5 Strategic Goals to Set for Your Call Center
There are goals, and then there are strategic goals. Strategic goals aren’t simply call center metrics. They’re overarching goals that help you achieve larger departmental or company-wide objectives. They’re the outcome you want to achieve at the end of a three to five-year strategic plan.
Strategic goals are typically weightier than your standard individual or team goal and take longer to achieve. They attempt to make improvements that benefit the whole department and company. Most importantly, they hinge on the future and where you want to go.
The Best Goals are SMART Goals
You’ve most likely heard of the SMART principle in goal-setting. For a goal to be worthwhile, it must be:
- Specific — Go after a specific outcome, not a set of results or a vague idea of what you want to achieve.
- Measurable — Goals must be quantifiable and include a trackable benchmark to hit.
- Achievable — Safeguard your goals to ensure eventual success. Go big with your goals, but not broke.
- Relevant — Why are you setting the goal? Ensure they align to larger company goals and objectives.
- Time-bound — Assign a deadline so you have parameters to work within.
Other goal-setting measures like objectives or key performance indicators (KPIs) (which are quantitative metrics to show progress) can help you achieve strategic goals, but do not stand alone to drive change. That’s why you enact a number of tactics and set multiple milestone goals to achieve your overall strategic goal.
SMART, Strategic Goals for Call Centers
1. Make a good first impression on customers.
This is a broad goal, yes, but one that’s achievable over time. First, assess what a “good” first impression means to you and your customers. Fast resolution times? Consistent, branded messages? Friendly agents? Then, make it SMART by setting smaller goals and adding in KPIs and parameters:
- “Increase first call resolution by X% within Y [days, months, years].”
- “Empower call center agents with more product knowledge by implementing X new training programs in Y [days, months, years].”
- “Introduce customer email notifications and alerts by implementing marketing automation by [date].”Breaking the strategic goal down into smaller, more achievable goals makes the outcome more attainable.
2. Add customization and personalization.
Sixty-six percent of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations, yet the same percentage say they’re generally treated like numbers. Customization and personalization in customer support and up-selling can help — but it’s important to track your ROI with measurable goals:
- “Integrate data from [app] by [date] to include personal details in 50% of new call center messages.”
- “Aggregate 100% of voice, text, and chat interactions in a single platform by [date].”
- “Add AI to customer service software by [date] to reduce call times X% with next best actions and predictive modeling.”
This is a worthwhile strategic goal for call centers because it is easily attainable with the right contact center software and best practices. The result? Customers who feel more comfortable with and loyal to your brand.
3. Improve the employee experience.
More than call-center-specific objectives, this is one goal that’s directly related to greater company success. Not only is employee experience a worthy goal because it rewards the people who make, market, and service your product/solution, it can also lead to 23% higher profitability. But there’s no magic bullet to achieve it. Your plan of attack may look like this:
- “Send two employee engagement surveys and four quarterly check-in surveys by the end of the year.”
- “Conduct 50% of employee performance reviews by [date] and the remaining 50% by [date].”
- “Allocate $X of budget to agent continuing education in the areas of Y and Z for employees to utilize by the end of the year.”Simply taking these actions shows employees that you’re dedicated to their well-being and continued professional growth. Research shows 59% of engaged organizations enjoy less employee turnover.
4. Use data and feedback to inform decisions.
Perhaps you already have a CRM or contact center platform, but it shouldn’t be just a data repository. Stop making decisions on hunches and gut checks. Set goals to become a more data-forward company as a whole using the interaction data you regularly collect.
- “Meet once per week to discuss call center costs with a goal of decreasing cost per call by $.50 by the end of Q3.”
- “Map the customer journey from start to finish using cross-channel reports and customer lifetime data.”
- “Send X report to call center VP every Friday for inclusion in weekly company leadership meetings.”When more people have the same data, they have a clearer, more consistent view of the state of your call center and organization.
5. Strike a balance between human interaction and automation.
You know you should be using automation more aggressively in your call center. But it’s hard to know where to put it into practice without disrupting the delicate balance of the customer/agent relationship. Start small, especially in places that help your agents most:
- “Switch to no-code forms by Q4 to increase agent usability 50%.”
- “Replace IVR system with omnichannel workflow and reduce hold times by 1:00 by 2025.”
- “Launch chatbot by end of quarter to reduce call center queues by 15%.”
Advance Your Call Center Strategy with Sharpen
Still don’t know where to start? Sharpen services help you set and achieve your call center goals with intuitive software and expert guidance. Whatever your goals, ours is simple: help you improve, not continue down the same path. Your project manager and CSM are a dedicated resource to help you customize your CX strategy at implementation and refine it as you grow.
Start setting the right goals for your call center with Sharpen. Request a demo to learn more and speak with one of our experts.