Nail KPI Targets with Call Center Technology and Agent Skill Sets

call center technology and hitting kpi targets

Jan 04, 2019

Posted In: Inbound, Outbound, SaaS Author: TCN

Using call center technology to hit KPI targets requires 2 things:

  1. Agents who possess the right skill sets to meet their goals and satisfy customers.
  2. Call center technology that empowers agents and managers to do what they couldn’t do on their own.

Of course, if call centers want to hit their KPIs they should outline exactly what those KPIs are first.

We’ll review a few of the top KPIs call centers should track and then detail the skillsets and technology call centers need to successfully hit them.

KPI Targets Call Centers Should Focus On

Call centers can easily get hung up on measuring a variety of different KPIs that ultimately don’t matter to their bottom line or performance objectives.

With that said, here are a few KPIs call centers should absolutely track and measure to improve the effectiveness of their services.

Time Spent on Each Call

Handle time is one of the most important metrics a call center can measure. When calls are flooding in, managers need to know how long agents spend on the phone with each customer, especially when you consider that the majority of customer contact is phone based.

Call centers can identify all sorts of problems by tracking the time agents spend on each call. For example, the system may be routing calls to the wrong agents who aren’t well-equipped to handle that customer’s requests. These issues can cause a bottleneck that call centers would be wise to resolve if they want to offer the best service.

Time Customers Spend Waiting on Hold

It’s commonly understood that customers hate waiting on hold. And the longer customers wait on hold, the angrier they get. Also, it’s likely that longer hold times impact first call resolution. Monitoring hold time by call type can show where agents are struggling to find information and help spur improvements to resources and call processes.

The Number of Times Callers Disconnect Before Speaking with an Agent

As we already pointed out, customers despise being put on hold. Yet, every call center is different, and so are the customers calling in.

There are many reasons for call abandonment, being on hold is just one of them. Other reasons are being transferred too often or poor customer service. The best way to know why callers are disconnecting is to measure it and identify the problem. Dive into this metric to optimize IVRs, staffing needs and call system settings.

What Agent Skillsets Can Help Call Centers Hit Their KPIs?

Now that you know what you should measure, let’s take a look at what agents themselves can do to perform better on those KPIs.

A Deep Understanding of the Products Customers Buy

Call center agents won’t be able to help many people if they don’t understand the products and services customers are purchasing, especially since customers are calling in to ask for help with those very products.

Agents who understand the products their customers are buying will be better equipped to answer questions correctly the first time and be better representatives of the company brand.

Excellent Communication Skills

This should go without saying but it’s not as common as call center managers may think. Agents need consistent training in developing their verbal skills. They should know not to use complicated jargon, how to empathize with the customer, and how to remain patient and calm throughout a stressful call.

Plus, agents are the ones who will communicate solutions and company policies and they need to know how to do this clearly and kindly. Mastery of all of the above will give them the edge that makes your business shine.

A Willingness to Accept Responsibility (Even When the Customer is Wrong)

Agents need to be humble and quick to accept responsibility for anything the customer feels is wrong, even if the customer was at fault.

They also need to be willing to accept responsibility and apologize when they’re in the wrong. Customers appreciate this type of honesty and forthrightness and can help ensure a smooth conversation where customers don’t feel like they have to be on the defensive the whole time.

What Call Center Technology Can Help Businesses Hit Their KPIs?

Call center agents can only do so much to improve their performance on their own before they need the help of call center technology.

Below are a few technologies every call center manager will want to have in place to improve the productivity of everyone in their organization.

Agent Gateway

Agent Gateway allows agents to get to know customers before they speak to them. When a customer calls, agents can see past notes from previous interactions, information about the customer, support tickets, and anything else they’ll need to have a productive conversation.

Interactive Voice Response System

An Interactive Voice Response system (IVR) intercepts calls before they’re connected to an agent and gives customers options to resolve issues themselves. Customers can direct themselves to the right department or enter options that will be displayed on the Agent Gateway, alerting the agent to exactly what the customer needs so they can prepare to help them before talking with them.

Automatic Call Distribution and Skills-based Routing

Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) routes calls to the agent best suited to help a particular customer. This is called skills-based routing. Instead of handing off a call to the next available agent, the ACD system will take into account all the information gathered about the customer and all the information gathered about every agent in the call center and match the customer with the right agent for them.

There’s One Thing Missing That Will Help You Hit Your KPI Targets

We just laid out a lot of tactics and strategies for hitting KPIs but those won’t mean much without the right data used to measure and track those KPIs.

This is where Business Intelligence (BI) comes in.

BI gives you insights, metrics, charts, and graphs that measure, compare, prescribe, and predict call center performance. And we just released a webinar showing call center managers how to use it.

Find out how to leverage this information by checking out the BI webinar today.

About the Author: TCN

TCN is a leading provider of cloud-based call center technology for enterprises, contact centers, BPOs, and collection agencies worldwide. Founded in 1999, ClearTouch combines a deep understanding of the needs of call center users with a highly affordable delivery model, ensuring immediate access to robust call center technology, such as predictive dialer, IVR, call recording, and business analytics required to optimize operations and adhere to TCPA regulations. Its “always-on” cloud-based delivery model provides customers with immediate access to the latest version of the ClearTouch solution, as well as the ability to quickly and easily scale and adjust to evolving business needs. ClearTouch serves various Fortune 500 companies and enterprises in multiple industries, including newspaper, collection, education, healthcare, automotive, political, customer service, and marketing.