Contact Center Reporting


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As the contact center continues its evolution from “cost center” to “central hub of business intelligence,” contact center reporting has become an increasingly important aspect of business operations. Read this white paper to learn the value of contact center reporting and how it can help give insights better visibility into your business's KPIs.

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Contact Center Reporting

  2. 2. THE GROWING IMPORTANCE OF CONTACT CENTER REPORTING As the contact center continues its evolution from “cost center” to “central hub of business intelligence,” contact center reporting has become an increasingly important aspect of business operations. While reporting has always played an important role in the contact center, over the years the addition of new technologies and channels has greatly increased contact center complexity. For this reason, organizations are more reliant than ever on reporting to help them gain a clear picture of not only agent performance but also customer satisfaction. By collecting and analyzing data from the many processes and interactions that occur across multiple systems in the contact center (ACD, IVR,Web chat, social media, etc.), company management can gain deep insights not only into agent performance, but also changes in customer behavior.Through consistent and methodical analysis of contact center data, organizations can gain actionable intelligence on changing conditions that in turn helps them more precisely adjust their customer service strategies. In addition, organizations are increasingly combining their contact center data with data collected from other customer touch points (Web, retail/POS, social media, mobile, etc.).This way they can get a more accurate view of all customer activity, update customer profiles, and trigger automated responses in keeping with sales and marketing campaigns. Social media in particular is reshaping how organizations approach contact center reporting.“Social listening” — including the ability for organizations to react to customer feedback on social media channels — is expected to become an increasingly important part of contact center operations over the next decade. Helping to simplify contact center reporting in today’s highly complex contact center environments are cloud-based contact center platforms.With their unified architecture, these solutions offer advanced “out-of-the-box” reporting capabilities that give organizations the opportunity to collect a vast array of data on all contact center activity and automatically organize it into custom, graphical reports that can be used to drive important business decisions. METRICSVERSUS KPIS In order to harness the power of these advanced reporting capabilities, an organization must firstdeterminewhichmetricsare important to measure in relation to business goals and objectives. Many organizations make the mistake of measuring activity that has nothing to do with what they are trying to achieve — a “data for data’s sake” approach. On the other hand, there are many “standard” metrics that are commonly measured in all contact centers. First, it is critical to understand the difference between metrics and Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs. Everything that can be measured in the contact center is a “metric,” but if it is not linked to a goal or strategy it is of little use in making business decisions. KPIs, on the other hand, are metrics that have a direct bearing on the attainment of business goals. In this regard, KPIs are the “metrics that matter most” to an organization.Typically they are formulated using a “top down” methodology, in alignment with upper management’s goals and objectives, as well as the company’s overall customer service philosophy. It should be noted that the KPIs used (and the ranges they specify) can vary significantly from industry to industry and from organization to organization: For example, the metrics which are of highest importance to an insurance company might be quite different compared to those of a non-profit or educational institution. On the other hand, there are well-established “standards” for certain KPIs within each specific industry or market segment. TOP KPIS FOR THE CONTACT CENTER Typically KPIs are divided into two main categories — Customer Satisfaction and Agent Performance (however in many ways these two categories overlap, as one has a direct bearing on the other). In addition, different KPIs are typically applied to inbound and outbound operations. Let’s take a look at some of the most common KPIs used in the contact center: Service Level Representing the percentage of calls answered within a set number of seconds or minutes, this is considered one of the most important KPIs for the inbound contact center. Often used as a barometer for overall agent performance, it demonstrates whether the center is reaching the desired level of operational efficiency. It also reveals whether agent resources are properly balanced with call volume; i.e. that agents are being fully-utilized while keeping call hold times in acceptable ranges during peak periods.
  3. 3. First Call Resolution Although represented as a simple percentage, achieving an acceptable First Call Resolution rate is anything but simple.Thus FCR — the ability to resolve a customer inquiry or complaint on the first contact — is also considered a prime indicator of overall agent performance. In fact, FCR has often times been referred to as the Holy Grail or Golden Egg of all inbound metrics — elusive, perhaps even impossible to attain — yet it is very closely watched.Thus FCR ranks as another “most common” KPI used in the inbound contact center. Average Handle Time Also known as “Average Call Length,” this is a number one KPI for both outbound and inbound centers and is critical for measuring agent performance. It represents the average amount of time an agent spends handling a call (aka talk time or occupancy) in addition to whatever “wrap up” work is involved, such as filling out call reports and/or getting approvals. Organizations often use AHT as a means of determining overall contact center performance — and with today’s cloud-based contact center systems they can readily break out the AHT rates for remote or outsourced centers, agent groups, or even individual agents, giving them a holistic or granular view of agent performance across all locations. Average Cost per Contact Once a contact center has a handle on its Average Handle Time, it can then determine its Average Cost Per Contact rate.This metric measures how much each interaction costs the organization, expressed as a percentage of the center’s overall operating cost.While this is an important metric for determining the efficiency of outbound campaigns, it can also vary wildly within industries and organizations due to a range of factors.These factors include the complexity of the interactions, the number of channels supported, the level of support required for the company’s products and services and the organization’s level of commitment to providing personalized customer care. (Suffice it to say that the level of investment in customer service typically corresponds with the value of the customer.) Call Abandonment Call Abandonment is one of the most important contact center metrics. Call Abandonment refers to the number of callers who hang up after contact has been made — either while they are waiting on hold or during the interaction. Most organizations with inbound contact centers set thresholds for Abandonment so they can react quickly if the Abandonment rate suddenly skyrockets. This is always a prime indicator that something is wrong. For example, customers might be experiencing excessively long hold times or are being bored by lengthy, tedious agent scripts. By noting the patterns in when callers are abandoning, organizations can adjust accordingly — for example by revising scripts for brevity and clarity — or by adding more agents to reduce hold times. Adherence This important metric measures how efficiently agents are using their time while they are “on the clock.” For example, if a particular agent is logging into the system a few minutes late each day, or perhaps logging off a few minutes early, the ACD’s log report will reveal the discrepancy. Similarly, the report will reveal how long agents are away from their work stations during bathroom and meal breaks.What’s more important is that this metric measures how long the agents are spending talking on the phones, waiting to connect to callers and completing call wrap ups or other administrative tasks. By improving adherence rates, contact center managers significantly increase agent efficiency. Agent Performance Many of today’s contact center solutions allow organizations to combine various sets of KPIs so as to arrive at an overall “Agent Performance” score — which can be broken down by the individual agent, agent groups, by center, or as a whole.The best contact center systems can render this type of reporting graphically, typically via an intuitive executive “dashboard,” with color-coded pie or bar charts that show trends over time. Customer Satisfaction Customer Satisfaction is typically derived from customer surveys, but it also can be derived from a mix of metrics. For example, following an interaction, a standard CSAT survey can be launched to gauge overall customer satisfaction — with customers rating not only the just-completed interaction, but also overall brand satisfaction. Many contact center systems today offer post-call surveys as a standard capability — and the survey responses can be readily incorporated in agent performance reports. It should be noted that while most of the above KPIs are measured on a daily or even hourly basis, some, such as Average Handle Time and Average Cost per Contact, are typically measured on a weekly or monthly basis.
  4. 4. UNIFIED REPORTINGVIA CLOUD-BASED SYSTEMS Today’s cloud-based contact center systems offer advanced “out-of-the-box” reporting capabilities, making it simpler for organizations to select the reports they need. In fact, one of the main advantages cloud-based systems have over on-premises, or hardware-based systems, is that they offer hundreds of reports, with the ability to create custom reports, thus offering organizations greater flexibilityin terms of how data is packaged. These cloud-based systems also solve the challenge of collecting and reconciling data from disparate systems or applications. For example, if an organization is using legacy ACD, IVR andWFM systems from different vendors, often an additional, third party reporting solution is needed in order to integrate and package the data coming from these different sources. With a cloud-based contact center system, all the applications are built on the same, shared platform — on common code — which means reporting is not only more reliable, it is greatly simplified and more cost effective. CONNECT FIRST:ADVANCED REPORTING IN THE CLOUD Connect First’s advanced cloud-based Contact Center Platform delivers hundreds of detailed “out-of-the-box” reports, including inbound/ outbound reports, agent reports, survey reports and more. Each report contains dozens of sub-reports that can be invaluable for driving agent performance, as well as making timely business decisions based on changes in customer behavior. The system’s report scheduler allows supervisors to have reports run weekly, daily, hourly, etc. In addition, reports can be automatically emailed to supervisors, managers and upper management. All of the aforementioned reports are available via the Connect First platform — however the system also offers the ability to create customized reports, which can be added to the roster of available reports.These reports can be customized per manager — e.g. each report presents only the data that has been requested by, or is pertinent to, a particular manager’s role. Because the Connect First platform isWeb-based, all call detail records and prepackaged reports can be accessed via any browser- enabled device. In addition, the platform allows managers to make notations pertaining to specific calls and listen to the corresponding call recordings via an intuitiveWeb-based interface. CONCLUSION With the introduction of new technologies and channels, as well as a growing need to track all customer and agent activity in order to predict future trends, organizations can expect contact center complexity to only increase over time.Therefore contact center reporting will continue to grow in importance, as organizations seek to gain deeper insights into agent performance and customer satisfaction. As such, organizations selecting a contact center platform should not overlook the system’s reporting capabilities. Not only do the best systems offer hundreds of “out-of-the-box” reports, measuring the most commonly used KPIs, they also offer the ability to create customized reports that can be automatically distributed to upper management. System interoperability, including the exchange of reporting data between systems, is an equally important consideration, particularly for organizations looking to get more mileage out of legacy systems. Finally, organizations are advised to consider contact center systems that will provide the reporting capabilities they will need in the future. By preparing now, organizations can ready themselves for the inevitability that their operations will only become more complex — that customers will only grow more demanding — and that upper management will only want greater insight into contact center operations. ABOUT CONNECT FIRST Connect First is an award-winning SaaS telecommunications and cloud contact center software provider that focuses on customer satisfaction and elegant hosted solutions. Connect First offers a robust platform, designed and supported by a team of highly experienced engineers, designers and business analysts, and backed with personalized in-house customer care. Solutions include Cloud Routing, Inbound ACD, Outbound Dialing, Call Tracking, InteractiveVoice Response (IVR),Voice Broadcast, Disaster Recovery, Predictive Dialer, Real-Time Telemetry, CDR Reporting, Live Agent Chat and more.Through a consultative approach with each customer interaction, Connect First builds customized solutions to meet the needs of a discerning customer base.