Contact centers evolving into multi-channel call centers do not just happen in a whiff. It requires upgrading or addition of new technologies. Skills will also require expansion as customer contact services already include web chat and email apart from taking phone calls.
Also, it is important to determine which performance measurements to apply for this new kind of operation. You need to be able to distinguish whether these call center performance measures can also work for a multi-channel contact center as well. Call center metrics can be categorized into three namely service, efficiency and quality. Metrics in the service measure may work for both traditional and modern call centers, although some may have to be modified to reflect new call center transactions. There are different metrics that are included in the service measure.
One is blockage. This accessibility measure indicates the rate at which customers cannot access the call center at a particular time because of inadequate network facilities. Most contact centers gauge blockage by a given time of day or in situations when ‘all trunks are busy’. Failure to incorporate a blockage goal can enables a call center to keep up with its speed-of-answer aim by blocking off excess calls. Even if the call center seems to be doing a good job at managing call queues, this can damage customer satisfaction and accessibility.
The call center should also carefully identify how much bandwidth as well email server capacity to avoid bulks of email from overloading the system. Lines for fax support services should also be sufficient as well.
Contact centers also gauge the abandon rate and the number of abandons, as both are associated with revenue and retention. However, keep in mind that while abandons are influenced by the average estimated waiting time in queue, the abandon rate is not fully under a contact center’s control. Moreover, other factors may also affect the number of abandon, among which include availability of service substitutes, individual caller tolerance, time of day and many others. Abandon rate is not commonly a measure related to email communications, since emails do not discard the queue once sent, although it applies to web chat applications.
Another measure is self-service availability. A lot of contacts are now being offloaded to self-service options from call center agents. In a call center, self-service alternatives are an important measure of accessibility and are commonly gauged as an entire number by means of self-service processes, menu points, demographic group or time of day. In the case of web chat applications, automated options like FAQs or help function usage can minimize the need for live interaction with a web chat representative.
There is also service level, which is the rate of calls answered in a specified wait threshold and is the most common measure in a contact center in terms of speed of answer. In a web chat, a service level or ASA number is used to gauge and report speed of answer for a web chat interaction. Many call centers gauge the initial response and the vice-versa times, as too many web chat sessions may slow down the expected time of response once interaction takes place. On the other hand, speed of answer for email applications can be reported by even days or hours instead of minutes or seconds of elapsed time.
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