Measuring success: Key metrics for quality management in contact centers

Ipshita Choudhary

May 12, 20239 min read

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Welcome to the exciting world of customer service, where contact centers are pivotal in providing exceptional customer experiences!

Imagine calling a company's customer service number and waiting on hold for what feels like forever. Finally, when you do get through, you're transferred from one agent to another, and your issue is still unresolved. Frustrating, right? This is where contact center metrics come in - they help companies identify areas where they can improve their customer service.

Customers expect a prompt response and a quick resolution to their problems. If the contact center has a high average handle time (AHT), customers may become frustrated with the long wait times and lack of progress on their cases. This can lead to negative customer feedback and a damaged brand reputation. However, a contact center with a low AHT can provide quick and efficient service to customers, leaving them satisfied and more likely to return.

Similarly, a high net promoter score (NPS) can indicate that customers are happy with the level of service the contact center provides and are likely to recommend the company to their friends and family.

By tracking and analyzing these key metrics, contact centers can identify areas where they can improve their operations, differentiate themselves from the competition and build lasting customer relationships. This process also enables managers to pinpoint areas where agents may require additional training or coaching to sharpen their skills while also providing a means to recognize and reward top-performing agents.

Evaluation techniques for effective quality management

Customer service agents' performance is crucial to a contact center's success. Effective quality management allows agents to develop their skills and knowledge, ensuring they meet high-performance standards. However, failing to meet these standards can result in a negative evaluation, which can have serious consequences.

Companies can quickly identify and address issues by prioritizing quality management, resulting in significant cost and resource savings. When agents are trained and empowered to efficiently and effectively address customer needs, it ultimately leads to happier customers. This is because agents supported by effective quality management are better equipped to deliver top-notch customer service that meets or exceeds customer expectations.

AI and Manual Evaluation

Evaluating the performance of customer-facing agents who communicate with customers through various channels such as voice, chat, or email is crucial to ensuring they deliver high-quality service. Two types of evaluation methods are used in contact centers: manual evaluation and AI evaluation.

Manual evaluation involves quality managers or supervisors manually auditing conversations to assess agent performance. While effective, this method can be time-consuming and prone to biases.

In contrast, AI evaluation can evaluate 100% of the cases, offering several benefits, such as saving time, eliminating biases, and ensuring all agents are held to the same standards. The AI evaluation process is notably faster and more efficient, automatically identifying quality problems and potential areas for improvement. With this capability, managers can better focus their coaching efforts and take proactive steps to enhance agent performance. Additionally, AI evaluation can provide more detailed and nuanced insights into agent performance, allowing managers to make more informed decisions and improve customer service quality.

Calibration

Calibration is an essential process that ensures all auditors are held to the same standards and helps identify any mistakes or biases that may affect the accuracy and efficiency of the audit.

Calibration adds an extra level of quality management and responsibility to the auditing procedure by inspecting the auditor's performance. This technique allows managers to detect any disparities in the auditor's approach and identify areas for improvement to enhance the precision and efficiency of the audit. With calibrated auditors, managers can be confident that the audit results are reliable and consistent across different auditors and teams.

Fatal evaluation

In a contact center, agents are expected to meet high-performance standards when communicating with customers through various channels such as voice, chat, or email. Falling short of these standards may result in a fatal evaluation, indicating their performance was inadequate and did not meet the required level.

While the agent may have the opportunity to improve their performance through additional training and feedback, they may face disciplinary action or even dismissal from their job if they cannot meet the required standards. Therefore, agents need to understand the expectations and standards the contact center sets and work toward meeting or exceeding them to ensure their job security and career growth.

Key metrics for quality management

In the world of customer service, contact centers play a pivotal role in providing exceptional customer experiences. To evaluate the success of a contact center, it is important to track and measure key metrics, also known as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

These metrics are essential in evaluating the performance of a business, department, or individual within a contact center. By analyzing these metrics, contact centers can identify areas for improvement and implement strategies to enhance their overall performance.

First Call Resolution

First Call Resolution (FCR) is a crucial metric used to evaluate the percentage of customer issues successfully resolved during the first interaction with a customer service representative. The primary objective of FCR is to provide efficient and effective customer service, reducing the need for customers to contact the company multiple times to resolve the same issue.

To measure FCR, contact centers can use various internal and external methods. Internal methods include tracking agent logs, analyzing call recordings usingspeech analytics,tracking reopened issues, and measuring repeat case volume. External methods involve conducting post-interaction surveys and monitoring the number of repeat contacts within a specific timeframe.

By measuring FCR regularly, businesses can determine whether their customer service agents are adequately trained and equipped to resolve customer issues promptly and effectively. Improving FCR rates can help reduce costs, increase customer satisfaction, and promote brand loyalty.

Average Handle Time

Average Handle Time (AHT) is a metric that calculates the average duration of a customer interaction, including the time spent on hold, communicating with an agent and any necessary after-interaction work. Tracking AHT aims to optimize efficiency and productivity while maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction.

To calculate AHT, the total duration of all customer interactions during a specific period, such as a day or week, is added up and divided by the total number of interactions. For instance, if a contact center had 100 interactions in a day with a total duration of 500 minutes, the AHT would be 5 minutes per interaction.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

Customer satisfaction (CSAT) is a widely used metric to measure customers' satisfaction with the service provided by the contact center. It is the most frequently utilized metric among 68%of organizations to gauge customer loyalty.

Various methods can be employed to measure CSAT, such as post-interaction surveys or feedback forms. A higher CSAT score indicates that the contact center is meeting customer needs and delivering quality service, leading to increased customer loyalty, decreased churn, and opportunities for upselling and cross-selling. High CSAT scores can differentiate a business from its competition, encourage brand advocacy, and increase overall efficiency.

A product screenshot showing the Predicted Happiness Score of a customer.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a metric used to measure the likelihood of customers recommending a company to others. It serves as an indicator of customer loyalty, satisfaction, and enthusiasm. To calculate NPS, companies ask their customers a single question: "How likely are you to recommend this product/company to a friend or colleague, on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 means not at all likely and 10 means extremely likely?" Based on their responses, customers are categorized into three groups: detractors (0-6), passives (7-8), and promoters (9-10).

How is NPS calculated?

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is calculated by subtracting the percentage of customers who are not likely to recommend (detractors) from the percentage of customers who are likely to recommend (promoters).

A infographic showing how net promoter score (NPS) is measured. It also has definitions for detractors, passives and promoters. At the bottom, the formula for calculating NPS is mentioned, which is the difference in the percentages of promoters and detractors.

Why is NPS important?

Using the Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a business growth predictor is powerful. If a company's NPS exceeds the industry average or is high, it indicates that the company enjoys a strong relationship with its customers. Such customers are more likely to endorse and promote the brand, leading to a virtuous cycle of positive growth for the business.

Contact Quality Score (CQS)

Contact Quality Score (CQS) is a metric that measures the quality of interactions between customers and agents, based on a standardized scoring system that evaluates various aspects of the interaction, such as an agent's communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and adherence to company policies and procedures.

The goal of tracking the quality score is to identify areas where agents need additional training or support to improve their performance and consistently deliver high-quality service. This can help increase customer satisfaction, reduce customer churn, and enhance the company's overall reputation.

A product screenshot showing the quality score of a call. The call has been scored on four parameters namely Opening Quality, Closing Quality, Courtesies and Closing.

Abandonment Rate

Abandonment rate is a metric used in contact centers to measure the percentage of customer interactions terminated or abandoned by the customer before being resolved by a live agent or automated system.

To calculate the abandonment rate, divide the number of abandoned interactions by the total number of interactions received and then multiply the result by 100 to get a percentage.

A high abandonment rate can indicate that customers are dissatisfied with the wait times or quality of service provided, leading to lost opportunities for sales and revenue and negative customer experiences. Therefore, contact centers aim to keep the abandonment rate as low as possible by implementing strategies such as appropriate staffing and reducing wait times. This can help improve customer satisfaction and retention and increase revenue for the business.

Service Level Agreement

The Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a metric used to measure the percentage of services provided within a specific timeframe, as agreed upon between the service provider and the customer. This can be applied to various aspects of a contact center's operations, such as response time to emails, chat support, or social media inquiries.

By tracking and analyzing the SLA, contact centers can ensure they meet customer expectations and contractual obligations and take necessary measures to improve service levels. This can help improve customer satisfaction and retention and increase revenue for the business.

Every interaction with a customer is an opportunity to strengthen your brand and build long-term loyalty. By prioritizing quality management efforts and optimizing performance, contact centers can ensure they deliver the high-quality service that customers demand. This can give them an edge in standing out from the competition and securing customer loyalty.

Start tracking these key metrics today to take your contact center to the next level!

Make the quality management process in your contact center more efficient and effective with Sprinklr's AI-powered workforce management solution.

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