Each process in your call center is an important link in your customer service supply chain. You can optimize the service you provide to your customers by making sure each link is as strong as possible.
Table of contents
- Call Center Metrics: Efficiency Quantified
- Inbound trends
- What is a call center service level of 80/20?
- Outbound trends
- Industry specific call center metrics
- Trend tracking
Several staple metrics let you measure how well your service processes function holistically. They tell you whether or not a workflow or practice is meeting customer requirements and how you can change your approach when processes fall flat. Leveraging call center metrics from channels and campaigns in addition to back-end efficiency allows you to improve:
- Workforce management
- Customer experience
- Call center performance
Call Center Metrics: Efficiency Quantified
In a world with so much customer data, it’s important to determine what metrics to measure in the contact center. What you track will vary depending on the type of center you’re running, be it inbound, outbound, or blended. Defining what you want to change in your call center will help you decide what to target.
Call center metrics can be broken up into two types: inbound and outbound. Inbound metrics can be drawn from processes like customer support, problem resolution, and transactions. Outbound metrics come from contact center processes like customer outreach and marketing.
Average wait time/average speed of answer
This is the amount of time your customer must wait before speaking to an agent. Measurements of average wait times can be grouped by ring group agent or phone number for effective analysis.
- Traditionally the standard service level in call centers is 80/20, or 80% of calls are answered within 20 seconds.
Once you have this metric, find out why your average wait time is where it is.
- Do the call volumes exceed the number of agents?
- Do agents have the right tools to resolve customer issues efficiently?
Average handle time (AHT)
This is the metric that tells you the average length of customer interaction. It includes hold time, talk time, and after-call work time.
Hold time is the amount of time a customer spends on hold once the call is answered. Customers prefer short hold time. Once you have discovered average hold times you can implement a strategy to lower them.
Talk time is the length of conversation between your agent and customer. With this metric, you gain insight into what subject matter takes longer to resolve or what agents might need training.
After call work time
After call work is any work an agent might do to conclude the call. This includes scheduling a follow-up call, filling out a short survey, or putting in a service request. This measurement allows you to learn how you might be able to increase agent productivity by making after-call work easier to accomplish.
When you assess AHT consider the specific nature of your call center. In some cases like customer care or resolving complex customer issues, a longer AHT might mean a higher customer satisfaction score.
First time resolution rate
The percentage of calls that are resolved the first time around is the first call resolution rate. Customers that can resolve their issue the first time around are happy.
First call resolution rates are an indirect measure of agents’ performance. You can use this metric to:
- Learn the areas where agents excel or need improvement.
- Improve agents’ knowledge base.
- Accurately route calls.
This is the number of calls that your call center doesn’t answer. It measures call center performance rather than agent performance.
Inbound calls are a chance to give your customers great service. But, if they hang up before your call center even answers, you won’t get it. More importantly, if your customers can’t reach you, their level of dissatisfaction increases.
Your abandonment rate can help you determine why your customers leave while waiting. You can change processes in the contact center to decrease the likelihood of abandoned calls in the future. To find out the root cause of call abandonment, ask yourself:
- When are high levels of abandonment happening?
- How are call volumes impacting call center performance?
- How long until calls are abandoned?
What is a call center service level of 80/20?
A call center service level of 80/20 is an old industry standard established in an AT&T study conducted in the 1980s that states that 80% of incoming calls should be answered within 20 seconds in the contact center. This calculation is a good benchmark to determine how quickly calls are getting served in your center.
Average handle time (AHT)
This metric can also provide useful insight into the outbound contact center. Outbound AHT includes ring time, talk time, and wrap time. It gives you information about your customer’s behaviors as well as your agent’s. With it, you can develop a training program that has serious direction.
The amount of time it takes for your customer to answer after you dial their number is ring time. This is a valuable metric for analyzing your customers’ behaviors. How can you change your processes to get an answer in a shorter amount of time?
This outbound metric gives you insight into agents’ performance. Like inbound AHT talk time, it provides insight into where potential training is useful.
Wrap time is similar to after-call work time and happens after the conversation with the customer is over. It helps you section out and measure the amount of time that is customer-facing.
Average daily call volume
The total number of calls plays a key role in the success of your outbound strategy. More outbound calls increase the likelihood you are meeting your customers’ response time expectations.
Measuring your average number of calls lets you see how your call center is performing. Make adjustments when those measurements don’t align with your expectations. Leverage compliance-driven software when needed.
Industry specific call center metrics
Below are some standard KPIs for measuring efficiency and optimizing revenue generation in centers across industries.
First time resolution rate
This KPI measures the percentage of calls resolved upon initial contact attempt.
Average hold time (AHT)
This KPI measures the average duration of wait times in your center.
Average speed to answer
This KPI measures the length of time it takes for a patient to connect with an agent.
This KPI looks at historical inbound call and digital channel volume to analyze and predict traffic spikes.
Cost per lead
This KPI measures the total cost required to obtain each lead. It is most valuable when calculated in conjunction with capture to conversion rate.
Time to first contact
This KPI measures the time it takes a representative to connect with an actively engaged lead. The lower the better on this one; most lead generation centers strive for 30 seconds or less to connect.
This KPI tells you where your leads are coming from and is helpful in prospect campaign strategy planning.
Capture to conversion rate
This KPI calculates the number of leads captured (added to your pipeline) and divides that by the number of leads that are converted.
Debt collection/ account recovery
Right party contact rate
This KPI measures the percentage of outbound calls made to a valid phone number of an account holder.
Promise to pay rate
This KPI measures the percentage of times an outbound call resulted in a promise to pay statement from the debtor. It is more a measure of dialing efficiency and helpful in forecasting.
Cost per account
This KPI measures the total cost communication for account recovery by account.
Continuous measurement of the success and shortcomings of your contact center lets you see what’s happening in real-time. Metrics reveal the inter-dependability of each call center process.
Call center metrics are gathered to improve your customer’s experience through change. Without analysis and action, metrics are only a list of numbers.
With the right tools, metrics, and informed interpretation, you can improve customer service and accelerate your growth.