A contact center is completely dependent on the performance of its agents and employees. Since the work rate and speed of a contact center is time sensitive, it is important that vital metrics are measured on a continuous basis to assess the performance of a contact center as a whole, a group of agents or an individual. Contact center managers can gain a lot of insight from these vital statistics and make real time changes in strategies or give essential tips or instructions to agents to help them optimize their performance.
Call centers have traditionally used centrally located wallboards mounted on walls to display the key parameters of performance of a contact center. The IT department is usually in charge of its maintenance and the data is reported on a real time basis to the managers. Information like ERP, average handling time of a call, hold time, call resolution time, number of calls in a queue, number of agents who are available to take calls, data related to customer ticketing systems in the call center and even data related to non-voice processes like web chats and success rate of email troubleshoots and other web-based support is measured and displayed through these visual tools.
However, there is a problem with traditional wallboards which are usually centrally located. They usually show the metrics for the whole contact center. So, if managers notice a certain problem in the performance of an individual or a single group of agents, they are unable to communicate it through traditional wallboards. They have to wait later or have to walk up to an agent to address the issue. And if the problem is not corrected immediately, due to the time sensitiveness of call centers, the problem can not only affect the performance of the individual agent but also pull down the overall performance of the contact center too. That is why a lot of contact centers have started to switch over to desktop wallboards which are displayed on desktop monitors of individual agents.
They have the added benefit of not only showing critical information of the contact center as a whole but those related to a single agent or that of a special group of people. The managers can send messages and instructions to individuals, send them video tutorials and get feedback. Nowadays, software which can display wallboards on mobile devices is available in the market.
Although “smart” wallboards have helped improve the efficiency of contact centers, that certainly doesn’t mark the end. There is more that can be achieved with the help of wallboards if the following strategies are adopted.
- Make your contact center wallboard share such critical information with managers which are usually not updated on a real time basis: Your contact center wallboard can become more efficient than it already is if it shares information like how many calls were abandoned by an agent, how many successful sales closings were made by an agent, how many high-value clients were handled in an hour and may be even how many attempts were successful with the manager. This will help them make quick, well-informed changes in the game plan!
- Customize the wallboards as per the users: Modern contact centers have realized that showing generic information to everybody in the office or working remotely may not have the desired effect. It is important that individual performance measuring metrics are also displayed that would help the agent to know where she stands in comparison to her peers or how off target she is. A wallboard is meant to help the management make adjustments but the KPI displayed should also help the agents make changes in their work approach.
- Follow the KISS approach: It is definitely important that you keep the wallboards short and simple. Overloading it with information makes comprehension of information difficult. You may display metrics which interest a broad section on the centralized wallboard but update individual desktops with information which are relevant only to them. For example, an agent may only be interested with key statistics related to a queue which has been assigned to her. Don’t show her stats from other call queues.
- Manage the information carefully: Display information that helps to boost performance, not those which de-motivate agents or harm team spirit. Show the most important KPIs. Always ensure that there is a healthy competition between your employees.
- Use the right font style and size: You will have to ensure that your wallboards use the right font type and style. Don’t make long textual updates which are difficult to read. Display information in charts or use a grid-based layout.
- Update only those stats on which you intend to work on a real-time basis: If you have no plans to take action with respect to a particular performance indicator immediately, then you better leave it for your weekly meetings. Prioritize and display information that needs to be acted upon immediately.
- Find out what your agents need: It always helps if there is a two-way communication between the management and employees. Ask the agents what they need and which indicators they want to see on the wallboard. Try to be on the same page always.
- Reinforce the wallboard information with face-to-face discussion: While it is great for agents to have all the vital information at their fingertips, they still feel motivated if a senior manager talks to them every once in a while and guides them. It helps them to clear their queries.
A wallboard is an indispensible tool of modern contact centers but in order to optimize its effectiveness, you should implement these ideas.