Why Managers Have to Re-Examine Customer Call Center Policies

To label an organization a Customer Call Center is to imply that the Customer is the main focus of the Call Center and the reason the Call Center even exists. But surprisingly, for many call centers, the Customer is not being paid attention to  regardless of which country the Call Center operates in.

For instance, according to a Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report published this 2007, certain Key Performance Indicators were shown to be increasing (based on the 42 countries examined in the report.) These Key Performance Indicators are Agent Utilization (measured as a percentage of agent talk time) at 59% from the previous level of 57%; Staff Absenteeism which rose to 11% from just 8%; and Abandoned Calls now hovering at 14% from 13%.

These show that agents are spending more time talking to customers, but are also leaving more calls abandoned. In connection, the marked rise in absenteeism may either indicate on-the-job stress levels are too high for agents to cope with, or lack of satisfaction with the job itself and its very nature.

Other Key Performance Indicators were on the downturn, on the other hand, which were namely, Customer Satisfaction which fell one notch from 83% to 82%; and SLA (equal to the percentage of calls answered within 10 seconds) which stood at 62% from a high of 71%. Again, these may indicate that agents are too overworked with the volume of calls that they answer per shift, or they may mean the agents are not focusing on the customer service side of their work. Perhaps it may also be a good indicator of future employee attrition, eventually.