Why Contact Centers Don't Adopt Performance Management: Despite Excuses, Catching Up with Other Enterprises Is Only a Matter of Time

By Fluss, Donna | CRM Magazine, November 2012 | Go to article overview

Why Contact Centers Don't Adopt Performance Management: Despite Excuses, Catching Up with Other Enterprises Is Only a Matter of Time


Fluss, Donna, CRM Magazine


CONTACT CENTER performance management (CCPM) is a process and an application, both of which are misunderstood and under-appreciated by the market. The concepts underlying CCPM represent a well-tested approach to data-driven management being applied in a variety of ways throughout enterprises. The idea is to quantify and measure key contact center activities in order to identify out-of-adherence situations that require remediation.

Performance management has caught on in many enterprise functions, just not in contact centers. Enterprises use enterprise performance management (EPM), also known as corporate performance management or business performance management, to track and report key performance indicators for various business units and report them to senior executives. Six Sigma, Lean, and similar programs are designed to identify and measure the performance of quantifiable business activities so that anomalies can be promptly identified and rectified. Six Sigma and Lean are performance management-type initiatives that are being applied to operating areas, including contact centers, more frequently than comprehensive performance management programs.

WHY DON'T CONTACT CENTER MANAGERS ADOPT CCPM?

Having followed this sector in depth since 2005, DMG Consulting has had the chance to ask many contact center managers this very question. Here are some of their explanations for their reluctance to invest in CCPM:

* I'm not sure what it is or what it will do for my contact center.

* I already have too much reporting; I don't need another reporting package.

* It's too expensive and time consuming to use, and it's risk-prone.

* It's not worth the effort.

* It requires too many integrations.

* It is not our highest priority need (and always seems to be pushed back by other systems' priorities).

* My management won't approve the investment.

* My department has developed its own performance management solution.

* My company already has an EPM solution.

These answers may have been phrased differently, but this list captures the essence of the issue: Contact center leaders and managers do not know what CCPM is. Most still believe that it is just more sophisticated reporting, and since they already have reporting systems, they're not willing to take on the battle to get an investment approved, particularly when other solutions, like speech analytics and even desktop analytics, have captured the attention of their senior managers. With speech analytics, there have been a number of instances in which senior executives have introduced and championed the acquisition process. This is far from the case with CCPM.

WHY WON'T VENDORS INVEST IN BUILDING THE MARKET?

Vendors want to sell CCPM, but they are not willing to invest in the marketing required to build market demand. This is a Catch-22 situation if ever there was one. Another way to look at this situation is as a circle of failure. At this point there isn't enough activity (revenue being generated) to justify the type of investments needed to wake up the market. (This is reminiscent of the contact center workforce management (WFM) market, which has limped along for most of its 30-year history. There have been enough purchases to make it worthwhile to maintain and sell the products, but not enough to compel vendors to make major investments, until just recently.)

WHY IS IT SO HARD TO EXPLAIN CCPM'S VALUE?

Since CCPM has a very strong value proposition for managers who are quantitatively oriented and appreciate the importance of managing by numbers, it seems that it should be relatively easy to explain how it can improve the performance of these mission-critical operating areas. …

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