Charting Importance and Performance With Key Driver Analysis

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If you're a manager with limited resources, it's challenging to make the improvements you know will ultimately benefit your organization. To get the most bang for your buck, one option to determine customer wants and needs is using a key driver analysis.

Take, for example, Acme Rocket Company (ARC). ARC operates 12 call centers, and upper management has to set benchmarks for each center for the number of calls per agent per hour as well the number of cases resolved on the first call. Those are clearly conflicting goals. The harder agents are pushed to increase their calls per hour, the fewer calls they will resolve on the first attempt. While it's challenging for the boss to understand these aren't the right goals, it's even harder to learn what the best metrics really are.

To meet the challenge, you do a key driver analysis, sometimes known as an importance/performance analysis, to study the relationships between several factors and identify the most important ones. These can be used in many applications, and customer satisfaction/loyalty is one of the most common.

Charting Agent Performance

There are many metrics you can measure regarding agent performance in a call center that may have some bearing on customer satisfaction:

  • Agent technical knowledge
  • Agent courtesy and friendliness
  • The speed with which a call was answered
  • The number of calls required to resolve a problem 
  • An agent's language skill
  • An agents level of patience

You can conduct a customer satisfaction survey and ask your customers to rate each of these qualities their agent had. At the same time, ask your customers about their overall satisfaction with the experience.

Importance-Performance Maps

The beauty of a key driver analysis is that it can help you understand what your customers are looking for in order for them to have a good experience with your call center. By doing an analysis of their answers and correlating their satisfaction level with the metrics, you'll understand which factors have the greatest impact on customer satisfaction. You can then plot this data in a scatter diagram called a key driver chart or an importance-performance map.

Key Driver Chart

A key driver chart plots the results of a key driver analysis in a graph format that can then be quickly read and easily understood. Each agent metric from above is plotted on the graph according to its importance to the customer (on the x-axis) and your performance in that area on the y-axis.

This generates four quadrants. The most essential quadrant is the lower right quadrant. The items plotted here rank as high importance to your customers, but your performance in those areas is low. Consequently, these are the areas where your action will have the biggest impact and generate the most significant improvement in customer satisfaction.

Action Planning From Key Drivers Analysis

The lower right quadrant is the most crucial area of the key driver chart. It identifies the key drivers of customer satisfaction. The key driver chart helps you plan the action you need to take to improve, but it also tells you what not to change. The factors that plot in the upper right quadrant are those that are important to your customers' satisfaction and are areas in which you are currently performing well. Any changes you make to fix problems in the lower right quadrant must not disturb the factors in the upper right quadrant.

For example, if agent product knowledge is a factor in the lower right quadrant and that needs improvement, you can send your agents to class for one hour a day to learn more about the product. However, if the speed with which the calls are answered is in the upper right quadrant, you don't want the extra time it'll take to train the agent to, consequently, reduce the speed with which calls are answered. Therefore, it may be better to work overtime for awhile or temporarily hire extra staff.

The factors in the upper and lower left quadrants are of lower importance to your clients. How well you perform in these areas will have less impact on your customers' satisfaction. Therefore, don't waste your resources on these. Using a Key Driver Analysis will go far in helping you put your agent's time and your available budget in the right place.