Measuring Success In The Contact Center

March, 2014

A key process for growth in any business is that of measuring success against target. The challenge is to distill the vast sea of data into meaningful measures that can then prompt action.

A key process for growth in any business is that of measuring success against target. Armed with the right information, steps can be taken to improve processes and manage resources to achieve more.

While this is certainly true of the contact center, the challenge is to distill the vast sea of data generated by large contact volumes into meaningful measures that can then prompt action.

Let’s look at how face-to-face retail addresses this

If you were to buy almost anything in a British shop these days (supermarkets excluded), you would probably be asked “Did you find everything you were looking for?” Why? Because the store is trying to measure success. And why this question in particular? Because when researchers asked “What is the most likely reason for someone to be in your shop?” the top answer was that they were looking for something specific. If they find it, they are satisfied. Effectively, this is a face-to-face customer satisfaction survey. Note that the only way to measure satisfaction is to ask the customer directly. Although the question does not address many areas that can affect satisfaction – attitude of shop assistants, choice, quality vs. price, speed of service, length of checkout queue, etc – it does focus on the most likely affector of retail satisfaction: I found what I was looking for.

Note also that, being face-to-face, this ‘survey’ requires an answer. Therefore, the question has the added benefit of giving immediate feedback that can spur further action to avoid the consumer leaving unsatisfied.

In the contact center world, there have been several attempts to identify the simplest, most important measure of success, as in the face-to-face example above. Possibilities are:

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
  • Customer Effort Score (CES)

There are differing views on which is the most important, but these possibilities could be seen as a hierarchy, the highest relying on those beneath and so on.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

At the highest level is the NPS; how likely is the customer to promote the brand to others? This is a useful measure for 3 main reasons:

  1. it helps to drive down the average cost of gaining a new customer, as this customer assists (unpaid!) in the promotion
  2. it implies that you have retained a current customer
  3. it avoids the potentially damaging impact of a dissatisfied customer

Sounds great, but as with our face-to-face example, NPS can only be measured by asking the customer a specific question: “How likely are you to recommend X?” And in a non-face-to-face environment, very few customers are willing to hang around and take a survey; in fact usually only those who are either very positive or very negative, giving quite a skewed measure of success. So, is there a better way to measure success, that doesn’t rely on consumer feedback?

Let’s look further and ask “What drives someone to be a promoter?” Simply, customer satisfaction.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

CSAT tells us how satisfied the consumer was with your service. But this suffers from the same drawback as the NPS; it can only be measured by asking post-interaction questions. Let’s dig down further. Research has shown that one underlying measure that closely correlates to customer satisfaction is customer effort.

Customer Effort Score (CES)

CES tells us how much effort it took on the part of the customer to achieve their goal for the contact.

How can this be measured? Delving deeper into what exactly it is that affects how much effort the customer expends, at last we find a number of metrics that are within the contact center’s power to measure, regardless of consumer cooperation. If we can quantify this, steps can be taken to reduce customer effort and increase success.

Next time, we will look in more detail at the metrics and other factors that may be useful in scoring customer effort.

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


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


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


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