Why call centres will always fail to achieve strong results

Most call centres have numerous metrics in place to supposedly show success. However, most of those metrics show that activities are being performed, but not that results have been achieved.

Let’s pick one: call time. This measures the amount of time a customer service representative is on the phone with a customer to resolve their issue. Most organizations use this metric to encourage reps to get off the phone as quickly as possible so that they can take more calls. This makes no sense because it doesn’t take into account whether or not the issue was resolved. What if that customer then has to call back three more times to get their issue resolved? This metric encourages low quality because the focus is on speed, not on resolution of the issue or satisfaction of the customer.

Who cares if a rep gets off the phone quickly if the customer’s issue is not resolved?

Why not focus on other metrics that encourage progress and resolution and happy customers? Try these on for size:

  • Percentage of customer issues resolved on the first call and to the satisfaction of the customer
  • Reduced volume of customer service calls
  • Faster resolution of customer service issues

These metrics would indicate the achievement of a result, not just the peformance of an activity. Organizations need to focus on their optimal speed, not just moving faster. Sometimes that means slowing down and it always means measuring results, not activities.


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