Top 12 Tips To Improve Metrics In An Outbound Call Center

Higher profits

An outbound call center software for sale can help businesses immensely by achieving critical goals such as higher profit margins. But this is possible only when the agents work effectively and the customer base is kept happy. Contact center managers are often tasked with the duty of ensuring that everything works under control but this is possible only when there is operational efficiency, patron contentment, business value, and efficient workforce management.

All of this is kept under regular tab using call center metrics. Also known as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), these serve as a valuable source for calculating the success of the organization. There are no pre-defined metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of the company. It differs with the structure and nature of the organization. 

However, there are certain KPIs which exist in almost every contact center. These indicators become all the more essential because they are required for successful functioning of the system. However, there is a lot of confusion on metrics that can be useful to increase the productivity and retain the clients without a heavy price.

Described below are certain pointers which are a must in a contact center and which can help in improving the performance.

Average Call Duration:

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• This reflects the total call length of the caller. The measure of the total time taken by the agent to convince the customer is taken into account to measure the productivity. A company usually tries to keep the ACD as low as possible since this would in turn reduce the cost per call.

• In general, a higher ACD of the telemarketer means that he requires further training and development with his pitch to be able to close sales faster. However, this is not the case always. In products which require greater customer understanding, the call duration needs to be judged accordingly.

Call Quality:

Call Quality

• This usually differs from industry to industry. However, few of the standard elements include call opening, conversion rate, closing call etc. While these are the numerical standards, a high quality call is also rated on subjective standards like the rapport between the customer and the agent, the terminology used by the sales rep while on phone as well as customer satisfaction. Customer surveys are an effectual method to calculate “call excellence”.

Conversion Rate:

• The conversion rate refers to the percentage of calls during which the lead is closed as a sale and the deal confirmed by both the parties. It can be either measured by the total number of sales that happened or the percentage of calls that were converted into sales. An agent with higher conversion rate would imply more profit to the company.

Schedule Adherence:

• This is used to measure the performance as well as the efficiency of the workers. This is used to make sure that the callers work for the amount of time that they are assigned. It also includes the number of breaks that were taken and the time between the calls. This is used to ensure that the workers comply with the timings of the company. It is calculated as a percentage and the total desk time of the caller is divided by the scheduled time for the employee.

System Response Time:

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• This looks into the technological aspects of the company and refers to the total amount of time taken by the software and the system to process the request of the caller. This metric directly affects the call length and average handling time.

• A slow system response time can lengthen the call duration and result in increased costs of production for the company. It can also affect the levels of satisfaction of the client and can also hamper the work of the employees. They will take longer to find the data, resulting in slower resolution of issues.

Customer Service Satisfaction Score (CSAT Score):

Customer Satisfaction

• This is an essential measure for every contact center. This is used to rate the consumer experience and to find out the level of customer satisfaction. Client survey is the most common method to find out CSAT score. This is a vital medium to rate the call and test its success as well as to attain feedback.

One important thing to remember while choosing the indicator is that it should align effectively with the goals of the company. Once the outcome is finalized, then start working backward to find out which pointers can help in achieving the desired result.

Here are few tips that can help you in improving the metrics for your call center.

1. Analyze calls

• It is imperative that the manager keeps a close check on the quality of the call and looks into the conversation of the callers with the client. It helps him to identify where the agent is going wrong. It would be even better to collaborate the reviewing sessions with the telemarketers. In this way, they can easily identify their strengths and weakness and can work towards improving it.

2. Have a Quality Assurance Team

• Just like a company needs efficient managers to ensure performance management, a contact center also needs a quality assurance team which can look into the functioning of the employees in an effective manner.

• Many call centers use the team managers to tab the performance of the workers. While this might work for few, often the leaders develop a bias towards their own team particularly if the team goals are at a risk.

• A separate team would look into the calls without any prejudice and biased scoring with-in teams can be avoided. They can help in finding the correct picture of the callers and their productivity.

3. Establish KPIs Targets

It is essential that the employees are motivated to work better. Setting up targets for indicators can be a great way to encourage the workers. In this way, they have a clear idea of what is expected from them and they can establish their targets in order to achieve the goals of the company.

4. Train and educate the callers

• It is vital that the workers are well-equipped, both in terms of intellect and technological help. They must be up-to-date with all the information about the product and services of the company. Only then can they interact effectively with the patrons and communicate the goals and objectives in an efficient manner.

• Apart from making them aware about the services of the organization, it is important that you make them understand the importance of metrics and how it can affect the growth of the company.

5. Eliminate conflicting performance goals

• With multiple indicators to focus on, the agents might end up feeling pressurized. It is essential that you prioritize each indicator and explain the same to the worker. If the caller is trying to maintain a low average handle time and in that process the Consumer Service Satisfaction Score is gradually decreasing, this can have a negative impact on the organization.

• Hence, it is imperative that the business house prioritizes each metric according to their own preference and steps should be taken to improve the high concern indicator.

6. Rewards

• Incentives and gifts can be an easy way to encourage the workers as well as to lift their spirits. The star performer with excellent metrics should be acknowledged and should be rewarded for the hard work.

• Public appreciation can always work wonders. It also helps in keeping the employees satisfied because they know that their work is being scrutinized and valued.

7. Set reasonable goals

• The goals that are set should be realistic and must be achievable by the employees. While chalking out the schedule, it is essential that you include the workers and keep their interests in the loop. In the initial stages keep expectations at minimum. Also, remember to look out for potential barriers that can come in the way of the workers and their attendance.

8. Keep it simple

A complicated survey can cause more harm than good. Before conducting a buyer survey, ensure that it is optimized for user experience. A complex survey can put off the client and he many not like to go ahead with the entire procedure. Keep the questions simple and time it effectively. There is no point in conducting the survey after a gap of ten days because the patron cannot remember all the details.

9. Employee feedback

• The feedback from telemarketers is as important as response from customers. The reps deal with the clients all throughout the day and can hence provide better insights on how the metrics can be improved. Form a system where their opinion is also solicited. Keep them in the loop when discussing workflow, business operations and processes that need to be tweaked to get more consumer attention.

10. Measure and monitor

• You can manage only what is effectively measured. Hence, keep a close watch on the employee-client relationship, the call quality of the agents and review them regularly with the team as a part of your staff meetings.

• Over the time, the staff members will be used to metrics and shall also pay close attention for its improvement. Their performance shall become more efficient when the indicators are more internalized in the work culture and this can happen only with regular discussions.

11. Fix the issues

• It is just not enough to take up a customer PR employee survey. What is important is to act on their feedback. As soon as the issues are highlighted, it is essential that they are resolved and fixed immediately. Pay attention to every suggestion and ponder on how it can help the company in earning more profits.

12. Ensure that the system is fair

• The tools, methodology and the scoring system need to be fair and should be equally accessible by all the workers. The call selection process should be impartial as well. The newly trained workers should be given leverage period and should not be compared with the senior staff. Their performance levels shall be different and they must be evaluated accordingly.

Conclusion:

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KPIs help in providing better insight on how the workers are performing. In a stressful environment of a call center, it becomes difficult for a manger to ensure that high quality standards are maintained. Metrics help the admin to identify the root cause of issues as well as helps in finding out why things are flattering. Hence, it is essential that the indicators are closely observed and are developed with a complete understanding of the business goals.

Case Study

The Customer:

Zeardom, a newly instituted call center, recently opened in Mumbai. With a staff strength of 200 and multiple brand associations, the contact center has already become a favorite among the companies. Reasonable prices coupled with agent support have prompted many organizations to partner with Zeardom for their call center needs.

The Problem

Things were very smooth in the initial months. With great support from the callers, the call center had already developed a strong client base. However, after few months, the admin observed that the call quality was dropping and the surveys conducted for the client showed the company in a negative light. Not only this, the agents also seemed displeased and this reflected while they interacted with the customers. After thorough research and discussions, the company decided to develop a fresher perspective on the indicators and also ensured that proper call monitoring takes place.

The Solution

Step 1: The first thing that the company did was to prioritize the goals of the company and align the indicators respectively. While earlier, they were looking at bringing more clients on board, the organization then shifted its focus on customer retention. Hence, a call that exceeded the average handle time was of no big concern until the patrons were satisfied. Their satisfaction was of utmost importance and all the metrics were rearranged accordingly.

Step 2: The company brought in more coaching and training sessions for the agents so that they can know more about the company and the products and could effectively communicate the same to the patrons. Their feedback and opinions were also taken into account when forming new strategies.

Step 3: The workers were allowed to score themselves. This gave them greater insight on where they were going wrong and what could be done to improve their performance. The calls were monitored on regular basis and the feedback was given in a polite manner so that the agents did not feel humiliated and could make the necessary changes while on their next call.

Step 4: Attempts were made to remove the bias when it came to monitoring. The company was in the process of building a quality assurance committee. Until then the cross examination process was used. With this, each supervisor along with monitoring his own team calls, also cross examined other teams’ call observations. In this way, any sort of bias or prejudice was kept at bay.

Step 5: A two-phased approach was applied while monitoring the calls. Firstly, the supervision was done without informing the callers in order to get better clarity on his understanding and his work process. Next time, the worker was told about his role in the growth of the company and how he can help in generating revenue. He was also told that his calls were being monitored. This made them more cautious and showed how best they could perform under pressure.

The Result

• The call center also used a well equipped outbound solution that had features like automation, screen pop-ups, adherence and schedule management. In-built elements of these kind made monitoring and management an easy task for the admin.

• After deploying effective strategies to improve the KIPs, the company now knows its position exactly and can estimate the things that are required to be more successful.

Outbound calling software cannot function in an effective manner if there is no proper monitoring and indicators to measure the efficiency. It is imperative that the metrics that are chosen by the company help and strengthen the objectives of the company. Management becomes easier and client experience can be enhanced when the agents are empowered with an updated outbound calling solution that has features like real-time monitoring and recording options, which makes it easier for them to function effectively.

For a company to be more customer centric and employee friendly, it is necessary that it uses the best telemarketing software, which, not only helps in regular supervision but also excels in providing comprehensive metrics.