End user experience metrics enrich contact center performance management

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Lori Wizdo
Lori Wizdo

When the contact center is the main channel to the customer, it's imperative to look beyond basic measurement and leverage advanced analytics to optimize agent performance and improve customer service. Best practice organizations are formalizing their agent performance tactics into a comprehensive contact center performance management (CCPM) system. Typically a CCPM system draws on data from contact center technologies, customer relationship management (CRM) systems and myriad of other data sources. 

A new source of metrics, provided by End-User Experience and Performance Management solutions (EPM), is emerging as a rich source of insight to enrich a call center performance management strategy. EPM solutions address one of the core challenges of agent performance management – the complexity of many customer-facing processes and the myriad of software solutions that underpin those processes. During a single customer transaction, an agent may have to access multiple software applications – a CRM application, CTI technology, accounts receivable, order management, inventory management, etc. Effective use of that myriad of applications has a direct impact on both the agent's productivity and the customer experience. 

End-User Experience and Performance Management solutions aim to optimize the performance of the end-users of corporate software applications. The goal of the EPM system is to identify all the barriers to effective performance so that the appropriate corrective actions can be taken. EPM solutions monitor application execution from the perspective of the end user and provide comprehensive metrics in two dimensions. 

The first set of metrics measure the experience the application is providing to the end user. Are the applications slow? Is the agent being presented with system errors? Those are clear impediments to agent productivity that are all too often invisible. Forrester research reports that up to 80% of system errors experienced by end-users are not reported, and that only 25% of performance problems are caught by existing monitoring technologies. 

The second set of metrics measure effective usage of the applications. Are agents using the correct transactions for the process? Are they using them effectively or making errors? Any lack of proficiency is transparently communicated to the customer. 

To illuminate the potential impact, consider this actual situation. A global telecoms company noticed an agent performance anomaly of a good sort – the sales associates at one of its call centers were significantly more productive in orders/day. A review of end user metrics and process flows revealed that the sales associates in the high-performing call center had ‘invented' a more effective and efficient way of using the CRM application. 

The company implemented this new process as standard practice at all call centers. This raised the productivity of 300 call center associates by 25%, representing an annual recurring productivity gain of over $3 million. And the customer experience impact from a 25% decrease in transactional process time, while intangible and hard to measure, is significant.     

Actionable metrics to improve agent performance distinguish those firms that achieve their contact center goals and those that struggle. Contact center managers and supervisors tasked with improving efficiency will find it difficult to do so without end-user experience and performance metrics to identify system issues and pinpoint targets for improving the performance of servicing agents on an ongoing basis.

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