Next Generation KPI's

Omer Demir

CallCenterKPIs" is an attractive subject to write and discuss over. Every other day you may easily find a new article on Call Center forums and magazines like "How to Set Your KPIs", "Which KPIs You Need to Follow up for Your Call Center", "Are You Ready to Measure?" And of course most of the call center events contain a session for KPIs.

I can hear you saying "Is this article another KPI thing?" The answer is "yes," but not the way you think!

We are all on a journey with our customers where destination is unconditional customer satisfaction. Our first station was "customer care", then "customer relations" and now we are leaving the "customer experience" for the next stop. Every other day we raise the bar from "fill the needs" to "feel the needs".

Call Centers measure KPIs and set monthly/annual targets to improve the service quality and lower their costs. In the early "Customer Care" years, we all measure a few metrics just like "answer rate", "call handling time" and "service level" (many thanks to A.K. Erlang). Then we met with First Call Resolution, back office service levels, outbound success rates and many more at "Customer Relations" step. Finally at the step of "Customer Experience", we are making surveys to measure Customer Satisfaction and Customer Needs to find a way of reaching the highest rate of satisfaction. And now we all (call center employees and managers) became genius persons to understand each other before we talk.

But something's changing. Companies need more things to do for their customers to keep them in hand, and make them happy. Surveys and market research are both well known formulas for asking questions to customers to determine potential. However, if you want to transform your customers into supporters, you need to listen to your customers rather than ask questions.

Most of the satisfaction surveys are composed of standard and biased questions. That is why you may sometimes miss certain needs of customers. For instance; customers want to talk with the same call center agent every time and most of them think this is impossible. If you have a sales team, customers (especially the corporate ones) want to see aligned sales and call center agents in front of them.

At TURKCELL Corporate Contact Center, we are providing "Private Agent" service to our Strategic and Major account customers. Whenever an authorized person of the company calls the call center (or sends email/fax) during business hours, all of his/her requests replied by the same agent end up benefiting the company. If the portfolio owner at TURKCELL (sales agent) needs support, the same private agent takes care of the call. They both know each other and stay aligned with the customer, which concludes in less misunderstandings and no more repetitive information. If a private agent needs support from the back office, he/she is always in touch with the same Back Office Agent, which results in no more follow ups.

So we have a new KPI to measure if the customers reached their private agent or not. "Reaching Rate" (# calls the company reached to Private Agent / # calls) is a next generation call center KPI that we are measuring for 3-4 years.

If you are a technology company, you know that reaching the satisfied first call resolution rate is a challenge. Sometimes your customers need to try something on their handsets, then call you back, or they need to make another call for further info. They then call the customer back when ready. They mostly talk with different agents, and re-ask their questions. But if your company has the right technology to forward that customer to the previous agent, this problem can be resolved. Then you may meet with other KPI’s.

We certainly have the opportunities and technologies to measure new metrics and create more satisfied customers