When your call center agents don’t have transparency into their goals and performance data, they’ll struggle to meet your expectations. You’ll wind up with poor performance, high stress and a team of unhappy and disengaged call center agents.
Clear expectations are fundamental for employee needs, and agents without visibility into their metrics are at risk for burnout, according to research from Jeff Toister. Sharing meaningful reports with your team is critical to the well-being of your agents and the resulting customer support you deliver.
Here are four mistakes call center managers often make with agent dashboards and reports, as well as how to fix them for improved call center agent performance.
You Aren’t Sharing the “Why” Behind Your Metrics
You can’t expect call center agents to improve their performance and hit targets if they don’t understand why specific metrics were chosen.
Knowing the metrics in place isn’t enough to drive agent performance. When you ask people to alter specific behaviors, they usually want an explanation even if you are their boss. As a leader in your call center, you should explain why you’re tracking particular metrics and their role in reaching overarching company goals.
Combine “why” with “because” to make the explanation easier. The resulting statement names the desired action and links it to the expected benefits. Such an explanation increases agent motivation to comply with your request and makes them feel like part of the process—not an afterthought.
Why Metrics Matter
You can only manage and improve the metrics that you track. Sharing metrics through your call center dashboards daily, weekly or monthly assists managers in finding the gaps (if any) in agent performance and identifying high-performing metrics.
Giving individual agents access to their own metrics via dashboard access allows them to take the initiative, discover what they need to learn, spot negative trends in their performance and connect with their managers to overcome problem areas.
Well-defined metrics give you a firsthand look into how your agents interact with customers and which strategies work with your target customer. In short, these metrics inform you of the effectiveness of the processes in place.
Metrics are there to aid in measuring and tracking performance for your entire organization—including you. So when a negative trend arises, leadership and agents alike can review and rectify those trends. Knowing why these metrics matter provides a better understanding of what agents and managers need to improve, deliver better customer experiences, and raise customer service levels.
Managers can also use the data collected on each team member’s daily performance to better inform leadership guidance and allow more actionable feedback. Data empowers managers and agents to have more constructive conversations about performance, leading to greater employee satisfaction.
Officevibe’s 2022 Global Employee Engagement Study found that 96% of employees said that receiving feedback regularly is a good thing, and 83% of employees really appreciate receiving feedback—whether positive or negative. Each team member’s agent performance dashboard presents call center managers with an opportunity to create a feedback culture using recorded metrics as a foundation to give feedback, guide coaching, and inspire continuing education initiatives.
You Aren’t Sharing Historical and Live Data to Show Agents Their Progress
What is the call performance baseline for your agents? One of the best ways to recognize progress in your team is to look back at where they started. When agents access historical and live data, they’re more likely to sustain the motivation to improve and strive for goals.
Access to the call center agent performance dashboard also gives agents the ability to check their progress daily. Armed with this information, they take the initiative to correct performance when they see declining scores or other negative trends. And they’re more likely to continue revving up performance when they can confirm the delivery of standout service because they’ll be motivated to take their performance to the next level.
For example, we connected with Sandia Area Federal Credit Union to see the influence of looking at historical data. The credit union shared benchmark data with their team and with us. Three key metrics were given to their agents, who were instructed when to pay attention to each metric. After just 12 days of showing agents their active contact resolution (ACR) data, the center saw a 5% increase in resolutions and fewer customer callbacks about repeat issues.
Agents who view the right metrics and correlate relevant actions improve their call performance outcomes, showing improved customer satisfaction along the way.
You Aren’t Zeroing In on the Most Critical Metrics
If you have more than three priorities, you have no priorities. This concept applies to your metrics and sharing that data with your agents.
Many call center dashboard metrics offer a comprehensive overview of your contact center operation—great for sharing with your leadership team. However, when distributing data and metrics with your agents, you need to zero in on the most critical metrics for your agents to understand.
Overloading your reports with too many data points causes significant stress for agents. Stressed agents lead to low performance, which can’t be fully overcome simply by making your expectations clear.
This audience-specific difference in metrics goes beyond presentation. Your executive team wants to see that you’re running an operationally sound call center, while your agents want to track their progress through their dashboards. You must build agent dashboards with metrics that genuinely relate to their work.
By building metric-specific dashboards for agents and giving them access, agents can better track their performance without waiting for 1:1s or quarterly reviews to find out how they are progressing.
Besides limiting data overload for agents, pull in charts and graphics on critical key performance indicators, so agents will see how they’re doing at a glance. Adjust these expectations and metrics quarterly to allow agents to improve their performance.
The Metrics You’re Sharing Aren’t Directly Actionable by Agents
The past few years have marked a change in how many call centers view their metrics, choosing to focus on indicators beyond efficiency.
Efficiency metrics such as hold time and response time in answering a call are still significant. But companies are now tracking quality metrics such as CSAT, uptime, customer retention, call resolution, self-service utilization, and digital utilization as well.
Why does the shift matter? Traditional call center metrics aren’t always directly actionable by your agents.
For a real-time example, examine First Contact Resolution (FCR). A customer calls in for assistance with a bill, and an agent solves the issue within the first contact. FCR sits at 100%, which looks great. But what happens when that customer calls back in and another agent handles the inquiry?
It’s challenging to help customers through their second and third interactions on an issue that could have been solved with the first interaction. That’s why advocating for new industry metrics like Active Contact Resolution (ACR) over FCR is essential. ACR incorporates qualitative data and gives control back to your agents. It allows them to measure their ability to solve the problem rather than being penalized for the customers’ interaction history with other agents.
Measuring metrics outside an agent’s control results in your employees disengaging from work and delivering low-quality customer interactions. When that happens, the overall company culture and call center ROI suffer.
Fix Your Dashboard and Reporting Mistakes
To maintain an effective call center agent performance, you must be intentional about how you manage your team.
These are only four of the most common mistakes leaders may make in their dashboards and reporting. They can be fixed, but reporting requires more than providing the right metrics to your agents. It requires constant communication about your company’s mission and expectations of your agents—especially as your organization evolves in this new economy.
In the anywhere workforce CX reality, it’s more important than ever that data be visible to all stakeholders, all the time. Agents, managers and directors of operations can work together to improve the customer experience—but only if they share the same metrics and work toward the same goals.
Click to Download SharpenCX’s ebook on the Business Impact of a Better Agent Experience