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Improving Contact Center ROI

May 13, 2008
To achieve high levels of contact center ROI, certain performance metrics should reveal positive figures. In the same way, the performance metrics selected should provide a link between where a company is at present and where it wants to be in the future.

A contact center, also called a call center, is an office that is especially organized and created for transmitting and receiving large volumes of telephone requests. Inbound call centers are usually hired by companies to provide product support and answer information inquiries posed by their consumers. Outgoing call centers, on the other hand, are usually tasked to do telemarketing, customer acquisition, and debt collection tasks. To measure call center performance, such factors as proficiency level, quality control, and customer service are continuously monitored through a special computer technology or software. Most of these technologies apply the concepts of workforce management, quality monitoring, and queue management. Moreover, these special call center software applications combine historical call center information with projected need to be able to address current staffing needs.

It is not enough to measure the success of call centers by getting data like the number of calls handled per agents and average handling time. It is also important to determine the Return of Investment of call centers by subtracting the revenue from dissatisfied customers from the revenue collected from satisfied customers. The difference is then divided to the total cost of operating a call center. Call center ROI is considered to be a very effective call center metric because it can be drastically affected by the number of dissatisfied customers. Given the relationship between customer satisfaction and call center ROI, it can be concluded that the former is critical success factor for any call center. In response to this fact, several call centers use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution to assist them in assessing their success rates and to help them identify areas for improvement. In addition, this technology determines whether proper forecasting, adhering, and scheduling are done to meet the service level requirement of a call center.

Certain call center metrics or performance indicators are also often used for call centers to be able to assess their performance. Unfortunately, many call centers use unnecessary metrics as bases for their success. Industry experts recommend that metrics should be linked or associated with the call center's overall objectives and strategies. Moreover, these metrics should be measures of efficiency, as efficiency is a primary concern for call centers. After all, an efficient company is able to have more work done in a short period of time. However, call centers should not focus too much on efficiency, as it may also curtail customer satisfaction. Agents would no longer care so much if they were able to assist the customers with their needs as long as they were able to keep the calls short. Customer satisfaction should also be given importance and should be regularly assessed through quality assurance call monitoring or customer service. With high customer satisfaction levels, high levels of contact center ROI follows.
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