Contact Center Pipeline September 2022 September 2022 - Page 17


Now for agents : they are managed using measures mostly out of their control . How many agents can achieve handle time and CSAT and FCR goals continuously ? Virtually none . And when contact centers measure agents based on goals they have little control over , the customer experience suffers .
It is the financial language of cost of performance — the percent of an employee ’ s pay spent on engagement — that empowers agents and managers . It is the single point of truth that is equal for everyone , regardless of their pay , skill , experience , tenure , or workload . It always knows who ’ s working hard and who ’ s hardly working , whether remote or onsite . And it tells you precisely how much a problem or opportunity costs , in advance .
We call this financial clarity .
I ’ ve seen contact center leaders ask their CFO or COO where they should save money . That ’ s a slippery slope because most execs don ’ t understand contact centers . And sooner or later , they ’ ll ask for something the contact center can ’ t deliver .
Now contact centers base performance on various metrics : CSAT , adherence , handle time , etc . And all these metrics create a complex picture full of false positives and negatives . But , by translating each metric into its exact dollar amount , managers have an instantly understood and trusted comparison of every aspect of their operation .
Let me give you a real-world example of how much easier it is when work is translated into money . We had a client using speech analytics who identified an opportunity to reduce handle time by 30 seconds in one queue – but they needed IT support . The CIO wasn ’ t interested because the contact center could not prove an ROI like other lines of business he supported . With financial clarity , the contact center proved the 30 seconds amounted to $ 500,000 . The CIO approved a $ 50,000 fix that saved 32 seconds , generating a proven 900 % return the C-suite loved .
Financial clarity changes the conversation because it enables contact center leaders to speak the financial language fluently . A single point of truth that explains how efficiently people are working , regardless of skill , experience , workload , salary , team size , or the many measures I mentioned earlier .
Leaders can now accurately forecast the financial impacts of their decisions – down to the cent .
Contact centers are complex , with many measures and opinions on how to manage them . Two keystone indicators are turnover and spending . High turnover and / or high spending indicates a problem . In my experience , it ’ s the measures contact centers rely upon . And because agents can ’ t control the measures they ’ re measured on , they grow demoralized and leave . This turnover forces managers to spend heavily on proficiency lag .
Financial clarity solves turnover and retention and puts an agent ’ s success or failure in their own hands . Why ? Because financial clarity doesn ’ t care how long an agent has worked at their contact center , how much they ’ re paid , or any other metric . It cares about how much of an agent ’ s salary was put toward engagement , and how efficiently they used the money .
Let ’ s say you take 100 agents . They have varying salaries . They handle different queues and volumes of contacts every period , and have varying levels of experience . In real-time , who is working hard and hardly working ? Where might help be needed , and what would that help entail ?
Financial clarity focuses on a single metric that is within the control of every agent and manager , measuring their performance equally . It reveals exactly where agents are struggling and where they ’ re performing well .
Everybody talks about agent empowerment , but nobody gets down to the heart of the matter — making it work . For the first time , you have the power to truly empower your workforce .
The long-term sustainable benefits from financial clarity are far-reaching — reduced turnover , greatly improved ROI , reduced spending , higher engagement , and better customer experience .
A client came on board just before the pandemic , and we reported that just $ 0.38 of every dollar was going to engagement . The C-suite was watching – and wanted to make serious changes .
We partnered with contact center and IT leadership , and even with the pandemic and sending agents to work from home , they increased engagement spending to $ 0.71 of every dollar paid to agents – nearly a 100 % increase . Not to mention , CSAT runs a consistent 92 %, hold and wrap-up times are each less than 10 seconds , and turnover is less than 20 %.
The same contact center team now enjoys renewed relations with the C-suite !
The bottom line is that most US contact centers spend less than 50 % of their budget on engagement , which should be near 70 %. Through this financial lens , contact centers can better understand how performance frustratingly falls short of expectations .
We have a new report that explains these concepts better . Go to https :// wiserowl . com / research / to read it .
Robert Bradshaw is Founder / President of WiserOwl . With 30 + years in marketing , business development , and sales roles in startup and Fortune 100 firms . Contact center experience includes companies in healthcare , health / property & casualty / life insurance , airlines , retail , and electric utilities .