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Ventana Research Delivers Agent Performance Management Benchmark Research

Ventana Research today released the findings of its trailblazing benchmark research on Agent Performance Management (APM). This research from the leading business research firm is the first quantitative research to assess the maturity and direction of this emerging discipline for managing contact center agents and the extended workforce handling a business’s customer interactions. PLEASANTON, CA, August 07, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ — Ventana Research today released the findings of its trailblazing benchmark research on Agent Performance Management (APM). This research from the leading business research firm is the first quantitative research to assess the maturity and direction of this emerging discipline for managing contact center agents and the extended workforce handling a business’s customer interactions. The research offers significant insights into how companies are improving their performance by focusing on agents, who largely shape the customer experience. The findings include analyses of the processes they have deployed and the technologies they are using to try to make the agent workforce more effective and the information and metrics they use to monitor and assess how they are doing.

This new research examined the interplay of information, technology, process and people aspects in 365 companies of varied sizes, industries, geographic regions in the world and, most importantly, varied contact center sizes to yield a number of important findings. The research confirms the importance of using the right information, metrics and software to optimize agent effectiveness, showing that companies that shift their focus from saving money on agents to training them and evaluating their performance more effectively realize benefits. Moreover, deploying agent management technology, as well as smarter call delivery systems to route calls to the agents most appropriately skilled and best at handling particular types of interactions or customers, improves customer satisfaction.

However, the research also finds that companies are lagging in applying these best practices. Analysis using the Ventana Research Maturity Index indicates that companies have not matured very far in their management of agent performance, with more than four times as many organizations at the lowest Tactical level of maturity as are at the highest Innovative maturity level.

The research was led by Richard Snow, VP and research director at Ventana Research who heads the company’s Customer and Contact Center Performance Management research practice. Snow commented, "Companies interact with customers many thousands of times a day, in many forms including a large number of calls to company contact centers. In today’s economic environment it is important that agents handle each of these calls in a way that leaves the customer feeling he or she has had a good experience, as well as producing a beneficial business outcome. But this research shows that too many organizations are striving after cost efficiencies rather than ensuring agents deliver an effective experience that will enhance customer satisfaction."

Ventana Research will detail the findings of this benchmark research in a live interactive webinar on September 1st, 10 a.m. Pacific time that will discuss the research findings and offer recommendations for improvement. These will include:

– Improve interaction-handling by thinking more strategically. Focus on automating the agent quality monitoring process, using speech analytics tools to improve the agent assessment process, and utilizing more outcome-focused key performance metrics.
– Make better use of available technology and applications. Follow the example of Innovative companies and deploy unified communications, smarter call routing to best-skilled and -performing agents, desktop screen capture and analysis, and the latest contact center-specific performance management tools including text and speech analytics.
– Reassess key performance metrics. Explore supplementing basic measures such as number of calls handled, average length of calls and percent of calls placed on hold with more outcome- and business-related measures.

Register for Webinar – http://www.ventanaresearch.com/apm

The research was sponsore by technology providers LiveOps, Verint and VPI. The benchmark research was conducted with the assistance of media partners International Customer Management Institute (IMCI) and SiftMedia. Those interested in learning more about the benchmark research can find additional information at http://www.ventanaresearch.com/apm. As a part of your registration you will receive insights and education from Ventana Research and will occasionally receive invitations to participate in relevant research.

About Ventana Research

Ventana Research is the leading benchmark research and advisory services firm. We provide expert guidance to help organizations manage and optimize performance – to become not only more efficient but more effective. Our unparalleled insights and best practices guidance are based on our rigorous research-based benchmarking of people, processes, information and technology across business and IT functions worldwide. The combination we offer of benchmark research, rigorous market coverage and in-depth knowledge of hundreds of technology providers means we can deliver business and technology education and expertise to our clients where and when needed. Ventana Research provides the most comprehensive analyst coverage in the industry; more than 2.5 million business and IT professionals through our community of 85,000 professionals and network of media and association partners around the world benefit from Ventana Research’s insights. Ventana Research focuses on business and technology trends and best practices that maximize organizations’ potential to perform while reducing the time, cost and risk and still achieve optimal outcomes. To learn how Ventana Research advances the maturity of organizations use of information and technology through benchmark research, education and advisory services, visit http://www.ventanaresearch.com.

Media: Copies of benchmark research report and interviews are available upon request.

Media Contact: Marisela Reynoso (925) 474-0060

[email protected]


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