Running a call center without tracking your performance is like running a business without keeping track of revenue. Seeing how well your call center is performing is critical to success and your ability to communicate that success.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are a series of metrics that are designed to measure the overall performance of a company. KPI tracking is the process of regularly gathering, organizing, analyzing, and reporting these metrics to achieve business objectives. Specific KPIs vary from industry to industry, but tracking KPIs is a valuable practice no matter what business you are in.
Contact centers especially benefit from tracking KPIs. We’ve already covered the 15 Key Call Center Metrics we recommend all call centers track, so in this article, we will break down the process of how to track these KPIs, and why you should be constantly monitoring them. We’ll also lay out some important tools that are fundamental to your KPI tracking success.
Step 1: Determine your KPIs
Your first task is to choose which KPIs you are going to monitor. Here are some key characteristics to consider when choosing effective KPIs:
A good KPI is a metric that is simple and easy to measure. Because these are going to be tracked over time, your KPIs should have numbers attached to them. The meaning of each of these numbers should be clear enough that they don’t need to be explained; a new employee working at your contact center should be able to quickly understand what each KPI represents.
Try to avoid picking things that are difficult to measure or have no clear quantitative value. For example, a KPI tracking meaningful interactions between agents and prospects, while incredibly valuable, is a difficult thing to track. Oftentimes when KPIs are hard to measure, they end up not getting measured, and quickly fall out of focus.
Performance is an essential component of Key Performance Indicators. That being said, make sure the KPIs you choose are measuring indicators that lie within your control. It will be challenging for you to determine exactly how you can improve if you only measure things that are outside of your control. Likewise, placing the responsibility of performance on your agents, rather than on your prospects, can be motivating and reduce frustration.
Note: There are important metrics, like answer rates, that are essential to a call center’s performance, but may seem like they lie outside your control. Hiya Connect, our reputation management software, provides an easy solution to this difficult problem.
Be sure as well that each of your KPIs measures a single aspect of your performance. This is important because once you start tracking them, it will be easier to make actionable insights if you know that a low-performing KPI can be improved by dialing in on that single performance aspect.
Related to Business Objective
KPI tracking is all about focusing on what metrics bring the most success, and working to improve the performance of those metrics. Tracking KPIs is useless, however, if it doesn’t help you achieve your business objectives. As a contact center, you’ll need to choose KPIs that directly influence the vision of your company.
A common mistake call centers that are beginning to dig into data will make is focusing too much on metrics that are tangential to their mission. As you determine which KPIs to monitor, ask yourselves, “How will improving this metric move our company’s vision forward?”
Examples of effective KPIs
As you consider which KPIs to track, notice how each of these metrics are measurable, performance-driven, and relate to a call center’s business objective:
Step 2: Analyze your Current Performance
Once you’ve chosen your KPIs, the next step in setting up effective KPI tracking is to analyze how you are performing for each metric. If you haven’t been doing any kind of monitoring, then begin tracking your performance and use the next month to establish a baseline.
If you do have historical data to go off of, spend some time digging through it to establish where your agents’ performance has been. Use broad strokes when analyzing your current performance; we’re focused on trends over time, rather than random spikes in performance. The goal of this exercise is to inform your KPI goals so that you’re not just taking a shot in the dark.
Step 3: Set Clear, Measurable Goals
KPI monitoring can be a powerful tool to motivate employees to work their hardest, especially if there is a clear goal those KPIs are trying to achieve. Set goals for each KPI that are measurable and time-bound. For example, you may set a goal to increase your average daily calls handled by 10% in Q3.
There are two types of goals that are helpful to consider when tracking KPIs:
At this point, you should have chosen KPIs that align perfectly with your contact center’s overarching business objectives. Company visions are high-level and often difficult to quantify. Setting long-term goals for each of these metrics will give you a measurable companion to each objective. We recommend setting long-term goals for every year.
Setting short-term goals break down your long-term goals into bite-sized chunks that are easier to manage and less overwhelming. Short-term goals can last a quarter, a week, or on rare occasions, a single day. We recommend starting with setting a short-term goal for the next three months.
While it is useful to break down your long-term goals to inform your short-term goals, it’s also important to be realistic in what you and your team can achieve. You may need to adjust your short-term goals to be more attainable. The key here is to always be improving performance; the improvement doesn’t necessarily have to be astronomical.
Step 4: Set up a KPI Performance Dashboard
This is possibly the most practical and useful step in the KPI tracking process. A KPI performance dashboard is a central hub that measures, tracks, and displays all of your key performance indicators in one place. The benefit of using a KPI dashboard is that it allows you to do a quick check-in to see how you’re performing across a variety of metrics.
There’s a variety of software out there that provides call centers with KPI performance dashboards. Hiya Connect Console is our all-in-one solution for monitoring, analyzing, and reporting key performance metrics. Our dashboards are chock full of industry-standard KPIs that give you both high-level and close-up views of how your call center is performing.
Hiya Connect analyzes and updates your company-wide performance daily, and displays key insights for you to make informed, actionable decisions. It also tracks your data over time and provides information for how your performance is trending, so you know exactly how close you are to achieving your long-term goals.
Step 5: Set up Regular Reporting
Another important step to establishing KPI tracking is clearly communicating the reporting process to your team. Set up a regular reporting process to communicate which KPIs you’re tracking as a company. Make sure everyone knows the short-term and long-term goals your team is working towards. Decide whose responsibility it is to pull the reports, and who they should report to, then give them a frequent schedule so they have a deadline.
While creating a report is simple enough for a single team member to be in charge of, KPI tracking as a whole is a team responsibility. Display your metrics in a place where everyone can see them, so each team member understands how they are contributing to the progress of short-term goals.
The frequency of your KPI reporting should be determined by the length of your short-term goals. Weekly reporting is a common method to keep performance top-of-mind while still giving room to breathe. Make sure that your KPI performance dashboard software provides a quick and easy way to pull reports, so you don’t waste too much time on this step.
Step 6: Be Adaptable
As you begin the regular process KPI monitoring, you’ll begin to notice trends in how your call center is performing. Sometimes it can be discouraging when you don’t see improvement right away. Be flexible with your voice performance strategy, and be willing to adapt your plan to target the metrics that will produce the most valuable results.
One important benefit of KPI tracking is that you can use your performance data to make informed decisions. For example, you may find that after emphasizing a metric like average handle time for several months, you’re still unable to increase your customer satisfaction levels. At that point, you should consider adapting your strategy to emphasize a different metric, like first call resolution.
Always remember that your most important metric is whether or not you’re achieving your business objectives. If your short-term and long-term goals aren’t having any effect on achieving your business objectives, it may be time to reevaluate and switch it up.
Gathering, analyzing, and reporting KPIs is an invaluable process that every call center needs to implement in order to see real performance growth. Your growth is driven by choosing the right metrics to measure, and aligning those KPIs with your business objectives. Remember that the best measurement of a contact center’s success is how well it serves the people on the other end of the line.
KPI tracking is made easy with Hiya Connect. If you want to improve your call center performance, Get a Demo to see how Hiya Connect will help you connect with more customers, faster.