5 Steps to Better Contact Center Performance Management

Performance management is something of a catch-all term that incorporates all of the management aspects at a call center, from planning to developing agent skills, to evaluating performance based on metrics and making adjustments accordingly.

As with every other part of the management process, it becomes easier if you first develop a plan of action. Here are five steps that, taken in order, will make performance management more efficient.

1. Measure Current Status

How is the call center doing right now? Are forecasts and schedules accurate? Do you have data from surveys or others sources measuring customer satisfaction? Are orders up and complaints down – or vice versa? Compile a list of key performance indicators and find out how your call center measures up.

2. Set Realistic Goals

Based on the status report from the previous step, identify areas where improvement is possible, and set realistic goals. Chances are you won’t cut average handle time by 5 minutes per agent – but perhaps a 1-minute cut is possible, and when that time saving is added up over an entire month the savings will still be significant. Don’t focus only on quantitative objectives, where you can strive to hit a specific number that represents improvement. Set qualitative goals as well, such as challenging agents to be friendlier or more courteous with each customer.

3. Diagnose Problems

Now that you have your goals in place, identify the hurdles that stand in the way of their achievement. Will additional training improve agent demeanor? Would better forecasting and scheduling software improve staffing and cut costs?

4. Implement Changes

Whatever the challenges specified in step #3, this is the time to do whatever you can to correct them. Implement necessary changes to achieve desired results.

5. Monitor and Repeat

How did you do? Check your results, but don’t wait for the end of the week or month to start.Quality monitoring and tracking key call center metrics should be an ongoing process, as it may be possible to make additional changes to further optimize a call center process that is underperforming. Refine the system and then set new goals. The quest for excellence is a never-ending process, but with a solid performance management plan in place you’ll always be making positive strides.