Ventana Research’s benchmark research into agent performance management shows that most companies recognize the vital role contact center agents play in creating good customer experiences and thus good business outcomes. The research also shows that only the most mature companies have put in place processes and metrics that encourage behaviors that deliver such business outcomes. Furthermore, the research shows that companies are held back from adopting more customer-related metrics because they don’t have performance management tools that can help them create such metrics; instead most rely heavily on spreadsheets. Thus I was encouraged to hear during a recent roundtable discussion sponsored by Merced Systems from two customers that have used the Merced Performance Suite to institute a more rigorous, metrics-driven approach to improving agent performance.
Topics: Call Center, Cloud Computing, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Feedback Management, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Customer Service, Desktop Analytics, Merced Systems, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Predictive Analytics, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Voice of the Customer, Workforce Management, Customer Experience, Analytics
Merced Systems provides software to support performance management in both sales and service. Its products extract data from various systems to produce business-related reports, dashboards, scorecards and analysis that help companies improve performance in these two key functions. To further its efforts, Merced recently invited around 100 partners, customers and prospects to its 360 Degree Performance Management Forum in London. As well as the usual presentations and demonstrations to convey its messages, successes and strategy, the customer presentations provided practical insights into how companies use these products to gain real business benefits. Since my colleague covered Merced’s U.S. event in depth on applications and technology, I will assess one of the customer presentations in more depth.
In my recent vendor-specific research called Value Index for Agent Performance Management (APM), I took a different view of what customer service organizations operating contact centers need for APM than most industry observers do. Some equate APM with workforce optimization and so include call recording, quality monitoring, workforce management, training and analytics in it; others take a narrower view and focus only on agent-focused analytics and performance management. I believe that in addition to these capabilities, companies should include call routing, coaching and compensation management. Call routing fits here because which agent handles a call has a major influence on its outcome; coaching is equally important to maximize outcomes and includes one-on-one sessions as well as more formal training sessions. I include compensation management in APM because my research shows that agents, like other workers, are strongly influenced in their performance by the kind of metrics they are judged by.