Measuring the success of a call center’s goals starts with setting key performance indicators (KPIs). Call center KPIs must be a measurable value that managers and directors can look at periodically, to see how well the contact center is meeting various operational objectives and whether their agents are meeting the customer's needs and expectations for a high-quality customer experience.
The value of the KPI is, of course, only going to be as valuable as the action it leads the company and individuals to make. When used correctly, KPIs can serve as a form of communication and can be used to improve the customer experience (CX).
How to Communicate the Value of the Call Center KPI
It is a common mistake for call centers to adopt standard KPIs without tailoring them to reflect their enterprises' unique needs. Each KPI should be clearly explained to the team they apply to, just the same as each individual's job description is clearly explained during the onboarding process. When information is distributed in a clear and succinct manner, it is much more likely to be not only absorbed by the employee but acted upon too. This ensures agents are following practices and policies that improve the brand image and CX.
18 Call Center KPIs
Here's a list of 18 essential call center KPIs that reflect your contact center's unique needs, and goals. Although these are standard KPIs, once tailored and tracked on an ongoing basis, they can lead to changes that impact, employee and customer satisfaction, higher levels of productivity, overall efficiency, and excellent customer experiences.
1. Average Handle Time (AHT)
Average handle time (AHT) is a call center KPI for the average time it takes for a customer service representative to complete one transaction. AHT usually starts from the time a customer initiates the call and includes any time on hold and tasks that follow the call or interaction until the agent can start the next call or chat.
AHT is a prime factor when deciding call center staffing levels. Knowing how long each call is likely to last helps managers schedule their agents. The goal is to ensure workloads do not become overwhelming. Individual average handle time can be measured for each call agent to determine which agents need advanced training.
Using tools that simplify complex conversations can lower your AHT and lead to significant cost savings and enhanced workforce efficiency.
2. Percentage of Calls Blocked
One of the most aggravating aspects of dialing into a call center is receiving a busy signal. The customer is calling because they need a question answered or take care of an important matter, and the last thing they want to do is receive a busy tone.
Receiving a busy tone is typically the result of no available agents (each agent's call queue is too full) or the software being used by the call center can't handle the current number of calls coming in.
As you measure the KPI of the percentage of calls blocked, you must determine if it's a department-wide issue or an individual employee issue. Advanced training can be provided to employees who struggle with overwhelming call queues.
If it's a department-wide issue, you will want to look into upgrading the call center software to handle larger volumes of calls. Investing in better call center software can greatly improve CX.
3. Business Drivers
Your business drivers are core components of the call center and they are generally combined with automatic call distributor (ACD) information. These drivers are going to include everything from sales conversion rates, cost per call, cross-selling data, revenue per call, and more.
Combining ACD data with analytics and data pulled from your customer relationship management software is an excellent way to measure business drivers with other call center KPIs.
4. Workforce Management
If your call center has deployed a workforce management (WFM) solution, you can compare historical data against real-time data to measure your forecast versus the actual call volume, agent adherence to their schedules, and more. Workforce management KPIs are essential to pinpointing your top-tier call representatives.
5. First Response Time (FRT)
77% of consumers say the most important thing they look for in a business is whether or not the company values their time. The first response time KPI is typically viewed as the most important. Nobody wants to be put on hold. Ensuring call center representatives handle requests quickly will leave a lasting impression on callers. You can calculate this KPI according to hours of days, the number of days each week, and on an annual basis.
According to data, approximately 35% of callers will abandon a call within the first minute of waiting. Once three minutes have passed, an astonishing 66% of them will abandon the call.
6. Quality Assurance Metrics
Supervisors can deploy quality monitoring to measure call quality KPIs. Agent performance is key to measuring call quality, including how quickly they resolve customer issues, how accurate they are at logging call information, and how efficiently they move from one call to the next. Newer agents tend to display lower levels of call quality. Advanced training can be provided to these employees to boost their call quality performance. A quality assurance scorecard can greatly enhance call quality performance on a per agent basis, and when used correctly, it will improve CX.
7. Sales Per Agent
You will measure sales and total calls to evaluate sales per agent KPIs. Managers can use this metric to tweak targets and improve overall sales performance.
8. Revenue Per Successful Call
This KPI enables you to measure how much revenue is being produced according to each successful call. Managers find this KPI especially valuable when generating expected revenue reports. It also allows them to adjust targets according to current progress data.
9. After Call Work Time (ACW)
Post-call work should be measured to determine how much time should be allocated for this part of the call agent's job. Ideally, post-call work should be kept to a minimum to ensure the agent is spending as much time as possible handling customer calls instead of tending to post-call tasks. Improving call center ACW should be a priority for increasing efficiency.
10. Call Arrival Rate
This KPI will count the number of calls that come in each day and it will include data from at least the past 30 days. You will easily be able to track patterns with this metric that can allow you to better create call agent schedules.
11. Call Setup Success Rate
Not all calls are going to be successful. By measuring the call setup success rate, managers can garner a better idea of how many calls are going to be successful on a daily basis. This allows them to allocate resources more appropriately to ensure high levels of successful call connections are maintained.
12. Longest Call Hold
Your longest call hold KPI is going to help call center managers identify where the longest hold times are stemming from. Adjustments to call agent schedules can be made to minimize wait times. For example, if it is pinpointed that the longest call hold times occur every Tuesday, this would be an indicator to schedule a greater number of call agents on this particular day of each week.
13. Average Call Length
You will need to specifically tailor this KPI according to the products and services being sold/provided. Average call length varies significantly from one call center to the next.
14. Average Age of Query
This KPI measures how long the average case stays open that is not resolved during the first call. The shorter the average age of the query, the better.
15. First Call Resolution (FCR)
First call resolution (FCR) is whether or not the customer’s questions and purpose for the call was taken care of the first time they called, without having to transfer the call or call back. FCR is often seen as the cornerstone of call center KPI’s. According to a study conducted by The Ascent Group, 60% companies that measured their FCR for at least 12 months were able to improve FCR by up to 30%.
The FCR is an important call center kpi that can help improve CX. Customers have a strong desire to have their inquiries resolved during the first call. They are much more likely to leave good feedback when this takes place. Measuring FCR allows you to well you are performing in being able to meet the needs of your customers the first time around.
16. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
The net promoter score (NPS) is used to gauge the loyalty and customer experience of a customer. It's a newer method of measuring customer satisfaction (see CSAT below). NPS is often calculated based on the response to 1 question: “How likely is it that you would recommend this agent/ or company to a friend or colleague?
The scoring for this answer is most often based on a 0 to 10 scale, with 9 and 10 being promoters, 7 - 8 are passive, while 0 - 6 are called detractors. The NPS is derived from subtracting the percentage of customers that detractors from the promoters. Therefore a score of over 50 is considered Good.
NPS allows you to receive valuable feedback from customers relating to their interactions with the call center. Strong NPS scores are heavily correlated with positive revenue and business growth. They should be evaluated on a regular basis to get a better feel on how to improve NPS.
17. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
CSAT is a measure of how products and services supplied by a company meet or surpass customer expectations. Often the customer is presented with a scale from 1 to 5. Like NPS, CSAT is used as a leading indicator of loyalty and long-term revenue from a customer.
CSAT is a good measure to judge whether the call center representatives are delivering poor or high-quality customer experiences. One purpose of measuring CSAT scores is to get a better understanding of which factors are impacting the call center in a negative manner as well as which ones are influencing it in a positive way.
18. Customer Effort Score (CES)
Like NPS, Customer Effort Score (CES) is a measure of customer satisfaction and an indication of loyalty, which makes it also a popular KPI to measure in a call center. CES is measured by asking the customer 1 question ( similar to NPS) “ How easy was it to address the reason for your call?” or some variation of that, on a scale from 1 - 5 from Very Difficult to Very Easy.
This idea of “easy” interactions to improve customer experience (CX) stemmed from a very popular Harvard Business Review article, which concludes that quickly and efficiently getting the job done for the customer, leads to improved loyalty and increased CX.
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