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Survey Results Uncover the ‘Dark Matter’ of Contact Center Performance and Productivity – Part 2

In Part 1 of this blog post, we delved into the mysterious force of idle time (a.k.a. ‘Dark Matter’) and asked if idle time could be leveraged in a way to enhance performance or productivity for the contact center. Survey respondents indicated that training is an area ripe for improvement. Results from the survey also point to other challenges that hinder both performance and productivity for contact centers.

Excerpt from Exploring the ‘Dark Matter of Contact Center Performance and Productivity

One option is additional training – of which employees don’t receive enough.

While respondents indicate that training directly impacts customer satisfaction and other performance measures for the contact center, training budgets for contact center employees tend to be lean, and only half of the respondents say they deliver training with any degree of frequency.

Additional challenges are also arising for today’s contact centers, the survey reveals.

For example, social networking may be growing as a customer interaction channel, but few organizations offer training in this area. This finding is especially significant as web-based interactions are on the rise.

In addition, the survey also finds that the role of the call center in handling newer web-based channels is unclear. While most call centers already handle web chat and real-time messaging, only one-fourth handle social network-based inquiries from customers. Many companies rely on a specialized social networking team, or leave it up to individual departments.

Companies are aware that well-managed contact centers make a difference in their bottom lines. However, new concerns are arising as businesses strive to expand in a competitive economy. Along these lines, only half of respondents feel confident that their technology is keeping pace with competitors, but close to half of the respondents are already experiencing difficulty getting a better return on investment (ROI) for technology they already own.

In addition, a majority of respondents report that they are experiencing troubles finding or keeping employees with the right skills for their centers and a large number of contact centers are challenged by increases in call volumes. There is also a strong relationship between corporate culture and contact center management, as most respondents agree that this has a deep impact on the performance and productivity of their centers.

Findings from the 2011 Knowlagent Contact Center Productivity Survey seem to suggest many organizations are attempting to leverage innovation to create great customer experiences and great agents, but there are areas of improvement in how they operationalize these improvements.

To access the 2011 Knowlagent Contact Center productivity Survey, click here.

About the author

Matt McConnell

Matt is chairman, president and CEO of Intradiem. Matt co-founded Intradiem in 1995 with a vision of helping companies increase the level of customer service they deliver by improving the performance of their agents. Today, Intradiem is a leader in its market with more than 300,000 call center agents around the world using Intradiem every day. Matt is the author of the book Customer Service at a Crossroads and holds 11 software patents. He graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1994 with a bachelor's degree in industrial and systems engineering.

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