I worked with a client in Dallas who became frustrated because they felt they could not develop any qualitative metrics for their CSR's. I'll give a broader overview than your question asks because it addresses the larger issue of strategy and expectations.
First, we reviewed the data they were collecting. It was the phone stats such as number of calls handled, average time to handle, wait time, abandoned calls, etc. It's not that this data isn't valuable. It is, but it can only measure the results of the process that the company puts in place for specific reasons. We agreed that they had to answer the more difficult questions first.
Next, we went right back to basics. We began discussing topics such as:
- What is the purpose of CSR's?
- Where did they want the line of demarcation to be between sales and customer service?
- What did the company want the outcome of incoming Customer Service calls to be?
- What was the customer feedback about the quality of their experiences when they called in?
- What were the most common problems customers were calling in about?
We gathered extensive data about these questions. We got the CSR's invloved in the process, too, because they were frustrated over what they perceived as conflicting directions from different supervisors and managers - and because we wanted the CSR's to own the results of the improvement process.
Ultimately, we did several things. (1) The company segmented customers into groups based upon sales volume and customer type. (2) The company developed a strategy to expand customer self-help options via the company's website. (3) The company found that their government customers usually needed information that the CSR's would have difficulty answering, so they created an integrated government service team with a different access number. (4) The company decided that first call resolution was a high priority, so they developed resources and training for the CSR's. There's a lot more to each of these elements of the solution, but I'll keep this answer brief.
Once all this work was well underway, then the company was better able to develop their expectations about call center metrics. In addition to first call resolution, they began collecting data on customer call satisfaction, ability of the CSR to provided the needed information, reasons issues could not be resolved on the first call, etc. The results: customer satisfaction increased significantly, call center volumes dropped (because of fewer callbacks and because customers were trained how to find the answers to certain questions themselves on the company website), employee satisfaction increased. Even the service failure rate decreased.
Kristen, I do understand that this is not a one size fits all situation, but I did want to share with you how a simple question such as yours caused a company to completely reexamine their entire customer service process.
The answer to your motivation question in this case (and in many instances) was to get the agents involved in their own jobs. They do the work, so it's natural that they can play a large role in identifying problems and resolving them.