Why does this matter? 75 percent of consumers now expect the quality of their experience to be consistent across all channels (phone, live chat, social media etc.). And the sheer amount of competition in the online marketplace offers dissatisfied buyers a wealth of alternatives if your contact center fails to keep them happy.
A comprehensive quality assurance program will help you reach new heights, but what are the most important contact center quality assurance metrics?
A Quick Note on Contact Center Quality Assurance Metrics
Before we delve into the most important contact center quality assurance metrics, all of those you track should be:
Measurable (QA analysts in your contact center must be able to gauge focus areas of performance through hard data / evidence)
Actionable (allow for improvement plans to be formulated)
Trackable over time (monitor changes as they occur)
Maintained and updated regularly (adjust metrics as required and in response to evaluations)
Tied to business goals (ensure all of them align with your company values / mission)
Do customer service departments within brands and contact centers need to focus on different metrics?
Not necessarily. Some contact centers may be involved in outbound marketing, which demands some different skills to handling a customer’s complaints or technical questions. The best QA software suits customer-focused teams equally well, regardless of their work’s nature.
In essence, customer service departments and contact centers share a common goal: winning customers over and keeping them loyal. The metrics below apply to both.
#1. Average Handling Time of Interactions
As one of the key contact center quality assurance metrics, this provides insights into how long agents take to resolve issues and complete interactions on average, across multiple channels.
Average handling times should be kept as short as possible: the longer conversations between employees and customers take, the fewer people can be helped.
Agents may take more time than ideal because their software is cumbersome, resources are hard to find or scripts are too lengthy.
Evaluating the average handling time will help QA analysts and managers identify the reasons interactions could be lasting longer than they should. Call monitoring and reading live-chat transcripts are important to finding factors contributing to handling times, not to mention, makes it easier to pinpoint ways to streamline them.
#2. First Call Resolution
Research shows that First Call Resolution (FCR) has the potential to increase customer satisfaction, operational costs and even employee happiness.
Resolving calls in a single interaction (be it through live chat, phone, email etc.) gives customers the support they’re seeking quickly and efficiently. This means a more convenient, less-stressful experience, with no need to arrange a callback or wait for further assistance.
First call resolution is one of the most important contact center quality assurance metrics because it presents your contact center as competent and productive. Studying those interactions that are resolved in the first instance can reveal effective techniques to be passed onto agents in training.
#3. Average Time on Hold
Waiting on hold is never fun, no matter what music is piped into the caller’s ear.
People are busy, and if your contact center leaves them on hold it might suggest you don’t value them as much as you should. Customers may be put in a bad mood before the interaction has even started, souring their experience and making the agent’s job harder.
Long hold times are a sign that your team is ill-equipped to handle the number of calls coming into your center, and customers who face long queues consistently will be less likely to stay loyal. Boosting productivity and ensuring your team is large enough to accommodate demand are key.
Self-service resources should be available too, to minimize strain on agents.
#4. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
This is what it’s all about. Keeping customers happy is essential to securing their loyalty and reducing their temptation to switch to a competitor. You can use CSAT scores to track progress from training and coaching over time.
Customer satisfaction (CSAT) is a simple metric: just ask them to rate their experience (usually between 1 and 10) in a post-interaction survey. This takes seconds but provides valuable insights into your CX.
#5. Agents’ Quality of Service
Attitude matters. Customers don’t appreciate being confronted by rude agents or spoken down to. Your employees are responsible for representing the company as well as they can: even a single bad interaction can lose the customer and cause them to share their experience with others.
More people tell friends about poor service than they do good, and that can damage your reputation significantly.
All agents’ behavior must align with the company values and goals. Are they greeting the customer as they should? Do they convey information in a clear, understandable way? Is their attitude professional?
This is an easy metric to track through scorecards and call monitoring, and responsive coaching / targeted training can lead to improvements.
#6. Contact Center Agent Efficiency
How many interactions does an agent get through during an average shift? How much of their time is spent speaking to customers versus completing admin tasks?
Measuring employee efficiency and productivity can help avoid money going to waste. Spotting inefficiencies in service and rectifying them will mean more customers receive help and agents’ value will improve.
Quality assurance analysts can use this metric to make sure every hour of every shift is utilized as efficiently as possible.
#7. Agent Satisfaction Rates
If employees are unhappy and unmotivated, it will show through the quality of their work. However, managers and team leaders can find it hard to keep track of agents’ job satisfaction, especially with large teams and heavy workloads.
Agent satisfaction is one of the most essential contact center quality assurance metrics because teams with high engagement rates tend to be 21 percent more productive in their work.
QA analysts can measure this by conducting anonymous surveys among staff or asking them to rate their happiness in the office on a scale of 1 - 10. Do this every few months and track how it changes when you take steps to boost engagement (such as implementing rewards, offering flexi-time etc.).
The best QA software makes tracking these contact center quality assurance metrics a simpler, more organic part of everyday processes in the workplace. QA teams will be able to create custom scorecards, listen to call recording, deliver real-time feedback and more for ongoing improvements.
Which contact center quality assurance metrics do you track, and why?