Call Center Performance Management Learning Guide

Performance management skills are essential, yet they aren't easy to master. As a call center manager, you are tested on all aspects of monitoring agents in the call center, including call center planning, developing agent skills, rating agents based on metrics and rewarding agents based on performance. In this guide to performance management, you'll find articles, white papers, advice and resources to help you through each of these steps, resulting in effective call center management.

Performance management is an integral part of managing the call center. It incorporates many management aspects, including call center planning, developing agent skills, rating agents based on metrics and rewarding agents based on performance. According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, performance management includes:

  • Developing agent objectives and setting expectations
  • Continually monitoring call center agent performance
  • Training agents on a regular basis and developing customer service skills
  • Rating agent performance in a summary fashion
  • Rewarding exceptional performance

In this guide, you'll find articles, advice, chapter downloads and other resources to help you through each of these steps, resulting in effective call center management. This is your best resource for performance management information. Drop us an email to let us know what you think of this guide and what other learning guides you'd like to see on SearchCRM.com.

Performance management spotlight

2007 Contact Center Performance Management Market Report
This report by DMG Consulting provides an in-depth analysis of all aspects of this market, including vendors, product functionality and technology, customer satisfaction, market trends and challenges, benefits and return on investment, market share, adoption rates, growth projections, and pricing.

Performance management terms to know

The following definitions are presented by SearchCRM.com, powered by Whatis.com.

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Management strategy

Call center planning means setting performance expectations and goals for groups of agents and individual agents to channel their efforts toward achieving the overall objectives for the call center and the organization. It's a good idea to get agents involved in the planning process early, to help them understand the goals of the organization, what needs to be done, why it needs to be done, and how well it should be done.

Tracking agent performance

Monitoring performance is imperative to not only determine the agents who are excelling in the call center, but to encourage correct processes and reinforce valuable customer service behavior. To be effective in monitoring, call center managers should provide ongoing feedback to employees and share progress with groups of agents as well as identify methods for reaching their goals.

Training call center agents

In the call center environment, it is just as important to train inexperienced agents as it is to develop skills of experienced agents through continuous training. Call center managers should provide agents with all the skills they need to do their job effectively, through training as well as giving assignments that introduce new skills or higher levels of responsibility. By providing training and encouraging skill development of call center agents, managers strengthen competency and help agents keep up with changes or the introduction of new technology.

Metrics-based performance management

As any call center manager knows, it is important to identify the best performers in the organization. To accomplish this, managers often look at performance over time and and compare performance among various call center agents. When it comes time for formal appraisals, managers should evaluate individual agent or group performance by comparing performance metrics against the agent's original goals to then assign a summary rating.

Agent recognition and rewards

Recognition is a natural part of call center operations, but effective call centers must learn to use rewards well. Rewarding means recognizing call center agents, individually and as members of groups, for their performance and acknowledging their contributions to the goals of the call center or organization. Recognition and rewards can and should be both formal and informal.

Agent retention

Retaining your employees is essential to improving performance in the call center. Experienced agents are more likely to be invested in the goals of the organization and will work hard to achieve those goals. So what's one key to keeping valuable agents? Keep them happy.

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This was first published in August 2007

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