customer support data

What to Do With the Data: Considering Your Call Volume and Duration

Daniel WeissLast updated on January 2, 2024
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It feels good to have the power.

That’s right — the power.

For those in-the-know, we’re talkin’ about detailed analytics — sophisticated reporting tools that weren’t even conceivable to sales directors, customer service managers, or call center supervisors five years ago.

But this is the age of information. Data itself isn’t a differentiator. Until you can actually interpret and apply your metrics, they are little more than pieces of abstract art.

These two images should not offer similar insights into how you run your business

So to point you in the right direction, here are a few practical suggestions for how to use the call volume and duration data you’ve collected.

Make Sure Supply Always Meets Demand

When looking at your call volume over monthly, weekly, or even hourly windows, you’ll want to identify spikes, dips, and recurring patterns. In order to keep your call queue reasonable and wait time as short as possible, let those trends be your guide to smarter staffing.

For example, maybe you notice customers are less likely to call during standard business hours. Or perhaps Valentine’s Day shoppers are the segment most likely to unleash the opposite of love on your service representatives. Home in on precise periods of increased activity to make smarter personnel decisions. More informed staffing means happier customers in times of high traffic and reasonable spending when ringers go silent.

You may even want to consider this information when scheduling team trainings or weekly meetings. It only takes a few missed calls (multiplied exponentially by their scathing reviews) to dissuade many more potential customers from doing business with you. Let the data show you when your agents can most easily attend a half-hour meeting.

Build Fair and Effective Teams

Many reporting tools allow you to view performance holistically, from a team level, as well as identifying individual agent metrics. By looking at group performance, you can get a better idea of overall team success — like how your team responds to increased seasonal demand (see above) — but individual agent analytics let you manage your team on a more personal level.

Metrics like call duration and volume will help you evaluate new agents or select your next “Employee of the Month.” Take it a step further, and these stats are a great way to ensure all agents are receiving equitable amounts of work.

If you’re running a sales operation, uneven incoming call volume may be favoring certain reps. When operating on a commission model, this discrepancy could lead to discontent amongst your team.

On the customer support side, call routing can be optimized for even delivery as well. If half your team sounds hoarse while the other half conducts an Italian-language group on Duolingo, consider examining your phone system’s routing options.

Parity and employee morale provide their own — less tangible, but potentially more important — type of ROI. Keeping track of agent analytics can ensure your entire team is happy and united.

Inspire Innovation Across the Business

Call volume is bound to fluctuate throughout the day, week, or year, but abnormal patterns in your inbound calls could be something to look into. If you’ve observed spikes or prolonged periods of elevated call volume, you’ll want to isolate the source.

Did your team receive a slew of complaints in mid-September regarding late deliveries? This could merit a discussion with your distributors about what went wrong and how to avoid future delays. Issues surrounding shipping and delivery might be outside of your immediate control but, nevertheless, reflect poorly on you in terms of customer experience. Your inquiries and call data are the first line of defense against these occurrences and act as a catalyst toward improved logistics.

Has inbound volume jolted upward after a recent app update? This could be a signal to the development team to consider new optimizations or a UI review. Were users angry with performance? Confused by the layout? The data can help you narrow your search to the correct time-frame.

To effectively pinpoint problem areas — and quantify the qualitative — you can encourage your team to use “call tags” for both inbound and outbound calls. Shipping updates, product inquiries, enrollment questions — categorizing your communications will help you resolve issues faster and promote impressive customer retention rates.

If it’s an option, consider making tagging a required field for your agents. This will make sure nothing gets lost in the analytics.

On a final note: call analytics do not tell the whole story, particularly in relationship-based departments like sales or customer support. Though, should you wish to track team performance, distribute calls for maximum efficiency, or look into any operational concerns, accurate call data can provide a stable and convincing foundation.

Published on December 15, 2017.

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