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This article is part of our Essential Guide: A guide to call center metrics

A question of contact center metrics

One of the best tools for reorienting the contact center to be more CEM-driven is to change up the metrics commonly used for evaluating its performance.

One of the best tools for reorienting the contact center to be more CEM-driven is to change up the metrics commonly...

used for evaluating its performance.

Contact centers are typically evaluated on production-centric metrics; for example, the number of calls handled per hour, the handle time and abandon rates. If you're biggest worry is over how to shave minutes off handling time, you're likely missing out on the greater opportunity to improve customer satisfaction. Instead, contact center management needs to concentrate on metrics that have greater relevance to what the rest of the business cares about.

"Handle times and abandon rates are core to running the organization, but it's not what the rest of the business cares about," said Lori Bocklund, president of Strategic Contact in Beaverton, Ore., an independent consulting firm specializing in contact center management. "Look for bigger metrics that show [the center's] contribution to the strategic goals that are important to customer satisfaction, like driving revenue or cutting costs."

Penny Reynolds, a co-founder of The Call Center School in Lebanon, Tenn., which trains contact center management, said while progress has been made, too many departments still cling to measurements that hold them back from active participation in CEM.

"I still encounter call centers where you walk in the door and there's a sign on the wall with the number 248 seconds (to represent call handling goals)," she says. "That's the old-fashioned, production mentality that exists in one out of four call centers."

This was last published in March 2012

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