Choosing optimal call center KPIs is critical in assessing call center performance, maintaining a consistent level of service quality, and comprehensively understanding your customer’s experience.
The goal of a call center is to provide good customer service and quickly and effectively solve callers’ queries. The success of a call center depends on a variety of factors, such as the underlying technology and the several stakeholders involved, so it’s important to keep tracking the performance to find what is working out fine and what is not.
Monitoring optimal call center key performance indicators (KPIs) in real-time will allow for early diagnosis of issues to take reparative action. Conversely, selecting KPIs that are carelessly defined, not in line with corporate strategy, or are not consistently monitored, will lead to disorganization, poor customer service quality, and a decrease in the image and value of your company.
What are call center KPIs?
A KPIs is a metric used to measure if call centers are solving customer queries and delivering high-quality customer service. Call centers can have several possible KPIs, but it’s better to choose a short number of actionable metrics rather than data overload.
Top call center KPIs and metrics include:
- Customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores.
- Call abandonment rate.
- First call resolution.
- Average handle time.
- Average speed of answer.
- Service level.
10 steps to take to select optimal call center KPIs.
Dedicate ample time and consideration to choosing contact center metrics that will allow for accurate assessment of call center performance. Doing so is essential to understand and enhance the customer experience and will enormously impact your bottom line. Below are ten steps to show you how.
1. Identify KPIs that reflect your business objectives and corporate strategy.
Chose KPIs that are in line with your business objectives and corporate strategy. They should be directly tied to your company’s mission, values, and goals. The indicators that have the largest impact on the desired goal must be considered first.
2. Define accurate KPIs.
Identify and define exactly what will be measured. For the KPIs to be measured consistently, they must have a specific definition. Accurately defining the KPI will contribute to the validity of the measure.
3. Establish how the KPI will be calculated.
Decide what data points will contribute to the calculation and where the data comes from. This specificity will ensure that the KPI is assessed consistently. It is imperative to use excellent call center software to analyze these metrics accurately with real-time and historical reporting. Measuring metrics consistently is essential to ensuring that they are useful.
4. Define each KPI’s purpose.
Each KPI should be meaningful and serve a purpose. They can be used to engage employees, inform managers, or trigger an action plan. Make sure that the purpose is clear to each employee who uses the KPI.
5. Ensure that the KPIs measure different domains.
Dividing KPIs into separate domains will ensure that you gain a more comprehensive view of your company’s performance. One strategy is to divide into operations, income, cost, and service-quality related indicators. Another is to divide into leadership/planning, process, people, and performance-related indicators. Finally, divide the KPIs into domains that are the most meaningful for your company.
2021 Talkdesk global contact center KPI benchmarking report
6. Set performance targets for each KPI.
KPIs should have a specific, quantitative target, a set of ranges, or both. Ranges are expressed as a percentage of a target value or as specific start and end values. Use KPIs to monitor progress, and if a KPI falls out of range or misses a target, a trigger should be in place to alert that a specific action must occur.
7. Define execution steps for each target.
Define concrete steps that are required to meet each target. Ensure that the steps are feasible and can be continually measured and monitored. A considerable amount of resources should be allocated to training agents to achieve these steps.
8. Develop an action plan if the KPI doesn’t meet the target.
Define specific actions to be taken if the KPI falls outside of the target or range. Corrective actions must be concretely defined and consistently applied, especially if a problem is identified.
9. Continually review KPIs.
KPIs constantly fluctuate, so accurately assessing them in real-time as well as in comprehensive historical reporting is critical to maintaining an efficient and effective contact center. Interpret the data in a meaningful way and consider causes for any trends, outliers, or inefficiencies. KPIs should also be available to agents in real-time to be aware of the metrics and respond accordingly.
10. Refine KPIs when necessary.
Adjust the KPIs that are being measured, the definition of the KPI, or the data points included in calculating the KPI to keep efforts aligned with desired performance results.
Selecting appropriate call center KPIs and incorporating them into the right strategy will ensure that your contact center performs optimally. This process will increase agent effectiveness, customer satisfaction, and system efficiency and, as a result, create positive brand awareness.
Contact centers are at the heart of the customer experience, and KPIs will allow your team to keep their finger on the pulse of the customer. By tracking the right call center KPIs and pro-actively acting on them, your team will consistently achieve their goals, and both your customers and company will benefit from their strategic and tactical initiatives.
This blog post was originally published in January 2013, and updated in October 2021.