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Contact Center Performance Management Packages Deliver Actionable Results and Rapid Benefits 

Contact Center Performance Management Packages Deliver Actionable Results and Rapid Benefits

Contact Center Performance Management Packages Deliver Actionable Results and Rapid Benefits

By Donna Fluss

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The contact center performance management (CCPM) market is maturing and vendors are responding to their customersÕ needs for solutions that rapidly deliver quantifiable benefits. CCPM vendors have begun to modularize their solutions and offer stand-alone packages to solve individual business performance problems. These packages are targeted at a specific issue, such as FCR, coaching, or rewards and incentive management. The advantage is that these packages are quick to implement because they require little customization or configuration. Generally they come with a set of 20 to 30 pre-defined metrics, KPIs, dashboards and scorecards, pre-built algorithms and standard reports. These packages deliver a rapid payback (3 months or less) with significantly lower start-up costs than full CCPM implementations. Several of the packages can be installed independently of the vendorsÕ broader suites or platforms.

CCPM Packages

Leading CCPM packages available today are:

First Call Resolution (FCR) Ð measure efficiency, effectiveness and customer satisfaction levels of interactions that take place in the contact center. FCR packages compute the percentage of calls resolved during customersÕ first contact with an enterprise. FCR applications also take into account the overall call resolution rate (CRR), so that agent performance can be assessed for all interactions.

Root Cause Analysis Ð allow managers to systematically uncover the underlying reasons why customers are contacting the organization. These packages enable users to peel away the superficial symptoms in order to uncover and expose the real cause of customer issues or problems. By systematically analyzing the data for any given situation, users can draw conclusions based on facts and backed up by documented evidence.

Next-Best Action Ð provide a single source of information and analysis across all customer touch points. Next-best action modules use algorithms designed to evaluate all interactions and to recognize, predict and anticipate customer needs. Personalized questions, answers, offers and advice are dynamically determined and delivered to agents just in time to help them determine the next step to take in subsequent interactions.

CoachingÐ provide a two-way exchange so that agents and managers can communicate about agent performance. These modules include instruction and training for agents, along with goals to achieve or to develop specific skills. Coaching may be delivered in various forms, such as targeted feedback in response to agent actions, or training sessions and materials sent to agents for review.

Performance Appraisals Ð guide users through the steps for evaluating agent job performance in terms of quality, service delivery, cost and time. These applications can initiate the appraisal process (by sending reminders), monitor reviews and discussions, and keep track of the sign-offs required by the company.

Rewards and Incentive Management Ð automate monitoring of agent performance against pre-defined goals, KPIs or other programs offered by employers. These packages track the programs and the incentives (e.g., rewards, bonuses or points) tied to each incentive. They can automatically track progress, identify agents who qualify for appropriate recognition, and broadcast the results to the relevant groups.

Dashboards/Scorecards Ð provide the primary reporting methods for agents, supervisors and managers. Scorecards keep track of the KPIs used to understand how well employees, departments or teams are performing. They are intended to provide a balanced view of overall performance. Dashboards display gauges, meters, switches, charts, graphs and KPIs showing performance metrics.

Real-Time Reporting Ð enable users to push or pull data from various sources and display up-to-date information (within 3 seconds of an event) on dashboards. The advantage of real-time reporting is that the data is made available instantly so that users can make the appropriate analysis and take immediate action to correct issues, and address comments and concerns.

Sales Incentive Compensation Ð provide capability for sales management to model, communicate and manage compensation plans, the primary drivers of all sales efforts. These packages communicate the strategic goals of the organization to sales personnel, directing and motivating the sales force to achieve their objectives. They also enable management to model and forecast commission costs using a scenario-based modeling capability that incorporates the objectives and quotas defined by the business. The packages support compensation management across multiple channels, field representatives, tele-sales representatives, sales managers, partners, and overlay territories.

Sales (Up- and Cross-Selling) Ð make recommendations to sales personnel to help enrich the customer purchasing experience. These packages help sales representatives evaluate customer needs and, based on customer responses, make recommendations for cross- and up-selling opportunities.

Sales Performance & Sales Analytics Ð measure key sales metrics from various perspectives to provide sales managers with an overall picture of the activity in their sales organization. These solutions provide up-to-date information about customers, relationships, sales processes and the market. They make this information available via a sales dashboard, scorecards and reports.

Rapid Deployment Packages Ð cut down traditional CCPM implementation time frames from months to a few days or weeks. These quick-start solutions typically contain a subset of the functionality provided by a full CCPM solution. They contain a limited set of metrics, KPIs, pre-defined scorecards and dashboards, and usually limit the number of data sources that can be integrated with the CCPM solution. Rapid deployment packages allow companies to get started with CCPM quickly while laying the foundation to move to a more functionally-rich implementation in the future.

Desktop Analytics Ð monitor, capture, structure, analyze, report and react to all agent desktop activity and process workflows. These packages use an automated approach to detect agent keystrokes, data entry, applications, screens and fields accessed, events, usage duration, and resulting actions. They measure application utilization, usage patterns and performance metrics in order to assess application and user efficiency, effectiveness, compliance and external customer impact.

Customer Experience Analytics Ð capture, measure, analyze and evaluate the quality and outcome of the customer experience throughout all phases of an interaction for all customer-facing touch points, channels and activities. This includes IVR and Web self-service, live agent and fulfillment or follow-up activities, and all actions initiated by the customer or agent on the customerÕs behalf.

Leading Competitors

The leading providers of contact center performance management packages are Aspect, Enkata, Genesys, Merced, NICE, Verint and VPI. There are also specialty vendors like Snowfly, a provider of workforce rewards and incentive management programs. The packages vary greatly; some are sold as part of a broad suite and some on a stand-alone basis, so thorough research is necessary to find the right one for your company. (See DMGÕs 2009 Contact Center and Enterprise Performance Management Market Report (released May 2009) at, to help you select the right product at the right price.)

Final Thoughts

While the recession is constraining investments in all but essential contact center solutions, users are showing strong interest and are making investments in applications that deliver actionable and quantifiable results within 1 to 3 months. Many of the packaged performance management solutions described above meet these criteria and are being implemented today. Building a CCPM culture and framework is important for contact centers, particularly as they get more involved in sales and other enterprise activities. Some contact centers will continue invest in full CCPM implementations, but many others will get there one package at a time.

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