May 22, 2014
For companies outsourcing their call center services function to a third-party vendor, it’s essential to have an open window into the program and service quality being delivered.
There are many ways to keep the the call center services window open, and one of the most important is detailed and frequent reports that capture all interactions – be it inbound call center customer service or outbound call center B2B lead generation and appointment setting. These reports should let you, the client, slice, dice and analyze the resulting data any way you wish.
Reports should encompass not only the outcome of every voice interaction but also live chat and email response communications.
The basis of good outsourced call center reporting is having a flexible call center software system that allows reports to match program KPIs and SLAs, developed at the outset of the partnership with your vendor, against the call center’s performance. A comprehensive list of the SLAs can include performance measurements you care most about, such as average talk time (ATT), average handle time (AHT), average pick-up time, abandonment rate, first call resolution and so on. You need to determine if your vendor can report on all of them. If not, it may be a good idea to look for another call center services provider.
Reporting frequency is another important issue. Tracking reports should be issued to you as often as you want: monthly, weekly, daily or hourly.
A real-time dashboard is also very useful, particularly during periods of high customer service call volume, when the quality of service provided by your call center is particularly challenging and critically important.
Reports without review lose value. Another important element of your program onboarding process is to establish regular conferences with your call center services provider – their operations team and with your account manager – to review reports to ensure that the vendor is performing up to the standards you require.
Reports go beyond quality assurance measurement. They also are a critical tool for staff resource planning. Reports reveal call volume fluctuations during particular weeks and months of the year and enable you and your outsourced call center provider to assign the right number of customer service call center representatives to your team enabling quality support with minimized idle resources.
For special reporting needs, your call center provider also should be able to provide custom or ad hoc reporting bringing together any combination of performance metrics versus KPIs and SLAs that need.
Outsourced call center operations need to be, if anything, more measurable, accountable and transparent than in-house call center operations. It’s the only way the client can build trust and confidence in the call center services vendor. And along with such techniques as live listening and access to recorded calls, detailed frequent reports are the best way to deliver on accountability.
Mark Fichera, CEO