Resolutions get a bad rep. People throw out blanket statements about how they want to work harder, get healthy, or read more. Then, come the second week of January, these ideals get tossed to the wayside. In fact, only 9% of people actually follow through with their New Year’s resolutions.
And, we know why. It’s not that the resolutions themselves are unobtainable. It’s that we don’t sit down and define the steps we need to take to reach our intended outcomes. We try to will our way into better habits.
But our improved outcomes will never happen if we don’t take actionable steps forward every day. And, the same concept applies to your contact center. You have to define your call center performance goals and desired customer outcomes, first. Then, you have to rally your team around those goals and outcomes and build an action plan to reach them together.
Companies labeled by McKinsey & Co as customer-centric rally around customer outcomes above all else. And every customer experience outcome is measured, shared, and tied to individual performance assessments along the way. These customer-first orgs take steps forward each day to improve their outcomes, tying everything they do back to the CX they deliver.
As you run headfirst into 2020, we’re walking through an action plan to define your call center performance goals and the experience you want to deliver. And, we’re giving you five steps to build a strategy that gets you there, day-by-day.
Step 1: Set your end customer experience goals and objectives using the GOST model
Pinpoint broad, outcome-based goals specific to your company’s mission and vision.
Often times, people confuse goals with objectives. They dive into the weeds and think through specific objectives, like improving CSAT by 20%, instead of starting with the basics, like leading your competitors on the ACSI index.
When you dig into the details, first, you put your outcomes at risk. We live in a world where things are always in flux and flexibility is important. As the world shifts around you, it’s easy for your smaller objectives to shift, too. Setting objectives without overarching goals means you’re throwing effort into the wind, but you don’t know which direction it’s blowing.
Setting high-level goals, first, gives you and your team stability and clarity. Even as things shift around you, your high-level goals remain constant, so you can live up to your company’s mission and vision.
To help set the right goals for better customer outcomes, use the GOST model. It un-muddies the waters between goals and objectives, so you can keep your team pointed in the right direction all year long.
Oyster.team mapped out the GOST model in terms of the what and the how.
Let’s say I own a dog-walking company in Indianapolis, and I’m planning my goals and strategies for 2020.
Using the GOST model, here’s what I map out for the coming year:
Become the leading dog-walker in Indianapolis.
This goal is my high-level outcome. It’s what I ultimately want to achieve, not how I’m going to achieve it.
Grow client-base and walk 40% more dogs by the end of 2020.
This is a specific and measurable outcome related to my goal.
Build a new website tailored to dog moms and dads who need help exercising their pups. And, as new clients pour in, hire more dog walkers to keep service levels high.
Here, I get into the how. This is the plan I will put in motion to become the leading dog walker in Indianapolis.
Run bi-monthly ad campaigns to find the dog moms and dads who need my services. Use customer testimonials to promote our superior service on our new website. Train all new employees to uphold our high standard of service.
These are a few of the specific actions I will take to reach my objectives and achieve my goals.
Step 2: Look at your year in review
What happened in your contact center in 2019? And, how did it compare to your year in 2018? Did you trend upward or lose momentum?
Look to the KPIs you focused on this year to see how your contact center performed. Did your agents consistently meet First Call Resolution every month and top the charts in CSAT? Or, did you have high turnover and a slew of other productivity problems to follow? Often, your numbers will say you live somewhere in between.
Use your data to look at your agents’ individual performance through the lens of their efficiency, effectiveness, and empowerment. And, pair metrics together to get a better picture of what your data means for your year in review. Create custom reports and dashboards for different views of what happened in your contact center, like how satisfied your customers were or what your agents’ holistic experience looked like.
Turn to your data and call center metrics best practices to help inform your decisions in the year ahead. Don’t let data alone dictate your strategy. But, use your numbers as a guide as you plot your objectives, strategies, and tactics for 2020.
Step 3: Create a contact center performance strategy
Use the data you harvested and analyzed in step two and turn it into business intelligence to fuel your 2020 performance strategy.
Band together with your supervisors, team leaders, and other managers to develop a performance action plan that fleshes out what you plan to measure in 2020, how to improve current KPIs, how to train your agents, and what type of culture to build together.
In your performance strategy, define your key objectives, like improving CSAT by 10%. Then, decide which large projects you’ll carry out to reach each objective. Will you be one of the 52% of contact center leaders who plans to unify their systems by 2025? Or, will you be one of the 60% of contact centers to intelligently route customers based on agent skills, urgency, lifetime value, or personality in the next five years?
Whatever the case may be, map out how meeting your defined objectives syncs back up to each of your overarching contact center goals.
Your contact center performance strategy lays the foundation for each of the projects you take on in 2020. Plus, it gives purpose to that pernicious beast of a to-do list you oversee. As you map out your strategy, if you can’t connect each project and task back to one of your organizational goals, rethink them.
Build a data strategy to feed business intelligence and better call center performance.Get the step-by-step guide to do it right.
Step 4: Identify your deadlines and tactics
Once you have your overarching goals and objectives IDed, it’s time to get tactical.
With a performance strategy in hand, it’s time to dig into the details of each large project you chose. And, it’s time to set deadlines to add some urgency to each of your projects. There’s nothing that sets a plan into motion better than a looming deadline (we tend to call them lifelines instead.)
Think through how many projects you have moving at once and how long you’ll need to successfully accomplish each one. Are you working on a monthly, quarterly, six-month, or annual timeline? Set realistic expectations for each of your projects, first. Then, map out the tactics and deadlines to get the ball rolling.
Here’s what a few sample tactics might look like for a larger project, like unifying your contact center systems.
Step 5: Prioritize your work efforts
You don’t have superhuman powers (or 50 hours in the workday). That means, to accomplish your call center performance goals, you need to assign priority to each of the projects and routines you plan to complete.
Go through your list of projects and rank their importance. Which ones will move you closer to your contact center and company goals? Which ones are must-haves and which are nice-to-haves? Look at your list of tactics and decide what projects need to come first to keep pace with your deadlines.
Creating a priority list helps keep you and your team on track to reach your call center performance goals. Not to mention, it gives other department leaders (and your boss) a better view of what you’re working on. So, when spur-of-the-moment requests trickle down, you can point people to your priority list. Then, they can see where their request fits into your overall strategy.
Prioritize your time and find balance in your contact center. As you leap into the new year with high expectations, know your limits (and the limits of your agents).
Plot your goals, strategies, objectives, and tactics with the top contact center trends for 2020 in mind.Learn about them, over here.