What Are the Business Objectives of a Call Center?
Call centers provide a customer contact point for businesses, and call center leaders must ensure the center meets the company’s business objectives. Though specific objectives can vary considerably depending on the type and size of call center, many call centers have a number of central business objectives they must meet.
Most call centers, according to Contact Center World, derive their objectives from a core set of metrics. These metrics include the service level, sometimes known as the grade of service, which indicates the percentage of calls answered within a predetermined threshold. Objectives also include the call abandonment rate, which is the number or percentage of calls that hang up before getting answered, and the average speed of answer.
In addition to metrics that judge the center as a whole, call centers also have business objectives at the agent level. For each individual operator, a call center typically sets objectives on call volume, or the number of calls the agent makes or answers in a shift or per hour. Call centers may also establish objectives regarding the average talk time, both at the center-wide level and at the agent level, as controlling the average call duration allows the business to better plan staffing levels.
Many call centers base objectives on other operational aspects that the phone system itself may not measure. One such objective is employee satisfaction; because recruiting and training new employees carries a high cost, many businesses strive to keep their employees happy. Other key indicators in a call center include customer satisfaction survey results, first call resolution and strategic value. Some call center leaders establish objectives regarding schedule adherence, or the amount of unscheduled time away from the phone per agent, for staffing and forecasting reasons.
Call centers typically fall into either a sales or a service category, though some companies have combined the two types and tasked call centers with both objectives. The specific business objectives for a call center depend largely on the center’s function within the organization. A sales-focused call center, for example, may have a sales quota for employees and managers. A service-focused center, by contrast, may set objectives based on customer satisfaction scores.
Call centers will likely have other business objectives that tie into the company’s larger strategic vision. Other common business objectives include customer retention, revenue generation, efficiency, cost control and strategic value to the corporate mission. Because a call center is often the company’s most apparent point of contact with its customers, many businesses also set objectives regarding the professionalism with which agents answer calls and conduct conversations with customers.