Updated February 2021.
Customer care is a crucial part of any business, directly influencing client satisfaction rates and, ultimately, sales.
But how much do you know about what is happening in your contact center?
And how well do you understand the factors that affect your employees’ performance?
These answers — and many more — can be found through call center reporting.
If the bare thought of creating a report gives you a headache, we don’t blame you.
Call center reports used to be a drag, but we’re not here to talk about how things used to get done.
We’re here to discuss a faster, better way of tracking metrics, monitoring customer service performance, and ultimately improving your business’ outcomes.
This post will shed light on why reporting matters and why old-school approaches don’t work.
More importantly, we’ll share the best practices for effective call center reporting, plus a modern reporting software and a call center calculator that will boost your performance.
What is call center reporting and why does it matter?
Call center reporting measures performance, and helps businesses understand what is happening in their contact centers.
It does so by connecting several raw data flows and converting them into key performance indicators (KPIs).
Based on these KPIs, you can create graphs and charts to better visualize critical trends and patterns.
After a closer analysis, you’ll also be able to generate actionable plans that can shift your business in a better direction.
Call center reports can have a significant impact on your call center’s performance, helping
you diagnose and solve issues before they affect your customers’ satisfaction.
Reporting empowers you with customer journey insights, plus real-time dashboards that can drive data-infused decisions.
And, equally important, it offers you a way of visualizing how well your agents perform.
Tools such as a call center calculator can help you figure out how to handle your overhead, boosting performance even more.
When done right, reporting helps you pinpoint the areas that, when improved upon, will lead to more productivity and increased efficiency.
Think of reporting as a call center diagnosis that helps you unravel its weaknesses, strengths, risks, and opportunities.
The problem with current reporting approaches
In past years, call center reporting was manually done by developers, who spent countless hours trying to compile data from several databases.
Needless to say, this solution was fraught with inaccuracies, leading to multiple errors, and unnecessarily eating up indecent amounts of financial resources.
Plus, it was not very efficient, as developers could rarely put together all the data available.
Instead, they made what they could with what they had, which proved to be better than nothing but not merely enough.
This limitation meant that businesses could only glimpse into their call centers’ performance, unable to grasp the full picture or implement impactful solutions.
It was a reporting approach that dragged everyone along; it promised insights but delivered only bits and pieces.
Luckily, in recent years, new smart solutions emerged to help businesses automate their call center reports.
However, before you rush into selecting the first tool out there, exercise caution.
Not all reporting software solutions are created equally; some speed up processes but lack accuracy; others provide analytics, but crack under privacy scrutiny; ultimately, few deliver high quality all around.
So, before choosing a solution, carefully consider your options.
After all, you don’t want to flatline your efforts by betting on the wrong tool.
That being said, here are the best practices that should be supported by the software solution you choose.
Contact center reporting best practices
1. Select KPIs that support your goals
With so many KPIs out there, it’s easy to spread your efforts too thin by considering too many at once.
Don’t make that mistake.
Instead, focus your efforts on KPIs you know will improve your business goals.
Easier said than done, right?
You’re not alone in thinking so.
Many contact center managers admit they struggle to find the right metrics for managing their businesses.
But it doesn’t have to be a struggle.
Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the amount of KPIs available, flip your thinking on its head.
To decide on which KPIs to focus, start with the stakeholders; consider the customer, the organization, and the employees.
Build your way up from these three categories, plotting relevant KPIs to each.
For example, suppose you’re aiming to improve your agents’ productivity and problem-solving.
In that case, you must look at KPIs such as average handle time, average time on hold, quality assurance, and customer satisfaction score.
2. Compile data from multiple channels
The more data you compile, the more accurate your reports will be.
That’s why best reporting practices encourage businesses to collect data from all their call centers and from collateral channels too.
If you haven’t considered data from email, direct messages, and chats so far, you should start now.
These diverse data sets will help you piece together your customer journey to better adjust your agent experience touchpoints.
As the picture gets bigger, new solutions and opportunities will emerge, empowering you to advance your business.
Since consolidated data is mandatory for efficient and transparent management, the best reporting solutions enable their users to compile data from multiple channels.
If you’re looking for a multi-channel reporting solution, look no further than The Reporting Engine.
Our omni-channel software allows for multiple data sources reports (phone, sales sales, WFM, quality etc), for various locations, and for multiple business units.
3. Easy to access, simple to read reports
Reporting should be a simple affair.
Anyone in your company should be able to quickly generate reports and customize them without hassle.
Smart reporting solutions should focus on delivering information in an easy-to-read format that everybody — from agents to managers, and C-level executives — understand.
That’s not to say everybody should have access to all reports, especially to those reports that contain confidential or sensible data.
Ease of use should not be confused with the lack of access levels.
A good reporting software offers different user clearance levels and limits access accordingly.
This way, agents can create and visualize reports regarding their calls, emails, and social data, to get a better understanding of their performance.
Still, they won’t have access to crucial business insights that should only be seen by managers.
4. Customize reports with meaningful information
To avoid vital information from drowning in a pool of superfluous details, customize your reports based on who will read them and with what goal.
“More” is not always better, and in this case, you need to focus on relevant information exclusively.
By narrowing your focus, solutions will emerge swiftly.
Plus, a single-minded report will be easier to read, which is another best practice we’ve discussed.
A reporting solution that brings added value to your business is one that allows for multiple customization options.
Reporting software such as The Reporting Engine will help you include or take out as many details as you want.
From customizable demographics to optimized queries and innovative databases, The Reporting Engine brings a new level of insights to your decision-making process.
This is the type of flexibility your team needs to assess performance promptly and to avoid chasing information that leads nowhere.
5. Blend reporting with analytics
Your call center’s data is filled with business intelligence.
While reports help you visualize what’s happening, analytics take you one step further, revealing actionable insights.
To make that extra step, you need to carefully balance the time you spend compiling reports with the time you spend doing quality analysis.
When selecting a reporting tool for your call center, look for one that has rapid compilation capabilities and in-depth analysis features.
By carefully considering both reports and analytics, you’ll pave the way to better decisions and improved performance.
6. Make sure your reports are secure
Call centers have the obligation to secure their clients’ personal data.
And, with privacy regulations getting stricter, businesses need to make sure this data is safe across all their channels — for the sake of their customers and their own.
How can weak security reporting affect your business?
Poorly secured reports will deter your performance efforts, creating more problems on top of those you’re trying to solve.
Improper reporting practices are breeding grounds for errors that can lead to operational chaos and brand image decline — if the word gets out.
Make sure the reporting software you choose has strict privacy features and unyielding security.
To save yourself a lot of trouble, select a GDPR compliant solution that checks even the sternest personal data regulations.
Software such as The Reporting Engine is designed with intrusion prevention, firewalls, and a vulnerability management system to protect your data.
Together, these features are a solid guarantee that your data will always be protected.
Boost performance even more with a Call Center Calculator
Reports are terrific for assessing efforts by compiling data and revealing patterns that influence your business’ outcomes.
Ultimately, reports enable you to make better decisions and improve performance.
However, when it comes to staffing requirements and overhead, the decision-making process can become highly complex.
To determine your call center’s staffing requirements for different times of the day and different days, you need to factor in multiple variables.
You have to consider metrics such as staff vacation days, staff activities, average call duration, expected calls per hour, arrival rate of calls per week, average wait times, average call load, and many more.
While reports will offer you all the data needed, calculating the final result falls under your attributions.
Luckily, a call center calculator can take the load off your shoulders, rapidly computing all metrics and variables to return an accurate result.
By correlating the data from your contact center’s reports, the call center calculator will help you determine how to schedule shift coverage.
Plus, you’ll know exactly the number of agents you need at every hour of every day.
The Reporting Engine’s call center calculator will help you calculate realistic vacation and absenteeism overheads, reducing the time needed for resource allocation.
The best part though? You’ll make the most of every minute and every resource you have.
Get business intelligence to improve your call center’s performance
Microsoft’s State of Global Customer Service Report found that 61% of consumers stopped transacting with a business after a poor service experience.
That’s a defeating percentage, which proves — once again — the vital role of reporting.
If you want to keep your customers and win new ones, you need to see where your contact center is losing ground and fix that territory.
Smart reporting will help you do that and more.
The Reporting Engine is proven to help businesses increase calls by 300% and turbocharge productivity.
Ultimately, the results translate into more satisfied customers and, of course, a bigger revenue.
Start improving your performance today.
Contact us for a demo, and let’s take your call center to new efficiency heights.