Performance Management

Setting proper customer care operations and measuring performance to drive excellent customer experiences

Performance management is an ongoing process for creating and maintaining high performance customer care operations. You must clearly communicate operational expectations and implement processes to measure, report and act on performance against those expectations.

1 Overview

Key considerations:

  • Clearly and carefully define your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Be prepared to implement a rigorous governance and monitoring cadence to measure your KPIs


  • KPIs need to be defined and included at the contracting stage of any outsourcing arrangement

Your performance management processes must be based on defined and trackable operational metrics, clearly defining the roles and responsibilities for tracking and reporting those metrics. They should achieve the following objectives:

  • Detail the performance management processes and consequences for failing to meet targets
  • Promote and encourage agents to exceed targets and foster continuous process improvement

The key steps in the performance management process are:

  1. Set expectations
  2. Measurement

2 Set expectations

You must clearly communicate your operational expectations. These expectations should be expressed in the form of well defined operational metrics, each with specified targets.

Your operational metrics should provide insights into performance and the customer experience, helping to identify the root cause of the any problems and revealing opportunities for improvement. When setting performance targets, it is important to align incentives to your company’s objectives, encouraging your agents to make a positive contribution to the growth of your business.

Customer Care Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Efficiency Metrics

Core Metrics Unit Definition
ASA- Average Speed of / to Answer time Time it takes to respond to an incoming inquiry
TFR - Time to First Response time Time from first incoming contact received to first outgoing response
AHT - Average Handle Time time The average time between start and end of a discrete support interaction
TAT - Turnaround Time time Time between a case being assigned to an agent and a response from agent (either solution offered or need info)
TFS - Time to First Solution time Time from first incoming contact to first solution offered
FTR - First Time Resolution

FCR - First Contact Resolution
% The proportion of issues resolved on first contact as reported by customers in post-interaction survey
SDR - Same Day Response % The proportion of responses in the same business day (within 24 hours) of the inquiry
TRT - Total Resolution Time time The total elapsed time from first incoming contact to last outgoing reply (i.e, the total time it takes to close the case)

Quality Metrics

Core Metrics Unit Definition
CSAT- Customer Satisfaction % Customers answering extremely or moderately satisfied on post-interaction survey
DSAT - Customer Dissatisfaction % Customers answering dissatisfied on post-interaction survey
RR - Resolution Rate % The proportion of contacts for which the customer's issue was resolved as reported by customers in post-interaction survey
Quality % QA (Quality Assurance) scorecard score as defined internally
Agent Quality % The % of agents with passing quality scores for a given time period
Quality Variance

Quality Calibration
% Measure how consistent QA scores are based on a benchmark QA score to check accuracy of QA staff reviews

Cost & Demand Metrics

Core Metrics Unit Definition
Cost Per Unit $ Total cost divided by agreed "unit" (e.g. total contact volume or total issue resolutions)
Utilisation % Customer facing time divided by paid-for time (e.g. total phone, email or chat hours / billable hours)
Staffing (to Forecast) % Actual headcount divided by forecasted requirements for a given period of time
Forecast Accuracy % Deviation between forecasted and actual contact volumes
Escalation Rate % Interactions that are transferred or escalated to another party
Backlog # Size of queue of unresolved tickets

The KPIs you select for your organisation need to be clearly defined and communicated across your customer care operations. Each KPI should be assigned across all the roles in your organisation, with each role having a clear set of KPIs for which it is responsible and measured by.

Example role level KPIs:

  • Agents: Throughput, Quality, CSAT

  • Team Leads: Throughput, Quality, CSAT, TAT, TRT, AHT

  • Quality Specialists: Quality Variance / Calibration

  • Trainers: % of product or process errors in Quality and DSAT metrics that can be traced back to training through root cause analysis

  • Operations Managers: All defined KPIs, including continuous improvement and innovation

3 Measurement

You should implement an effective governance structure to ensure that your performance metrics are tracked and acted upon. They should be subject to robust analysis and the insights gained should be applied to operational planning and execution.

We recommend establishing a governance forum to conduct well defined, periodic reviews of specific performance metrics, within their appropriate business context. It is critical to include the right participants in each of these reviews to allow you to draw relevant insights from your data and take appropriate actions.