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Using call center quality metrics to measure email, chat and phone interactions

We are an e-commerce company and have a team of 14 call center agents. We communicate mainly via email (70%), chat (20%) and the phone (10%). What quality metrics would best serve us?

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Your question specifically focuses on call center quality metrics, so I will answer that first, but I also want to add some commentary on overall call center metrics with an emphasis on email and chat, given your media distribution.

Quality metrics for all media should consider key elements such as soft skills, process adherence, problem solving, systems use and accuracy. However, you need to make adjustments based on the media, given the nature of the interactions. For example, with email and chat, spelling and grammar are important, while on a call, tone of voice is important. Your quality considerations will also vary a bit, at least in weighting the criteria, if you are using substantial amounts of pre-written responses for email and chat. Then, the quality is based more on using the right text rather than crafting original content.

Other metrics that provide balance with email and chat include service level (chat) and response time (the service level equivalent for non-real-time media such as email). You will also want to consider cost per contact; understanding cost is always important, but even more so with a multi-channel call center. To further balance your overall metrics strategy, include a measure of customer satisfaction (for example, using a Web form).

Check out SearchCRM.com's call center metrics school to learn more about the top metrics to consider.

This was first published in August 2008

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