The key components of a successful call center — expert management, highly skilled customer service agents, and a solid back-of-house team— all contribute to keeping call center productivity consistently high.
Simply stated, call center productivity is directly tied to positive customer experiences. Staying on top of your agents' performance is the most effective way to guarantee productivity remains at its highest possible levels. And the best way to effectively track all of the above is with a strong quality assurance (QA) process.
Agent Productivity Ties Everything Together
Call center productivity helps determine if you've hired the right number of employees and if their work yields a return to your company.
Since 36% of employees give the minimum effort required and will leave quickly for even a slightly better offer, ensuring agent productivity is critical, just as measuring call center performance is pivotal to customer satisfaction. Beyond impacting company profitability, productive and engaged employees improve morale, increase customer satisfaction, and produce a better company culture.
To promote productivity, you need a clear understanding of your customers' wants and needs. Today's customers accept nothing less than exceptional customer service — and 50% of them simply move on after just one negative experience. Plus, roughly 60% of dissatisfied customers share their negative experiences on social media, which can negatively impact your call centers reputation over time.
In the connect-the-dots world of your call center, agent productivity has a ripple effect on success. It impacts customer satisfaction, first call resolution, average handle time, abandonment rate, and even your bottom-line cost/revenue metrics.
The data from QA metrics ties all of these links together on your call center performance chain. These metrics help call center managers:
- Consolidate and contextualize data;
- Identify improvement opportunities;
- Operationalize insights;
- Transform behavior;
- Realize a faster ROI from all workforce resources.
Just as a rising tide lifts all boats, a rising productivity rate lifts all your KPIs, and improved staff performance is at the top of the list.
Measuring Productivity Through Empathy
There are several tips and tricks managers can use to measure agent productivity. Among the more effective is maintaining a central focus on customer experience, as it ultimately determines call center success or failure.
Empathy plays a vital role in the overall customer experience. When an agent shows empathy, a call is typically lifted to a memorable, above-and-beyond experience. Everyone remembers a customer service experience where they felt like the person on the other end of the phone truly shared their frustration and understood what they were going through. Conversely, when a customer feels your agent didn't care or appeared generally disinterested, they're likely to move on to the next.
How can a metric like empathy be measured? Well, your QA metrics should measure how well your agents:
- Engage with customers and listen intently to what they have to say?
- Show flexibility when it comes to meeting the customer's needs.
- Make customers feel they are communicating with someone who will do everything in their power to resolve their problem.
Agents that do whatever they can to solve a problem typically deliver a "wow" experience to the customer. And all this goodwill usually has a very positive chain reaction. According to Esteban Kolsky, 72% of customers will share a positive experience with six or more people. On the other hand, if a customer is unhappy, 13% of them will share their experience with at least 15 people.
How Can Managers Act on Results to Improve Performance?
QA metrics are invaluable for measuring and evaluating agent performance. However, using the results to improve call center productivity is equally as important.
QA managers can leverage Agent Scorecards to track call center performance. Agent scorecards can help you identify and subsequently alter problematic performance. Plus, they're entirely customizable to your specific quality assurance needs, allowing for the tracking of exact channels, best practices, compliance requirements, and outcomes that matter most to your call center.
Once you develop a call center quality assurance process and agent scorecards around your business priorities and what constitutes a good customer experience, you have the perfect blueprint to share with your agents.
When call center agents can reflect on their performance through QA metrics, you'll see measurable improvements like:
- Increased first response time
- More strategic use of words and language
- Better communication with customers across the board
Using these call center scorecards allows agents to see fact-based performance reviews, reducing subjectivity and ensuring that agents don't feel singled out or that criticism is unwarranted. Instead, they can see where weaknesses may exist and feel motivated to improve, rather than experiencing feelings of being spotlighted for poor performance.
The success of your call center is based on many factors, but adopting an efficient call center QA solution, one that supports your call center, its agents, and your business as a whole, should be at the top of the list.
Interested in learning more?
Download the eBook, The Ultimate Guide To Call Center Quality Assurance, for tangible recommendations around implementing Quality Assurance (QA) guidelines in your call center.