Nearly three-quarters of companies communicate results to their employees through multiple systems, many of which present conflicting information.

To increase customer satisfaction and employee engagement, insurance and financial services organizations must adopt performance management technology that efficiently aligns their call centers around common data sets and goals, new research reveals.

Nice Systems Ltd. arrives at this conclusion in a 2013 performance management benchmark study based on responses from 130 call centers, including organizations engaged in financial services (26 percent) and insurance (20 percent). The report examines call center trends and best practices and highlights opportunities for improving customer experience and employee engagement.

The report indicates call centers are communicating performance results through more channels than in 2006, when NICE Systems last surveyed the market. Among the report’s findings regarding channel use:

Channel

2013

2006

Online bulletin board

20 percent

5.9 percent

Personalized online dashboard/report

51 percent

25.7 percent

Hard copy report

39 percent

19.8 percent

Communicated verbally

60 percent

10.9 percent

Wallboards/whiteboards

33 percent

3.0 percent

Other

5 percent

7.9 percent

“While increased communication emphasizes the importance of performance, it exacerbates the multiple sources of [information] challenge,” the report states. “There is a huge opportunity for organizations to focus attention and communication on a single channel. Otherwise, the risk of overwhelming and confusing the frontline increases substantially.”

The report adds that 40 percent of call centers’ “frontline employees” (those who interface with customers) are not using performance data to self-correct their actions. The research observes also that the use of performance data negatively correlates with time that supervisors spend coaching front-line employees, and that effective coaching is key to developing a performance-driven culture.

The report also highlights these results:

  • Although 88 percent of companies use contests and competitions to motivate their employees, two out of three companies do so less than once a month. Also, less than one-third of companies set daily or weekly performance goals;
  • The most common rewards used in contests remain trophies (78 percent) and financial incentives (57 percent). Only 31 percent of companies understand that Millennials respond more enthusiastically than other demographics to gamification/social currency;
  • Most companies accept ideas only from their senior leaders; and only 12 percent of firms solicit ideas from frontline workers;
  • 72 percent of companies communicate results to their employees through multiple systems, many of which present conflicting information.

“Our study suggests the primary barrier to delivering a better customer experience is alignment” of data and goals using a single source of call center performance information, the report concludes. “Organizations that use commercial performance management technology [are 20 percent] more likely to exceed their customer experience and employee satisfaction goals.”