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Key Driver Analysis and Chart Reports

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There are many things you would like to improve about your organization aren't there? The problem is that you don't have the resources to tackle all of them right now, right? Since it is unlikely that you are going to suddenly get more resources, the challenge to you as a manager is to use your limited resources where they will do the most good. So how do you know where they will do the most good? Where can you "get the most bang for your buck?" One way to figure it out is a key driver analysis.

A key driver analysis, sometimes known as an importance - performance analysis, is a study of the relationships among many factors to identify the most important ones. A key driver analysis can be used in many applications. One of the most common, and a good example for us to use, is in the area of customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Finding Key Drivers of Customer Satisfaction

Acme Rocket Company (ARC) operates 12 call centers and upper management has to set benchmarks for each center for number of calls per agent per hour and number of cases resolved on the first call. You know that those are conflicting goals. The harder you push your agents to increase their calls per hour, the fewer calls they will resolve on the first attempt. How do you show your boss that these aren't the right goals? Better yet, how do you learn what the best metrics really are? You do a key driver analysis. You prepare the key driver chart and show that to your boss to prove to him that agent product knowledge is more important, for example, than how many times the phone rings before an agent answers it.

Agent Performance

There are many metrics you can measure about agent performance in a call center that may have some bearing on customer satisfaction. Some of these include
  • Agent technical knowledge
  • Agent courtesy and friendliness
  • speed with which the call was answered
  • number of calls required to get a problem solved
  • Agent's language skill
  • Agent's patience
You can conduct a customer satisfaction survey and ask your customers how they felt about each of these qualities of the agent with whom they dealt. At the same time, you ask them how satisfied they were with the experience.

Importance Performance Maps

The beauty of a key driver analysis is that it can help you understand what your customers feel is important to them having a good experience with your call center. By doing an analysis of their answers and correlating their satisfaction level answer to their rating of each agent performance metric you can derive which factors have the greatest impact on the customer's perceived level of 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 graphical format that can be quickly read and easily understood. Each agent metric from above is plotted on the graph by its importance to the customers' satisfaction (on the x-axis) and your performance in that area on the y-axis.

This generates four quadrants. The most important is the lower right quadrant. The items plotted here have high importance to your customers, but your performance in those areas is low. These are the areas where your action will have the biggest impact and generate the greatest improvement in customer satisfaction for the effort expended.

Action Planning from Key Drivers Analysis

The lower right quadrant is the most important 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 to not 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 that you need to improve, you could send your agents to class for one hour per day to learn more about the product. However, if speed with which the calls are answered is in the upper right quadrant, you don't want the extra agent training time to reduce the speed with which calls are answered, so it may be necessary to work overtime for awhile or bring in some temporary additional 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. Don't waste your resources on them.

Manage This Issue

Ask your customer how satisfied they are with the factors involved with their experience and with the experience overall. Do the key driver analysis. Plot the results in a key driver chart and get to work fixing the items in the lower right quadrant. That will focus your limited resources on the really important things.

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