Measuring Agent Effectiveness

June, 2014

To deliver the best value for the organisation and the highest satisfaction for customers, agents must be effective. But how do you gauge how effective they really are?

To deliver the best value for the organisation and the highest satisfaction for customers, agents must be effective. But how do you gauge how effective they really are? This goes beyond measuring how long they spend on the phone or on break. Effectiveness boils down to providing a polite, accurate and satisfying response as quickly as possible.

So how can you measure agent effectiveness? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Grade agent work
    Take a random sample of what agents are saying and grade them according to, for example, politeness, sticking to the script, accuracy of information provided, responsiveness to customer needs and desires, etc. In order to grade, supervisors must either monitor activity as it happens or review after the fact.
    • Monitor in real-time
      Facilities exist for both listening in to voice conversations and reading text as it is typed. Voice monitoring has the added benefit of being able to boost effectiveness by coaching the agent as needed. With text, coaching is not so easy. Instant messages could be sent, but the effect is not as instant as with voice.
    • Review after the fact
      Similar to real-time monitoring, but without the possibility of coaching. Text has the added benefit of being able to search for particular words or phrases that indicate good or bad behaviours.

But ultimately, monitoring and review can gauge performance only according to management criteria. The best judges of agent effectiveness are the people they have been speaking to, so shouldn’t we ask them?

  1. Ask the consumer
    Two common ways of getting consumer feedback are the agent sign-off and the post-interaction survey, but both have their drawbacks.
    • Agent sign-off
      “Is there anything else I can help you with?” If the answer is ‘No’, it doesn’t always mean customer satisfaction, or effective agent behaviour. A consumer who has been frustrated in getting an issue resolved may well say ‘No’, just to end the conversation.
    • Post interaction survey
      This may give a fuller picture of satisfaction, but it is hard to design well and is usually only completed by those who feel strongly one way or the other. An unhappy customer would most likely just disappear off the radar.

So, if asking the consumer does not always help, what else could we do?

  1. Monitor what happens next
    Monitoring what a customer does next gives a wider view of customer engagement and a strong indication of agent effectiveness. The customer may buy (positive response), contact again, or complain (negative response). But the monitoring of all possible outcomes needs some joined up thinking with other departments – sales, fulfilment, etc – and must be tracked across all contact points – phone, email, chat, white mail, social media, etc.
    • Buy
      A continuing business relationship is one of the best indicators of effective interaction.
    • Contact again
      Does the customer contact you again in a short space of time? – maybe hours or days, depending on the nature of your business. If an interaction marked as ‘resolved’ results in further contact, then the previous contact was not as effective as first thought. This becomes a further way of monitoring first contact resolution.
    • Complain
      Does the customer post any response to social media? As with the post-interaction survey, this is only likely if the interaction was particularly good or bad.

Agent effectiveness is elusive to measure, but crucial to achieving the goal of customer satisfaction and retention. And tracking it is probably one of the most important things you could do in your business!

What We Offer

Sytel Limited develops and supplies Softdial Contact Center® (SCC), offering multimedia, multichannel, fully blended cloud contact center solutions, for quick and easy deployment by partners offering CCaaS or enterprise users. All Sytel cloud components are secure, resilient and scale seamlessly from 10 agents to 10,000+, whether local, mobile or remote.

  • Flexible Contact Center Platform

    Softdial Contact Center™ – tightly integrated modules, designed to deliver at scale

  • Blended Media Desktop

    Fully customisable, multi-channel, multi-session workspace

  • Work Anywhere

    Browser-based tools, no software installation required

  • Cloud Or On-Premise, Multi-Tenant

    Scalable, resilient, secure, proven

  • Customise, Localise, White Label

    Design all user interfaces to individual requirements

  • Integration Via APIs

    ‘Swap out’ components and integrate with 3rd party apps

  • World Class Development

    Continuous evolution pushing technical boundaries

Capabilities

Softdial Contact Center™ (SCC) is designed to be flexible, extensible and scalable, integrating with any legacy equipment, and meeting the most complex of requirements.

  • All Media Types

    Voice, chat, email, social, etc – fully integrated and blended

  • Agent Multi-Tasking

    Work with multiple live contact sessions of any media type

  • Dynamic Media Blending

    Automated, ‘best available’ decisions to blend and balance work load across all media types

  • Predictive Dialing

    Best-of-breed performance under compliance

  • Intelligent Routing

    Smart rules and ‘best-available’ decisions to drive great customer service

  • Agent Scripts

    Help agents achieve and maintain excellence

  • Voice and Screen Recording

    See and hear exactly how agents are interacting

  • Analytics and Data Feeds

    Measure and evaluate performance at every level

  • IVR, Bots & Conversational AI

    Design effective automated flows or integrate with 3rd party providers

  • Customer Journey Tracking

    Stored customer contact history, to aid routing and add context to conversations

Modules

A complete suite of tools, with unique flexibility to extend and swap out modules to deliver a tailored contact center solution for any environment

  • Softdial One™

    Highly flexible unified web UI for agents, supervisors and administrators

  • Softdial Scripter™

    Create complex process flow scripts for agents, IVR, chatbots and other applications

  • Sytel AI Dialer™

    Best-of-breed predictive dialing under any compliance rules

  • Softdial Pathfinder™

    Precise routing rules for ‘best available’ connection

  • Softdial Media Server™

    Core telephony functions to manage all inbound/ outbound SIP calls

  • Softdial Reporter™ 5

    Fully customisable performance stats, charts and reports, across all channels

  • Softdial Publisher™

    Comprehensive data output to build your own reports

  • Softdial Recording Monitor™

    Audio and screen recording of agent activity to ensure the highest standards

  • Softdial Campaign Manager™

    Comprehensive configuration and control for outbound campaigns

  • Softdial Repository™

    Central storage and configuration of common resources

  • Sytel Global Compliance™

    Flexible ‘no contact’ rules to protect contact center and consumer

Markets

Performance and efficiency for a wide range of business applications

  • Customer Service

    Connect quickly to well equipped agents

  • Sales & Telemarketing

    Maximise agent productivity with best-of-breed predictive dialing

  • Healthcare

    Secure, highly-configurable multichannel communications for excellence in patient care

  • Market Research

    Best-of-breed predictive dialing with CATI integration

  • Collections

    Automated inbound/ outbound blending integrated with any debt management app