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Performance management is a powerful element in today’s contact center, where an ultra-competitive market has organizations looking for ways to align their goals and achieve excellence.


Performance management provides information, using metrics that reveal details about the entire operation — from an organizational level down to individual agents. This ensures that goals are being met and improvements are occurring wherever needed.

“Performance Management is established processes and working models that drive business performance towards a strategic goal,” said Kristina Brand, Director of Product Marketing at Performix Solutions.

Using performance management in the contact center is beneficial in a number of ways. This article looks to the top five advantages of performance management.

1. Simplified, More Streamlined Reporting
Metrics for measuring performance in the contact center — such as how long it took to answer a call, or recording calls to asses handling — help pinpoint areas needing improvement. With performance management in today’s contact center, data from across the operation is consolidated for into what is often referred to as “one version of the truth.”

Simplified and streamlined reporting reduces management complexity; it is no longer necessary to manually extract information from multiple systems, a process that can result in conflicting conclusions. Performance management occurs in real-time or near real-time.

Robert Kelly, Vice President of Performance Optimization Solutions at Aspect, said: “Companies are beginning to understand how a synchronized suite of performance optimization solutions can enable contact center managers to consider everything and act immediately. This is resulting in an increased interest in these solutions and performance management as a whole.”

“Agents are able to see their own production stats allowing for self correction. It empowers employees to manage their own performance against targets that have been clearly defined to drive effective behaviors,” he added. “Supervisors are able to easily and efficiently manage, track and identify root causes for performance shortfalls and take timely corrective action as needed.”

Not only is performance management helping to streamline and balance reporting by consolidating metrics but, because systems are able to work together, contact center managers can immediately act upon performance needs and thus go beyond merely measuring and pinpointing performance concerns.

Mark Seclow, Merced Systems Co-Founder and President, said: “Our experience has shown that management’s commitment to using data consistently and systematically is one of the most critical components to the success of a Performance Management initiative.”

2. Increased Agent and Supervisor Productivity
Because performance management allows for closer attention to be paid to agents, it becomes possible to also maximize their potential by giving them an attainable and relevant set of goals that boosts their productivity and adds to the operation’s success.

“Effective and timely enterprise-wide reporting and performance analysis improves strategic and fact-based decision making by providing alerts for rapid identification of problems and workflow system to automate tasks,” said Aspect’s Kelly.

The availability of agent performance data also reduces administrative activities and increases supervisor effectiveness. Not only is it easier to gather information for reporting, but coaching effectiveness is also increased by providing performance data more readily and frequently to agents.

“Performance Management tools help contact centers set clear expectations, gain employee consensus and deliver visibility into how departments, teams, and individuals are measured on a day-to-day basis enabling organizations to create a powerful synergy and realize quantum productivity improvements,” said Kristina Brand of Performix Solutions.

3. Reduced Operating Costs
As performance levels improve on an individual level so too does the efficiency of the entire contact center. The reduced operational costs that result are yet another advantage of performance management.

Because consolidation is possible, and because the task of reporting is more streamlined, installation costs and the need for extra resources is reduced — further optimizing costs in the contact center.

“Contact centers can reduce operating costs by increasing efficiency, consolidating and analyzing integrated data from multiple sites, channels and platforms, improving goal setting by measuring agent performance and schedule adherence across an entire contact center operation, and reducing installation costs and resources required to develop and support in house cross-platform reporting and performance management application tools,” said Aspect’s Kelly.

“Because of increased competition and market pressures, companies are always looking to optimize performance without adding headcount. Performance management lends itself to a performance-based culture, allowing companies to optimize all resources and helping companies reach goals that affect bottom line revenues, by truly managing the performance of each individual agent,” Kelly said.

4. Improved Customer and Employee Experiences
As individual and team alignment is created, an improved experience occurs for staff and is ultimately reflected onto customers.
Improvements in the accuracy and relevancy of data and reporting in the contact center, as well as other elements of performance management, serves as a way to empower employees to become responsible for their individual performances — driving improved experiences.

“By incorporating call monitoring/speech analytics and performance management solutions, a contact center manager or supervisor will have a holistic view of the effectiveness of the agent and the quality of the customer interaction. Quality management really feeds into performance management, enabling managers to do root cause analysis, teach best practices and overall improve agent interactions with customers,” Aspect’s Kelly commented.

Performance management can also take on the role of a motivational tool, fostering staff to not only feel more satisfied, but to go beyond the expected — further improving the contact center’s performance and having a positive impact on customer experiences as well.

“Harnessing the power of your contact center agents through focused attainable objectives will deliver an empowered an appreciated workforce. Delivering consistent and optimal business performance is only possible through maximizing the potential of your employees,” said Performix Solutions’ Kristin Brand.

“By empowering individuals to take control of their own performance there is a dramatic increase in employee accountability and individuals become more conscientious of their work,” Brand said.

5. Competitive Differentiation Through Improved Service Levels
Performance management in the contact center, beyond merely seeking organizational alignment, also helps gain competitive differentiation by improving service levels. Creating competitive differentiation through improved service levels drives culture change within the entire organization and creates a performance-based environment.

“In today’s ultra competitive marketplace one of the ways contact centers strive to create differentiation is with superior service levels. Performance Management solutions allow the organization to focus not only on the specific goals for their business, it also provides a holistic view of your organization so that proactive decisions can be made to drive further improvements,” explained Brand.

“Performance Management Applications are a “must have” to any organization that is pursuing a “differentiation through service” strategy, driving significant sales in their call centers, or aggressively pursuing a culture of accountability. By providing highly personalized information at all levels in the organization, performance management applications provide the information and tools for every employee to execute with greater impact, and provide management with greater strategic control,” said Mark Seclow of Merced Systems.

Performance Management, a fast growing element in today’s contact center, extends beyond just monitoring how agents are performing and optimizing their role in the contact center. By bringing together technology, processes and people, an organization is empowered with the ability to drive change and achieve business success.

Stefania Viscusi is an established writer and avid reader. To see more of her articles, please visit Stefania Viscusi’s columnist page.

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