Call Contact Center Audit Assessment Summary
PROCESS EVALUATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVING CONTACT CENTER EFFICIENCY AND QUALITY
Many factors influence the overall success of a customer contact center –examples include: staffing, call volume, scheduling, morale, and technology. Recognition of these varied elements and how they affect service level goals needs to be thoroughly understood before valuable insight may be gained or curative action taken. Ultimately, every contributing factor, KPI, or measurement should be categorized as affecting one or both of the following goals, Efficiency and Quality.
Identifying and categorizing all impacting factors requires some insight but can be quickly accomplished through open communication between internal stake-holders and an experienced evaluator. Indeed, at every stage, the assessment should incorporate contact center management and personnel into the process. This will enlighten staff on the overlap elements in the contact center and the cause/effect of one on another.
Conducting a thorough assessment should also relate to company and customer goals. The principal objective being: What will yield the best mix of efficiency gains (potential cost-savings) and quality improvements (increased customer satisfaction)? The assessment should be completed in four phases: discovery, evaluation, recommendation, and on-going measurement.
In the discovery phase, careful analysis of the current state of the contact center is paramount to ensure accomplishment in further stages of the audit. This analysis includes deep-dives into the people, process, and technology currently in-place. Understanding current call volumes, technical capabilities, and the people tasked to deal with current workload are major components of this phase.
The evaluation phase takes shape by organizing and analyzing all forms of information acquired during discovery – raw call data, agent feedback, customer satisfaction, and management team capability assessments, to name a few. Examining what of the data relates consistently with organizational goals is also a critical component in the evaluation phase. Insuring that expectations are aligned from the highest to lowest levels of leadership will assist in development of recommendations that can yield the most overall improvement.
Only after a baseline and understanding are established can useful recommendations be made. The recommendation phase will lay out specific and actionable steps (realistic and yielding benefit to quality or efficiency) that can be put into action to immediately and progressively improve the overall performance of the contact center. Certain long-term recommendations may require investment in people or technology; however, the best evaluation will seek to illuminate what can be done with resources currently in-place.
The final, on-going measurement phase of a contact center assessment should layout and document procedures for monitoring and regulating ongoing performance. This resultant “plan” will provide the ground-work for a self-improving center, geared at reading and reacting to those elements that most affect the desired balance between efficiency and quality.
PHASE I: DISCOVERY
- The discovery phase will consist largely of problems identification, goals establishment, and information gathering, exploring, among other things:
- I. Call Volume and Handling
- Offered Calls – hourly, daily, weekly, monthly
- Calls Handled – hourly, daily, weekly, monthly
- Abandoned Calls – hourly, daily, weekly, monthly
- Average Talk Time – per agent, per call type
- Average After Call Work Time – per agent, per call type
- Call Coding – segmentation of calls by disposition
- IVR Calls – % handled without agent intervention, IVR Tree/Structure
- SLA – % of calls handled in ‘X’ seconds
- Staff Schedule – global schedule by shift
- Agents Staffed – hourly staff on site (Agent Occupancy)
- Agent Utilization – availability of staffed agents
- Agent/Supervisor Ratio
- Agent/QA Ratio
- Agent Turnover
- Agent Satisfaction surveying
III. Call Quality
- Agent Performance – agent call quality grading (e.g.: greeting, close, product knowledge, compliance – at agent level)
- Call Performance – call category grading (e.g.: greeting, close, product knowledge, compliance – at call level)
- Script/Adherence – script review and adherence
- Customer Satisfaction Surveying – utilize existing sample if possible and perform independent outreach to query customers
See our article Call Center Questions Who, What, When, Where and Why for further examples of the types and volume of questions to be answered.
PHASE II: EVALUATION
The evaluation phase will include aggregation and evaluation of all data uncovered in discovery to identify gaps and opportunities for performance increase.
- Efficiency: Call volume and staffing information will be evaluated first and foremost to modify and/or create a new Global Staff Schedule. Standard Erlang models will be used to evaluate current call volumes, service level targets, and staffing required to effectively handle all contact traffic. The evaluation of current call data will likely provide valuable insight into recommendations for improving the efficiency of call-handling. Additional variables will be employed to determine where other efficiency gains can be made. Typically, where an IVR is used, call disposition modeling will allow for recommendations to increase self-service opportunities.
- Quality: After efficiency evaluation is complete, a sound foundation and baseline of efficiency will be established from which call quality improvements can be made. A careful review of agent satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and call segmentation will provide a unique opportunity to target training and process recommendations that will yield immediate improvements. The evaluation will also bring to the surface issues that may be causing gaps in performance, which will help create recommendations for ongoing quality and training based around and targeting the biggest areas of need.
PHASE III: RECOMMENDATION
The recommendation phase will provide specific and actionable suggestions which may be implemented to improve the overall performance of the contact center. While no two contact centers are alike, the basic and core fundamentals to achieve success are fairly universal. All recommendations will adhere to the following basic principles:
- Prioritize and address the areas where most positive impact can be achieved
- Maintain and/or increase efficiency, quality, or both whenever possible
- Provide cost-savings or new allocable time calculations for each recommendation
Recommendations will be derived from the metrics evaluated. They will be itemized, correlated to areas of impact, and provide basis to measure future results. Below is a sample list of some common recommendations resulting from a contact center assessment (this list is by no means all-inclusive or ordered by significance):
- Shift and staff schedule updates
- Agent recruiting and hiring recommendations
- Overall training improvements
- Ongoing (PIP) training improvements
- Supervisor and Quality Auditor – ratio recommendations, hiring and promoting practices, etc.
- Call Handling improvements – AHT, ASA, etc.
- IVR enhancements
- Call Quality Auditing creation and/or enhancement
- Agent Satisfaction survey creation and/or enhancement
- Customer Satisfaction survey creation and/or enhancement
- Call status and disposition enhancement
- Call scripting enhancement
- Reporting enhancements
PHASE IV: ON-GOING MEASURMENT
The final – and possibly most important – component of a full contact center assessment involves on-going measurement and reporting on recommendations implemented. On-going measurement empowers a contact center, allowing even its least-sophisticated participants to understand their role in impacting results, positively and negatively. Further, by aligning people, process, and reporting mechanisms to illustrate areas of weakness and opportunity, a contact center can evolve as organizational goals change.
In this phase, a plan will be developed to assist the contact center with monitoring important variables. Reporting and process changes proposed in the recommendation phase (such as additional or enhanced reporting, QA improvements, or other repeatable action items) will be tied to specific tools that may be used to insure a continuing focus on long-term improvement.
Where gaps exist in the contact center’s ability to realistically carry out monitoring tasks or implement suggested measurement/reporting process changes, XzamCorp can provide additional support beyond the assessment.
See our article Contact / Call Center Monitoring for additional perspectives on the importance of on-going measurement.