Don't miss Call Center Statistics importance
Currently, call center statistics focus on things such as average handle time (AHT). However, many call center companies are moving away from such metrics, because the number doesn't indicate whether the issue was adequately handled to the customer's satisfaction. Call center consultants and customer experience gurus suggest that call center statistics need to provide meaningful metrics that focus on success rather than call volume.
As a result, some call centers are dropping the QA checklist, which can result in misdirected CRM focus, in favor of self-scoring reviews or other tools. Others are redirecting the focus from AHT to first-contact resolution. Some companies who have dropped the emphasis on AHT have seen call time increase, but have also witnessed a significant decrease in repeat calls.
Additionally, simple speech analytics are starting to incorporate more advanced features such as emotion detection. Long a tool of call center management to gauge performance, speech analysis based on factors such as word frequency or pairing is increasingly seen as insufficient because it fails to account for tone or other emotional cues. ("Yeah, the service was great," could be a sarcastic response on a post-incident survey, for instance.)
Emotion detection, on the other hand, can measure subtle nuances overlooked by a transcript, such as pitch, tone, hesitations, sighs, and laughter. These verbal and emotional cues can provide a more holistic picture of the interaction — and when used in real-time, emotion detection can help identify a potential situation and even alert a supervisor. Another new tool being incorporated in call center management software is talk-over analysis, as crosstalk is generally an indicator of frustration (and sometimes a source of it, as well).
Forrester Research and other call center consultants recommend ditching the call center script and providing a general guide instead. Flexible formats allow customer service representatives to adapt to the needs and requests of each caller, and increase the likelihood of a positive customer experience. Other suggestions are changes to the call center culture overall, focusing on employee satisfaction and motivation rather than an overbearing emphasis on time management.
Quantitatively, the CRM focus has begun to shift from measuring discrete time segments to the quality of the interaction. Some call center managers have shifted their focus to soft skills training rather than technical training, even setting aside time for one-on-one coaching sessions.