Maximizing workforce performance is a constant concern for contact center management. It’s a priority that becomes even more challenging when overseeing a remote or hybrid workforce.
Table of contents
By Nick Morris, Senior Director of Data Analytics, LiveVox
Without direct visual observation, it can be difficult to identify agents who might be struggling or not applying their training or those who may be attempting to manipulate the system. However, with the right analytics tools and techniques, you can gain valuable insights into agent performance and proactively take steps to improve it.
Lay the groundwork with clear objectives
Before diving into analytics:
1. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish. Which specific areas of agent performance do you want to improve? Are you focusing on customer experience, script adherence, efficiency in using tools, or service quality? Starting with the end in mind will help you set realistic, reachable performance targets.
2. Once you’ve determined your objectives, consider what decisions you want to make based on the data. For example, when analyzing customer experience data, are you looking for training opportunities or better tools for your agents? This is an important decision-making step that will guide your overall strategy.
3. Next, ensure you have appropriate data at hand to make informed decisions. For a comprehensive understanding of your remote team’s performance, integrate various data sources such as customer information from the CRM, agent details, call data, customer intent, sentiment, and quality management data. This will help you identify patterns, trends, and areas for improvement.
Using a fully integrated solution like LiveVox’s Unified Analytics offers several advantages here. Not only is the data loaded, but the system also comes with pre-built key performance metrics. This means you don’t have to spend time creating formulas. You can access data points and performance insights right away.
Spotting trends, patterns, and anomalies in agent behavior and performance
When managing remote contact center agents, analytics tools become your eyes and ears for monitoring their performance and gaining a deeper insight into activities and behaviors.
In my last article, I explained that traditional call center KPIs provide only a partial view of remote agent performance. However, with unified analytics and the integration of multiple data sources, you gain a more holistic view. This includes not just call metrics like average handle time or first call resolution but also sentiment analysis, customer satisfaction scores, and agent adherence to schedules.
Importantly, analytics will help you identify patterns and outliers, enabling you to pinpoint top-performing agents and those facing challenges.
Let’s start with metrics like call duration, hold percentage, and silence percentage. When managing remote agents, you may want to look into these metrics more closely, as they can provide insight into efficiency and adherence. For instance, if an agent has a silence percentage higher than 2%, it could suggest they’re leaving the call open after the customer has hung up, possibly to avoid going back in the queue. This behavior can be a red flag for inefficiency or misuse of time.
Similarly, consider the average handle time for a call. If it’s typically around seven minutes, but an agent consistently logs calls that last 20 minutes, it could imply they aren’t transitioning back to the ready state quickly enough.
Hold percentage is another key metric. If an agent frequently puts customers on hold without any clear reason, it might indicate a lack of knowledge or efficiency.
Also, assess the agent state — are agents ready to take a call? If not, why not? What percentage of their time is spent in the ready state? Comparing an agent who spends 80% of their time in queue with one who spends only 40% can offer valuable insights into their efficiency levels.
The goal is to identify anomalies or outliers. These could be agents who consistently fall short in service quality, fail to adhere to standard procedures, or display metrics indicating a lack of effort or underperformance.
In essence, data becomes your ally when managing remote contact center agents. It helps you maintain transparency, ensure accountability, and drive performance — all critical elements in a remote work setup.
Identify opportunities for customers to self-serve
From a business standpoint, an additional layer to consider is identifying opportunities for customers to self-serve on routine transactions. This can significantly ramp up efficiency, reduce workload for your agents, and boost customer satisfaction.
Also, removing repetitive or mundane inquiries from the queue frees agents to handle more complex and interesting customer issues, which can lead to higher engagement and motivation levels among remote agents as their work becomes more intellectually stimulating and less routine.
The question is, how do you transform challenges into opportunities for growth?
Take, for instance, a typical customer request for password resets. By using speech analytics, you can generate a list of relevant keywords like “need to reset my password,” “my password doesn’t work,” or “I don’t know how to reset my password.” These keywords are associated with an intent called “password issues.”
Every single phone call is analyzed for these keywords. When phrases like “I need help with my password” or “I need my password reset” are detected, the call is tagged with the “password reset” intent. A unique feature in LiveVox’s SpeechIQ is that these intents can also be classified as self-serviceable to surface opportunities for automation or self-service quickly.
By running a report and analyzing your data, you can determine what percentage of your calls could have been handled through self-service options. This will help you understand why your customers aren’t using the self-service tools available to them. Are they unaware of the password reset tool on your website? Did they encounter difficulties while attempting to use it?
Leveraging your analytics insights allows you to enhance both the customer experience and agent efficiency. For instance, consider modifying your agent scripts to proactively inform callers about the self-service options available to them.
Self-service mining is an effective way to uncover gaps in your customer service strategy. You may have developed efficient tools for customers, but if they aren’t being used, you’re not maximizing their potential. More importantly, you’re using your valuable — and expensive — human staff for tasks customers could easily handle themselves.
Create clear, concise visualizations to deliver your message
Visual representations of performance metrics and customer feedback make it easier for your team to understand and make informed decisions. By creating clear, concise visualizations of data, you can effectively communicate performance trends, opportunities for improvement, or issues that may require immediate action.
Creating clear, concise visualizations to deliver your message is about understanding your audience and presenting the most pertinent data. In a contact center scenario, this means tailoring your visualizations for various levels of the organization.
For example, you might want to provide a comprehensive suite of trending information at the VP level. This could include overarching contact center metrics like average handle time, first-call resolution rates, or customer satisfaction scores. These visualizations should be easy to understand and allow the VP to quickly identify trends or issues.
On the other hand, supervisors and frontline agents need more specific, actionable data. A supervisor might benefit from a dashboard that shows performance metrics for each agent on their team. This can highlight who’s excelling and who may need additional support or training.
Agents, who are at the heart of your operation, should have access to personalized dashboards. They might see how they’re performing compared to their peers, how their team is doing compared to others, and how close they are to meeting their individual goals. By giving agents access to this data, they can self-monitor their performance and make necessary adjustments.
Unlike other, more expensive tools, LiveVox’s Unified Analytics enables the distribution of valuable data to all members of your contact center, not just the analytics team. This democratization of data ensures that everyone has access to the information they need to enhance performance and contribute to the success of the contact center and business.
Supercharge your contact center’s performance with LiveVox’s Unified Analytics. Ready to get started? Contact us today to learn more about our powerful analytics solutions.