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May 2, 2022

Call Center Metrics that Matter

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Call center metrics are most often referred to as KPIs, which stands for key performance indicators.

The call center is the hub of customer service in a company. That means that expectations for agent performance are high. Customers are calling in for a variety of issues or general queries and want to be treated well. If they have a poor experience then they are very likely to go elsewhere.

In fact, globally, 96% of customers say that customer service is an important factor in their choice of loyalty to a brand. So, customer service is a vital part of the customer experience as a whole. Research also shows that 68% of customers believe that the key to great customer service is a polite customer service representative.

Call center agents can make or break the customer experience and part of a manager’s responsibility is ensuring that agents are performing at their best and delivering excellent customer service. One key way to do this is to keep track of call center metrics to measure and gauge how agents are conducting their calls and how customers are reacting to the service they are receiving. 

Tracking the right call center metrics can help elevate your call center, as they influence decisions going forward and show you what exactly is working and what needs to be improved. 

But which call center metrics should you be paying attention to?

This guide will tell you all about the essential call center metrics you need to be looking at in order to make sure your customer’s needs are being met and you have top-performing agents.

What you need to know about call center metrics

Call center metrics are typically collected in real-time and can cover a variety of details and call data. These metrics can be generated using contact center software. If you have not invested in contact center software yet then you may want to consider doing so, as it offers multiple automation tools and processes, including collecting data to give you a comprehensive view of your call center. 

Your contact center software should give you access to an agile dashboard that is configurable to your needs. This is where you will be able to see all of your call center metrics and you can customize which metrics you receive and how you receive them, as you can choose your data to be delivered in the form of graphs or charts, etc.

Your contact center software should give you access to a dynamic metrics dashboard that is configurable to your needs.

Call center metrics are most often referred to as KPIs, which stands for key performance indicators. These are quantifiable measurements to determine how a company is doing in the long-term and in this case the performance and productivity of your agents. There are dozens of metrics that you can keep track of, but there are certain analytics that you should definitely be sure to monitor on a regular basis.

Which metrics should you track?

These are the top call center performance metrics that you need to keep up with.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score

This is definitely one of the top metrics, as customers are obviously the driving force that keeps a business going and they need to be kept happy so they will want to keep buying from the company. CSAT scores measure how satisfied your customers are with the products and/or services they are receiving. 

Effective customer satisfaction surveys will use multiple questions to get a sense of the entire customer experience. For example, an agent working for an internet service provider may ask a question like “how would you rate your overall satisfaction with your internet service?” The customer can then answer from a scale of one to five, with one being very unsatisfied and five being highly satisfied. Of course, questions are tailored to the specific information you are seeking out. 

To get your CSAT score you will take the total number of satisfied customers (ratings of 4 or 5) and divide by the total number of survey responses. Then multiply the result by one hundred for the actual score.

 CSAT scores show you different things like how well agents are solving problems and if they are being friendly, how good call scripts are, and the level of customer service that customers are receiving. They really are a metric worth taking the time to measure because of how much information you can glean from them.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The net promoter score is often considered to be the best way to determine how your customers feel about your organization and the customer experience and how willing they may be to leave. This score is also derived from customer surveys, but these surveys use a single, straightforward question that is rated from zero to ten. 

These ratings are divided up and customers are classified by three categories. Promoters are the customers who give ratings of 10 or 9. Passives are the customers who give ratings of 8 or 7. Finally, detractors are the customers who give ratings 6 all the way to zero. This classification gives a better sense of how loyal your customers are.

Tracking the right call center metrics can help elevate your call center, as they influence decisions going forward and show you what exactly is working and what needs to be improved.

The formula for calculating the net promoter score is (number of promoters / total number of customers that were surveyed) – (number of detractors / total number of customers that were surveyed). While it may seem like CSAT scores and NPS are the same thing, they are different in what they are measuring. CSAT is specifically for customer satisfaction and NPS is specifically for customer loyalty.

Customer Effort Score (CES)

As you can probably already guess from the name, your customer effort score is the measurement of how much effort your customer’s have to put into getting a problem resolved when they call into your call center. CES is collected in a manner that’s very similar to NPS.

Customers are surveyed with a single, straightforward question that is rated on a scale of one to seven, although some companies use a scale of one to five. The question can be phrased along the lines of “On a scale of one to seven, with one being strongly disagree and seven being strongly agree, was it easy for you to get your issue resolved by an agent.”

Customer effort score can give you valuable insight on how likely they might be to turn to a competitor, as it is believed that the easier it is for customers to conduct business then the more loyal they will become. The whole point of a call center is to resolve customer issues as quickly and efficiently as possible so they remain satisfied with their experience with the brand, even if they were returning something they purchased. So, when the score is low then you know you need to work on improving services.

Average Call Length or Average Handle Time

This metric applies to the average of all calls, starting from the moment an agent answers a call to the moment the call is disconnected. Customers don’t want to spend half an hour or more on the phone trying to get a simple matter resolved or have it turn into a bigger issue than they were expecting. The ideal call length is up to the manager, and agents need to strike a balance between taking enough time to actually help a customer but not taking so long that they are tied up with one call when other customers are calling in.

Agents who take too long on a single call are also not able to get to other calls, which lowers their productivity rates. It’s important that agents can get through calls in a relatively quick manner to be able to help more people, especially if the call center has a large rate of inbound calls on a daily basis. It also indicates that they may not know how to help customers and could use some additional training.

Average Wait Times or Average Speed of Answer

Part of measuring agent productivity is measuring how long they take to answer the phone. Just like how customers don’t want to be talking to an agent for a long period of time, they also don’t want to be kept waiting all day for someone to answer the phone. Customers who are constantly kept waiting for an agent to answer the phone may give up and start to have a negative view of the brand, which can end up causing them to turn to a competitor. 

This metric determines the average amount of time it takes for agents to answer calls in a specific time frame. If agents are taking too long to answer then you may want to investigate as to why they are not getting to calls sooner.

First Call Resolution

This is one of the best ways to measure agent productivity levels and how knowledgeable they are. First call resolution refers to the percentage of calls where agents are able to resolve customer queries on the first try, without needing to transfer them or calling the customer back. Customers usually expect that their issue will be taken care of the first time they call and high first call resolutions contribute to their satisfaction ratings.

Low first call resolution rates can also show that agents may need further training or there may be information silos that need to be dismantled with the help of tools like a knowledge base or other resources to aid agents.

Call Transfer Rate

The call transfer rate is the average amount of times customers get transferred to another agent or department. Agents may be transferring calls because an IVR system routed the customer to the wrong person or agents do not have the ability to resolve an issue and another agent does, along with possibly needing to escalate something to a manager. High call transfer rates may mean you need to look at processes in your call center and look towards optimizing these processes for fewer transfers.

Call Abandonment Rate

Related to average wait times, this metric calculates the percentage of calls where callers hung up before an agent was able to answer. Again, a high abandonment rate can indicate a larger issue with agents not being able to get to calls in a reasonable time and is something you should look into. You may want to consider investing in an automated call distribution system or an interactive voice response system to help resolve this problem.

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About LiveVox

LiveVox (Nasdaq: LVOX) is a next generation contact center platform that powers more than 14 billion omnichannel interactions a year. By seamlessly unifying blended omnichannel communications, CRM, AI, and WEM capabilities, the Company’s technology delivers exceptional agent and customer experiences, while helping to mitigate compliance risk. With 20 years of cloud experience and expertise, LiveVox’s CCaaS 2.0 platform is at the forefront of cloud contact center innovation. The Company has more than 650 global employees and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Atlanta; Columbus; Denver; New York City; St. Louis; Medellin, Colombia; and Bangalore, India. To stay up to date with everything LiveVox, follow us at @LiveVox or visit livevox.com.

To stay up to date with everything LiveVox, follow us at @LiveVox, visit www.livevox.com or call one of our specialists at (844) 207-6663.

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