There are dozens of software systems dedicated to distilling call centre performance information down to a few key metrics. These workforce management (WFM) dashboards are an essential part of managing your call centre – but they can sometimes create challenges for the managers and agents that use them.

To help you (and your agents) get the most out of your software, we’re looking at four common challenges of using a WFM dashboard.

1. Your Dashboard Displays Unrelated Metrics

Virtually every WFM dashboard will provide some kind of reference to your service level (SL) target. If, on a given day, you’re failing to reach your target, your dashboard will notify you – but what happens next?

In order to take action on your service level, you need to understand why your target was missed. Unfortunately, SL alone can’t provide that insight. Your dashboard needs to provide access to related metrics, in order to provide you with enough information to step-in, and improve your service level.

Unfortunately, many of the metrics on the average dashboard aren’t related to each other. Service level, first call resolution, call volumes and average handling times are all common choices of dashboard metric, but they’re often chosen because they’re relatively easy to understand – not because they’re related, or work together to provide a decent look at performance.

Your dashboard needs to choose metrics based on the insight they provide, and their relationship to other crucial metrics – not because they’re the easiest or most popular to monitor.

2. Your Dashboard May Have Been Designed by Somebody Who Doesn’t Use It

Dashboards are often designed by people with high levels of technical expertise, and high levels of managerial authority. Understandably, they choose metrics that reflect the types of performance information they want to see – but in many cases, this isn’t the same information that junior managers and team leaders would find useful.

For example, a dashboard might show information on call abandonment rates. This type of high-level information is useful for gauging general customer attitudes towards a call centre’s service level – but it’s far less useful to a team leader, or their floor staff. There are dozens of potential reasons for a caller to abandon a call, and scheduling more agents is unlikely to have a noticeable impact on abandonment rates. It’s a metric that isn’t really within their control, and there’s little need for it to occupy a place on their WFM dashboard.

3. Your Dashboard’s Visual Information Isn’t Always Helpful

Many dashboards rely heavily on visual presentation of information. In many instances, an at-a-glance look at a dashboard gauge, complete with red and green performance zones, can be enough to inform a manager of important changes in performance. However, problems can quickly arise when staff are asked to decipher complex charts and graphs.

Whilst more mathematically-inclined staff will be able to quickly understand a graph, many agents may struggle to work out the relationship between the X and Y-axis, and how that relates to their job. Even assuming a high-level of mathematic competency, interpreting graphs can often take a considerable amount of time – longer than a plain-text display would require. If interpreting a pie chart takes too long to read, many agents will stop referring to it – negating the purpose of using a dashboard in the first place.

4. Not Everyone Understands Your Dashboard’s KPIs

When we talk about WFM software, there’s a fundamental assumption at work: that all of the dashboard’s users understand what each metric and KPI means.

Information about service level targets and average handling times are only useful if agents fully understand the metrics, and how they relate to their job. If you’re struggling to put your dashboard to good use, it’s a good idea to strip-back this fundamental assumption, and check that all of your staff have a clear and shared understanding of crucial performance indicators.

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How Intraday Automation Can Help Your Call Centre