An effective call center has specific measurable performance criteria, certain established processes, workflows, procedures and guidelines for agents to follow. To ensure a call center consistently remains fully optimized for maximum efficiency and effectiveness, it’s essential to conduct a periodic call center audit. The goal of an audit is to get a full view of what is happening in the call center, to understand how processes, technologies and information are connected, to identify gaps in call center performance and – using the data gathered – take actions in order to correct these gaps. Below is a basic call center audit checklist you can use in your own audit process.
When evaluating the overall call center performance, you might take into account the following call center metrics:
Average Calls per Agent: if there are more calls coming in than agents can successfully handle, it may signal that more staff should be hired.
Cost per Call: displays the total cost involved in handling calls during a specific period of time and provides an insight about the ROI of the involved expenses.
Service Level: directly tied to customer service quality and inbound call center performance and shows whether a call center has enough resources to resolve customer issues quickly.
Average Speed to Answer: if the metric is high, it also indicates that you may need to employ additional employees to maintain customer satisfaction.
Average Handle Time: a high average handle time means that customers are waiting a long time in between responses and is often a sign that agents need additional training.
Abandonment Rate: a high abandonment rate might result dissatisfied customers and lost sales opportunities.
Forecast Accuracy: if actual calls are higher than predicted, the team most probably works under pressure, if there are fewer calls than forecast, the agents are under-utilized.
When it comes to analyzing individual call center agent efficiency, the following metrics might be helpful:
When assessing call center operations, verify that all procedures, policies and customer service processes are well-defined, well-documented, understandable and easily accessible to everyone in your call center team. For a more in-depth analysis, evaluate if all the steps in processes and procedures are necessary and relevant, and whether any of them can be combined or eliminated altogether.
Review your call center scripts to ensure they provide customers with accurate information, leaving no room for ambiguity, and that your agents are able to use them correctly and effectively to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction. The following questions might be helpful in your evaluation:
To ensure a steady stream of qualified applicants, your recruiting strategy should be robust, efficient and cater to the needs of your organization. When reviewing your recruitment process, evaluate the effectiveness, accuracy and relevance of the following:
To fully leverage your call center resources, you need to have a solid agent onboarding and training program. Review your employee onboarding procedure to analyze its effectiveness in introducing policies, practices, software and helpful information to your new hires. When it comes to agent training, the audit should be able to identify whether your training program is addressing the right training needs and how effectively it can be tailored to individual agents’ requirements and skills gaps.
Audit employee engagement and internal communications in your call center by answering the following basic questions:
Conduct a workforce management review to ensure the right number of agents with the right skill sets are staffed at the right time. Apart from analyzing forecast accuracy, review how schedules are created, whether agent preferences are taken into account, and determine any issues that may be affecting the efficiency of the process of scheduling and assigning agents to shifts.
Calculate agent attrition (employee turnover) rate - a high number usually means higher costs of re-recruitment and re-training of replacements as well as lower productivity of new, inexperienced hires that can also have a negative impact on the level of service provided. If your turnover is excessive, you may need to conduct a more in-depth audit to determine the reasons.
Measure customer satisfaction in your call center, which comes down to measuring the following most used metrics:
Customer Satisfaction Score: considering that satisfaction scores can vary widely based on the type of CSAT question asked, the closer the number to 100%, the better.
Net Promoter Score: though NPS scores can range between -100 and +100 – a score closer to +100 is considered good whereas a negative score means more customers are not likely to recommend you.
Customer Effort Score: while the average score would be somewhere between 1-5, the lower the number, the better, meaning that customers have a low-effort experience.
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