You Front-line supervisors are the life-blood of contact centers, serving as coaches and motivators for representatives, facilitating communication between entry-level workers and upper management, and constantly reassessing the state of the center’s operations to streamline work and increase efficiency. The pivotal role of supervisors in managing workflow and providing support to live agents cannot be understated. This is why real time performance intelligence is necessary.
However, supervisors also face unique challenges because of their complex and versatile role. In the task of empowering efficient front-line supervisors, one of the greatest obstacles to increased productivity is a lack of information on real time performance. In today’s data driven environment, access to information on real time performance in contact centers is one of the most important tools that you can give managers and team leads. Without such help, they are often left to guess as to the efficacy and outcomes of new strategies.
Below are the answers to some of the most important questions you might have about real time performance in contact centers, its role in building a smarter workforce, and how to implement it.
Why should you implement real-time performance intelligence?
First and foremost, a strong management strategy is one that understands and addresses the needs of employees and customers alike. Nothing gives you the power to understand where employees are struggling—and consequently where customer positive experience falters—in the same way as data from real time performance intelligence systems. Once front-line supervisors are able to pinpoint difficulties, they will be much more capable of addressing problems, coaching employees, and steering results in the right direction.
On the same note, real time performance intelligence gives supervisors the opportunity to pinpoint kinks in the system overall. Perhaps there are certain problems that have more to do with organization than the strengths and weaknesses of individual employees, and the data provided by real time performance software systems allows supervisors to locate and eliminate such kinks with ease.
Finally, the increased efficiency resulting from a more streamlined system can improve morale. Because data allows issues to be addressed more easily, it fosters a more open work environment where employees are better able to self-analyze and self critique. This increase in morale can in turn improve the bothersome turnover rates that plague some contact centers.
Tips on implementing performance management
We have outlined the major benefits of implementing a real time performance management system. However, the question of how to implement such a system in an effective way is a different issue that needs to be addressed. In fact, used without direction, such a system can have negative effects on employee motivation and execution. Three important tips on the culture that needs to be built around the intelligence gathered to make it work:
Establishing common goals
Once you have the data on hand to identify and address problems, the next step is to get everyone in the loop. Real time performance intelligence is not as effective if only upper management is aware of the problems at hand. In the hands of front-line supervisors and live agents, this information can be used to produce better outcomes and support live agents. Establishing common goals across departmental and managerial lines will help the company move forward as a single, unified body.
Checking in with employees
You should use performance intelligence to foster more meaningful and effective communication with representatives who interact with employees. Knowing where employees fall short—and addressing those shortfalls in an empathetic way—can lead to more direct, less generic training. This is especially for employees who need help developing their skills.
Analyzing and interpreting data
Establishing common methods for interpreting data is another important element. It allows you to make changes in a scientific and purposeful manner. Common goals allow employees and supervisors to stay on the same page about where to direct their efforts. Common strategies for interpreting data can improve the relationship between supervisors and upper management. This is because it helps them see issues from a similar perspective.
Important considerations when implementing real time performance intelligence
Finally, there are a few common pitfalls that can stifle growth when implementing real time performance management.
The most crucial is overstepping on the part of managers. It is important that employees see that their work is in constant evaluation. However, an overemphasis on consistent results can cause frustration. The contact center industry is mostly fluid, interpersonal interactions.“Working for the data” can prevent employees from acting organically and spontaneously. This is because it is sometimes necessary for strong results. It is important to you don’t make your employees feel as though you watch them. They should not feel criticized constantly through the lens of performance intelligence.
Why you need real time performance intelligence
Finally, it is important to give a new system time before over-analyzing results. Real time performance intelligence is an effective tool. This is only when you use it to analyze long-term trends rather than immediate fluctuations. It is important to give supervisors time to gather and interpret data before attempting to modify behavior and general strategy.
As with all tools built to increase worker efficiency, intelligence about real time performance management in contact centers can be powerful, but only if implemented intelligently, empathetically, and judiciously.
- Three important tips on the culture that need to be built around real time performance intelligence- Click to Tweet
- Here is why your contact center should have real time performance intelligence- Click to Tweet
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Jim Rembach is the Editor in Chief of the Customer Service Weekly and it’s Podcast host. He is President of CX Global Media and the creator of the Call Center Coach Virtual Leaders Academy. As the host of the Fast Leader Show Podcast, he has interviewed hundreds of experts, authors, academics, researchers, and practitioners on various angles, viewpoints, and perspectives for improving the customer experience. He has held positions in retail operations, contact centers, customer support, customer success, sales, and measured the customer experience. He is a certified Emotional Intelligence practitioner, Employee Retention Specialist, and recipient of numerous industry awards.