Contact Center: You Get What You Measure

November 20, 2017

These are transformative times for contact centers. There are a few essential activities you might consider as you plan or implement your transformation. One of these key areas is measurement. Most contact centers are awash in operational information and starving for strategic insights that drive a great customer experience. Here are a few ways to improve the impact of your measurements.

Start with your business imperatives

Focus on reinforcing the impacts your business leaders care about; they may not be the easiest things to measure, but they have the most meaning to the business.  Begin with Customer Retention and Growth. Then quantify the financial impact of losing a customer, based on the lifetime value (LTCV). The financial impacts are tightly tied to customer scoring, which may include Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), Voice of the Customer (VOC), or Net Promoter Score (NPS). It helps if everyone in your contact center understands and appreciates how their contributions impact your selected customer scores, and how those scores link to financial success.

Simplify and streamline all other measurements with a customer focus

Reduce, refine, reduce again. Many contact centers take the “What can it hurt?” approach to dashboards. “If we can measure x, could it hurt to know how people compare in these areas?” Guess what? It can and does hurt your results. It creates confusion about what is important and may push your strategic measurements into the background.

We worked with one client where customer satisfaction moved down one priority at each level, as it cascaded from management. CSAT became the 3rd priority for agents! You can still capture and review efficiency and workflow measurements that provide management insights. But you do not have to publish all them, or put them on the manager/agent dashboards. Keep it simple and focus on the few things that will matter.

Develop a causality map that links measurements

We are big fans of Impact Mapping. Start with the business imperatives, then map contributing factors to know what you should focus on, those things that will impact business results. This may sound complicated, but it can be done in one day by getting the right people in the room, and skillfully facilitating a session that builds consensus. Explore how professional development contributes directly to employee engagement and customer experience—which lead to higher agent and customer retention.

Operationalize measurements in a practical way

You may be wondering by now, how this connects with First Call Resolution (FCR), Average Handle Time (AHT), and the other things you measure now. And you might think this approach is too lofty and will not connect with the practical needs of your contact center. However, it is important to connect the strategic with the operational. Start with a strategic map, and determine how you measure the key metrics your business cares about. Then determine how measurements like FCR and AHT help you get there; they are path to a goal, but they are not the goal. If you do not have the strategic framework, they are untethered and may not have the impact you are hoping for.

Communicate the measurement, early and often

People tend to work most effectively when they know what they are being measured against. Communicate consistently and don’t let your contact center team forget what really matters. Don’t let the strategic and important get crowded out by the operational and visible measurements.

Contact centers do important work, and every agent and manager is part of that. We know that Customer Satisfaction is a primary driver of business success, and every contact center employee plays a critical role in driving Customer Satisfaction. If you really want to engage your people, show them how everything they do matters to the business.

To learn more about PDG’s point-of-view on Contact Center Transformation, visit our Contact Center page.


Ed Holinski is Senior Director, Solution Strategy and Development for Performance Development Group.

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