Agents at your call center are working hard, and they seem to be doing a great job managing a mountain of calls and providing good customer service. But do you have all the information you need to dig down and really determine agents’ effectiveness on the phones?
What exactly are they doing well, and how could they be even better? If outstanding customer service is a priority in your call center (and it should be), then you need a reliable method by which to oversee, measure, and coach agent performance.
And at the core of any good quality monitoring system is a great scorecard. Here’s how to create a scorecard that is meaningful for your agents, valuable to your management, and beneficial to your customers.
Step 1: Determine the overall purpose
Although you may be eager to start stamping KPI’s on a scorecard and measuring away, the first essential step to developing any sort of assessment system is determining the exact purpose of the assessment itself. Baseball legend Yogi Berra said it well: “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.
- What is your endgame with using scorecards?
- Have you picked up on weaknesses in your call center that you’d like to target?
- Do you need more focus and/or systematization for coaching agents?
- Are you merely looking to collect data in an effort to quantify the work of your call center agents?
Focusing your purpose will help you determine what you’d like to measure and make the results more worthwhile.
Step 2: Solicit the input of stakeholders
Remember that scorecards are not just a management tool. They can be a valuable asset to agents who wish to improve their performance and to customers themselves.
Knowing how to create a scorecard that serves all stakeholders will mean a more valuable scorecard overall. If you have a source of customer feedback handy (e.g. customer surveys), harness this information toward developing a scorecard that serves them well.
Likewise, invite agents to contribute to the development of scorecard criteria. This gives you perspective from the front lines of your call center, and has the added bonus of increasing agent buy-in on call monitoring and evaluation.
Step 3: Select the criteria
Now that you have consulted relevant stakeholders and determined the overall purpose of your scorecard, it’s time to decide what you will measure. You may wish to develop a combination of KPI’s that give you a snapshot of overall effectiveness and also zeroes in on the points of emphasis that relate specifically to your purpose.
Here is a list of scorecard items from which to select; of course, you can also develop some of your own form items specific to your call center goals and the needs of your customers.
Be mindful of the number of items you include on a scorecard. Too few, and a small change in a single KPI could throw off the whole score. Too many, and an entire area can suffer greatly without causing a visible impact on the overall score.
Also be aware of the weighted value assigned to each item to be sure that it aligns with your purpose.
Step 4: Decide on a platform
Depending on how you plan to use your scorecards and the data they produce, you can select from a variety of platforms to manage them. Although a big chunk of contact center still rely on excel spreadsheets to manage their scorecard data, others prefer a more integrated approach in which scorecards are part of the overall CRM system.
There are even platforms that allow you to create scorecards and manage your entire call center workforce all from a single view, like PlayVox. The system you select depends, of course, on the size, scope, and budget of your call center.
Step 5: Implement tentatively
As you move toward the implementation phase of the scorecard you’ve so carefully developed, remember that the proof of a scorecard’s usefulness, clarity, and reliability is evident only when it is in use. As such, consider the implementation of your scorecard as provisional, in order to make room for potentially necessary changes following the launch.
Step 6: Monitor and refine
Scorecards and the data they produce should be continuously monitored, especially in the beginning. The sooner you identify form items that are not useful or are having an adverse effect on your data, the sooner you can make adjustments, and the less time you will have wasted using a scorecard that’s not working.
Step 7: Collect and compile data
As your scorecards begin to produce a volume of data, it’s important to collect and compile this data in a way that is actionable.
That is, data should be presented in such a way that it helps managers to identify strengths and weaknesses in the call center and to coach and reward agents accordingly; furthermore, it may also be necessary to present this data to agents in a way that facilitates self-monitoring.
Again, depending on the platform you have chosen, there are CRM systems that may be useful to this end.
Step 8: Review and refocus periodically
Over time, the goals of your call center will likely evolve, and it is important that your scorecard evolve along with it. Continuously monitoring and periodically updating your scorecard to reflect the latest needs of your call center will mean data that is always relevant and worthwhile.