Call center service level measures the accessibility of a company to their customers and the company’s ability to plan for call volume fluctuations and execute their staffing strategy. It has been found to be directly tied to customer service quality and inbound call center performance thus is often the cornerstone of inbound call center manager’s metrics toolkit.
Service level is defined as the percentage of calls answered within a predefined amount of time—target time threshold. It can be measured over any period of time (i.e. 30 minutes, 1 hour, 1 day or 1 week) and for each agent, team, department or the company as a whole.
Goal (Service Level Objective)
Managers can set a service level objective, which is the maximum number of callers that wait in the queue before they are answered in a specified amount of time. Service level objectives are denoted as: (the percentage of calls answered)/(target time threshold). So a 90/30 service level objective means that the goal is to answer 90% of calls in 30 seconds or less.
Performance Measure (Service Level)
After setting a service level objective, managers will then measure their team’s performance in reaching that goal in increments (i.e. hours, days, weeks, months, quarters or years). For example, a company’s service level between 9:00am and 9:30am is measured to be 80% if they answered 80 calls within 30 seconds or less and 20 calls after the callers waited for longer than 30 seconds.
Service level (as a performance measure) is denoted simply as the percentage of calls that were answered in the predetermined time threshold. So in the previous example, the service level is 80%.
Service level has been touted as one of the most important KPIs as it is intimately tied to customer service quality and overall performance of the call center. Thus, managers and decisions-makers should take a systematic approach to selecting a goal, measuring their team’s performance and acting on this data when making key decisions.
More about service level:
Sign up for CX and call center insights delivered weekly to your inbox