TMCnews Featured Article
Scorecards Provide Valuable Method for Determining Call Center Performance
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Call center performance is important to monitor. After all, the call center can be the most costly division of a company and streamlined processes allow for a tight hold on costs. At the same time, how well the call center performs can also be translated into revenues if agents also act as sales representatives.
To help call center managers review the overall performance of the center, scorecards are often used. In addition upper management can rely on scorecards to help understand the value the call center contributes to the company overall.
But if a call center manager is instead trying to explain the performance of the call center with the use of numerous statistics, charts, graphs and reports, top managers may wind up more confused at the end of the meeting than when they started. This can actually work against the value call center reporting brings.
Instead, call center managers can and should use "balanced scorecards," which provide an easy-to-read and understand Excel file that focuses on a few key performance indicators (KPIs) instead of hundreds of statistics. These KPIs are then weighted and compared against company goals or industry benchmarks to determine overall performance.
While every industry has its own set of KPIs that can be used to create a scorecard, relying only on industry standards may not be enough for a specific business. Every call center instead should review internal needs and adjust the scorecard so that it is most effective for the business.
The following KPIs have often been used by call centers to create scorecards:
--Cost per contact
--Abandon Rate (consider using a total abandon rate including IVR, Email, Chat)
--Ticket close ratio
--Average Handle Time
--IVR Completion Rate
With so many different KPIs to choose from, it can be difficult to develop the right mix for the balanced scorecard. If the call center relies on less than three KPIs, any change to a single KPI can change the overall scorecard value very quickly. If more than eight KPIs are used, the reverse is true in that one change does not have a tremendous impact on the overall value.
Managers should also take into consideration the weighted value of each KPI as too much weight can affect the outcome quickly. The call center and its purpose can impact the amount of weight to put on each KPI. While standards do exist, they don't always apply and the call center should consider each KPI and its weight very carefully. In most cases, however, Customer Satisfaction, First Call Resolution and Cost per Call generally receive more weight than Service Level, ASA and Agent Training.
The last consideration for the scorecard is to determine whether or not the call center should use overall company goals or industry benchmarks to determine performance as both are valid methods. If the company is just now introducing the element of scorecards into measuring performance, basing KPIs on company goals is a great place to start until managers are more comfortable looking to industry benchmarks for insight. Once the program is in place, adjustments are easy to make.
To learn more about how you can automate your call center reporting, including the creation of balanced scorecards, check out Spectrum Corp.'s full-featured and highly flexible call center reporting solutions.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Patrick Barnard