With the advent of digital platforms, call center metrics have become a key component of success. But not everything you’ve read about tracking metrics is true.
Call center metrics don’t have a lot in common with the legend of Bigfoot. Sure, metrics and Bigfoot may both scare you, and they may both be topics of conversation in some academic circles, but beyond that? Not much. Except for one very important thing: myths. Like Bigfoot, there are a lot of myths and legends around call center metrics, and many of them are not remotely true.
It’s unlikely that you’ll suffer much whether or not you believe in Bigfoot. Believing myths about metrics, on the other hand, could leave you without some of the valuable information and data you need to succeed in business. In particular, there is a myth that suggests call centers are a dying breed in the first place and that tracking metrics is, among other things, a waste of time.
The reality, though, is that call centers are alive and well. Here are some thoughts on why this data is so crucial for the success of your business.
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5 Myths about call center metrics that you can ignore
1. Call centers are destined to fail, with or without metrics
Again, the biggest myth out there is that call centers are an antiquated way of doing business. However, The Brevet Group recently reported that 92% of all customer interactions happen over the phone. That means call centers continue to play a pivotal role in sales and customer service.
For this reason, call center metrics are critical to measuring the success of your team and business, as well as the satisfaction of customers. In short, don’t listen to the naysayers. Call centers aren’t going anywhere for a long time, especially as more and more people succumb to digital burnout and reassociate themselves with a tried and true method of human interaction—the telephone.
2. Metrics aren’t accurate
Others may contend that call center metrics aren’t accurate enough to draw business conclusions from them. For example, a sales representative may appear to be doing a great job based on some simple metrics, such as whether or not they used a client’s name during a call, when in actuality, the representative may be underperforming on everything except closing deals. (If they’re underperforming on closed deals, the rest of these metrics become a bit moot.)
While it’s true that call metrics can’t tell you the whole story, they can tell you a lot more than you might think. You can collect data on the number of appointments a sales rep makes or the number of closed sales in relation to time on the phone with a client. These numbers can prove to be invaluable when you’re trying to sort out what’s working within your call center and what isn’t. The metrics themselves are generally accurate; the story they tell, on the other hand, is a different beast.
3. Metrics don’t offer helpful information
As we mentioned, call center metrics are part of a more considerable challenge: telling the story of a buying/selling experience. The numbers you can collect about various KPIs and customer interactions are helpful, in that they can help complete a story.
Successfully using metrics means taking the data that you record, looking at all of it together, and putting together a narrative that will help you determine the state of employee performance, the customer experience, and more. For example, you may want to look at how often prospects return calls when you leave them a message or which script performs better for upselling new products to current customers. Think about it like this: if you’re looking at a basketball team’s statistics, examining average points per game for individual players doesn’t necessarily impact the team’s win/loss record. It does, however, let you know who’s scoring and who isn’t. You have to look at the statistics together to get a bigger picture.
4. Good managers don’t need metrics
Good managers can thrive with our without metrics; it’s true. But good managers can be even better and help their team more when they have data to back up their assumptions. You can’t determine the effectiveness of a single worker on metrics alone, and metrics may not tell you exactly where your employees need to improve to meet their targets.
We’re back to the story idea. Metrics can alert you to potential issues and personnel problems that you can help with. If an employee is underperforming, take the time to find out why. If it’s a personal issue, for example, a good manager can help with support or strategies that can help a sales person get back to where they want to be.
5. As long as the metrics are good, I don’t have to worry about performance
This is the old idea that winning is everything and it doesn’t matter how you reach the finish line, as long as you’re there first. This approach might work, but it won’t work long-term. Good metrics can’t replace regular customer outreach from real live salespeople. Your customer satisfaction metrics may indicate that you’ve got an overall happy customer population, but compare that to something like, say, number of repeat customers, and you may find a different story unfolding. Microsoft’s 2018 State of Global Customer Service Report states that 61% of consumers have stopped interacting with a business after a poor customer service experience. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your sales representative didn’t close the deal. Many customers still make a purchase after a challenging experience; most of them, however, won’t come back in the future.
That same report also indicates that 70% of global consumers prefer brands that proactively reach out to them. Doing so relies on talented sales representatives who truly care about their customers and their needs. Metrics can help a sales representative develop a strategy and understand how to approach any given call. Still, they can’t replace the rapport built through regular, ongoing customer outreach.
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