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Call centers play a big role in enhancing the holistic perception of your brand. Additionally, there’s a need to find the right balance between operational efficiency and meeting customer expectations. It is, in no way, a simple task, but you can achieve that with a mix of reliable call center metrics and proper strategies.

The following is a list of top 15 call center metrics to make sure that you don’t skip any essential metric to measure the performance of your call center and agents.

In the case of companies that use call centers, even a single misstep in customer service can lead to customer defection. Keeping a close watch on these metrics will ensure that your call center is living up to the expectations of your customers.

1. Average Call Abandonment Rate

Everyone aims at delivering exceptional customer service, but that will happen only when your customers stay on the phone long enough to receive assistance. Sometimes, your customers will hang up even before they get to speak to an agent. The average call abandonment rate is a call center metric that measures the percentage of customers who do that.

Although the metric won’t give much details about an individual agent, it surely tells a lot about the collective productivity of the call center. If you have a high rate of average call abandonment, you’ve got to figure out what’s going wrong and why aren’t your customers being attended to in time.

A common formula that call center industries use to calculate average call abandonment rate is given below.

Average Call Abandonment Rate = (Number of calls offered – Number of calls handled)/ Number of calls offered x 100

2. Percentage of Calls Blocked

The percentage of calls blocked give you an estimate of the number of customers who received a busy tone while trying to reach your agents. Again, this call center metric isn’t meant to be high. A higher number of calls getting blocked means that you aren’t assisting enough customers with their issues. This could also mean that you haven’t assigned enough agents to a shift to take care of all the customers calling during the time.  Either way, you have to identify where the gaps are and find out how you can optimize the time and efforts of your agents so that your customers aren’t turned down.

3. Adherence to Schedule

This call center metric assesses the efficiency with which agents manage their time on the job. A high adherence to schedule means that your agents are well-focused on the tasks at hand and resolving customer issues. According to call center metrics industry standards, eighty per cent is believed to be a good adherence to schedule rate. It is calculated by dividing the sum of handling time and available time by the total paid hours.

4. Average Time in Queue

Waiting in a queue for a long time anywhere can be frustrating, let alone the other end of a phone line. Therefore, you need to be careful that your customers’ average waiting time doesn’t go beyond their tolerable range.

The average time in queue is an overall productivity metric, and it can be calculated by the following formula.

Average time in queue = Total time that spent by callers waiting in queue
Total number of calls that your agents answered

You should aim at keeping this metric as low as possible for better customer experience. Play back extended conversations to the concerned agent and point out areas where he/she can improve. Keep them motivated and you can keep this metric to a minimum.

5. First Call Resolution

Nothing can probably give you a clear measure of the agent productivity and effectiveness in a call center more than this call center agent performance metric. Try to make sure that your agents answer customer calls and resolve their queries the first time around. If your customer has to make several calls to resolve their query, is transferred too often or handed over to the supervisor to get their issues resolved, it could significantly bring down their satisfaction levels and lower brand image. Proper agent training and appropriate metrics can help you go a long way in keeping a high first call resolution.

6. Average Speed of Answer

This is an important call center quality assurance metric to measure the productivity of your team of agents. It calculates the average time it takes to answer the calls within a specific time frame.

If your agents aren’t working as fast as they could, it could lead to a higher average speed of answer. In such a case, you will have to figure out whether your agents are facing any problems that’s keeping them from answering the phone faster. Sometimes, it could just be a simple fix, such as installing better work tools or introducing a call center script for quick turnarounds.

7. Average Handle Time

The average handle time or AHT metric is measured by the average time an agent spends in a call from the moment the call is answered until the call is disconnected. AHT is a critical inbound call center metric that is an indicator of the call center agent productivity, but measuring it can be a bit tricky. You have to take certain things into consideration before you set an ideal range for the metric.

If your agent is taking too much time to finish a call, it could mean they are struggling with customer requests. On the other hand, if your agents have a shorter handle time, it could mean that they didn’t offer required assistance to your customers. Therefore, it is crucial to offer proper training and tools to your call center agents so that they can quickly respond and resolve customer queries. You also need to monitor call quality and ensure all your customer satisfaction bases are covered.

8. Average After Call Work Time

After a call center agent disconnects the call, they may still have to get some work done that is related to the call. The average after call work time measures the average time that agents take to do this work.

This task needs to be done thoroughly and accurately. Although you want your agents to spend enough time on the task, you also need to ensure that the metric isn’t too high. You have to identify the gaps and make efforts to simplify the task.

9. Occupancy rate

Occupancy rate measures the entire productivity of your agents across all their duties in the call center. It involves the time they spent on live calls, completing the tasks related to the calls, the resolutions they offered, etc.

If the occupancy rate is low, you need to ramp up your agents’ efforts and involvement in call center tasks. The occupancy rate metric can also be used to address duties, events and situations that are beyond the general call-related work area.

10. Customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction or CSAT is a commonly used metric to determine the satisfaction levels of your customers with regard to your services. A higher customer satisfaction score means a higher call center agent productivity. It is the most comprehensive and direct way to ensure that your customers are getting proper assistance or support they need or not.

Generally, customer satisfaction is determined by after-call surveys, but other metrics like Net Promoter Score may also be included in the assessment.

11. Net Promoter Score

Many call center companies have adopted this metric because it is easy to understand and implement and also offers a simple way to measure customer loyalty and satisfaction. It is based on one simple question, i.e. ‘How likely are you to recommend our product or service to a friend or colleague?’ You can categorize the respondents into promoters, passives and detractors based on their response on a rating scale of 0 to 10. Customers who respond 9-10 on the rating scale are promoters. The passives are the ones who rate your service between 7-8, and the detractors can offer somewhere around 0-6.

12. Calls answered per hour

Having a report of the number of calls that agents answer per hour on overage is a good measure of productivity. It can be calculated by the following formula.

Calls answered per hour = Calls answered by agents / (Total available time- Idle time or waiting time)

While calculating the calls answered per hour, you also need to consider that the end result may fluctuate due to factors like seasonal call volumes, shift changes, etc.

13. Transfer Rate

Once your customers have connected to your agents, they want to get their issues resolved as soon as possible. They don’t really appreciate it when their calls are being transferred to someone else to handle their queries. Moreover, if there are multiple transfers, your customers can get frustrated.

Sometimes, transfers are necessary, but you can try to keep them to a minimum.

14. Average Age of Query

This metric gives an estimate of how long an unresolved query stays open if it wasn’t resolved in the first attempt. It’s obvious that the average age of query should be low for better customer experience. It can be calculated by the following formula.

Average age of query = Total time of open queries / Total number of open queries

15. Repeat Calls

The repeat call metric is somewhat similar to First Call Resolution and offers an understanding of issues that don’t get resolved in the first call. Keeping a track of these recurring issues can help the company to identify and resolve them quickly. The repeat call rate is measured as follows

Repeat call rate = Number of calls related to a particular issue / Total number of calls

Conclusion

Call center metrics are associated with customer satisfaction, agent effectiveness and efficient call center operations. ExpertCallers keeps track of these key performance indicators and more to measure the successes and explore areas of improvement. 

In a call center, a lot of decisions need to be made that could impact the overall business and bottom line. And diving into things without proper strategy and solid, reliable metrics is not an option at all. Hence, at ExpertCallers, we measure everything – right from what our agents are doing, how they are doing it and whether there’s any area that needs to be improved to better satisfy your customers. With centralized KPIs and metrics in place, ExpertCallers can be the solution to all your call center outsourcing needs.