Five Tips for Improving Performance Management

What is performance management? It’s a process of motivating employees through setting goals, measuring progress, providing feedback and coaching for improved performance, and rewarding achievements. 

In a call center this can be achieved through software applications that combine dashboards, analytics, workflow and data integration, all of which make it easier for managers to set specific performance goals and communicate them to agents and other personnel. 

Here are five tips to improve your performance management efforts: 

1. Prioritize

All of the key performance indicators are important, but some will be more critical than others to your customer service effort at this stage. For instance, average handle time might be an issue, but if too many calls are being abandoned because customers are hanging up before an agent greets them, that is the problem that should be addressed first.

2. Delegate

Identifying issues is only half the battle. Brainstorming a solution is the next step, but then you still need someone to implement it. As someone once said, a goal without a plan is just a dream. Put someone in charge of executing the plan. 

3. 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 saved 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 more courteous with each customer. 

4. Establish Positive Patterns

With goals and plans in place, identify the hurdles that stand in the way of consistent performance moving forward. Will additional training keep everyone on the right track? Would better forecasting and scheduling software improve the likelihood of success? Is it time to consider workforce management? 

5. Monitor and Repeat

Check your results, but don’t wait for the end of the week or month. 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. 

Performance management is one of the most effective ways to improve contact center service – as long as the metrics are accurate and implemented in a way that bolsters the associated workflow functionality. This is not a one-time fix but an ongoing challenge that should become part of the call center’s everyday management procedures.