For novice call center managers, knowing which call center KPIs to measure consistently during their benchmarking efforts can be challenging. This blog post removes the guesswork from this process. Below is an overview of the most common call center performance metrics broken down into four segments (service quality, accessibility, operational efficiency and cost) as well as information about how to calculate each. It can serve as a reference when optimizing your approach to call center benchmarking.
Customer satisfaction — the customer’s level of satisfaction with the service the agent provided. Call centers can acquire this data using IVR-based post call surveys that ask questions that require both quantitative (i.e., “On a scale from 1 to 5 how satisfied are you with the service agent X provided you with today?”) and qualitative (i.e., “What was most helpful about the interaction?”) answers.
Call quality — the extent to which the agent was able to understand the customer’s needs, enter data correctly, provide the customer with appropriate information and obtain relevant information from the customer. Call quality is typically assessed using live call monitoring, in vivo observation and/or by listening to call recordings and rating the interaction using call scoring evaluation forms.
First call resolution — the percentage of all issues that are resolved on the first attempt. Call center managers can measure first call resolution by defining a contact window and then conducting customer satisfaction, call statistics and call recording analyses for that time period to determine how many issues were resolved on first contact.
Service level — the percentage of calls answered within a predefined amount of time. Most call center software dashboards will display service level metrics both in real-time and historically.
Average speed of answer — the average amount of time it takes for calls to be answered by an agent during a specific time period. This can be measured for each agent, a department or the call center as a whole and is displayed in the call center software metrics dashboard.
Number of blocked calls — for inbound call centers the number of blocked calls is the number of callers who reached out to the call center and received a busy signal. This number can be acquired from call center software metrics dashboards and is often displayed both in real-time and historically.
Average abandonment — the average amount of time callers waited for their call to be answered by an agent before hanging up. Agents and managers can access average abandonment statistics from their metrics dashboards. They can also view exactly how many callers hung up while in the waiting queue, IVR or while being transferred to an agent.
Longest wait time — the longest time a caller waited in the waiting queue before an agent answered their call. Agents and managers can access waiting queue statistics in real-time from their call center software metrics dashboard.
Self-service accessibility — the degree of accessibility of information in the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. Call center managers typically assess how many callers begin self-service transactions in their IVR as well as how many complete their self-service transactions in their IVR without agent intervention.
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Average handle time — the average amount of time an agent spends on a call and engaged in after call work associated with that call. It is typically calculated using the following formula:
Call wrap-up time — the amount of time an agent spends on after call work associated with the call. This metric is typically displayed in reporting dashboards and managers can also gain an overview of time spent completing After call work in real-time by viewing agent statuses.
Forecast accuracy — the percent variance between the number of inbound calls forecasted for a particular time period and the number of actual calls received during that time period. This metric is computed using data obtained from forecasting software as well as the call center software’s automatic call distributor (ACD).
Adherence to schedule — a call center agent’s degree of compliance with their assigned schedule. This metric can be obtained by taking the total time an agent was available for work during a certain timeframe and dividing it by the time they were scheduled to work during that timeframe, expressed as a percentage.
Cost per call — the total cost associated with handling all calls during a specific timeframe. To calculate cost per call in the call center, first define a timeframe, then acquire the number of calls handled during that timeframe and divide it by the total call center costs associated with the given timeframe.
Agent attrition — a measure of staff turnover annually, expressed as a percentage. This can be measured by taking the change in number of agents employed in the call center and dividing it by the total number of agents employed in the call center during a specific timeframe.
Agent absenteeism — the number of days lost per year due to agents being absent as a percentage of the total number of their contracted days. This number is typically calculated by hand by the call center manager.
Measuring the aforementioned call center KPIs is critical to the success of any call center. It will allow management to make more informed decisions that will have a measurable impact on the quality of their call center’s performance.