One call center metric you probably want to be paying attention to is abandon rates. Abandon rate is the percentage of calls that hang up before an agent could take the call (and did not get a busy signal).
As officials of call center software vendor Monet Software say, this can mean a few things, but probably most likely is that it could be a measure of customer satisfaction -- “If customers hang up a lot, they might not like the speed of service.”
Company officials note that the longer it takes to answer a call, the higher are abandon rates. Okay, stands to reason. This is in distinction to people who might have called your call center by dialing a wrong number, they generally hang up when they notice it, by the first 10 seconds or so.
And high abandon rates can be a problem beyond just not looking good -- they can inflate future call volumes (2nd, 3rd try of same caller), resulting in even higher rates.
A couple months ago TMC reported that according to officials of ProtoCall One, 27 percent of contact centers surveyed recently said their contact center is using Net Promoter Score (NPS) to measure agent performance.
Read more here.
Have you noticed that call center configurations are increasingly complex, what with multiple locations and time zones, more demanding customer interactions, and new communication channels?
So has call center vendor Monet Software. In a recent blog post, company officials say the complexity “can make it more difficult to manage shrinkage. You cannot any longer manage the shrinkage in today’s complex centers just by standing up and looking out across your center or using a manual/spreadsheet based approach.”
Indeed. If you’ve been reduced to such dire straits, Monet feels your pain. In fact, they can probably put their finger on some other challenges your call center needs to overcome:
Distributed call centers and home agents make it more difficult to manage and track breaks, attendance, exceptions and the like. Multiple communication channels -- phone, email, chat, social media -- make it more difficult to manage shrinkage without appropriate tools to forecast, schedule and track adherence for each channel.
And some call centers have no effective way to forecast and schedule non-call activities such as breaks, meetings, unplanned discussions. Of course this results in shrinkage too.
Read more here.
If it’s true, as call center vendor Monet Software officials say, that many companies underestimate the sheer volume of shrinkage, are there any good ways to reduce shrinkage?
Don’t wash woolens in hot water (rimshot).
They would say that yes, you can, and in a recent blog post they offer some thoughts on how to reduce shrinkage.
It’s possible, they say, to increase forecast and schedule accuracy by including all activities into your schedule. Not just call time and after work related to calls, but the whole shebang -- outbound if triggered by inbound calls, chat (if important to your business), breaks and lunch, training, absenteeism, meetings, admin and research work, correspondence, emails, outbound calls and other unproductive time.
Monet also recommends you monitor schedule adherence and work with your agents to improve over time -- monitor in real-time and run reports and share with the call center team. Needless to say, they have some nice tools that can help with that.
Read more here.
At the recent Interop Vegas 2011 show, TMC’s CEO, Rich Tehrani, interviewed Darryl Brown, Telx’s director of Cloud, SaaS and Media.
Last month TMC’s Carrie Schmelkin reported that Telx, an interconnection and data center provider in North American markets and a Global Convergence Solutions partner, welcomed DukeNet Communications to its Telx Ethernet Exchange. DukeNet Communications, a North-Carolina based fiber optic telecommunications provider, hopes to make the process of interconnecting with service providers on a one-to-many basis more efficient and simpler by using the Ethernet Exchange service.
The company focuses on carrier interconnectivity. As Brown explained, with the evolution of cloud, “we’re seeing the need for cloud providers to gain extensive connectivity.” He said the company is moving out of being a traditional carrier hotel to more of a cloud connection center.
In fact the company has recently unveiled its Cloud Connection Centers, according to Brown, and announced that SoftLayer Technologies has joined the Telx cloudXchange.
The idea behind Telx Cloud Connection Centers, according to Schmelkin, is to help cloud service providers like SoftLayer and their enterprise end users securely connect their infrastructures by relying on Service Level Agreements to guarantee Infrastructure as a Service and application uptime.
Read more here.