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What is continuous business performance improvement?


The Team at CallMiner

May 05, 2022

Business performance improvement graph image
Business performance improvement graph image

Businesses around the world understand and prioritize the need to continuously drive business performance improvement and expand their market share. Whether an organization focuses on developing better products or refining existing processes, their efforts tie into the overarching concept of continuous improvement. This strategy and approach represents a uniquely systematic approach to pushing a business's boundaries and bringing about lasting, positive changes.

For contact centers of all varieties, most improvement efforts center on metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). These figures are first captured and then carefully analyzed to establish performance baselines that can be built upon over time. This also includes areas of improvement that might exist for departments outside of the contact center, such as marketing, product, sales, finance and more. Continuous business performance improvement places details such as these in context, keeping your optimization efforts aligned with specific organization-wide goals.

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Streamlining daily processes and eliminating bottlenecks for both your team members and your customers can yield impressive returns for your business. Understanding the ideas behind continuous business performance improvement is key to accomplishing this and more.

Continuous performance improvement vs. continuous performance management

One of the first concepts to cause confusion for business leaders looking to learn about continuous performance improvement is its relationship to continuous performance management. The two concepts are very closely linked and are likely to take on the same meaning in a practical setting.

Continuous performance management and improvement both harness structural tenets similar to those observed in agile software development methodologies for use all throughout an organization. For instance, the concept of continuous performance improvement in agile software development takes shape as an endless cycle made up of the following stages:

  • Defining performance thresholds and baselines
  • Measuring performance in real-time
  • Analyzing the data you have captured
  • Improving performance in a measured manner
  • Controlling extraneous details and tangential factors that feed back into performance

When the right continuous performance improvement process is followed, a business's operations can be improved at all levels, from the whole to the individual. This makes it equally as effective at improving individual divisions within your company as it is at bolstering a single employee's performance.

How does continuous performance improvement work?

At its simplest, the continuous performance improvement process involves company and departmental leaders capturing data, such as customer conversation data, uncovering insights and trends and then taking action – whether those are specific improvement programs or implementing new processes. Just as the process would repeat in an agile development context, it repeats as an endless cycle for organizations too. This earns the entire approach to growth and improvement its "continuous" descriptor.

In the case of individual employees, a performance improvement plan is often heralded as a last ditch effort to help them perform to the company's standards. However, a continuous performance improvement approach abandons such sudden surprises in favor of constant, incremental change. This can help to create better results across an entire organization, without inspiring dread or foreboding among personnel. Performance improvement isn’t just related to employees either, it’s also related to business outputs, such as improving product development or external marketing campaigns. Ideally, a solution, like conversation intelligence software, can be put to use to identify these areas of improvement and help share those insights with the right shareholders who can take action.

Continuous performance improvement benefits

Continuous performance improvement has been adopted by a wide variety of organizations to help foster a sense of involvement among their employees and departments, and increase operational output without sacrificing quality in the process.

Here are a few key benefits this growth strategy offers those who adopt it:

  • It improves problem-solving across an organization
  • It helps make teams more effective
  • It helps streamline existing processes
  • It assists in bolstering customer satisfaction

Additional performance management benefits come into play of course, with the major difference being consistency. Continuous performance management and business performance improvement make for far more consistent results than one-off or annual approaches would.

Continuous performance improvement tips

There are numerous ways to make your continuous business performance improvement plans more effective. Here area few ideas that you can put to use today to help your company improve more rapidly:

  • Encourage feedback and communication within your company as much as possible by streamlining the process and destigmatizing it (confine communication to office hours, allow employee participation to happen without fear of punishment, etc.)
  • Use technology to uncover trends in your data and identify areas to take action on wherever possible
  • Integrate autonomy into the process for greater trust and satisfaction among personnel

If you are working with a hybrid team, then the following ideas could come in handy as well:

  • Make use of all available technological resources and in-house expertise to smooth out bottlenecks in understanding and implementation of hybrid work practices
  • Begin rewarding innovative ideas and initiatives
  • Make do with interim solutions when a complete solution is not yet available or ready for use
  • Evaluate your performance systems on the basis of their security, available support, analytics and ease of use for better results

Continuous performance improvement in a call center

Continuous performance improvement is possible in any environment, including call centers. In fact, these may be uniquely positioned to benefit from such an approach, owing to their widespread use of KPIs and agent engagement processes. Pairing these with deliberately consistent planning and emphasizing alignment of performance improvement strategies with organization values as well as promises made to your customers can create incredibly positive results for your company.

Speech & Conversation Analytics Executive Intelligence North America EMEA