Get the Most Out of Your Contact Center Reporting – Part 3

Welcome guest contributor Jeremy Markey! Jeremy has a few decades-long background in contact centers and shares from his experience working with agents at Hunter Douglas as the leader of CS Ops and Workforce Experience. Hunter Douglas is the leading manufacturer and marketer of custom window treatments in North America.

This article is the third in a 4-part series on the right way to do customer experience reporting.

Create a Compelling Scorecard for Managers and Executives: What Are the Metrics That Truly Matter?

Managers and Executives are responsible for structure. This structure, or system, is responsible for the default behavioral output of the individuals in that environment. At an office, this system is referred to as “culture”.

A brief example of how systems change our behaviors: Several articles and white papers indicate that the best way to raise a child out of poverty in the United States is to move them from a school in a poverty-stricken area to a school in an affluent area. The articles indicate that grades don’t improve and it’s arguable that the education has any significant impact on the child. What is different is the school system; the default behavioral outputs result in more children making more money later in their life.

My life experience mirrors these papers. As my oldest two children entered high and middle school, they both struggled with grades, behaviors, and making poor friend choices. My ex-wife, my wife, and I eventually decided to move our kids in with my wife and me. We happened to live in a significantly better school district than my ex-wife did. Within a month of each one moving here, their behavior and schoolwork changed for the better and so did their choices of friends. Fast forward to today—all our children are adults—and all three of them are doing well for themselves and in a better place at their age than we were.

As with parenting a child, a manager or executive is responsible for the default output of the system their employees are in. The below reporting requirements help managers and executives see into the system. What’s working? What isn’t working? What needs to be addressed to alter the default behavioral outputs of the system?


As the entry-level of systemic responsibility, managers need to undergo a paradigm shift when first promoted from supervision. It’s not just that an individual performs, it’s that the individual is in the right place and that the place is correctly set up to execute on the business needs. Managers have one foot firmly planted in performance and one foot firmly planted in how the organization is doing.

Metrics that matter:

Aggregated Supervisor and Agent Metrics

The management scorecard should have an aggregation of all the supervisor metrics and a summary of the agent metrics highlighting outlier poor performers by name.

Leading Indicators

Their scorecard should also have leading indicators and show the supervisor’s leading indicators. The same actions from the supervisor scorecard apply here for your management team as well. We spell those out here.


Efficiency should be a part of the scorecard as well. In cost centers, agent utilization may be the metric for efficiency. Often, efficiency is how many interactions or widgets are completed over hours paid, which, for profit centers, may also be a billed-to-paid metric. It depends on what our organization is doing. Efficiency should be measured at a macro level as well, and imbalances—where one of our teams is underperforming to other teams—should be addressed.

Supervisor Inspection Results

We should also have supervisor inspection results. Did they get enough quality monitors done? Did they do enough coaching time? Did they have enough team meeting time? Did they do enough time observing their agents and practicing “caught you doing good”?

Relational and Emergent Data

Managers should be looking at relational and emergent data. What I mean by that is, how does the data relate to other data? What is the impact of ASA on VOC, for example? Managers need to be able to see that in a way that helps them know where it’s trending. Look at my article, “Your SLA Is Probably Costing You Money,” for a brief example of relational data.


Managers need to have forecast expectations. What’s coming in the next day, week, month, or year? When do we expect to do well, when do we expect to hurt, and what are the mitigating steps we’re taking? This is particularly important around peak times. Holidays are peak times for a lot of organizations. So are certain sales. Here at Hunter Douglas, we release new shades two to three times a year. Those are times when we need to be extra cognizant of our current conditions and expected results.


You need a daily, or at least weekly, postmortem for the previous day or week. A postmortem includes a basic timeline of events, what went well, what didn’t go well, and what we’ll do differently or what mitigation steps we’ll take. The mitigation steps often come in the form of a stopgap and a long-term solution. The stopgap is expected near immediately, while the long-term solution can often be decided on and implemented at a later date. Track the decision points. When we run into the problem again, we’ll want to check to see if we executed on the mitigation steps and if they were impactful as we expected.

FTE Tracker

The last thing managers need to have is some form of an FTE (Full-Time Equivalent) Tracker to track staff hours worked and the major levers impacting serviceability. Managers don’t maintain it, but we are given it—typically—by the workforce management department. This has hiring, attrition, juggling FTE between departments, and seating/licensing capacity. Are we at our capacity? How many people do we have? How many do we expect to have? And who do we need to have? When we don’t have a good FTE Tracker, we only hire when things are too busy. Well, if we’re hiring once we’re getting busy, we’re way too behind the eight ball. How long does it take to get a job posted? A week, two weeks, three weeks? And probably just as long to start doing interviews. And then it takes a few weeks for people to get out of training. So, from the time you get busy to the time they’re in place. What is that? Two or three months? We’ve got to be planning. And that’s what the FTE tracker does. Ensure you’re beginning the hiring process before you need new employees, not after.

This also needs to include Red Zone Attrition. These are the people that just haven’t performed well. We know they’re in some form of corrective action and they’re on a potential exit trajectory. Maybe they’ll heal, maybe they won’t, but that needs to be part of that FTE Tracker. We must be able to see if we have more people than normal in the red zone, so we can start talking about moving the next class up a little bit.

The FTE Tracker will also include occupancy, handle time, volume, in- and out-of-center shrink, and so on. While hiring is one lever to meet our servicing requirements it’s the last one we should pull. Are we on track with these metrics? if not, let’s fix those before we resort to hiring.


Unlike managers, executives often only have 10–20% of their responsibility in individual performance. Almost everything else is organizational performance. A common failure point for executives is stepping too far away from individual performance. You can’t hit a home run with organizational performance if individual performance is a miss.

Executives ensure managers are paying attention to the right things. It’s best if they observe and listen to interactions and monitor agents a few times a week. Remember, if we ask our kids to clean their room and we don’t inspect the room, does the room get cleaned? In my experience, the answer is no.

It’s not enough to communicate what’s important—we need to demonstrate it. We do this by inspecting what we expect. Our inspections, more than our words, communicate importance.

Metrics that matter:

Aggregated Manager Metrics

The executive scorecard should have an aggregate of all the manager metrics. The director is going to want to see outliers, trends, and highlights for supervisors who need that added attention as well. If we’ve got a low- or high-performing supervisor, that should be an outlier and identified and trended. The executive or the director will be fed what’s going on with top and bottom performers.

Leading Indicators

Executives will want to see the leading indicators for the managers. Just like we’ve covered before on the manager, supervisor, and agent scorecard.

Executives are probably the first point where you’re going to want to see year-over-year trending for most of the manager and supervisor metrics. Year-over-year for volume, forecast, handle-time, and so on. At the director level, we need to see what happened before versus what happened now. That year-over-year may not be just last year. Maybe you have a couple of years in there. And if you’re in a more volatile situation, maybe it’s not year-over-year, but quarter-over-quarter, because, in your environment, last year just doesn’t matter.

Strategic Actions or Recommendations

When our executives or directors send out the “what the heck is going on” e-mail, everything grinds to a halt—and it should! Clearly, we’ve missed the mark and it’s time to recover. Strategic actions or recommendations are where we answer the “what the heck is going on” e-mail before the e-mail gets sent.

This section is in the form of an executive brief, short, 3 or 4 bullets at most, high-level, action-oriented, and with enough specificity to meet the unique needs of our leader. This should be above the fold or visible without leadership needing to scroll. Maybe not at the very top, but close.

Profitability and Budget

Executives need to see profitability and budget. At different organizations, directors have different layers of ownership of the budget. It might be at a senior director level. It might be a VP level. Typically, the definition of a director is somebody who owns a budget, but that’s becoming less true in many organizations.

Capacity Planning

Capacity planning should also be on your scorecard. Capacity planning is a step beyond the FTE Tracker. The FTE Tracker feeds the capacity plan, but the capacity plan goes further. It can be as simple as “How many seats do we have in a building versus how many people are we going to need?” Or “How many people are we budgeted to have versus how much workload do we think we’re going to have, and what do we need to do to mitigate that workload?” The weak answer is to hire more people. The right answer is to get rid of work because if somebody’s reaching out to a contact center, that means CX has already failed. We can either reduce handle time or, better, shed contacts.

External Facing Metrics

External facing metrics could be, “How are we performing versus the competition?” or “How are we looking in the market?” This is the first level where there is a real responsibility for outside of the organization, and each organization needs different metrics. How are we doing compared to what our expectations are? How are we doing compared to the fiscal budget? How are we doing for market share? Executives need to be looking at these questions because they make those truly strategic decisions. Managers and supervisors do make some strategic decisions, but the executive makes the most and needs to have that insight.


If we get a negative result the majority of the time for the majority of the people, the problem isn’t the people. It’s the system. When we take care of the system and individual performances, we move from results to achievement. The above metrics are the baseline for achievement.

For my family, an argument can be made that my wife and I were better parents than my ex-wife, but I don’t think that’s true. With the advantage of hindsight, I’m positive my kids are in a good place because we changed the system they were in. The path our children were on had a particularly terrible trajectory, and the system change is something I’ll be thankful for until the end of my days.

My hope for you is the scaffolding here will help you right the system to get the results you expect. And remember, in the end, the only results are external to the organization. Internal results aren’t really results, they’re just performance. In the next article, we’ll dive more into these potential pitfalls and what to look out for as you’re setting up your Contact Center reporting.

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