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How to Better Measure Contact Center Performance

By Camila Martinez-Granata

Contact centers are critical to customer experience and retention in the telecom industry. A recent study found that 39% of customers who cancel their telecom service did so because of bad customer service. Even worse, 79% of disappointed telecom customers admitted to sharing their negative experiences with friends and family.


Contact centers are the first–and often last–line of defense against customer dissatisfaction. They manage all incoming and outgoing customer communication, including phone calls, email, social media, text, fax, and traditional mail. But this isn’t all contact centers are useful for. Interaction and performance data captured by contact centers can offer brands invaluable insight into customer behavior, allowing brands to not only better retain existing customers, but gain a competitive edge when bringing new ones in.


However, brands may not be not utilizing contact centers to their full potential–and inadequate performance and metric measurement could be to blame.


Read on to learn more about the importance of measuring contact center performance and how your brand can optimize performance measurement metrics.


Why bother improving measuring efforts for performance?

Optimized CX requires optimized performance measurement metrics. If you’re tracking metrics poorly, you probably won’t be gleaning the most accurate, informative, or even helpful insights. Brands need to make sure their actual KPI tracking efforts are optimized and constantly reviewed. In other words, you can’t fix what you don’t know. 


Here are some of the key metrics companies should measure and how KPI tracking could be improved further.


  • Wait times: Wait time may be the single most important CX metric, with 56% of customers stating long wait times are the most common form of poor customer service. However, wait times alone do not tell the whole story. What time of day are wait times the longest? In the event that a customer agent transfers the call to another agent, how much additional time does the customer wait? How long will a customer wait before hanging up? By enriching existing data with additional information, brands can better identify pain points.


  • Call times: Like wait times, simply recording a customer’s call time paints an incomplete CX portrait. What issues or inquiries resulted in long call times? What issues or inquiries resulted in short call times? Are there any trends with call times that can be pinpointed, and improved upon? 


  • Customer needs: Discovering and documenting what a customer wants is crucial to improving CX, but improving performance measurements to provide supplemental context–such as usage habits or customer clusters with similar problems–could reveal what a customer needs (and wants).


  • Upsell opportunities: Enriched measurement metrics mean even when brands lose the sale, they gain insight. By measuring contextual metrics surrounding upsell opportunities, brands ensure they maximize their chances of future upsells.


  • Customer satisfaction: Brands may be tempted to just ask customers whether they are satisfied, but a simple yes or no answer does reveal the whole truth. Additional qualitative questions such as “why or why not?” or “what part of your service was most satisfying” can help inform trends. Even more so, providing questions based on a 1 to 10 scale could provide more granular insight into degrees of customer satisfaction.

The hidden costs of poor metric measurement

The risks of inadequate performance measurement go beyond simply missing out on improved KPIs. Poor performance measurement could be actively sabotaging your brand’s bottom line.


  • Increased churn: Contact centers' role in reducing churn cannot be overstated. A survey of telecom customers who canceled their services found that 37% did so because it took too long to resolve their issue; 51% of customers cited having to call more than once. Without adequate measurement metrics, brands may not be aware they are exacerbating customer pain points until after it’s too late.


  • Missed opportunities: A holistic understanding of your customers requires comprehensive performance measuring metrics. Failing to understand customer habits and needs inhibits a brand’s ability to successfully upsell. For example, customers calling about their internet service might be more inclined to engage with promos offering a free 3-month subscription to HBO if they upgrade their internet services. But, failing to track and spot this trend will cause brands to lose out on more revenue (and insight into customer needs). 


  • Limited insights: Data-driven brands understand that the value of customer data doesn’t just come from understanding customers, but from tracking trends, from geographic to demographic, that keep your brand competitive. Inadequate performance measurements mean a smaller pool of data to draw from.


  • Higher employee turnover: Poor performance metrics don’t just drive away customers. Telecom brands know that contact agent turnover rate is an endemic problem–about 58%, according to a recent ICIM study. Brands that cling to stress-inducing, overly cost-conscious metrics rather than more holistic CX views may be hemorrhaging their best talent. Without experienced and competent customer service agents, how can a telecom company truly offer top-notch customer experience–and keep customers happy? 

5 ways to optimize measuring contact center performance


Whether a customer is calling about poor internet service, or needs help with their billing statement, brands should not underestimate the power of contact centers. While there’s no silver bullet for fixing suboptimal metric measurement, there are ways to mitigate some of the challenges discussed above. Fortunately, telecom brands can optimize their contact center performance measurements in five actionable steps:


  1. 1. Invest in NPS: Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a quantitative CX metric used to gauge overall customer satisfaction with a brand's products or services, measure CX team performance, and track customer loyalty. This is most commonly achieved by asking customers to rate their brand loyalty and experience on a scale of 1 to 10 immediately after specific contact agent interactions. While quantitative scores aren’t the whole picture, measuring NPS is an excellent way to track the current state of your customer experience and establish benchmarks.


  1. 2. Track FCR: First-contact resolution (FCR) can be used to track the rate at which customer service agents are able to address and fully resolve customer issues within the customer’s first interaction. According to the SQM group, brands should aim for an FCR rate of at least 70%–anything lower could indicate suboptimal contact center performance. This can be measured simply by asking the customer “did we resolve your problem today?” after any contact center interaction.


  1. 3. Determine CES: Customer Effort Score (CES) indicates a customer’s difficulty to resolve their issue. The higher the customer effort score, the harder a customer had to work to get their issue resolved. CES metrics directly correlate to reduced customer loyalty and churn. A recent Gartner study found 96% of customers who reported high customer effort became more disloyal, compared to just 9% who reported low effort. CES can be measured by asking customers of a given task how difficult it was to accomplish on a scale of 1 to 7.


  1. 4. Encourage customer satisfaction surveys: While qualitative customer satisfaction surveys may seem like a less tangible metric than NPS, FCR, or CES, understanding your customer’s feelings can be incredibly valuable. By leveraging innovative tools like AI texting and voice analytics, brands can glean qualitative insights and break down the percentage of positive, negative, and neutral comments.


  1. 5. Implement real-time surveys and metrics: A recent Freshworks survey found 38% of customers expect contact agents to have their information readily available. This can be a problem for brands that rely on traditional data management systems without multi-channel communication. Implementing real-time data analytics into your CX strategy ensures that not only are your contact agents armed with customer data but the scope of your measuring metrics is improved as well.

3 Telecom brands that can benefit from better performance metrics


  • Verizon: Brands with contact centers, like Verizon, often experience extremely high volumes of customer calls at once, forcing their customers to wait for extended periods. To solve this problem, Verizon could leverage enhanced metrics to learn what time of day or season call customers exert the most effort. For example, if Verizon discovers call volume is the highest during the winter holidays, Verizon could hire temporary contact agents, offer call-back services, or implement AI contact agents to handle less intensive inquiries.


  • Spectrum: Improved contact center metrics could help also Spectrum better serve customer needs. Say a large volume of customers reports interrupted or poor internet connection. Spectrum could leverage customer data to uncover specific geographic areas that are experiencing similar disruptions. Using this information, Spectrum could implement automated text messages notifying customers of service interruptions ahead of time–helping reduce the number of calls their contact centers receive.


  • Comcast: For most brands, the more data the better. Telecom brands that provide a multitude of services, like Comcast, are tasked to manage billions of data points across multiple channels. But, organizing and collecting massive amounts of data is easier said than done. Finding a scalable, unifying data management platform–or even building one–can be time-consuming, costly, and riddled with gaps in data. Instead, Comcast established a new Customer Experience Team (CXP) that leveraged Scuba’s real-time continuous intelligence platform to ingest raw event data and deliver key, rapid insights across multiple channels. The result? Over 8,000,000 customers received service-related text messages with the information they needed, service technicians achieved a 97% on-time rate, and over 11.8 million fewer contact center calls were logged.

Finding better insights & performance with Scuba

Scuba’s real-time continuous intelligence platform provides telecom brands with the necessary tools to provide flawless CX, reduce churn, and increase their bottom line.


By ingesting raw, scalable data and eliminating ETL processes, Scuba produces instant behavioral insights so contact centers can respond to dynamic conditions quickly and confidently. Scuba’s intuitive, self-service analytics can be easily accessed across multiple channels–no technical expertise or code experience is required.


When used in conjunction with existing customer event data, Scuba analytics can measure the effectiveness of your contact center’s performance–and give you granular insight into each KPI you’re tracking. Whether your brand is looking to reduce churn, improve measurement metrics, or make sense of billions of daily customer data events, Scuba can help you get there.


Want to learn more about how Scuba can improve your contact center performance measurements? Request a demo today or talk to a Scuba expert.

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