measurement in contact centres

The seven deadly sins of measurement in contact centres

In the third in our latest blog series on ‘seven deadly sins’ in various aspects of call centre operation, Pete Dunn, Community Engagement Manager, discusses how and why measurement in contact centres doesn’t always add up.

Measurement is a necessity in business. This is true whether you’re aiming to understand the ROI of your efforts, gauge efficiency, deliver support in the right way at the right time or establish the tactical delivery of your Key Performance Indicators. Measurement ensures that your organisation has a clear understanding of what’s happening and why. However, we’re now going to explore the impact of getting measurement in contact centres wrong.

Assuming you have your metrics right

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” – Bert Lance.

Companies often select their KPIs by measuring what it has always measured or what is easy to measure. This means assuming that you know what is important and not challenging the what, how or the way you measure. So, the chances are you’re not challenging the outcomes which your business is working towards or the results it’s delivering. Historical metrics, new and funky metrics or metrics that are tried and tested are all great. But they must be an accurate reflection of your business.

Measuring metrics from the wrong perspective

Measurement in contact centres from a point of view that suits your needs, and not those of your customer, is measuring from the wrong perspective. ‘Being number 1 in CX by X date’ may seem like a fantastic aspiration. But if you measure CX without ever asking your customers what really matters to them then there’s a good chance that your assumption is wrong. This renders your measurement efforts totally meaningless.

Too many measurements

It’s easy to spread our reach too far in a data-rich environment. We try to focus on all of the things all of the time and measure them constantly. This lack of focus leads to a proliferation of metrics which causes confusion and an inability to make decisions. Too much time spent looking at the numbers and trying to gain insight as to what they mean, instead of conducting activity that will affect those numbers, will leave your organisation suffering from information overload.

Metrics versus human behaviour

Often, an organisation will implement metrics without giving thought to the behavioural consequences. Everyone wants to look good and everyone wants to excel. But when the wrong metrics are pushed, attitude and effort can run contrary to the needs of your business and customers. When we create a metric, we send a signal that the thing we’re measuring is important. Then, when we call it a KPI and add incentives, we highlight it even further. People’s desire to deliver against a metric in this instance is clear. Their behaviours change and, if we haven’t thought out what behaviours we’re likely to see, there is a high chance that unintended outcomes to occur.

Proving your ideas with measurements

“There are three kinds of lies. Lies, damned lies, and statistics” – Sir Charles Dilke

One of the greatest issues encountered in business is that almost anything can be ‘proven’ with enough data which is cut the right way. So, with large amounts of data delivering endless measurement in contact centres, it’s easy to lose sight of how best to use it. As our access to data increases, so too does our ability to manipulate it. So, we have to be mindful of the need to interrogate data in a way that allows it to deliver insight. In addition, it is important to steer clear of just focusing on the data that may prove our hypothesis.

The battle of the metrics

Too close a focus on your department or line of business may be detrimental to your organisation as an enterprise. Measuring in silo, without understanding the impacts these measurements have, inevitably leads to friction and in-fighting. If your sales team is measured on conversion rates alone, and your complaints team are solely focused on measuring the mis-selling of product, then you have metrics that are likely fuelling antagonism between departments. Understand the impacts, align your metrics and make sure everyone knows what is being measured and why.

Fighting the numbers

The battle between operations and support functions can often rage. Objective data measurement is often called into question when self-interest and a blame culture come to the fore. This can sideline the need to assume responsibility and look at what changes need to be made. An organisation suffering from this could well have the best MI and Insight functions going. But operational performance is probably not improving as lines are drawn and intrigue hinders all efforts to improve.

BPA Quality can help you to measure what matters. Contact us to find out more.

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