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Call centres let down by poor management information

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12th Oct 2006
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Call centres are being run inefficiently thanks to bad management information, according to new research from Teasel Performance Management.

A study found that call centre managers waste an average of one work day per week identifying and addressing everyday problems – although some say that this figure rises to between 30 and 50 per cent of their time, which corresponds to between 1.5 and 2.5 working days per week.

Some 44 per cent of respondents said that they were 'failed' by a lack of relevant management information and that they were dissatisfied by the quality and timeliness of the information they are given and agree that it doesn't allow them to identify issues early enough.

The findings also show that contact centre investments in technology are not providing managers with the tools they need. Over seven in ten want to be able to benchmark agent and team performance across all parts of the infrastructure – but only four in ten have the technology in place to do so. A similar number want to be able to consolidate data regardless of location, but again only four in ten have access to this technology at present.

A quarter of respondents get management reports at least hourly, while 5 per cent receive them on an hourly basis and 38 per cent daily. Nearly a quarter only receive reports weekly or monthly.

"With up to half their working week being wasted and over four in ten managers feeling failed by the information available to them there are clearly issues with the quality of management information and how it is being used to run contact centre operations," said Tim Burfoot, Managing Director of Teasel Performance Management.

"Less is more when it comes to management information. It's no good bombarding people with lots of irrelevant or inaccurate data. It's far better to give them less but ensure that it's relevant, up-to-date and tailored to the role they have to perform. Small modifications and 'tweaks' as the day progresses can make all the difference when it comes to running a contact centre efficiently and keeping customers happy. This is why even hourly delivery is unacceptable because the information is retrospective and too late to resolve problems in real time."

The online research was carried out by Metrica between August and September 2006. Participants were classified as being either a contact centre 'director', 'manager' or 'head of department' and 78 per cent worked for organisations that had two or more contact centres.

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