Tracking and reporting on contact centre agent productivity is often a stressful juggling act between various technologies and reporting systems.

Thanks to the proliferation of new communication mediums, the reality in many centres is that managers are spending inordinate amounts of time collating data from each channel in the dreaded Excel spreadsheet.
This is according to Karl Reed, Elingo’s sales and marketing director.  
In this environment, the big challenge is to understand both the volume and the nature of interactions handled by the contact centre each day. In the pre-Web 2.0 world, the focus was almost exclusively on measuring the average-speed of answer for voice calls. But now that multiple channels have become the norm, the complexity of the reporting challenge is ballooning.
The time contact centre managers are currently spending on trying to marry up statistics (from their PBX, mailboxes, fax in boxes and out boxes, Social Media channels and SMS channels, to name just a few) should actually be spent on motivating and guiding staff, and on ensuring that customers are receiving consistent, high quality service.
But this is only possible if the contact centre is being governed by an integrated system that reports seamlessly across every interaction channel.
To some IT managers this will sound like a nightmare in the making, because often businesses use disparate IT systems for routing e-mails, faxes, SMSs and voice calls into and out of their organisations. As a result, there is no means of measuring and analysing communications as an integrated whole.
In an optimised communication environment, all interactions are routed and queued through a single system. This centralisation caters to measurement across every different communication channel, and creates a high level lens from which decision makers can develop their understanding of the business and customer service.
As a result, business decisions are based on facts, not assumptions, and key managers are free to do what they were hired to do: manage.
No more Excel tracking sheets to see how many voice calls versus emails versus faxes were handled. Instead, deeper and richer analytics able to assess general communications trends and specific performance targets across multiple benchmarks are the norm – as they should be.
Only once the business views and understands its communication and service trends with this kind of objective clarity will it be able to assess which staff members and agents are the most effective and efficient. The company will be able to reward these agents accordingly, and, equally, it will be able to take the actions necessary to improve performance in key areas.
Communication integration has thus become a strategic and operational imperative. Already, brands employing the integrated approach enjoy significant competitive advantage over their rivals – and that advantage grows every time a new medium emerges in the global communications mix.
So, if contact centre reporting and analysis is making users feel like fools, it's probably time to take control over their environment. They can do that by starting with a modular, single all in-one solution from Interactive Intelligence.