This sponsored post is produced by Ytel.

As the business truism goes, you can’t improve what you can’t measure. Enter key performance indicators (KPIs). By establishing solid KPIs, you open doors for your business through analytics, testing, development, efficiency, and productivity on a daily basis. On the other hand, if you fail to establish measurable KPIs, you’ll stunt the growth of your business — KPIs exist as a way to keep all team members on the same page, all working towards the same goal(s).

Selecting the right KPIs for your business

We believe that identifying KPIs takes precedence over any other task in the initial phases of setup. Every business has particular goals, issues, and touch points that are unique to them. These should be acknowledged and discussed by your management team, which can provide insight into which particular KPIs line up accurately for the success of the company’s direction and mission. These points include industry, company size, a particular product or service being sold, your target audience, and many more.

If your business runs a contact center, these KPIs get far more specific and identifying these are critical to continual evaluation and improvement. Common contact center KPIs include:

  • Incoming call hold times
  • Calls made per agent, per day
  • Call response times
  • Leads generated per hour
  • Average handle times
  • Agent wrap times
  • Contact-to-call ratios
  • Agent talk times
  • Data analytics and performance
  • Average wait time for agents

The benefits in establishing these are significant. Here are the key benefits you’ll experience by identifying and measuring the right KPIs for your organization:

  • Growth in terms of revenue and business
  • Accurate performance expectations for all employees
  • Managing by fact and achievement
  • Remaining focused on what’s important in the day to day
  • Holding employees accountable

Consequences when you fail to define KPIs

If all working employees in an organization are not guided by a clearly-defined set of KPIs, operations can become skewed by lack of communication and understanding. The consequences listed below have huge impact across a company, affecting the growth, success, and survival of any business that fails to define and measure important KPIs.

1. Cost. If your team is working without a clear end-goal in mind, whether it may be a certain number of leads generated per hour or calls made per day, their sales will be negatively affected by your lack of planning. A decrease in sales or leads per hour/per agent means a heavy dip in daily revenue for your business.

2. Lack of organizational structure. If your agents aren’t aware of what their daily, weekly, and monthly goals are, this probably means that your managers don’t know what their goals are, either. Or they do know, but they lack the skills to communicate said goals with their team. When the smallest person on the totem pole doesn’t know what’s going on, it’s easy to go up the management chain to locate where the lack of communication began.

3. Difficulty experiencing growth. If your business isn’t tracking KPIs, your reporting and performance analytics will be virtually useless because there won’t be anything to improve upon! Businesses use their analytics to harness growth; with no valuable analytics, growth is not an option.

4. Agent productivity. Keeping your agents on task and productive is absolutely crucial to meeting daily goals in any call center. Setting hourly goals is a great strategy to keep them on task, even if it’s something as simple as making 25 calls each hour. Without a clear task list, productivity levels will fall quickly.

Your tech checklist

Once you’ve established your KPIs, you’ll need to ensure you have the right infrastructure elements in place. Setting up your contact center for success means carefully reviewing the following:

1. Cloud-based contact center solution.  Operating in the cloud isn’t a new business venture by any means, and should be one your business thinks very seriously about implementing. From every perspective, a cloud-based solution is a wise choice. You’re able to house agents virtually, all forms of communication are from one centralized location, there are no hardware costs, and virtually zero maintenance is required.

2. Internet connection and routers. Organizations need to equip their contact centers with Internet capacity adequate for their existing demands, but also be able to easily scale that capacity as volumes grow.

3. Dedicated voice and data bandwidth. If agents must fight for available bandwidth from a shared resource, problems can quickly ensue. If available bandwidth is being allocated elsewhere, the speed and quality of phone-based operations can take a nosedive. Among the keys to contact center success is the separation of voice and data traffic.

4. Agents computers and location. If organizations equip their agents with low-cost machines that can barely handle several browsers open simultaneously, it won’t matter how advanced the rest of the call center’s infrastructure may be. Agent productivity and overall success will suffer from lack of support.

Brian Keep is VP, Operations at Ytel.

Learn more about getting your business up to speed with KPIs in a tech-driven world. Download Ytel’s free white paper.

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