It’s really easy to lose yourself in gut feeling or intuition, and it’s also really easy to follow patterns that aren’t really there.
In business, we’re taught to trust the numbers, and not make decisions based on those gut feelings, but do you know which numbers you should be using to make these critical decisions? And more importantly, do you have access to these numbers/can you report on these numbers?
The following is a list of statistics/reports that we feel are critical for optimizing performance of your contact center and reservations team.
When we talk about running a contact center, one of the most important aspects to running a smooth operation is ensuring efficiency in your business model. In the contact center this term is known as occupancy level.
Now, when we think about occupancy level on the lodging side of the business, we’re referring to how many of the rooms have been booked in a given period time (usually on a nightly basis), asking the question: Is your hotel full?
In the contact center world, occupancy really means what percentage of the time are you paying people that they’re actively engaged in profitable activity? For example, if you’re sitting at a 30% occupancy level, that means 70% of the time you’re paying people to twiddle their thumbs, waiting for the next call to come in.
However, occupancy rate isn’t the only metric by which you should be judging the performance of your contact center.
In fact, many industry experts believe occupancy as a standalone statistic is a better predictor of agent burn out as it is difficult, if not impossible, to keep an occupancy level of 100% for all agents. (Consider an occupancy of 85% means only 9 minutes between calls in a given hour — this doesn’t leave a lot of time to compose one’s thoughts to take a breath between calls).
This makes it key to identify how to set your staffing levels to ensure that your occupancy level stays high, and your contact center is operating at a high efficiency level.
While occupancy is key in contact center operations, Abandonment Rate is a number that can kill the overall perspective guests have of your property. The gold standard for abandonment rates in contact centers is 5-8%, but the lower you can keep this number, the better impression you’ll be leaving on guests and prospects alike.
The figure below from MetricNet shows the relationship between customer satisfaction and call abandonment rates.for a representative cross-section of North American service desks:
You can see that at low abandonment rates, the relationship between customer satisfaction and abandonment rates is almost flat, meaning that at these levels (0-8%), the abandonment rates has very little impact on customer satisfaction levels.
After the abandonment rate increases above this 8% threshold, we begin to see a significant (and negative) impact on customer satisfaction levels.
Average Speed of Answer
One of the contributing factors to abandonment rate is the Average Speed of Answer. In other words, how long are your travelers in your call queue before they’re being responded to by your agents?
In addition to contributing to abandonment rate, Average Speed of Answer can also contribute to increased handle times as guests may spend more time on the call complaining about the poor service they feel they’ve received in waiting.
These frustrated callers are also less likely to have an issue resolved on the first call and may require a transfer, call back, or additional efforts on the part of the guest or the agent to resolve the situation and improve the customer relationship.
Average Speed of Answer, combined with percentage of calls answered within a given standard of time, rolls right into our next key indicator.
Service level is the percentage of calls answered within a specific number of seconds. This is typically displayed in real-time to allow managers to make data-driven decisions that keep this KPI within an acceptable range.
A widely panned SL (Service Level) within the contact center industry has been the 80/20 rule, signifying the following relationship with guests:
- 80 Percent of Calls Answered by Agents
- 20 Seconds Average Speed of Answer
Based on your number of agents and call volume, you’ll be able to set attainable goals to help measure the performance of your contact center. Be sure to measure and report on these numbers so that your agents know how they are performing against your KPIs.
Agent Turnover Rate
This isn’t exactly an enjoyable indicator to dig into, but it can give significant insights into how your contact center is truly performing. This statistic is the calculated as the percentage of agents who leave the contact center to work elsewhere.
Agent turnover rate can have a significant impact on customer satisfaction, contact center scheduling, and most importantly team morale. If you’re seeing an increase in your agent turnover rate, it’s important to determine what’s causing the increase. Here are a couple of questions to consider:
- Is there an increase in stress in dealing with customers?
- Are agents receiving the right training to do their jobs effectively?
- Is the work environment to strict/loose?
- Are the agents frustrated with an outdated software system?
- Are the customers being routed to the right agents to meet their needs?
- Are high-performing agents being recognized/rewarded?
Even for companies that have an amazing employee experience program in place, your contact center probably experiences high agent turnover, but knowing why this is happening will help to address these issues in hopes that you can reduce this number in the long run.