The key to contact centre success

A well-oiled contact centre is fundamental to CX and business success. Richard Hibbert and Morgan Bryan look at measuring, managing, and improving contact centre success.

Contact centre success

The key to contact centre success

A well-oiled contact centre is fundamental to CX and business success. Richard Hibbert and Morgan Bryan look at measuring, managing, and improving contact centre success.

Meet the author

Richard Hibbert

Principal Consultant

Morgan Bryan

Senior Consultant

A contact centre that efficiently offers customers technical support and sales assistance whilst also gathering data on customer needs is every organisation’s goal. Improving operations in a contact centre or customer support team is an ongoing endeavour for many firms. To do this, it’s important to know where to start.

Defining objectives

First, we need to define the priority objectives, this might be to improve efficiency, sales, or customer experience. Objectives will normally come from your strategy and operating environment.

Once we have the objectives, we need to decide on the metrics we are going to use to measure whether the organisation is going in the right direction. A sensible organisation is usually tracking a lot of metrics to understand what is going on. In practice, almost every team should have some metrics that focus on efficiency, such as shrinkage or occupancy, and some that focus on the customer, such as CSAT, first time resolution, or wait times. Sales teams will also have more commercial metrics such as volume.

Once we have the right metrics, we can then put a target on them, perhaps as a KPI with rewards or incentives for teams and people that meet them. Be careful with targets, however. If we have a handling time target, the calls might be rushed and customers might end up calling back resulting in efficiency going in the wrong direction.

By deciding on the strategy, we get alignment, ensuring that everyone is pulling in the right direction. These metrics should be shared and discussed regularly at every level of the team.

Listen to and engage your frontline agents

By listening to and engaging frontline agents, organisations can understand what is going wrong with a product or service. Contact centre staff spend all day talking to customers and they can provide an unparalleled, early insight into how things are working and how customers are engaging with your products. You can’t put a price on having a customer’s personal view of your business, so use it.

Frontline workers are also the voice and image of your organisation and provide your organisation’s human touchpoint. If you don’t get this right, customer experience and the view of your organisation will be poor. If a customer has to wait 45 minutes on the phone before they get through to an agent whose knowledge is patchy, the customer will leave the call with a bad impression. By ensuring agents are engaged and well trained, customer satisfaction will be high.

Ensure technology and processes are working well

For agents to do their job well, they need access to technology and processes that work across all channels. You can have the most appropriate set of objectives, the right performance data, and engaged agents, but if agents don’t have a decent system, if they can’t record data or interact with one another, or if the downstream processes aren’t working, they will never do well.

Therefore, having a clean case history giving details of previous conversations will set agents off on the right foot. In addition to this, by ensuring your organisation has response times in other channels such as email, and having a good set of FAQs will all assist frontline agents when handling calls with your valued customers.


There is rarely a quick fix when trying to improve operations within a contact centre. Choosing the right objectives when trying to improve operations is the first step, followed by getting the right metrics in place to measure and track what is going on. Frontline workers are gathering useful information about your business every day, so make sure they have the technology and processes in place so that they can do their job well.

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