“Metric Managing” ≠ “Positive Behavior Change”

Why “Metric Managing” may be costing your call centers millions in

lost revenue, employee attrition, and customer disloyalty 


How many times have you heard a call center manager discuss metrics as goals? Perhaps you’ve even passed down goals as numbers. Let’s say a center objective is to sell “X” number of units. Most call center managers will divide “X” by the number of agents. They will share this metric and the “Goal Setting” is done. The call center manager prints it neatly on a dry-erase board and may even have their promotions team design a contest to motivate the agents to achieve the “Goal”.

Sometimes, you may find call center managers who really like to take metric managing to the next level. They will ask the agent something along these lines “How much money would you like to make next month?” Based upon the answer, this call center manager helps the agent set a goal for “X” widgets to be sold which will allow the agent to earn the commissions to reach their earnings goal. Honestly, how many times have you seen this exercise be accepted as “Goal Setting?” Maybe you have even used this type of “Metric Managing” in the past. You might even be wondering, why all the fuss about “Metric Managing”?

The difference between “Metric Managing” and creating “Positive Behavior Change” is akin to the difference between telling someone to catch you an 8 pound fish and teaching them the technique to successful fishing. “Metric Managing” takes no real skill, leadership talent, or extraordinary effort. The “Metric Manager” does need to possess rudimentary math skills, but we can find a 5th grader to help with the math. Creating true “Positive Behavior Change” requires call center managers to become leaders and focus on the behaviors which result in real success. It requires a management team which understands WHY customers purchase their products or services, HOW their agents should best communicate with their customers, and WHAT the agent should say to inspire the customer to make a buying decision during the contact. Good luck finding a 5th grader to help create “Positive Behavior Change”.


When call center managers rely upon “Metric Managing”, the cost to the call center could be millions of dollars in lost revenue, higher employee attrition levels, and customer dissatisfaction. Are you suffering from any of these ailments?



What is the culture of your call center? Are you in a “metric managing” environment?  How do your agents feel about the leadership and direction of your call centers? Are your employees following poor leaders?


In order to create real sustainable results through “Positive Behavior Change”, your call center managers must transition into leaders who understand the formula:

(Attitude + Skills + Knowledge) + Goal Setting = Positive Behavior Change


Think about the last training delivered to your employees. Was the session focused on Attitude, Skills, Knowledge, and Goal Setting? If you are like most call centers, then the training session was likely focused on Knowledge or Skills. If you have an above average training team, then the session may have included a focus on both Skills and Knowledge. The absence of Attitude and Goal Setting in training sessions is the reason why most call center trainers and managers fail to consistently impact results.


You might believe that agents are responsible to control their own attitudes and should be setting goals to achieve the metrics required in the job. You would, of course, be correct that in a perfect world this would happen. Unfortunately, most employees in call centers rarely understand the impact of their attitude on results. Additionally, most call center employees have never been taught goal setting. So, if you want to improve your revenue results, reduce employee attrition, and increase customer loyalty, then you need to focus on improving attitudes, skills, knowledge, and goal setting. If your employees already have the requisite skills and knowledge, then you MUST focus on creating improved Attitudes and Goal Setting. Transitioning call center managers into call center leaders with the ability to inspire proper Attitude and create behaviorally focused Goal Setting is your next step. Effective leaders must have the ability to help their agents become more self-aware and authentic. When mastered, this ability creates astounding results. Agents become more focused on positive behavior change. This positive behavior change results in revenue increases, improved retention, and higher customer service scores.


Inspired Performance Solutions, Inc. can help you determine if you are “Metric Managing” or creating “Positive Behavior Change”. Using a diagnostic tool from Resource Associates Corporation called D.I.AL.O.G. or Data Indicating ALignment of Organizational Goals. This organizational assessment tool provides information as to how well critical elements are working together to achieve business and strategic goals. It also identifies which of these critical elements are working against you. Our approach is unique in that we measure the interrelationships of the essential elements which become predictors of future strength. We are not concerned with measuring communication for communications sake, but rather how effectively is an organization communicating to its employees. Our approach is outcome focused rather than simply measuring non-relevant activities.


Visit us at www.inspiredperformancesolutions.com/assessments.html to learn more.



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About davegregory

Dave Gregory, Chief Learning Officer for Inspired Performance Solutions, Inc., believes in the power of the strengths movement. During the past 15 years, Dave managed the Learning Solutions activities of Qwest’s Mass Markets Group, including call centers, retail stores, indirect retail, e-business, collections, alternative markets and the small business teams. Mr. Gregory graduated from Creighton University’s School of Law in 1993 earning a Juris Doctor. He completed his undergraduate education receiving a BSBA with an emphasis in marketing from the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 1990. Mr. Gregory has more than 25 years experience in business development and consulting.

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