Measuring What Matters in the Contact Center

smiley-icons-300The consumer landscape has changed and not only do consumers expect a quick response, but they also expect a thoughtful and informative dialogue, says Michael Moseman, director of the customer contact center at Brooks Brothers.

And those can really only be captured through customer satisfaction scores and first-call resolution-type metrics.

“Without a robust monitoring program, you run the risk of being very efficient, but perhaps not very effective in truly supporting your customer,” Moseman says.

So it should not come as a surprise that the most important contact center metrics, according to the MCM Outlook 2014 survey results, involve making customers happy.

[MCM Outlook 2014: The Contact Center Is Your Customer Service Gateway]

In fact, almost half (49.5%) of respondents said customer service scores are the most important contact center measurement they rely on. Last year, customer service scores ranked as second most important, coming in at 34.7%

An interesting aside—51.4% of B2C respondents said customer service scores were the most important metric, as did a 50% split of B2B respondents. Those who said they had an even split of B2B and B2C customers (38.5%) brought the overall number down.

Service level (48.4%) was the second most important contact measurement, followed by first-call resolution rate (35.5%). Respondents who rely on first-call resolution rate nearly doubled from last year’s 18%.

Return on investment also saw a big jump based on the 2013 MCM Outlook results. While 16.7% of respondents measured ROI in the contact center in 2013, 25.8% are measuring ROI in 2014.

Debra Ellis, founder of Wilson & Ellis Consulting, notes that those four metrics are not only gaining importance, but are also closely related.

“Customer satisfaction and loyalty is directly tied to ease of service,” Ellis says. “First-call resolution has the greatest effect on people’s willingness to return to a company and recommend it to others. This is good news for merchants because the solution that improves loyalty also reduces costs.”

Also of interest: In 2013, 32% of respondents said they did not rely on any contact center measurements. This year, that number fell to 17.2%. However, it is interesting to note that in 2014, 21.4% of the B2C respondents are not measuring any contact center metrics.