Call Center Performance Evaluation Best Practices

Individuals employed in the call center industry require two things to be successful – knowledge and excellent customer service skills. When these two entities combine, that is when the magic truly happens; that is when the customers sitting on the other end of the phone have a smile on their faces, when they have received all they hoped for on that call. While company management may do their best to evaluate each individual without bias, there are questions that surround this. Are there really no biases coming into play when that manager has certainly built relationships with their employees, for better or worse? Does the manager have time to really put in the effort to do that type of analysis on all employees? And is there a documented way that is consistently used to evaluate each employee’s performance? Because many times these three questions cannot be satisfied positively, outsourcing call center performance is the preferred method of many firms. Through outsourcing, companies can obtain a true assessment of strengths and weaknesses of their employees, and in the end the improvements made as a result of the evaluation ensure that their customers receive exemplary service.

Analyze the Focus of the Project
The first step when an outsourcing firm is hired to analyze a call center is to discuss with the target company’s management what they are looking for from each agent. It is a time when potential customer interaction issues are discussed and can be outlined. It also is a time to consider what is supposed to take place on each and every phone call. Does each agent have to answer the phone a certain way? Must they try to sell a particular service on each call? Are they friendly and knowledgeable? And the list goes on based on the needs of the client. In addition, a plan will be put in place regarding time-frame and number of call center representatives to be evaluated.

The Analysis Begins
After all of the appropriate questions are put in a place, a group of professionals call into the call center armed with a questionnaire, once again, specific to that organization. These individuals go through a series of questions, as well as employ techniques that will elicit what is needed from the call center representative. If there is a script that should be followed this can be noted, as well as any other areas that must be covered on the call. Listening skills, ability to answer questions and overall score are noted.

Professional Summary
Following the call evaluations, when documentation is in place, a summary is written up for the client. This takes into account the findings from these calls. Any specific concerns are addressed as well as any areas where the representatives shined. This summary includes recommendations for improvement that can be implemented by company management ASAP to help bring that call center to the desired level of excellence.

Call Center Productivity & Employee Performance
Through this method of outsourcing, the ultimate goal is for call center productivity to increase by means of enhanced employee performance. This improvement is a natural byproduct of the project, as management works with each employee, based on feedback, to build required skills. With increased employee performance comes a rise in call center productivity.

Customer Satisfaction & Increased Sales
The ultimate goal of any outsourced call center project is to increase customer satisfaction. Without happy customers a business is doomed. Through the use of the questionnaire and the analysis of each employee’s performance, customer satisfaction is also measured as the professionals calling in can assess if they themselves would be satisfied with the interaction with that particular call center representative. When customers are satisfied, sales increase as those customers will not only continue their allegiance but also share their experiences with their friends and family.

The goal of any call center to provide their customers with exemplary service by means of knowledgeable and pleasant representatives. To ensure that this is in fact the provided service, evaluation is necessary through the use of an outside firm to avoid bias and to ensure that the time is in fact devoted to this process. A proper evaluation includes determining what points are crucial on each and every call, developing a questionnaire with relevant areas that can be documented, and a group of professionals making calls into the call center on an anonymous basis so “real” interactions can be observed. After the evaluation takes place that information only becomes useful when it is conveyed in a format that is helpful to management through means of the documented calls themselves, as well as summary and recommendations. Following this process, the impetus falls on management to convey and follow-up to ensure that improvements, where necessary, are made. When all of this falls into place, through the means of an outsourced firm followed by management implementation, the level of customer satisfaction increases leading to the desired boost in sales.