metrics, take a moment to “be realistic” about how your organization is performing in that area. The most common metric mistake I hear is regarding adherence. “Our adherence is 97%”. After asking further questions, the WFM Desk is making adherence exceptions. So, make sure you are getting the “true” number. Anyone can manipulate the numbers to make things “look” better than they really are.

  1. R and R

Reward and Recognition is an easy one. Reward and recognize those that are performing well. Employees like to know that their efforts are not going unnoticed by their manager. If you have high performers or have improvements in performance, celebrate them. A little praise goes a long way… so, don’t forget to reward the wins, both big and small.

Stop rolling the dice! Measure the right things that will drive the right behavior with in your organization. Optimize your metrics to ensure that you are provided with the meaningful insight to ensure your employees and your organization are “cashing in”.