Revenue per hour is a financial or production metric that can be used by contact centers to determine how much money a given agent or team is earning on a per-hour basis over the course of days or weeks. Tracking revenue per hour motivates your team to reach targets, and, at the same time, it helps you predict how much revenue will be gained during certain time periods. It’s one metric that measures how well your center is adding a sales component to what has historically been a support environment.
Back in the days when call centers were seen as an unavoidable but necessary expense, the average handle time and calls per hour were the most important measures of fiscal responsibility and efficiency. Now, however, contact centers are actively evaluated for their revenue potential. After all, if you’re paying your contact center agents by the hour, why are you not tracking how much revenue they generate in that hour?
Revenue per hour is a financial or production metric that can be used to determine how much money a given agent or team is earning on a per-hour basis. The calculation is easy; just divide the sales revenue generated by the total number of calls. It’s recommended to run this metric daily or weekly, by team and by agent.
Getting to the Big Picture
Adding a sales component to what has historically been a support environment requires a shift in mindset as well as additional training and a mix of well-considered metrics. These metrics should provide a picture of your agents’ full efforts through a combination of task-related and performance-related metrics. Data collected should be used to improve customer satisfaction and lower costs while also increasing revenue. In pursuit of these goals, your team must be prepared to take advantage of any cross-selling or upselling opportunity that presents itself during any customer contact, particularly when the customer contacts your business.
Tracking revenue per hour motivates your team to reach targets, and, at the same time, it helps you predict how much revenue will be gained during certain time periods. Furthermore, switching the focus from a per-customer or per-call metric to revenue per hour generally leads to higher profits because…
- Agents know it’s in their best interest to quickly and fully qualify their contacts; they’re more likely to wrap up a call and take the next one if it could provide a better opportunity than the current one.
- Focusing on revenue per hour instead of calls per hour helps your agents focus on cross-selling or upselling instead of speeding through their contacts.
- The approach minimizes customer frustration with agents who spend too much time trying to push them into additional sales.
Clearly, if any of your important metrics are time-based, helping your agents use their time most effectively not only helps them on the job, it improves the way they feel about doing their jobs. A solution like VHT Digital not only gives your agents additional information and options for handling transfers but also reduces abandons and recaptures lost opportunities caused by long hold times – all of which makes for a more efficient use of your agents’ time and a more positive customer experience overall.
How to Set a Revenue Per Hour Goal
Your contact center’s profit expectation logically needs to encompass payroll costs as well as other operational costs. According to JLL Research’s U.S. Contact Centers Outlook 2017, the average hourly weighted wage of a contact center employee in 2016 was $17.39. A reasonable rule of thumb for daily center efficiency would seem be to recoup costs for at least 75 percent of the total amount paid in agent payroll hours. This would indicate each agent should be actively engaging in customer contacts for a minimum of 45 minutes out of each paid hour.
To add sales into your center’s metrics, use payroll hours to determine cost per call and then compare to revenue per contact or hour to determine your team’s efficiency or profitability benchmark. These numbers will help establish where your agents fall on a standard bell curve, where it’s normal for 60 percent to fall in the middle, with 20 percent exceeding goals and 20 percent falling below standards.
Now that you have your benchmark, you can identify factors for improvement and develop plans and promotions to foster growth. You can also calculate potential future revenue gains.
Get from Good to Great
As mentioned above, a crucial step in improving your team’s performance is to establish a comprehensive training program that teaches customer-service skills, technical product content, and basic sales skills. Having this knowledge will give your agents the confidence they need to really serve as your customers’ product and service experts, earning additional revenue as it best serves each contact.
Finally, consider other workforce optimization and operational reporting metrics such as cost per transaction and percent of transactions handled via self-service channels. Taken together, a range of metrics should give you an indication of who on your team is doing what and should provide some insight into why performance is what it is. Take your approach to applying these metrics step by step: Define what you want to know, then identify and measure the activities that contribute to it. An ongoing process of defining, testing, measuring and refining will help your agents maximize their contributions to your business’ bottom line.