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Contact Center Metrics That Matter, Part Three: Omnichannel

As contact centers evolve and priorities shift, metrics for measuring success sometimes lag behind innovation. Such is the case with multichannel and omnichannel monitoring.  Our “Metrics That Matter” miniseries concludes by showcasing how contact center leaders can measure the effectiveness of the various communication channels they use.

Let’s begin by talking about where your contact center should be in the context of metric evolution. At this point, you have most likely moved beyond traditional key performance indicators (KPIs)—such as average wait and handle times, as well as abandon rate—since they aren’t sufficient to provide a clear picture of contact center performance (e.g., an agent’s handle time may be high because he took the extra time to resolve an issue to the customer’s complete satisfaction).

More qualitative metrics have come into play to better understand the customer experience (CX) that contact centers provide. These include Net Promoter Score (NPS), Transactional NPS (tNPS) and Customer Effort Score, among others.  Using these metrics to measure your business has its rewards— especially for your brand’s customer service experiences!

Beyond that, it’s time to measure performance across voice and non-voice channels, as well as self-service channels in your organization. If you are not doing this currently; you’re not alone. But to keep your business strong, it’s vital that you pay attention to and evaluate interactions occurring in these channels (e.g., voice, email, chat, social media and SMS/text).

Here is how some of today’s leading-edge contact centers are beginning to measure quality within non-voice channels:

  • Start with what is familiar. Measure the same things in text-based channels as you do in voice (e.g., average handle time, first contact resolution and customer satisfaction).
  • Then expand. Include metrics that do not make sense in voice, such as the number of simultaneous conversations an agent can manage.
  • Monitor customer time in motion. How long does it take to pass between channels, and how long does the customer spend across all channels combined? You’re basically measuring customer frustration here, which will undermine your business’s growth if left unchecked. The goal here is to reduce the number of times channels are jumped to resolve an issue or accomplish a goal.
  • Track channel abandonment. Tap into call logs to gain insights on why transfers are occurring. This will help you determine whether your customers are choosing channels out of necessity or preference. You want it to be the latter. Today, it’s the former, with 61 percent of customers interacting with a company on more than one channel to resolve an issue. When you track the customer’s journey across channels, you learn which channels help customers reach resolution and which do not. This data will help you modify processes to improve the CX.
  • Align agent skills with channels. Start with adjusting your IVR queues so that customers are directed to the agents best trained to resolve their issues on each channel. In that regard, only add one new channel at a time to ensure a consistent CX. Educate agents so they develop more skills to handle a broader range of questions. Make sure agents have customer information at their fingertips so that customers don’t have to repeat themselves between agents and/or channels. Monitor the time customers must spend explaining their needs to measure the effectiveness of your agent-channel alignment.

To win at omnichannel customer service, start by measuring the CX, and then use the data collected to inform your strategy over time. Also consider launching a quality assurance program that includes evaluating agent performance in every channel you use to interact with customers. At InfoCision, we rely on our 3-tier Quality Assurance program to ensure our Communicators are delivering the highest quality calls. Does your contact center measure your omnichannel performance? Comment below and share your experiences with me!

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.

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