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Performance Management

Best Practices on using contact center metrics, reports, dashboard and key performance metrics (KPI) to optimize customer service

Dashboards Hints, Tips & Best Practices

When it comes to workforce management (WFM), seeing is not only believing, it’s the fastest and easiest way to track status, progress, and real-time activity at a call center. Dashboards provide a visual display of call center data, providing insight into every key WFM process. Call center management rely on dashboards to improve efficiencies.

An automated (WFM) solution can access, record and display dozens of different metrics on dashboards to help manage forecasting, scheduling and adherence, as well as service levels, answer and abandoned times, average handle times, average speed of answer, and labor costs and staffing.

Find out more about dashboards in the following blogs and articles – or check out the dashboards used on Monet WFM Live in this free online demo. Questions? Search for answers here.

The Benefits of Performance Management Software

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Performance Management is something of a catch-all term that incorporates a wide range of management aspects, from planning to developing agent skills, to evaluating performance based on metrics and making adjustments accordingly. Most call centers engage in some form of performance management, whether through ongoing meetings to assess progress or an annual review. 

It’s an essential process, and it can be a difficult one without software that tracks and analyzes the performance levels of your call center team. 

The analytics provided by Monet Metrics has made performance management faster and more accurate at a wide range of call centers. Data is delivered in a way that makes it easier to identify the skill sets of your agents, as well as any skill gaps that need to be filled by additional training. 

What used to require stacks of paperwork and tedious manual operations now gets completed automatically; saving valuable work hours that can now be devoted to other tasks. 

Is Monet Metrics your best option?

Obviously we think so. But as you explore the different software selections available you’ll want to select the performance management system that best fits your call center’s needs. 

As you investigate, always keep in mind that performance management is only as good as the data it receives. Your workforce management and quality management efforts, as well as those devoted to training and billing and other specialties, must collect accurate numbers for the system to work. With Monet, that’s never an issue. 

Performance management is one of the most effective ways to improve contact center service – as long as the metrics are accurate and implemented in a way that bolsters the associated workflow functionality. This is not a one-time fix but an ongoing program that should become part of a call center’s everyday management procedures.


Find out more about Monet Metrics

Back to Basics: Six Key Measurements

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Contact center managers have a lot of responsibilities, among them keeping track of various measurements that track efficiency and customer service. These six categories should be on every manager’s list. 

Measuring Forecast Accuracy 

An accurate forecast model relies on accurate historical data. Workforce optimization (WFO) delivers seasonal stats, monthly stats, daily stats, even numbers analyzing one portion of one hour, so variations can be determined and adjustments made accordingly. Special days and special events will also figure into these calculations – once again, the automated WFO solution will always be better and faster than a spreadsheet.  

Measuring Schedule Adherence

Schedule adherence plays a critical role in the success of any contact center. Workforce management (WFM) software makes the goal of optimal schedule adherence easier to achieve. Not only will the WFM-generated schedules provide more accurate information, they will make a dramatic change in the manager’s schedule as well. How long does it take to run all of the necessary numbers with a spreadsheet? With WFM, managers can access better numbers more quickly, so they have more time to address other issues, or leave the office on time for a change.

Measuring Quality

Several diverse components contribute to the quality management at a call center. Wouldn’t it be great if all of these components could be accurately evaluated from the same place? That’s one of the benefits of Monet Quality, technology that enhances workforce optimization and call recording capabilities, to deliver unprecedented insight into quality monitoring, performance trends and agent training needs. 

Measuring First Call Resolution

Few statistics are more important in a call center than First Call Resolution (FCR). When this is achieved a customer issue is solved with maximum efficiency, and the customer is much more likely to be satisfied with the call center encounter, and will remain a customer in the future. 

Measuring Employee Engagement

Workforce Management can play a prominent role in improving employee engagement, particularly as it pertains to schedule flexibility. Skill-based scheduling allows managers to better match agents with the types of calls they are most comfortable and experienced in handling.  This boosts both employee confidence and customer service. Flexible Schedules are also more easily managed with WFM, so agents can balance obligations in their personal lives with work responsibilities. 

Measuring Customer Experience

That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Measuring service is an obvious and necessary exercise for every call center manager. But service level should not be confused with the more comprehensive examination of customer experience. Once you’ve developed a strategy to track, measure and improve customer experience, you’ll have a road map to identify any systems and programs that need to be revised for optimal customer satisfaction.

The challenge comes from the reality that customer experience encompasses a wide range of touch-points within the company that a customer may encounter – email, website, store, chat, reps. While telephone engagements are just one piece of the puzzle, they are a particularly important piece. They provide an opportunity to find out about the other channels and aspects of customer experience, and to fix any problems. It’s also the time and place when most customers expect to be queried about the company, and may be more open to providing honest, direct and detailed feedback. 


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Performance Management: Time to Think Outside the Box?

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Change for its own sake rarely produces positive results. 

In a recent survey on performance management, more than three out of every four responses indicated that the performance management procedure in place at their respective companies could use some changes. 

But one-third of these respondents also admitted that they’re not just making the usual tweaks to the system – they’re going to try something bigger. 

For many, this involves shifting the focus to company culture and management. Rather than concentrate on ranking employee performance, which can be a prelude to firing those at the bottom of the list, businesses are looking instead at boosting employee feedback, making sure managers are more engaged in day-to-day activities, and instilling greater transparency. 

Transparency is particularly important, given that more than 60% of employees do not believe the performance management rating they receive is accurate. If those employees are receiving feedback, coaching and encouragement throughout the year, rather than in one annual assessment, it may help to eliminate some of these conflicts. 

And when managers are more involved in the activity on the contact center floor, it creates a nurturing environment for agents at the contact center, which contributes to a more positive culture. Sophisticated software such as workforce optimization can create the temptation to let technology do all the work and deliver data to the manager’s office. But it is not a substitute for face-to-face communication. 

The performance management of the future will be based on such communication, as well as annual goals that will be presented not as an ultimatum to employees, but a shared challenge that will be met with everyone working together. 


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Performance Management and Quality Monitoring: A Checklist for Success

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Is there such a thing as a quick fix when it comes to more effective performance management? Can one little change in attitude or procedure make a big difference in quality monitoring?

The answer is yes – and no. 

Both performance management and quality monitoring require coordinated planning and execution throughout the contact center. 

Performance management is something of a catch-all term that incorporates  a wide range of management aspects, from planning to developing agent skills, to evaluating performance based on metrics and making adjustments accordingly. Doing so will be more successful with a detailed plan of action. 

Likewise, creating an integrated quality monitoring program will take time and preparation, with particular focus on call recording, PCI compliance, quality scorecards and screen capturing

No quick fixes there. However, once the foundation for both programs is established, small changes can indeed pay significant dividends toward the ultimate goal of ensuring consistent, high quality service that meets or surpasses expectations. Here are a few that may help your performance management and quality monitoring endeavors.

Praise from the top

How often does your upper management team review calls? Have them listen to a few every week, and then contact the agents that did a great job and let them know their work is appreciated. 


Training doesn’t have to be boring

If training consists of the same procedures every week or month, agents will tune it out. Have trainers use varied methods to maintain a higher level of engagement. 


Quality monitoring starts (before) day one

While agents are still in the induction phase, introduce the QM system and expectations in place, and make sure they are aware of the criteria. 


Instant gratification

Praise and reward systems can be beneficial (more on some of these later) but there is no substitute for immediate positive feedback following a customer’s praise. If an email or a phone call contains that praise, don’t wait to share it with the group. 


Consistency

This is obvious, but bears repeating. These programs require consistency, not just in how they are carried out by agents but how they are presented and maintained by supervisors.


Who watches the watchers?

Your coaches are entrusted with maximizing agent performance – but who is making sure that the coaches are doing their best? Their work must be regularly monitored as well. 


Group therapy

Individual call monitoring is important, but occasional group meetings to review calls may also be beneficial. 


Clarity

Feedback won’t work unless it is clear and actionable. You can find out if this is the case by providing agents with feedback forms about coaches (they’ll love that anyway). Offer them a chance to confirm that they understand the assessment they received, and if the coach took their thoughts and opinions into consideration. 


Professionalism

Encourage a general climate of professionalism, not only in how agents communicate with customers but how they communicate with managers, coaches and their fellow agents. Once this becomes second-nature, performance will inevitably improve. 


Involve the QM team in agent recruitment

Your quality monitoring teams knows what to look for in outstanding agents. So why not involve them in the recruitment process? 


Positive reinforcement

Coaching and training sessions should not be dreaded by agents. If they are, something is wrong. Try starting each session with positive coaching – what the agent is doing well and how the call center is lucky to have them. Remind agents of the improvements they have already made. Then review areas where further improvement is possible and discuss ways to work together to get there. 


Include customers in performance management

Agents play a role in performance management, but customers do as well. Take their feedback into account. 


Prizes

A lot of contact centers give out prizes to agents for consistent performance or specific moments of excellence. A free meal, a spa day, or a cash bonus works better than a trophy or a “job well done” certificate. 


Encourage peer discussion

You know your agents already talk about their jobs and customers (and probably  you as well) with each other. Set some time aside to allow them to get together and also talk about improving quality. Some very smart ideas may emerge from these sessions. 


The big picture

When discussing performance management with agents, tell them about the center’s greater goals and over-arching customer service strategy. The more they understand the big picture, the more they might buy into the program. 


Public or private coaching?

Some contact centers conduct coaching sessions in a closed office; others have these discussions out on the floor within earshot of other agents. There is no sure formula for which will be more effective at your contact center – so why not try both and see what happens?


Watch your language

Does anyone still use words like “demerits” or terms like “marked down” in coaching sessions? Use positive, supportive language instead. 


Grade calls in sections

Break each call into different sections for review purposes, such as: call open, courtesy, technical skills and compliance, efficiency, and closing. 


Don’t ignore the longer calls

Short calls are always desirable but not always possible. Sometimes you can learn more about agent performance, contact center issues and your QM strategy by reviewing longer calls. 


It’s ok to ask for help

If an agent is having difficulty answering a customer’s questions, he or she might be hesitant to forward that call to a supervisor if it reflects badly on their performance. But if that is the best way to keep that customer relationship, make sure the agent knows that doing so is the right step. 


Never stop improving

Did you achieve your quality goals? Great! Now, set new ones. Complacence is the enemy of every contact center. 


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Contact Center Performance Webinar: View on Demand now Available

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Monet Software recently presented a webinar entitled “How to Gain More Insight into the Performance of your Contact Center.” The event generated a strong turnout and has received positive feedback from many of those in attendance. 

If you missed it, good news – the webinar is now available on our website at http://www.monetsoftware.com/webinars/. You can check it out any time you like. 

Why should you? Because it’s one thing to read about how Monet's cloud-based WFO can help gain more insights and improve the performance of your contact center. It’s quite another to actually see this technology in action. And that is the opportunity this webinar provides. 

Several related topics will be covered as well, from the importance of visibility at the agent level to the benefits of real-time data and alerts of key metrics and activities. 

Don’t miss this second chance to discover what the advantages of cloud-based WFO can mean for your agents, your management team, and your contact center. 



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Workforce Management Visualized with Dashboards

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When it comes to workforce management (WFM), seeing is not only believing, it’s the fastest and easiest way to track status, progress, and real-time activity at a call center. Dashboards provide that visual display of call center data, providing insight into every key WFM process. Call center management rely on dashboards to improve efficiencies.

Workforce Management Dashboards - Monet Software
Workforce Management Dashboards

Forecasting
How accurate have your forecasting efforts proved? Both daily and long-term forecasts can be checked quickly through tables and charts on forecasting dashboards.  More...



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Call Center Metrics Dashboard: The Top 9

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An automated workforce management (WFM) solution can access, record and display dozens of different metrics to help manage performance. Priorities may vary between different call centers, but these 9 are particularly important as they relate to such vital issues as forecasting, scheduling, agent adherence and performance management:

1. Average Handle Time (AHT)

One of the most significant factors in staff calculations is the center’s average handle time, or the transaction time from the customer’s initiation of the call. 

2. Average Talk Time (ATT)

This is the actual time spent talking to customers per call. Productivity is impacted by calls that take too long to resolve. 

3. Average Speed of Answer (ASA)

This metric also has a direct impact on the number of abandoned calls, all of which represent potential missed sales or customer support opportunities. 

4. Answer and Abandon Metrics

As referenced above, abandoned calls are never a desired result. Specifying a standard for length here will help ameliorate the issue, though customer behavior makes it impossible to eliminate this phenomenon altogether. 

5. Labor Costs/Staffing

How many agents are needed per shift? Per week? Per call center? These decisions affect both customer service and company budgets, so any data that helps clarify the needs of the call center can greatly improve efficiency. 

6. Forecast Accuracy

You’ve created forecasts for staffing and scheduling – now what? Regular reviews can determine whether those forecasts were accurate, or need to be adjusted. Even those that are on the mark may eventually need to be re-assessed based on changing company or market conditions.

7. Shrinkage/Absenteeism

It’s important to track how many employees are away on vacation or out sick, or present but on breaks (scheduled or unscheduled). The goal is to create a standard with enough flexibility to keep valued employees, while also mitigating any short-staffing problems.

8. Schedule Adherence

Schedule adherence is the degree to which agents stick to their schedules, measured as a percentage.

9. Service Level

Service level is defined as x percent of calls are answered within y seconds and measures the overall performance of how accessible your service is for customers.

If you would like to see call center metrics in action, please click the link to watch a video about call center performance, dashboards, alerts and KPI's.


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A More Efficient Call Center in One Minute?

These are just some of the real-world benefits experienced after implementing Monet WFM software.

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