An Overview of Call Center Key Performance Indicators

By Shauna Geraghty

0 min read

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Developing a comprehensive understanding of call center key performance indicators (KPIs), how to identify KPIs to measure as well as how to accurately measure them and act on the data is imperative to successfully managing a call center. It’s an added bonus if your call center software helps you monitor and measure these KPIs in real-time.

This blog post will help you do just that. It provides a definition of call center KPIs, gives examples of the most commonly measured metrics in the call center, lists steps to measure these KPIs and suggests tools to help optimize the acquisition of KPI data.

Call Center Key Performance Indicators Defined

The first step to making data-driven decisions in the call center is to develop a comprehensive understanding of what a call center KPI is, as well as how they are used in the call center.

Call center KPIs are quantitative metrics that are used to evaluate constructs that are crucial to the success of the call center. They typically assess the performance of the agent, team, department and/or the call center as a whole. They can be used to determine trends and make data-driven decisions that will increase efficiency, optimize customer satisfaction, increase revenue and reduce costs. They can also be used in benchmarking efforts to measure progress towards goals and to compare the call center’s performance with an industry standard. Taken together, call center KPIs are metrics that provide information about how a call center is performing and can be used as a foundation to make strategic decisions that will help to drive results.

Now that you have a good understanding of call center KPIs, lets walk through an example of how you can measure certain KPIs to access your call center’s performance in one key domain – customer satisfaction.

Top 10 KPIs that Impact Customer Satisfaction

Knowing which call center KPIs to measure consistently can be challenging, especially for more novice call center managers. This section of this blog post is a great place to start. Below are the top 10 KPIs that impact customer satisfaction within the call center compiled from a study conducted with 512 call centers:

  1. First call resolution – The percentage of calls that the agent resolves the caller’s issue without having to escalate, transfer or return the call.
  2. Percentage of calls blocked – The percentage of callers that received a busy tone when they call.
  3. Average time in queue – The average amount of time callers wait in call queues before an agent responds.
  4. Average after call work time – The average amount of time an agent spends completing work related to the call after they finish the call.
  5. Service level – The percentage of calls answered within a specified number of seconds.
  6. Average abandonment rate – The percentage of callers who hang up before reaching an agent.
  7. Agent turnover rate – The percentage of agents who leave the call center.
  8. Average speed of answer – The average amount of time it takes for the call to be answered by an agent or the Automatic Call Distributor (ACD).
  9. Average handle time – The average amount of time an agent spends speaking with the caller, including hold time.
  10. Schedule adherence – A measure of an agent’s degree of compliance with their assigned schedule.

If you are looking for a starting point for evaluating your call center’s impact on customer satisfaction, the 10 aforementioned KPIs are a great option. Consistently measuring them over time will allow you to make data-driven decisions which will help to increase customer satisfaction.

Steps to Selecting Optimal KPIs

Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of call center KPIs as well as commonly measured KPIs in the call center, it is time to select KPIs that will allow for an accurate assessment of your call center’s performance. Below is a step-by-step guide to help you do just that.

  1. Identify KPIs that are in line with your business objectives and corporate strategy.
  2. Identify and define the KPIs that will be measured.
  3. Decide which data points will contribute to the KPI calculation and how the data will be acquired.
  4. Define each KPI’s purpose and make sure that the purpose is clear to your entire team.
  5. Ensure that the KPIs are measuring different domains to gain a more comprehensive view of the performance of your call center.
  6. Set a specific, quantitative target, a range or both for each KPI.
  7. Define concrete steps that are required to meet each target.
  8. Develop a specific action plan if the KPI falls outside of the target or range.
  9. Continually review KPIs, interpret the data in a meaningful way and consider causes for any trends or outliers.
  10. Optimize the definition of the KPI, refine the data points included in the KPI calculation and select new KPIs to measure in an effort to constantly improve your approach to measuring your call center’s performance.

In order to effectively engage in call center benchmarking, evaluation and decision-making, managers must follow the steps outlined above to select the most relevant call center KPIs and make more informed decisions based on the acquired data.

Tools to Consistently Measure KPIs

The final step to optimizing your approach to measuring KPIs and acting on the data is to leverage the right tools. Below is information about tools to help you consistently measure call center KPIs so that you and your team can make strategic decisions that will have a significant impact on your call center’s performance.

  1. Call center software with integrated reporting– The first, and arguably the most important, tool in your team’s toolbelt should be call center software with integrated real-time and historical reporting. This will provide your team with the data they need exactly when and how they need it.
  2. Real-time metrics dashboard for agents– Agents should be provided with a real-time metrics dashboard so they are able to see KPIs like how many callers are in the queue, their colleagues’ agent status, longest wait time and average abandonment time.
  3. Real-time metrics dashboard for managers– Managers should have access to KPIs that are most helpful to them in making data-driven decisions. For example, their metrics dashboard should display service level, number of calls in queue, average abandonment time, longest wait time, etc., in real-time.
  4. Call monitoring dashboard– Call center managers and supervisors should have access to call monitoring capabilities to analyze interaction quality and obtain data for measuring first call resolution.
  5. Historical reporting– The entire team can engage in data-driven decision making when they have access to dashboards that display call center metrics such as call volume, service level, handle time, abandonment time, wait time, etc. from any time point.
  6. Workforce management software– Managers should leverage workforce management software to help them measure agent attrition and agent absenteeism.
  7. Backoffice tools– Managers should have access to backoffice tools to help them measure KPIs such as first call resolutioncost per call, customer satisfaction and interaction quality.

Consistently measuring call center KPIs is essential to gaining an at-a-glance overview of the call center’s performance and making informed decisions based on the results. As such, arm your team with the aforementioned tools so they can access the data they need to succeed.


Call center managers seeking to propel their call center ahead of the competition, wow their callers with an awesome customer experience, increase revenue and reduce costs should make an effort to identify relevant call center KPIs, measure them consistently and act on the results. Doing so will allow them to make more informed decisions that will have a measurable impact on their call center’s performance.

10 KPIs That Affect Customer Satisfaction with Call Center Service


Shauna Geraghty

As the first U.S. employee, Shauna helped to scale Talkdesk to over 1,000 employees in 7 offices globally. During her tenure, she has built Talkdesk's Marketing, Talent and HR functions from the ground up. Shauna has a doctorate in clinical psychology and has applied foundational knowledge from the field of psychology to help propel Talkdesk along its hyper-growth trajectory.