On Demand Demos
contact center productivity

Today’s consumers are impatient. They’ve been conditioned to expect fast, effortless service, whether they’re interacting with an enterprise company with a million resources or a mom-and-pop shop — or anything in between. And as the consumer, that’s a really great thing. But from the company’s perspective, it means your contact center productivity and efficiency becomes the linchpin of your brand’s success.

In a day where you can order a new water bottle at noon and then have it before your post-work yoga session, businesses across the board are being asked to do more in less time. In fact, 67% of customers say they want service to be even faster than it already is. Which means, if limiting customer churn is a strategic initiative for your company, it’s no longer acceptable to make the customer wait hours or days for a resolution.

Contact center productivity is essential to delivering a quality customer experience. But it starts with your people and their performance. Let’s dig into what agent productivity means to your contact center.

Agents Drive Your Contact Center Productivity

How efficient are your agents? How quickly can they resolve a customer issue? Can they do it without any transfers or escalations? Contact center productivity relies heavily on your agents.

In addition, you should account for how customers experience your service. Maybe an agent has a high handle time because they actually listen to the customer’s frustrations. As a result, the customer is highly impressed with their service quality and gives you a high score on the NPS survey. This kind of service should also be seen as “productive.”

Ultimately, the more efficient and effective your agents are, the more they’ll affect your customer experience, operating costs, and revenue. For instance, customers who have excellent service experiences are more than twice as likely to buy again. What’s more, 80% of customers who are satisfied with the experience a brand serves up say they’ll spend more on a purchase.

There are a lot of factors that influence effectiveness. Some of it involves agent’s abilities, but with widespread inefficiencies, agents are less likely to thrive in their job. Some of the most common causes of low agent productivity in a contact center are:

  • Outdated technology
  • Inadequate agent staffing levels
  • Poor training and onboarding
  • Inefficient processes and workflows
  • Poor management and leadership
  • Unsupportive workplace culture
  • Poor communication and collaboration
  • Low engagement and employee morale

To sufficiently address these areas of contact center productivity, you must identify inefficiencies, locate training gaps, and track low engagement. This is done by measuring your contact center productivity using performance metrics.

Measuring Your Contact Center Productivity

Customers can really hold a grudge if they have a poor experience with your company. One survey found that 65% of customers have changed brands because of a negative customer service experience. And 67% of customers have told others about a bad experience, leading to a ripple effect impact on revenue.

There’s good news, though. Positive service experiences impact your ROI, too. In fact, Salesforce found that 78% of customers will do business with a company that has excellent service, even after a mistake.  But when you get a service experience right, you’ll see the ROI. The effectiveness of your agents can make all the difference. Determining that effectiveness starts by measuring your success with metrics.

Here are the top three metrics you should track to understand your contact center productivity.

1. Average Handle Time (AHT)

Your AHT is the total amount of time an agent spends on a call, including talk and hold times and after-call work. Remember: customers value speed. So, when agents can accomplish more in the shortest amount of time, your customers will be happier. AHT helps evaluate an agent’s effectiveness in resolving customer issues promptly.

2. First Contact Resolution (FCR)

FCR is the percentage of customer issues resolved during the initial contact without needing follow-up interactions. Customers want to be able to reach out once and get a resolution. No one wants it to drag on or take multiple attempts. Your FCR indicates your agents’ ability to address customer concerns effectively, reducing the number of repeat interactions and improving customer satisfaction.

3. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score

Measure your CSAT scores using a survey to understand how your customers feel about interacting with your agents. CSAT provides direct feedback from customers, reflecting their level of satisfaction with the service received. There’s a critical balance between maintaining speed and keeping customers satisfied. If an agent has a long handle time but the customer gives them a high score on the CSAT survey, they’re still productive.

Want a more in-depth look at the metrics you should be tracking? Check out this blog post.

Tips for Improving Your Contact Center Productivity

Tip #1: Clean Up Your IVR and Call Routing

Call routing directs customers to the best possible agent based on the queue, skills, and time of day to allow for quick FCR and a short AHT. When calls go to the wrong agent, it leads to an increased workload for the agents who can’t help the caller as they’re left to search for answers or escalate the interaction. To boost your center’s productivity, track and clean up your IVR menu. Or invest in smart routing technology and skills-based routing to ensure customers reach the best-fit agent. You can also customize your call queue to respond to real-time spikes in call volume.

Tip #2: Implement Continuous Monitoring and Training

Continuous training significantly impacts long-term agent retention, productivity, customer satisfaction, and loyalty. When agents can’t find the right information, it wastes valuable time. If they feel stuck during an interaction, it negatively impacts productivity.

You can provide better training with call monitoring. Coach agents on interactions in real-time, listen to call recordings, and review transcripts to assess the quality of agent performance. By pairing metrics with call recordings, you can coach agents in specific areas or send them tips using WFM tools to support them as they work.

Tip #3: Give Agents the Right Tools

Your tools and technology are the gears in your productivity machine, while your agents are the fuel. To make sure the machine operates smoothly, your agents must have the right tools. When your software is slow, hard to use, and disconnected, your agents (and your customers) have a clunky experience. Invest in an intuitive and efficient omnichannel contact center solution to boost your productivity.

Look for areas to automate operational processes and find a platform that offers robust, end-to-end reporting so you can target performance.

Need a place to start? Our GoContact contact center platform offers all of this (plus some) to support your operations.

Interested in learning more about our contact center software? Schedule a demo with one of our consultants.

Be brilliant about the way you connect.

Our team loves to talk. Let’s chat about the VoIP solution that’s right for your business.

Related articles