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Small business
call center:
Using analytics
to help improve
customer satisfaction

Author: Adam Kimmel

The small business call center, also known as contact center, is often the first point of contact customers have with your company. They purchase a product, experience an issue and need to contact your company directly to resolve the problem.

With so many ways to communicate, the traditional call center has evolved into a "contact center."  And the cloud contact center model augments the traditional phone call-based approach with more modern communication forms, such as text, chat and email, in most cases integrated with each other. The modern cloud contact centers provide access to analytics and reporting, which help businesses gain important insights into how their business is performing.

Dashboards that present small business data analytics can provide tremendous insight into day-to-day operations. The data can answer previously anecdotal questions, such as:

  • How many calls am I missing?
  • How is that impacting my business?
  • Do I need to add more agents to support incoming call volumes?
  • Are there times of year when I need more or less support?

The good news for a small business call center, is that the answers to these questions reside in some basic analytic metrics. A clear view of those metrics can help enhance your operations.

Types of small business data analytics

Small business data analytics can help to inform you on steps you can take to help you meet customer expectations. Further, such data can provide insights into your customer interactions, so you can understand what is working and what is leading to poor customer satisfaction.

Furthermore, changes in this data can indicate trends in your business that you'll want to know. For example, in your small business call center, is customer service improving or declining? Are your continuous improvement initiatives for customer service working?

A small business call center should consider establishing four key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure and report on a consistent basis: first contact resolution, net promoter rate, call abandonment rate and active waiting calls.

First contact resolution

Quickly resolving a customer issue is one of the best ways to build trust, satisfaction and loyalty between consumers and providers. First contact resolution, a measure of problems successfully solved after the customer first contacts your business, quantifies the efficiency of your resolution. The customer gains confidence that time invested in engaging your call center will likely result in a successful outcome.

Net promoter rate

The most impactful business endorsement is a referral to a friend or colleague. Scoring a customer's willingness (out of 10, for example) to recommend your business can tell you a lot about the overall experience customers are having with your business. It's the grade on the final exam, taking into account everything involved with the customer experience from the beginning of their engagement.

This metric is like a mini case study, providing insights into whether a customer is willing to put their name on a recommendation for what you provide. When done right, a high net promoter rate often leads to building champions for you within your customer base.

Call abandonment rate

This KPI measures the customer's tolerance for how long they had to wait to access your small business call center. It compares the number of calls your contact center team handled with the number of calls placed.

This metric guides the staffing level you have. Excessive call abandonments may signify you need more help answering inquiries as they come in. Or you may want to implement some new technologies like voice call back options which will help customers keep their place in line while allowing an agent to call back when available. This can help reduce your call abandonment rate while helping to build an improved customer experience.

Active waiting calls

This KPI has two components: the number of calls on hold for your call center and the average time they take to connect with a team member.

Increasing numbers of calls on hold once again point to short staffing. Excessive time per call may signify the need to coach and train the call center personnel in resolving issues more efficiently and effectively. If allowed to increase too much, these metrics can lead to an uptick in outright call abandonments.

How small business call center data analytics can enhance operations

Small business data analytics can help you identify important trends so you can make important changes in your processes to help ensure you are meeting your customers’ expectations. The KPIs you establish should support your high-level objectives such as being the most knowledgeable in your industry or providing the most efficient, comprehensive service when compared to your competitors. Grading yourself against the KPIs you establish by gathering insights, and making adjustments to the processes so as to improve the performance will help better serve your customers. In a small business contact center, collecting and actioning appropriate changes in the right direction can make the difference between knowing and delighting your customer and frustrating them right out the door.

Learn more about how Verizon's contact center solutions can propel your business to customer service excellence.