For More Effective Measurement, Put Away the Rulers

Is your organization struggling with strategic measurement? You may be tracking the wrong things.

Chris Abel is a simple man. So, he isn’t quite sure why call centers continue to struggle with measurement. Call Centers excel at measuring everything an agent does, he says, but not necessarily how what they do better serves the customer.

I sat down with Chris, who is Director of Contact Center Operations at Bright Horizons to get see what he would answer the question; ”How do you become the most high-performing call center possible?”

Chis Abel of Bright Horizons
Chis Abel of Bright Horizons

Chris Abel: For starters, leadership needs to move beyond KPIs and SLAs. The goal instead should be to predict customer’s future behavior since they will dictate how centers will operate. For instance, internally the bulk of conversation around customer experience centers on handle time and talk time. That’s not the case at Bright Horizons.

“The talk time is the talk time,” Chris says. “What we manage to is what we do during the call and after the call that actually impacts our overall business.”

The most valuable indicators to measure progress within the call center – beyond performance – is customer experience. Bright Horizons measures their customer experience through CSAT Scores and Net Promoter Scores. Fortunately, their CSATs are relatively high at 96 percent and their Net Promoter range between 67-78 percent. So the challenge then becomes how do you move the needle? What should the focus be to really impact experience?

Chris has an internal quality team that measures whether or not the agents are providing complete and accurate information. One of the things that they are implementing in regards to quality is defining the customer’s experience. Questions that need to be answered include, “Did we answer all of their questions? Did we help educate them on any future needs that could actually be addressed today so they don’t have to call back tomorrow?”

Looking forward, measurement may not change very much or at all, but Chris thinks that whatever the future of measurement is, it will be dictated by the customers.

“What’s important to them should be what’s important to us,” he says.

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