CONTACT CENTER | 10 MIN READ
How to Improve Contact Center Performance By Optimizing Call Results
Call results are like the DNA of a contact center
A contact center’s KPIs are largely monitored, measured, and reported by the use of call results. Each agent has these pre-defined dispositions or outcomes are directly connected to their calls. These results also contain attributes, which if not set up correctly, will return data that does not reflect an accurate picture of the center’s performance.
This makes it imperative that contact centers create well-defined and configured call results that maximize benefits to managers, agents and consumers. Call results should clearly characterize the following details:
- The number of calls taken during a specific time frame
- How many of those calls became contacts
- How many presentations were provided (including asking the contact to pay a bill)
- Who spoke to the agent. The debt owner? A relative of the debt owner?
- Which calls were actual successes?
The call result list needs to include we’ll-defined result definitions. That way, the agent can access the calls that need the most attention.
An endless list of confusing or varying call results that cover multiple campaigns is counter-productive. Why deal with the headache when a specifically-detailed call report list can help them achieve focused results?
This is especially important for the medical collection industry and companies using automated dialing systems as a core part of their revenue cycle technology stack.
Strategies to avoid these common mistakes…
“Contact was made” is an important element of a call, but it’s not very useful as a standalone call result. Knowing contact was made might be useful for list scrubbing, but it’s missing vital information necessary to determine next steps. It also makes it impossible to properly evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign and the agent. Was the contact the right party? Was a presentation made? What was the result of that contact? What needs to happen next?
Although “contact was made” might be technically true, it doesn’t answer some of the most important questions needed to measure and improve the intentions of the campaign. Call results need to be more than an efficient way for the agent to wrap the call and move to another. It needs to contain enough details to:
1. Automate next steps
2. Evaluate the agent and the campaign messaging
3. Fulfill your clients’ SLA
If you’re showing 2,000 calls were made, 2,000 made contact with a presentation, and 2,000 made a payment, then you know something is wrong. More than likely, you’ve made a mistake when creating your call results by leaving the “success” box checked while not requiring an amount get entered into payment field.
Call results that reflect “false positives” complicate the effort to properly train or coach agents because the system deems every call a success based on the attributes assigned. It can also skew some of your financial KPIs by including $0 payments with actual payments.
As much as we’d like to consider every call that reaches a person a ‘success,’ doing so can distort the data you use to track campaign and agent performance.
Creating a ‘catch all’ call result that can easily be misapplied
Let’s say you have the following call result: REL = Relative
The agent reached a relative, but could you say “the person was contacted” or “a presentation was given?”
Would it even be legal for a presentation to be given?
Attributes like “person contacted” and “presentation given” should be assigned to a call result based upon the rules of your SLA and the goals of the campaign. You can sometimes include the context of the conversation.
A relative could be talking to the agent and acting as a responsible party. In that case, both attributes are accurate. They could also be entirely disinterested in your message or simply screening the call. A solution might be to create two separate call results for each possibility and then activate one or both versions based on the campaign.
Creating results with confusing definitions or presenting options that shouldn’t exist based off of business rules
Here a real contact center example: A presentation was given to someone who was not the debt owner. When the agent chose that call result, they were given the option to enter a payment amount.
In this instance, the intent of the call result is unclear. Are they asking the agent to try to get a payment from someone who is not the debt owner?
Let’s say a call result of “left voicemail” also gives the agent the option to claim “a presentation was made.” Was the purpose of that call result really to say “a presentation left on someone’s voicemail” is the same thing as delivering it to them during a live conversation?
What if you have an agent who makes contact, gives a presentation, and then transfers the call to another campaign? If available, the agent would likely mark that call as a success without really know its end result.
Was the purpose of that call result really to say “a presentation left on someone’s voicemail” is the same thing as delivering it to them during a live conversation?
Using too many call results
Allowing agents to misuse vague call results is a problem, but so is creating too many call results. When agents are dispositioning a call during wrap time, forcing them to scroll down a long list of similar-sounding results to find the perfect version often backfires. They end up choosing the first one that seems to fit.
It’s natural for call results to add up as contact center managers create a new call result based on unique conversations or client requests. However, you have to find a balance between accuracy and efficiency.
Consider merging or combining call results with similar outcomes or follow up steps. You can also activate the call results needed for specific campaigns.
There are major benefits to conducting a call results audit
You would be amazed to see the difference in your contact center’s performance data when call results are accurately aligned with your overall campaign goals. What may have seemed like a fuzzy picture should become clearer as your campaign and agent reports reflect more of what’s really happening on call floor.
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Resources & Articles For Improving Contact Center Performance
I’m worried about two very important words losing their meaning due to rampant overuse
in the healthcare industry.
The ability to take payments after normal office hours is a crucial function of an healthcare IVR. However, today’s intelligent IVRs are capable of so much more!
A group of senators have sent a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Their concerns should also be your concerns.