Performance management in practice


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Performance management in practice

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Performance management in practice

  1. 1. Performance management in practiceCall Centers, or customer services receiving and transmitting multiple requests bytelephone, were introduced as offshoots of telecommunications providing streamlinedservice for consumers of large companies with extensive customer support needs.Normally, a call center is able to handle a considerable volume of calls at the same time,i.e. to screen calls and forward them to skilled support staff, where most issues can beresolved. Organizations starting from mail-order catalog companies and telemarketingcompanies to computer product help desks use call centers.Typically, there are two types of calls ? inbound and outbound. The latter suggests theagents calling potential customers with intentions to sell or service which is amply usedin telemarketing. Apart from it inbound calls are made by the customer to get informationor ask for help reporting malfunction of the product.Thats where the problem of management performance is acute. Performance measuresand benchmarking are indispensable to any well-run call center to eliminate criticism ofcall centers on common themes such as non-expert operators, poor training of agentsincapable to process customers requests effectively, automated queuing systems resultingin long hold times, operators working from a script, etc. Benchmarking, typicallyassociated with strategic management, presupposes evaluation of business processes inrelation to best practice and helps to develop plans with the aim of increasingperformance levels. At large benchmarking reforms all the levels of the company ? fromthe state of mind of the employees to that of top managers, penetrating into the wholehierarchical organization of the organization. The gist of benchmarking is to break theresistance to change by employing methods different from the currently used ones thatmight be less effective in order to increase certain aspects of performance.The most conspicuous performance measures include the mean conversation time, orAverage Talk Time (ATT), the time of delay a caller may experience waiting whilequeuing, the mean dealing time, or Average Handling Time (AHT), the number of calls(%) answered within the limited period, or Service Level (SL%), the number of calls perhour the operator handles, the number of calls (%) with the customers problemcompletely resolved and others.A variety of different technologies enables companies to measure and monitor theperformance of the workers. The Balanced scorecard, introduced by R.S. Kaplan and D.Norton in 1992, is a concept for measuring a companys activities to make managersfocus on the important performance metrics that lead to success. Its not only financialoutcomes that are in focus, but the human issues that drive those outcomes. Thus, it issaid to balance the financial perspective with customer, process and employeeperspectives. Since the time of the original concept the scorecard metrics have beenrevisited by Kaplan & Norton with regard to more than a decades experience.
  2. 2. Typically the following processes are on the move when the scorecard is implemented:translating the vision into operational goals, linking the vision to individual performance,business planning, learning and adjusting the strategy according to the feedback. Toimprove the performance of call centers one should know what metrics are best qualified.The right metrics should be performed on a call center to fulfill the scorecard.The hallmark of a good call center is the staffs call management skills and that meansinteractive training can help achieve excellence at different levels ? for the agents,supervisors and managers. It is essential for managers to know how to recruit and trainthe staff to reach the strategic goals of the company, to manage the key metrics andconsequently improve performance.Different programs are designed to deliver training to call center teams. They mightinclude practice, role-play, feedback and coaching. As keeping customers satisfied is aprimary concern of any call center training courses feature quality programs whichenhance the performance with respect to one of the most urgent demands ? trainingskillful professionals. It means they employ different training methods to evaluate currenttraining processes and measure and improve training effectiveness. Fertile training leadsto reinforcing the appropriate skills for performance improvement and achieving higherlevels of customer loyalty. : Over 200 ebooks, templates, forms forperformance appraisal.