Healthy Balance Needed Between Data and Team Satisfaction

Posted by Kristin Arnold on October 15, 2009

You have piles of papers on your desk that report all kinds of operational data: time to answer, duration of call, cost per customer, abandonment rate, IVR first response, etc.  With call center technology counting each click, we generate more data than we need or could ever use.  However, each piece of information is part of the bigger puzzle created to help manage your CSR team better.  Right?

Well, maybe!  If you shared all that information with your team, their heads would spin and you would have a major revolution on your hands!  Instead, sift through the data and pull out the vital few metrics that tell you the most about what’s going on in the call center.  Make sure you have a healthy balance between operational data, financial data, service quality, customer satisfaction as well as employee satisfaction.  (Don’t worry if you don’t have a “balanced” set of metrics … just look at it as an opportunity to improve!)

Draw Pictures.  Prepare some simple trend charts of the data from the past week, month, quarter, or year depending on how often the data is collected.  Show not only the trend, but also draw a line to show the industry average and another line to show the company’s goal for that particular metric.  I also like to put an arrow up or down to show the desired direction — either up or down.  Chances are they have probably seen the data before — usually on a spreadsheet with a bunch of other information.  A picture says a thousand words, and everyone will be able to quickly tell how they are doing.

Open Up.  Share these trend charts with your team.  Tell them why you think they are important and how you gauge the success of your team.  Let them ask questions and discover why the trends were favorable (or not).  Let them wrestle with the same issues you wrestle with.  Often times, one metric affects another and triggers a robust discussion about the contextual issues that affect metrics — issues that you may not even be aware of.

Work Together.  If there is a problem, let the team discuss what occurred and how to prevent it from happening again.  Rather than you “telling” them what happened and how to fix it, let the team develop their own understanding of the situation and take ownership of how to implement their solution.

Validate the Measures.  Through this discussion you may discover that some measures might be “better” than others — they tell the “story” better.  Or maybe your measures aren’t balanced and only tell part of the story.  Make sure you have the best measures to help guide your team because you know the old adage: “What gets measured, gets done!”

Review Frequently.  Every other staff meeting take a fresh look at your measures and check out the trends.  Some teams even like to post the charts on the wall so the team can track progress — especially if there’s a payoff to hitting goal!

Question:  Are you using your team metrics effectively?

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