Measuring Agent Productivity In A Multi-Channel World

May, 2014

Supervisors must monitor a range of KPIs to measure agent performance and productivity. But use of email, chat, SMS, etc throws up many challenges to accepted methods.

To manage the contact center well, supervisors must monitor a range of KPIs to measure agent performance and productivity. But use of multimedia (email, chat, SMS, etc) throws up many challenges to accepted methods.

Take for instance the question “Are my agents wasting any time?” In the voice-only world, it’s pretty easy; just measure idle time (or subtract talk and wrap time from available time).

However, the timing of packet media activity (i.e. specifically email) is fundamentally different to that of streaming media (i.e. voice, video). This makes it much more difficult to measure lost agent productivity.

Why? What’s the difference?

With voice/ video, you can pretty much guarantee that from the start of the conversation to the end, the agent is constantly engaged.

Imagine two neighbours, Mr. A (the agent) and Mr. C (the consumer), in houses on opposite sides of the street.

With streaming media, both Mr. A and Mr. C open their front doors and a face-to-face conversation ensues. We can see that from the moment Mr. A opens his door, he is busy in conversation until he shuts it again.

In this case, if you keep an eye on the length of talk/ wrap/ idle times, you can be assured that your agent is productive.

But with packet media, a time delay factor is introduced:

Mr. B opens his door and hurls a message through Mr. A’s window. After some time, Mr. A reads the message, considers a response, does some research, consults colleagues, makes some tea, writes a response, edits the response, opens his door and hurls his message through the window of Mr. C.

Unlike a voice conversation, between each of these stages, time may pass – could be 1 sec, could be 3 mins – perhaps unwittingly, perhaps on purpose.

During those moments, the agent could be doing anything, from engaging in other workflows – emails, chat sessions, text conversations – to watching YouTube. We just don’t know because we are not measuring it.

Under these circumstances, unproductive agent time becomes harder to identify, let alone measure.

What can be done?

Here are 3 possibilities:

  1. Get a 360 degree view of agent
    Because multimedia work is fragmented and non-linear, supervisors need a unified view of all agent activity across all media types. Work should be viewable chronologically, by media type, by customer, and actually, by pretty much anything you choose. This does entail agents signing onto and off from activities, a practice that is not commonplace right now.
  2. Develop workflow metrics
    Detailed metrics such as time to reply should be augmented by longer term workflow metrics, such as completion rate and number of incompletes. As time passes and outstanding workflows remain unresolved, reporting systems should use alerts to bring them to the fore. It is up to supervisors to press for closure.
  3. Change the focus
    Augment the detailed metrics with ‘soft’ productivity measures such as customer satisfaction. Consider also that among the top factors in achieving this are happy agents – those that enjoy their work, have a variety of tasks and challenges, and are encouraged to do their best. This becomes more important as basic interactions are increasingly routed toward self-service and automation and agents spend more of their time in higher value, more complex transactions.

As the multimedia contact center matures, management and measurement must move with the times. Consideration must be given to those things less easily measured, e.g. quality of response, customer satisfaction, as well as traditional, easily-measurable metrics e.g. speed of response, completion rate. Contact centers must – as always – strive to balance of quality and quantity.

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

Flexible Contact Center Platform

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

Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)

Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)

Partners can run a functionally rich and flexible contact center stack in the cloud

Blended Media Desktop

Blended Media Desktop

Fully customisable, multi-channel, multi-session workspace

Work Anywhere

Work Anywhere

Browser-based tools, no software installation required

Cloud Or On-Premise, Multi-Tenant

Cloud Or On-Premise, Multi-Tenant

Scalable, resilient, secure, proven

Customise, Localise, White Label

Customise, Localise, White Label

Design all user interfaces to individual requirements

Integration Via APIs

Integration Via APIs

'Swap out' components and integrate with 3rd party apps

World Class Development

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

All Media Types

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

Agent Multi-Tasking

Agent Multi-Tasking

Work with multiple live contact sessions of any media type

Dynamic Workforce Management

Dynamic Workforce Management

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

Predictive Dialing

Predictive Dialing

Best-of-breed performance under compliance

Optimised Inbound Routing

Optimised Inbound Routing

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

Agent Scripts

Agent Scripts

Help agents achieve and maintain excellence

Voice and Screen Recording

Voice and Screen Recording

See and hear exactly how agents are interacting

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Analytics and Data Feeds

Measure and evaluate performance at every level

IVR, Bots & Conversational AI

IVR, Bots & Conversational AI

Design effective automated flows or integrate with 3rd party providers

Customer Journey Tracking

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™

Softdial One™

Highly flexible unified web UI for agents, supervisors and administrators

Softdial Scripter™

Softdial Scripter™

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

Sytel AI Dialer™

Sytel AI Dialer™

Best-of-breed predictive dialing under any compliance rules

Softdial Pathfinder™

Softdial Pathfinder™

Precise routing rules for 'best available' connection

Softdial Media Server™

Softdial Media Server™

Core telephony functions to manage all inbound/ outbound SIP calls

Softdial Reporter™ 5

Softdial Reporter™ 5

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

Softdial Publisher™

Softdial Publisher™

Comprehensive data output to build your own reports

Softdial Recording Monitor™

Softdial Recording Monitor™

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

Softdial Campaign Manager™

Softdial Campaign Manager™

Comprehensive configuration and control for outbound campaigns

Softdial Repository™

Softdial Repository™

Central storage and configuration of common resources

Sytel Global Compliance™

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

Customer Service

Connect quickly to well equipped agents

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Sales & Telemarketing

Maximise agent productivity with best-of-breed predictive dialing

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Healthcare

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

Market Research

Market Research

Best-of-breed predictive dialing with CATI integration

Collections

Collections

Automated inbound/ outbound blending integrated with any debt management app