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Welcome everyone.  I’m Jeff Rumburg, Managing Partner of MetricNet.

In Metrics Essentials for Contact Center Professionals, my goal is to teach you everything you need to know, to leverage metrics for success in your contact center.

Today, in Module 9 of our course, we’re going to discuss something called the Metrics Hierarchy.  MetricNet developed this hierarchy after observing, over many years and hundreds of contact center benchmarks, that most contact centers use metrics primarily for observational purposes.  By that, I mean, that most contact centers know how to create hundreds, or even thousands, of very colorful and elaborate reports.  They look at those reports; they share them; they post them in high traffic areas; and they are quite proud of those reports.  But, I hope I don’t sound unkind here, those reports are worthless, unless they produce insights, that in turn lead to intelligent management actions and decisions, that in turn lead to measurable improvements in the contact center.  Because the real power of contact center metrics can only be unlocked by going beyond the mere observation of metrics.  To be of any value, KPIs have to be leveraged diagnostically, and prescriptively, to produce measurable performance improvements in the contact center.

The metrics hierarchy, shown here, represents the nine success factors, that must be mastered by any contact center that aspires to move beyond metrics as mere observation and curiosity. To metrics as a catalyst for positive change in the contact center.

Not coincidentally, the metrics hierarchy also gives us a very succinct summary of our metrics course.  Everything we have learned about contact center metrics up until now is encapsulated in the nine success factors that make up the metrics hierarchy.

Starting at the very bottom of the hierarchy.  Do you have metrics?  Well, not surprisingly, 100% of the contact centers we work with do have metrics.  So, it’s fair to say that most contact centers have that success factor covered.

Secondly, do you use metrics for reporting?  90% of all contact centers use metrics for reporting.  I don’t know why that number’s not 100%.  But that’s what the empirical data tells us.

Third success factor.  Can you define your metrics.  Only 80% of contact centers can accurately define their metrics.

Fourth success factor.  Do you set performance targets with your metrics.  Here, you can see, we start to fall off a cliff in terms of the adoption of the success factor, as only 60% of contact centers set targets for their metrics.

Success factor number five.  Do you understand the cause-and-effect relationships amongst and between the contact center KPIs?  The dropoff in adoption continues, as only 30% of contact centers can honestly claim that they understand these KPI cause-and-effect relationships.

Number six.  Do you use your metrics diagnostically?  Can you interpret them?  Do you know what they’re telling you.  If so, you are among only 20% of contact center professionals that can check this box.

Seventh.  Do you use metrics prescriptively.  In other words, do you take action, and make management decisions based on your diagnosis of the metrics.  Again, only about 20% of contact centers do this.

Eighth, are your metrics enabling continuous improvement?  If so, you are among the 10% of contact centers that is continuously improving.

And finally, if you work your way through the first eight success factors, the ninth success factor, achieving world-class performance, is pretty much a given.

Now, I hope this doesn’t seem complicated, because it’s not.  But, it is surprising how few contact centers take metrics seriously enough to go beyond the observational mode of metrics, to diagnosis, prescription, continuous improvement, and ultimately to world-class performance.

But as you can see from the green arrow on the right side of this chart, each success factor in the hierarchy builds on the previous success factors, to create a compounding effect.  And the value that you derive from your metrics grows exponentially as you work your way up the hierarch.

Near the bottom of the hierarchy, what we call the observation deck, you get almost no value from your KPIs.  However, near the top of the hierarchy, you unlock the full potential of your KPIs to drive continuous improvement, leading ultimately to world-class performance in your contact center.

Let’s a look at each one of these building blocks, these success factors, in more detail.  Starting with, Do you have metrics?  You may recall that way back in Module 1 of the course I introduced these common metrics for an inbound customer service contact center.  These are the metrics that MetricNet uses when we conduct a contact center benchmark.  The KPIs, Key Performance Indicators, the most important metrics, the strategic metrics, are highlighted on this chart.  At the very least, your contact center should be tracking the highlighted KPIs.

Reporting.  It’s not a coincidence that the reports shown on this slide include the six KPIs.  Cost per Contact.  Customer Satisfaction.  Agent Utilization.  First Contact Resolution Rate.  Agent Job Satisfaction.  And Average Speed of Answer.  The one KPI not shown on this slide is the balanced score.  But we discussed that in detail in Module 3 of the course.

Reports are good.  They’re nice.  You can make them look beautiful if you spend enough time on them.  But remember, we are still in observation mode.  These reports do nothing for us, unless we leverage them, diagnostically and prescriptively, to continuously improve our contact center performance.  That’s why we need to keep going.  We need to keep working our way up the metrics hierarchy.

Next, can you define your metrics?  That’s easy.  Just download the metrics eBooks that accompany this course, and you will have accurate definitions of every metric we have discussed.

Let me caution you, however, that some of these metrics are not intuitive.  A metric like ASA, Average Speed of Answer, is unambiguous.  Most people in the industry know how ASA is defined.  But metrics like Cost per Contact and Agent Utilization are not widely understood.  They do, however, have a very precise definition, and a very precise calculation to derive these metrics.  So, if you are unsure about any of these metrics definitions, particularly for the KPIs, please review the definitions in the eBooks.

Performance targets.  It’s quite surprising to me that only 60% of contact centers have assigned performance targets for their KPIs.  One of the principles when it comes to contact center metrics, is that if you track a metric, you should have a performance target that goes along with the metric.  Otherwise, you have no idea if your performance is good, bad, or somewhere in the middle.

You may recall this chart from Module 5 of our course, when we discussed benchmarking data, quartiles, and performance targets.  In that module, our recommendation was that you establish your performance targets to achieve top quartile performance for your KPIs.  Those top quartiles are shown on this chart.

Top quartile performance in North America for Cost per Minute of Handle Time is $.88 cents or less.  For Customer Satisfaction, top quartile performance is 94.6% or greater.  For Agent Utilization it’s 65.9% or greater.   For First Contact Resolution Rate it’s 86.3% or greater.  For Agent Job Satisfaction it’s 88.4% or greater.  For Average Speed of Answer it’s 29 seconds or less.  And, for the Balanced Scorecard it’s 65.8% or greater.

That’s it.  Those are your performance targets.  But they don’t apply just to the KPIs, you should have a performance target for every metric you track in your contact center.  If you don’t know what the target should be, I would recommend that you benchmark your contact center to determine what the top quartile performance is for each metric.  And then set your target equal to the top quartile for the metric.

In Module 4 of the course, we discussed the KPI cause-and-effect relationships of the metrics at length.  This is important because if you understand what drives what, you can diagnose your performance.  For example, if you understand that service levels and Agent Utilization drive your Cost per Contact, you can take actions that will decrease your costs over time.  Likewise, if you understand that First Contact Resolution and Agent Job Satisfaction are the two main drivers of Customer Satisfaction, you can take steps to improve your Customer Satisfaction.  For a more comprehensive discussion of KPI cause-and-effect, you might consider reviewing Module 4 of the course.

In Module 6 of the course we did a deep dive on contact center benchmarking.  And the most important takeaway from that Module is that benchmarking is the single most effective diagnostic tool that a contact center can leverage to get on a fast path of continuous improvement.  Empirical data shows that contact centers that benchmark annually are the ones, and the only ones, that eventually reach the top of our hierarchy, and achieve world-class performance.  Only 5% get to world-class, and the key to getting there is benchmarking.

Process drives performance.  That’s what this slide is telling us.  And this, is what success factor number 7 in our metrics hierarchy is all about.  Namely, using metrics prescriptively, to drive improvements in your contact center.  We did an entire module on this topic.

The short story on this slide is that as you mature your processes, the x-axis, you can expect to get better outcomes on your balanced score, the y-axis.  So, X drives Y.  Input drives output.  Input, which is your process maturity, drives output, which is your balanced score.

If you adopt the first seven best practices, the eighth step in the hierarchy, the eighth success factor, happens automatically. Which is another way of saying that continuous improvement is a natural by-product of adopting and adapting the first seven elements of the hierarchy.

This is what continuous improvement looks like.  Steady improvements in your balanced scorecard over time.  This is one of the many reasons it’s so important to have a balanced scorecard.  Because it shows you, visually, the progress you’re making towards world-class performance.

And finally, step nine in our hierarchy.  This is the destination – world-class performance.  Which, as we have defined in a prior module of the course, means that you have achieved Top quartile quality; bottom quartile cost, meaning low cost.  You have adopted and are following industry best practices.  And, the ROI of your contact center is greater than 100%, which means that your contact center creates economic value that is greater than the annual operating cost of your contact center.

This final success factor is an inevitable by-product of executing the first eight steps of the hierarchy.  Because once you are on the path of continuous improvement, it’s just a matter of time before you reach the top of the hierarchy, and become a world-class contact center.

So there you have it.  The metrics hierarchy for contact center KPIs.  Study this chart; adopt and mature the success factors for contact center metrics.  And you will achieve world-class performance in your contact center.

This concludes Module 9 of our metrics course.  I want to thank you for joining me today.  I’m Jeff Rumburg, Managing Partner of MetricNet.

Angela Irizarry

Angela Irizarry is the President and Chief Operating Officer at MetricNet, where she is responsible for managing day-to-day operations, strategic planning, and new client acquisition. She also oversees the company's sales and marketing efforts and manages its intellectual property and online resources. Angela has been with the company for 10 years and has over 20 years of experience in business development and strategy. She has been featured in Fortune magazine and has received recognition for her work in competitive and trends analysis from executives at a variety of Fortune 100 companies. Angela is a dynamic and accomplished professional who consistently delivers exceptional results for MetricNet and its clients. She has a wealth of industry experience and a track record of success in driving business results, particularly in the financial services, insurance, and healthcare sectors. Angela is highly skilled in communication, problem-solving, and project management, and is committed to delivering the highest level of service to MetricNet's clients.

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