Tech issues in the contact center, even small ones, can have an enormous impact on customer experience. Proper testing and monitoring within the contact center infrastructure is no longer a nice-to-have, it's a must-have. The chance of a negative customer experience is too great a risk to take.
To better understand customer experience in the contact center, it is important to track certain key performance indicators (KPIs). By closely monitoring these KPIs in real-time, contact centers can spot service degradations and possibly preempt their impact on end-customers.
To learn more about the key performance indicators that contact center managers should monitor, we spoke with Tim Moynihan, vice president of Marketing for Empirix. His company focuses on end-to-end network performance visibility and offers solutions for analyzing customer behavior in real-time.
Moynihan helped us identify these five key performance indicators for running a successful contact center:
1. Call Blockage Rate
Used by most contact centers today, the call blockage rate measures how well customers can access services. "When solutions are not working properly or the contact center cannot handle the sheer volume of customer inquiries, calls are not answered," Moynihan said. "A high blockage rate has an immediate and negative effect on customer satisfaction."
2. Call Abandonment Rate
"High abandonment rates indicate application problems, incorrect routing latencies in back-end communications or inefficient management of customer service resources," says Moynihan. "These conditions result in frustrated customers who are unable to get their problems fixed in an efficient and timely manner."
3. Voice Quality of Service
Poor voice quality reflects badly on any company. It also leads to an increase in call length when customers and agents cannot understand each other and are forced to continuously repeat themselves. "In extreme cases, customers will hang up and try again," Moynihan says. "Either way, these delays can be extremely expensive to both customer loyalty and overall cost per call."
4. Repeat Calls
This is a measurement of how many times a customer contacts the company before his or her issue is corrected. "A variety of technical issues can lead to higher repeat call rates--improper routing, long queue lines, dropped calls and more," says Moynihan. "This KPI also reflects how successfully agents are able to satisfy customers, the first time."
5. Mean Time to Diagnose
Pinpointing the cause of problems in today's complex environments can be difficult. "Decreasing Mean Time to Diagnose is essential for limiting the negative impact on customers," Moynihan says. "Additionally, it drives considerable cost savings for the organization as support man-hours can add up quickly."
The Bottom Line
No contact center manager wants to lose a customer because of a technical glitch or other behind-the-scenes difficulties. Performance monitoring solutions, like those offered by Empirix, can help by providing an end-to-end view of performance indicators across the entire contact center.
"More than just tracking how well the bits and bytes are floating through the network, [these monitoring tools] assess application performance, service quality, system delays, and related factors to provide a true picture of customer experience," Moynihan says.
"End-to-end performance monitoring simplifies KPI reporting and enables companies to more efficiently isolate, drill into and diagnose issues, thereby reducing their negative impact."
The bottom line: To run a successful call center or contact center, managers need to keep their eye on the money by knowing what to monitor and how to resolve kinks in the system that inevitably arise.