Are All Your Ducks In A Row?

Our 'Performance Improvement Matrix' Can Help Your Operation

Anyone in the industry knows that successfully operating a call centre or telesales operation can be a constant struggle against hitting the KPIs and keeping the staff happy and motivated.

Knowing where to get started, whilst keeping all the plates spinning is a challenge in itself and the bigger the operation, generally the bigger the headache!

Over the years we've come to realise that there was a need to simplify the process of looking at the overall performance of an operation. With that in mind, we set about creating a methodology that would allow us to take a holistic view of all the elements involved in creating that desired success.

The result is what we call the Performance Improvement Matrix (PIM) and it's the process we've used successfully with our clients.

It works like this: the Performance Improvement Matrix (PIM) takes centre stage with the basic premise being that all parts of the matrix are integral to running a successful call centre or telesales operation and getting them to work together in unison reduces the headaches and makes for a much smoother operation.

Now you won't necessarily have to make changes or adjustments to all parts of the matrix, but it's certainly worthwhile making sure. The overall aim is to get all parts working together and not to the detriment of each other.

Look at it this way - what you're looking for is a simple process map. You're at A and you want to be at B, so what do you need to change, adjust, put in place to get there. Establishing where you are at the current time, therefore, is a sensible place to start.

Now, the thing to understand is that all parts are connected. Having call recording in place, for example, means that calls can be used as a training tool, which means that you can improve performance. The right CRM system will allow for effective reporting, therefore making setting the right targets/KPIs much easier. I'm sure you get the picture...

Getting the Message Across

It sounds an easy one but you'd be surprised at the drama it can cause. Getting your message across to your customers or clients is hugely important and it is vital that you get it right. You need to think about the wording you use, how you deliver it, the consistency with which you deliver it and of course, how it fits with your sales process.

Performance Management

Managing how well the team performs requires several skills, not least the correct setting of targets. Once you set the right targets – and by that I mean targets that are realistic and specific – you need to make sure that you interpret the KPIs properly. Those Management Information sheets can tell you so much if you know what to look for. You then need to make sure that you actually act on the results and conduct regular one to ones etc.

Coaching & Training

This is nearly always the first thing to get cut when times are hard, which is the exact opposite of what you should do! Making sure that the training your team gets is relevant and sustainable is paramount to ensuring your team are informed and capable. How can you moan about poor performance if you haven't given your team the tools they need? Ongoing coaching is the perfect addition to a training program and ensures that what you teach your team stays with them and gets implemented. When you do this you create some accountability.

Systems & IT

In my experience the systems and IT side of things either gets somewhat ignored or has so much focus on it that everything else gets forgotten to its detriment. A good CRM and clean database will make life much easier and smoother, especially if you use a dialler. Get telephony that's fit for purpose. It doesn't have to have flashing lights and be all bells and whistles - it just needs to work properly! If you record calls, make sure you're doing it for the right reason. The general rule of thumb for this side of things is to make sure that what you're using is fit for purpose.

If you consider everything in the Performance Improvement Matrix then you won't go far wrong. We personally have been using it for clients and our own call centre for years. Not only does it make life easier, it highlights any 'bumps in the road' so that we can correct them quickly.

If anyone would like a free copy of the Performance Improvement Matrix, just jump on our website, Communicate, and we'll send you one. (If you don't want to leave your number, just put a couple of zeroes in the ‘Phone’ field - I won't be offended.)


Stuart Pearce is Head of Consulting & Training at Communicate and has spent close to 20 years in the call centre and telesales industry. He was recently voted 7th in the Best Respected in the Call Centre Awards with nominations from across the world and is currently nominated by Contact Centre World as an Industry Champion for the UK. He is regularly asked to write and speak on the topic of training, coaching and performance improvement.