In this video, Kate Leggett, an analyst with Forrester Research, discusses how business executives and call center managers can find the right customer service metrics to achieve their goals and balance cost cutting with customer service initiatives. She also shares her warnings on finding the right level of granularity with contact center metrics.
Kate shares some more thoughts on KPIs, Balanced Scorecards and customer service metrics on her blog.
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Kate Leggett on prioritizing customer service metrics
Interviewer: All right, Kate. Thanks for joining us.
Kate Leggett: Thank you. Thank you for asking me.
Interviewer: Maybe you can explain some of the hurdles
organizations are running into kind of with both the contact center
metrics they have now and kind of determine what are the right
metrics that they want to track?
Kate Leggett: Sure.
So as we know, contact centers are a very metrics driven type
of business. There's every tool that is in a contact center environment
spits out tens if not hundreds of metrics and your question about
what are the right metrics is a really good one. It's a question that we
get asked a lot.
And first of all, for answering the question, there is no specific metric.
There is no single one metric that you can use to manage your call
center operations or your call center contact center. It's like flying a plane
based on speed alone and not thinking about altitude.
What you really want to think about is a balance score card of metrics, so
running a contact center is a very pragmatic issue of balancing cost and
customer satisfaction. If you are a sales driven contact center, you also
have to look at the revenue that your contact center produces and if
you're in a highly regulated business like financial industry or financial
services, health care, telecommunications, you also want to look at
compliance. The ability for your service agents to comply to company
policy or to comply with governmental regulations.
So if we've been thinking about metrics, you want to look at the very large
buckets of metrics in a balance score card. Customer satisfaction versus
cost and then compliance and revenue.
Now, choosing the metrics or the type of metrics that will map to
one of these dimensions in the balance score card you have to think
about who's the consumer of the metrics. You've got an operational
manager who needs a different type or different set of metrics than for
example, your business executive.
So let's look at those two types of metrics. The business executive is
looking at high level key performance indicators. These are outcome
metrics. These are the high level indicators of customer satisfaction for
example, or cost and they need these metrics periodically to measure
the health of their business. Now your service manager, who's on the floor
working with the customer service agents, needs metric at a much more
granular level. And he needs metrics that are almost real time to be able
to see what the patterns are that are happening in his contact center at that
moment in time and be able to react so that the cost and customer service
bucket of metrics are kept in line with business objectives.
Interviewer: And is it more a matter of whittling down of all the metrics
that organizations already have or starting the measure things that
they weren't measuring yet?
Kate Leggett: So the way I look at this problem is you start from the top.
You look at the company's strategy. You look at the business goals and,
for example, is it a cost-driven business or is it a service-oriented business?
For example, Walgreens or Wal-Mart, for example, will have a different set
of metrics and a different set of business objectives than for example a
Tiffany's or a Nordstrom’s or a Barney's. So first of all is understanding
your high level business drivers.
Once you set those out, once you understand those you can map your
key performance indicators to the high level business drivers. And then
from there you can get more granular into the operational metrics that
you want to track.
For example, say you're a contact center that's very focused on cost. That
might be a high level KPI, the cost of a contact center and you can look at
the cost of the service operations. You can look at the cost structure for a
geographic region of contact centers. You can look at the cost structure
for single contact center and you can also look at the cost structure for a
single communication channel, like a phone channel or an e-mail channel.
And all of those are higher level KPI's.
Then you grill into them and what the operational service manager needs
to measure and he's measuring the average handle time, the talk time,
the number of cases handled, the number of escalations to second tier
support, schedule adherence. And those are the operational metrics that
you need to track at a very granular level.
So if you are tracking operational metrics today that don't have a direct
correlation to your high level KPIs they're a secondary metric and they're
not as important to track. Or you really have to ask yourself why are you
tracking it? And these metrics, again high level KPIs, all the way down to
these lower level granular operational metrics can be a metric that is produced
from a report, from a tool that you're currently using or can they be a
combination of the set of metrics that you're currently measuring?
Don't think that the customer service tools that you're using today will be
able to give you all the granular metrics that you need to map.