With an unlimited amount of measurable performance, productivity, and customer satisfaction data contained within your highly personalized, and ever-evolving ecosystem, who has the time, resources, or in-depth knowledge to pause and analyze these internal metrics? With new platforms, technologies, and best practices continuously evolving at rapid speed, it can feel overwhelming to accurately assess your contact center’s overall performance.
It is therefore of paramount importance to conduct both regular and periodic reviews of your contact center – an audit if you will, to ensure that key metric efficiencies are being achieved to identify new opportunities, pinpoint weaknesses, and optimize performance. A call center audit can be used as a baseline to understand your current environment, versus your future goals and objectives, and serves as the first step toward building a business case for potential migrations and/or solution acquisitions.
How an all-inclusive contact center audit can identify opportunities and optimize performance
Just like an annual physical, your contact center needs regular assessments to uncover weaknesses, gain insights and identify areas for improvement. An all-inclusive contact center audit can be that annual assessment that helps identify opportunities for improvement within your contact center by providing an in-depth operational diagnostic of your contact center’s performance. This type of audit extends across departments to identify any pain points that may exist – for something as simple as unexpected outcomes or as serious as fundamental process flaws or training gaps and everything in between. Ensuring these are then documented in an audit report will provide valuable insight and proper guidance on how best to move forward. Think of it as a benchmarking tool.
It is important to remember that while the audit gives you a 360-degree view of your contact center and provides the necessary data around gaps and opportunities in your center, it will fall to you to then take corresponding actions to optimize operations and correct these gaps.
Therefore, an audit should be seen as a discovery phase and not a solution or cure for what may ail your contact center.
The goal of a contact center audit
A properly executed audit will generate benchmarks that can be used against industry best practices to further propel your operations.
The result of an audit is an audit report. Audit reports provide valuable insight and guidance on how to optimize your contact center’s performance. With a better understanding of your actual operations, recommendations can be proposed and a strategic contact center plan can be developed to improve efficiency. This report can be seen as a roadmap that outlines opportunities for improvement. Depending on the type, it can include measurements against best practices, GAP analysis and comprehensive recommendations.
The Contact Center Audit – A proactive approach that ensures your contact center’s health and wellness
Depending on your requirements, an audit can also serve as a snapshot of overall health or a more focused, but still comprehensive, assessment of your contact center’s operations and processes.
Remember though that a comprehensive audit should include all the necessary touchpoints and technical analysis for a full understanding of your contact center environment and performance.
Below are some of the key audits that can and should be regularly conducted:
1. The Annual Audit
Frequently overlooked, the annual or general audit is a yearly global audit that analyzes and evaluates key business and value drivers against best practices (current technologies, service metrics, agent performance, quality, productivity, and dozens more KPIs). This yearly “health check” is an in-depth analysis that encompasses and takes into consideration all aspects of the company including goals and strategies, to accurately evaluate the entirety of contact center operations.
A general audit will help you answer these and other questions:
- How are we doing?
- Can we meet our objectives?
- Where can we improve?
- What processes should we put in place?
It’s also important to conduct a global audit yearly to uncover potential opportunities for improvement and growth that evolve. It’s like being in the driver’s seat actively seeking opportunities versus continuously playing catch-up in the dark.
The great thing about a recurrent health check is that it allows you to compare the audit report from year-to-year. You’ll then be able to quantify your progress and see the real impacts of the management decisions that were made throughout the year.
2. The Operational Audit
The operational audit is a more targeted and in-depth analysis of your contact center’s performance, processes and quality assurance procedures. This type of audit is done to provide contact center managers with actionable insights to help decision-making.
An operational audit will help you answer the following questions:
- How effective are our current processes?
- What impact do our processes have on the contact center’s performance?
- Are we adhering to best practices?
- Where do we have opportunities to improve?
Operational audits are essential to uncovering contact center inefficiencies that impact time and cost savings. These audits provide contact center managers with a clear understanding of what processes need to be put in place or improved to optimize performance.
3. The Technical Audit
The technical audit is a comprehensive analysis of your contact center’s technical environment. This type of audit identifies potential technical issues that may be affecting contact center operations.
A technical audit will help you answer the following questions:
- What are our current technical capabilities?
- Do we have the right solutions and technologies in place?
- Are our technologies current?
- What new technologies do we need to implement?
A technical audit is essential to ensure that your contact center has the right technologies in place to meet the needs of your business. This type of audit will also help you identify any potential gaps in your contact center’s technology infrastructure.
4. The Tailor-Made Audit
You may also find that your call center has a specific pain point that you wish to address. Maybe you have a concern relating to poor agent productivity or lapsing customer experience scores. Taylor-made audits can be conducted to address these key pain points as identified by your call center. You can also consider this type of audit when:
- Experiencing a new challenge
- Planning for current and long-term needs
- Implementing new business initiatives or call center solutions
- Looking to better leverage your current technology
- Performance improvement is required
- Looking to identify new opportunities, better map the customer journey or identify workforce management and optimization opportunities
- Unable to properly identify and manage key metrics
- Receiving poor CSAT scores
- Generating excessively high operational costs
- Seeking to implement reporting and management dashboards
- Struggling with HR-related needs associated with hiring, capacity planning, employee satisfaction
- Looking to increase revenue opportunities and reduce costs
- Looking for opportunities to improve quality and compliance
- Identifying risk factors
Of course, there are many more audit types that can be customized to your precise needs that focus on a single factor or department serving to improve every aspect of your contact center:
- Workforce Management and Capacity Planning
- Quality and Recording
- Performance and Productivity Management
- KPIs and Dashboards
- Customer and Employee Satisfaction
- Customer Journey and Omnichannel
- Processes and Tools
- Technology and Cloud Integrations
Delivering 20/20 vision through audits
Winston Churchill once said, “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Past actions and patterns within the contact center can provide valuable insight and guidance into current and future operations.
Audits of all kinds provide an opportunity to take a step back, analyze key issues, and make necessary changes that spark improvements. It may also indicate that past changes or adjustments have proven successful.
With a clear understanding of your contact center’s strengths and weaknesses, you can develop a strategic plan that will optimize performance, quality, and efficiency – ensuring long-term success. When done systematically, you can also stay on top of performance changes, review the impact of specific modifications, and adjust your plans for the following year’s activities.
Get out of the dark and into the light!
Run your contact center operations with 20/20 vision. Learn more about our annual, packaged and tailored contact center audit services or speak with a contact center audit expert to get started today.