The biggest challenge when working with a call center outsourcing partner is making sure they’re providing consistent, ongoing performance. This includes ensuring the agents receive the proper training, quality management, and calibrations to drive high-level performance. The key thing you need to do is agree on top KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for the call center partner to monitor on a daily and monthly basis to optimize performance. The following are six major KPIs to use as a starting point to effectively manage your outsource call center.
1) CSAT (Customer Satisfaction)
A big part of customer satisfaction is agent happiness. Generally, this call center KPI is determined by asking customers or clients how they would rate their experience with your company. This can be done with anything from one question to an entire survey. After you survey the customer, you can use the results to create a rating scale to determine how well your call center is performing.
We’ve seen outsource call centers deliver higher CSAT scores than companies’ internal call centers. So, how do you ensure that your outsource call center agents will provide customer service that will yield great reviews from your clients or customers? Confirm the agents are being trained well so they’re confident and knowledgeable in their abilities. You’ll also want to make sure the call center has the proper support and resources for the agents so they’ll have all the necessary tools to do their job effectively. In addition to employee happiness, customer satisfaction can be determined by resolving their issues without using multiple agents. And whenever possible, avoid keeping the customer on hold!
2) Inbound Call Center Service Levels
Industry standards say that you want to answer 80% of your calls within 20 seconds. While this will mean 20% of the calls will have to be put on hold, 80% is a realistic goal that is used by most in the call center industry. Of course, every company is different, and you may have to customize your service levels. Work with the call center to determine what they’re capable of delivering specifically for your company. Depending on your call volume and budget, the call center will be able to answer a higher or lower percentage of calls within the first 20 seconds.
3) First Call Resolution Rate (FCR)
If part of your goal for outsourcing your call center services is to reduce costs, you’ll want to make sure your customer inquiries are resolved on the first call as often as possible. The more repeat calls you get, the more money you spend. In order to keep customer issues resolved on as few calls as possible, it's important to hire the right people who are great problem solvers and eager to listen and help others. In addition, ensure the call center provides the agents with a robust CRM to assist them with all information they need throughout the course of a call to solve the customers question quickly.
4) Conversion Metrics
Are the agents resolving customer inquiries but not much more? Call centers can train their agents to do more for your business. Set up a metric that shows whether or not the agents are converting leads. If you managing the conversion rate of inbound calls to sales, it will allow you to see a greater ROI.
5) Call Quality
Prepare a quality scorecard to manage call quality on all parts of the call and utilize that card to manage your quality metrics. Be sure to heavily weight the component of the call that is most critical to optimizing performance and quality. On a weekly basis, schedule call calibration sessions to determine if the goals for call quality are in line with the execution and performance of the call center provider.
6) Average Handling Time
While it’s good to be friendly and inviting to customers who call into your call center, the ultimate goal for them is to be helped. In order to bring the customer their optimal level of happiness, the key is to control the call to make it concise. Costs go up every second the agent is on the call, so the goal is to provide top-notch service while controlling the call to reduce average handling time. To deliver this level of service, your agents must be trained thoroughly so they can be ready for any problem. If it’s not possible to have every agent trained to the same level, make sure you have the best agents possible working on the biggest customer issues. Call center managers need to coach their agents to avoid prolonged conversations about the weather or sports teams while on their calls. It's important to remember why the customer called in the first place, and that’s to have an issue resolved.
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