As a call center manager, you need Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Call center KPIs are anchors that keep call centers steady, preventing them from capsizing into the sea of data that threatens to drown every customer service representative and manager on the floor.
When used correctly, you will finally have real data to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of your team in a way that meets operational objectives and exceeds customer expectations.
Customer Experience Call Center Metrics and KPIs
Call center KPIs make it possible to have a measurable value that managers can access and use to implement data-driven policies that will help reach quotas and improve customer experience.
In this blog, we will explore 17 KPIs that every call center must use to determine if they are living up to customer expectations.
1. First-Call Resolution (FCR)
Even though there are many call center KPIs to measure operational efficiency, First-Call Resolution is perhaps, one of the few call center metrics that directly impact customer satisfaction.
FCR is a percentage denoting the number of calls that received a resolution while the customer was on the line and did not require the agent to transfer or return the phone call or the customer to escalate the call.
Even though FCR improves customer satisfaction, it is also great for measuring agent performance. A highly efficient call center agent will typically have a high individual FCR.
2. Service Level
As one of the critical call center KPIs, Service Level is used to measure the percentage of calls answered within a specified timeframe, usually seconds. In most cases, call center agents and supervisors view this KPI data in real-time via the dashboard of their call center metrics software to monitor and measure the effectiveness of their customer service processes.
Service Level KPI helps call centers to make data-driven decisions that can improve customer satisfaction levels, cut short waiting times, and reduce call abandonment rates. It also measures a call center’s ability to deliver the standard of service they promised customers.
3. Average Call Abandonment Rate
Also expressed as a percentage, the average abandonment rate refers to the number of callers who disconnect a call or are disconnected before reaching an agent. When tracked alongside On Hold Calls and Active Calls, it measures the overall performance of the call center and helps managers make better decisions and adjustments.
Call centers must strive to keep the Abandonment Rate lower than five percent. Anything more can have a detrimental impact on customer retention, revenue, and sales opportunities. And as one of the most vital contact center KPIs, the abandonment rate speaks to the frustration customers feel when their calls go unanswered.
4. Average Speed of Answer
A thorough list of call center key performance indicators is incomplete without analyzing the Average Speed of Answer. This is a measurement, usually expressed in seconds, indicating the average time it takes for an agent to answer a call.
To calculate the average speed of answer, consider the time a customer spends in a queue while the agent’s phone rings, but not how long it takes the agent to navigate the IVR system. As one of the relevant call center metrics that evaluate operational productivity, managers use this KPI to measure their team’s efficiency and level of responsiveness.
5. Average After Call Work Time (ACW)
There is more to a call center agent’s work than attending to the needs of customers on the phone throughout the day. One of the call center metrics used to measure any activity that occurs after the customer has disengaged from a call is known as After Call Work Time.
Depending on the call center, ACW may be used to update databases, file reports, and communicate and collaborate with teammates. A manager looking to improve efficiency and increase the average Call Handling Time must keep ACW at a minimum to ensure that agents have enough time to interact with customers.
6. Occupancy Rate
A call center manager cannot meet call center standards without this KPI. It is the crux of a call center, measuring the time agents spend on live calls, as well the time it takes to complete any work associated with such phone calls.
While it makes sense for managers to increase the Occupancy Rate to ensure maximum productivity, doing so can burn out agents and consequently affect their overall performance. A spike in Occupancy Rate can also add to other call center stressors, such as the continuous expectations to exceed call center metrics, which can result in job dissatisfaction.
7. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
As part of the must-have call center KPIs, customer satisfaction reigns supreme. This is because it gives managers data-driven insight into the overall performance of the call center. Simply put, CSAT measures how well a company’s products meet or surpass customer expectations.
CSAT is one of the few KPIs that can be collected via varying avenues, from quality assurance measurements to customer surveys. It does not matter how a call center chooses to collect such data; the underlying point is that the efficiency and effectiveness of a call center cannot be accurately measured without CSAT.
To improve CSAT data, ensure that your team upholds the company standards consistently.
8. Transfer Rate
Comprehensive call center reporting metrics often include the Transfer Rate KPI. Also expressed as a percentage, Transfer Rate refers to the number of calls that an agent forwards to another person to complete. The recipient may be a supervisor or an agent in another department.
It is important to note that transferring a call does not speak to the ineffectiveness of an agent. A call can be transferred at the behest of the customer or due to incorrect routing of the incoming call. An agent can also transfer a call when they believe another person can ensure customer satisfaction.
9. Longest Call Hold
While it is inevitable that callers, at some point, would be placed on hold, it must not be for long periods nor a consistent practice else they may grow frustrated or feel ignored.
In most cases, the Longest Call Hold metric displays both the call center’s target Hold Time and the Longest Hold Time and helps call center managers to make data-driven adjustments.
The KPI makes it easy for managers to determine agents with the Longest Hold Time so that they can make adjustments to minimize wait times. A simple way to combat this KPI is to identify the days with the Longest Call Hold and assign more agents to attend to customers.
10. Peak Hour Traffic
As one of the most essential call center KPIs, it is impossible to meet call centre metrics industry standards without employing the Peak Hour Traffic KPI. Call center agents see their phones ringing off the hook daily, but some days are more intense than others. This is called the Peak Hour Traffic. It is a simple KPI that helps call center managers to determine the busiest hours in a working period.
Having access to this data promotes better scheduling, which prepares call center agents to handle the spike in calls. When used correctly, Peak Hour Traffic can reduce the stress call center agents face when working to meet customer expectations to ensure customer satisfaction.
11. Average Handle Time (AHT)
This KPI measures the average time it takes for an agent to complete attending to a single caller. The Average Handle Time begins when the agent picks up the call and ends when they end the call. It also includes time spent on hold and any task the agent performs while on the call with the customer.
AHT is very common in the call center industry as it relates to customer satisfaction and staffing. Agents with low AHT are considered to be efficient since they move through callers quickly without compromising quality service. To lower AHT across the board, managers should use tools that streamline processes and simplify complex conversations.
12. Idle Time
This is a measurement often expressed in seconds, indicating the time an agent spends performing tasks related to a recently ended call. Idle Time may include updating the database, writing an email, filing a report for the customer, or putting in a request for the customer.
A high Idle Time can affect daily productivity goals. It can also result in customer dissatisfaction since agents may unintentionally rush conversations to meet daily quotas. To lower the Idle Time value, call center managers encourage agents to perform all the tasks relating to the call while the customer is on the phone.
13. Active Waiting Calls
With this call center metric, managers and agents see the number of calls on hold and those that are being handled by agents. The Active Waiting Calls is important to operational efficiency and helps to assess team performance in real-time.
If there are too many calls on hold, supervisors can act quickly to reduce any backlog which can affect the daily quota. Active Waiting Calls proves to be even more efficient when tracked alongside other critical metrics such as Abandonment Rate and Response Time.
14. Percentage of Calls Blocked
Due to the flood of requests call centers receive each day, some callers are bound to reach a busy tone when they phone in to seek help or information. The number of inbound calls that did not get through can be measured using the Percentage of Calls Blocked metric.
Customers are more likely to receive a busy tone if the call center has not configured the call queue feature or the call queues are full. Other reasons for blocked calls include technical difficulties or using a call center software that cannot handle large inbound call volumes.
15. Sales per Agent
As a call center metric, Sales per Agent measures the selling capabilities of individual agents, along with the number of sales an agent closed within a specified period. Factors affecting the average sales between agents include the product or service, seniority levels, sales experience, and customer base.
For this reason, call center managers, in most cases, have differing expectations for agents. Sales per Agent also proves valuable when setting monthly quotas and creating policies to improve the overall sales performance of the team.
16. Call Arrival Rate
Every call center needs to track the number of calls that come in per day over 30 days. Call Arrival Rate helps to improve other KPIs such as Peak Hour Traffic, Hold Time, and Active Waiting Calls. It also helps to identify customer trends and zero in on days where incoming calls are particularly low. On such days, agents can perform other tasks, such as updating their database or collaborating with teammates.
Call Arrival Rate is also one of the few KPIs that gives call center managers comprehensive insight into the number of calls to expect per day and helps them to plan accordingly.
A call center cannot operate effectively without this KPI. It takes a lot of money to run a call center and meet customer expectations. Exactly how much can be determined by the Cost call center metric.
Once you figure out how much much your customer support services cost, you can compare the number to your overall revenue. The goal is to keep Cost as low as possible without compromising quality service.
Anything higher or close to the revenue is an indication that your processes must be streamlined to make operations economical. Managers must keep an eye out for Cost and investigate unusually high percentages. Failure to do so can result in loss of revenue.
The key takeaway for this article is that any call center manager looking to increase productivity and optimize the call center’s overall performance must take call center KPIs and related call center metrics seriously.
Granted, it can be frustrating to know where to start considering there are many KPIs, including outbound call center metrics, inbound call center metrics, operational call center metrics, and customer relations call center metrics. A great place to start is to implement the 17 aforementioned KPIs and make necessary adjustments to fit your operations and goals.
Furthermore, keep in mind that the effectiveness of a call center metric is only as good as the contact center software you are using. So, invest in a system that displays the top metrics automatically.