Contact Center Trends

The Key Opportunities for Great Agent Performance

By Alison Jarris

0 min read

Contact center agent performance

The stakes of contact center are significant, which means the cost of succumbing to the aforementioned challenges is exorbitant. It also means the value of improving performance is substantial. By allowing issues like poor training, unclear metrics and disconnected systems to fester, the organization stands to undermine its customer experience strategy. It will anger customers, frustrate agents and essentially hand competitors the key to victory. By seizing opportunities to improve performance, the contact center turns those points into positive ones. It will satisfy customers, empower agents and outperform competitors. Numerous such opportunities exist.

Establish the “why,” Let metrics tell you “how”

Metrics are not simply valuable for “scoring” performance. They are useful in uncovering needs, trends and opportunities. They identify the behaviors and patterns that drive success.

They, quite simply, help the business contextualize performance. Organizations must take advantage of this reality in their contact centers. They should use metrics to not only assess current results but identify the practices that are helping or hindering those results. They should emphasize correlations. Rather than relying on average handle time due to the assumption that speed matters, customer-centric organizations will begin by focusing on a desired outcome like CSAT. They will condition agents to view this metric (CSAT or similar) as the ultimate barometer of their job performance. Due to transparent reporting, agents will always know how well their work (as individuals and as part of the company) is translating into customer happiness. The business will, moreover, make a full slate of intermediary metrics (AHT, ASA, FCR, accuracy rate, call back rate, etc) available in a dashboard (if not a public, company-wide leaderboard). Agents and supervisors will have a clear, real-time window into how their performance in these areas compares to other agents.

More importantly, they will see how their performance in these areas translates into big picture results and feedback.
If a customer with high average handle time also has low marks from customers, the agent is taking too long to solve problems. The agent will understand the problem, and the supervisors and trainers can help provide a remedy.
Beyond measuring and reporting based on outcomes, customer-centric organizations ensure these key metrics inform incentives and promotions.

“Call center agents have traditionally been at the very low end of the corporate employee pay scale,” said Gadi Shamia, Talkdesk COO. “To motivate and empower agents, companies should tie compensation and incentives to performance metrics – especially related to CSAT.”

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Editor’s Note: This piece was originally written by Brian Cantor, Digital Director and Principal Analyst at CCW, for CCW and Talkdesk’s Special Report: Agent Performance.

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Alison Jarris

Alison was Senior Manager of Content Marketing at Talkdesk. When she's not writing and editing she's probably running in the Presidio or reading Haruki Murakami.