5 Metrics that Matter Most in Outsourced Support

A 2021 survey, 80% of respondents turned to outsourcing to improve efficiency, business growth, and the chance to work with experts. When it comes to support, outsourcing has been one of the most prevalent trends over the last several years. Companies ranging in size from small startups to major enterprises can enhance customer satisfaction (CSAT) by partnering with a talented business process outsourcer (BPO).

That said, not all support outsourcers are created equal. You need to look for a partner that leverages business intelligence tools and big data principles to ensure data-driven insights are applied in process improvement initiatives. Also, be sure to select relevant metrics that enable actionability from analytics efforts.

While the specific key performance indicator (KPI) tracked will vary based on the needs of an organization, we find that five specific metrics matter most in outsourced support.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

Customer satisfaction (CSAT) remain the gold standard for measuring perceptions of the support you provide. There are many ways to gather CSAT data but post-call surveys is one of the most popular. Regardless of the support experience, many customers are willing to take a few moments to provide a company with feedback.

However, it’s important to send out invites soon after the interaction so that you gather feedback while the experience is still fresh. If you wait too long, some in management may lose confidence in the data or you may end up with “noise” in your data that’s difficult to interpret.

While CSAT is considered one of the best ways to measure outsourced support efficacy, you should pair it with other metrics to gain more comprehensive insights.

First Contact Resolution (FCR)

When your outsourced agents resolve customer concerns on the first contact, they can undo much of the damage caused by an issue that prompted the support request. Conversely, customers forced to make multiple attempts to achieve resolution will likely become frustrated. Ultimately, they may decide to cut ties with your brand altogether due to the lack of support efficiency.

Poor first contact resolution (FCR) rates also can have a trickle-down effect that negatively impacts other customers. Secondary and tertiary calls occupy phone lines and drive up wait times; repeat tickets bog down agent ability to resolve things quickly.

Average Speed of Answer (ASA)

Average speed of answer (ASA) refers to the amount of time taken to initially acknowledge a customer inquiry. The longer the ASA, the more likely a customer will become aggravated. ASA provides valuable insights into the quality of support you provide as well as the efficacy of your staffing model. If you’re struggling with slow ASA, speak to your outsourcing partner about increasing the number of agents allocated to the team.

Omnichannel support is an excellent way to decrease speed of answer and enable a streamlined support experience. A true omnichannel support strategy allows customers to transition between different channels during the same experience. For instance, they could initiate a support request with a chatbot and then contact an agent via phone to complete the resolution process.

Average Handle Time (AHT)

The average handle time is an essential and critical support metric. Average handle time (AHT) calculates how long support agents spend on a call or with an email, plus the amount of time it takes them to complete post-call work. It also includes hold time.

A lower average handle time typically is better for customer care. In technical support, however, longer AHT is perfectly acceptable – customers know that more complex issues will take longer. That said, there is no specific threshold that applies to all industries. If your products and customer support protocols are highly technical, customers know that AHT will be higher. If agents routinely answer simple inquiries, customer expectations will be for short, quick contacts.

Abandon Rate (AR)

Abandon rate (AR) is one of the most critical analytics data points for measuring outsourced support quality. As the name suggests, this KPI refers to the number of customers who abandon their calls or other support requests before receiving assistance. This is a key driver of customer dissatisfaction and should be a core area of focus, especially if you have a high rate of abandons.

In addition to the total abandonment rate, you should also monitor the Average Time to Abandon (ATA) metric. This metric reveals how many customers abandon after their wait time has exceeded a specific threshold. Either abandonment metric will help you determine precisely when customers become frustrated so that you can take corrective action.

Monitor Your Metrics

Taking note of these five common metrics will help you ensure that any outsourcing partner lives up to your standards. They provide valuable insights into productivity, efficiency, satisfaction, and other aspects of the customer support process.

If you need outsourced support services and are looking for a reliable partner, Goodbay Technologies is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our omnichannel solutions and expert team of customer support agents.