Having customer interactions and ensuring customer satisfaction has become a deciding factor for the success of any business. When a business focuses on providing customer service and ensuring a top-notch experience, it can significantly improve its revenue, operations, and overall growth.

However, setting up and maintaining a call center can be quite challenging. One important aspect of this process involves measuring the performance of the call center through metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). These metrics provide insights into how a call center is performing and how efficient it is.

From managing operations to delivering customer experiences, call center metrics and KPIs play a role in measuring, monitoring, and improving overall performance.

By utilizing this data, call centers can track performance levels efficiently and identify areas that need improvement. This ultimately leads to the effective operation of a call center.

Therefore, in this blog post, we will provide an in-depth analysis of call center metrics and KPIs.

What are Call Center Metrics and KPIs?

What are Call Center Metrics and KPIs

The Call Center metrics and KPIs are measurable values that show how effectively a call center, agents, and supervisors operate and achieve the business goals. They are the tools that measure and evaluate the performance and effectiveness of a call center.

To be more precise, these metrics and KPIs help businesses identify their strengths and places which require improvement.

If you run a business, you must be well aware of the importance of customer satisfaction and loyalty. If so, you must pay a great deal of attention to this department and monitor its operations. But why are these call center metrics so important? Let’s learn!

Why are Call Center Metrics Important?

Call center metrics have become an integral part of business success as this department directly connects and communicates with the customers. Call center metrics facilitate the learning of the effectiveness of customer service and operational efficiency. However, it also helps in quality assurance, and the list goes on and on. 

So, let’s check out some common needs of call center metrics. 

  • Customer Satisfaction: Call center metrics help in emphasizing customer satisfaction by offering top-notch service. A satisfied customer might be loyal to the company and make repeat visits and purchases. There are metrics like CSAT (Customer Satisfaction), FCR (First Call Resolution), and other similar metrics that deal with the customer. 
  • Quality Assurance: Various call center metrics ensure that the agents are offering high-quality service that aligns with company standards. This can be very essential for maintaining brand consistency and customer trust. Quality and consistency help in building a brand identity and brand value. 
  • Decision Making: Call center metrics offer some valuable data and information about the operation and effectiveness of the team. As a result, using these data, the top-level management can make decisions like implementing a new communication system, redefining the customer service process, and many more. 
  • Resource Management: Call center metrics also helps in resource management as in human resource. The data and information ensure that the call centers are neither overstaffed nor understaffed; this means businesses can save money while employees won’t be pressured to complete the tasks. 

15 Essential Call Center KPIs and Metrics

There are a number of call center KPIs and metrics that are used by call centers in different businesses and industries. However, most KPIs and metrics are focused on the type and size of the business. So, here are the 15 most commonly used and essential call center KPIs and metrics. 

1. Customer Satisfaction Rate (CSAT)

Customer Satisfaction Rate

Customer satisfaction rate (CSAT) is one of the most common and important call center metrics. This metric is calculated based on the feedback and reviews the customers give regarding the service. This includes how the issues of the customer were solved and how long it took for the call agents to solve them. 

As most businesses are built around the customers, this metric helps businesses learn their strengths and find room for improvement. Since the CSAT feedback forms, which is one of the many ways of calculating CSAT, are sent out immediately after a call ends, businesses and supervisors can see how the agents are performing in real time based on their CSAT scores.

Some ways of calculating CSAT are:

  • Feedback 
  • Surveys
  • Questionnaires
  • Data Analysis

This metric can help in the decision-making process by initiating training where it is required, and if some specific agents are having issues with effective service, the business might consider replacing them.

2. First Contact Resolution (FCR)

FCR, short for First Contact Resolution, refers to the proportion of customer problems or queries that get resolved during their first interaction with the call center. This means that there is no need for any follow-up.

When call center agents solve customer queries and issues on their first contact (call), they will be satisfied with the service level and share positive feedback. The standard level for FCR in the call center industry is 70-75%.

Call centers can measure FCR by dividing the number of queries an agent has resolved on the first call in a provided period by the total number of calls attended and multiplying it by 100%.

However, you cannot control everything. Sometimes, the customer does not have all the information at hand, or they may need to confirm something. This isn’t great for your FCR rate, but it also doesn’t reflect how well your customer service team is doing.

Formula to calculate First Contact Resolution (FCR): Total Customer Interactions Resolved on the First Try/ the Total Number of Customer calls * 100

3. Adherence to Schedule

Adherence to Schedule is the extent to which call center agents follow their assigned work schedules. This metric measures their ability to effectively and efficiently complete the tasks they are assigned. It also helps evaluate the effectiveness of workforce management and scheduling. It is important to ensure the productivity and efficiency of the agents.

A low Adherence to schedule rate means that the agents can have a higher number of missed calls and call abandonment. This can have a negative impact on the productivity and brand image of the business. 

Formula to calculate Adherence to Schedule : (Number of Hours Agents Spend Handling Calls + Net Available Time) ÷ Paid Hours × 100

4. Average Handle Time (AHT)

Average Handle Time (AHT) measures how long it takes an agent to complete an interaction with a customer, including the time spent talking to the customer and any follow-up work. Generally, a lower AHT indicates higher productivity, but agents should remember that the service quality shouldn’t be compromised

The AHT is one of the most important KPIs when it comes to making staffing decisions for call centers. It is possible to schedule calls to agents based on how long you anticipate a call will last. This ensures better workload management and prevents agents from becoming overwhelmed.

Formula to calculate AHT: (Sum of total talk time, total hold time, and total after-call tasks ) / the total number of calls

5. First Response Time (FRT)

First Response Time

A FRT measures how long it takes for a customer to receive their first reply from the service team after contacting them. The service channel determines how much time is measured in various increments. So, the FRT can be measured in any quantity, such as minutes, hours, and days.

Call centers should try to keep this time as low as possible. As a result, your customers enjoy a more positive experience before they even contact your agents, which increases their satisfaction and ensures your agents start off on the right foot.

The recording and evaluation of FRT is helpful for the management of contact center workforces. A business can use FRT values to determine when they need to hire more agents to consistently provide their customers with fast service.

Formula to calculate First Response Time (FRT) = Total FRTs during that particular hour/Total number of resolved tickets.

6. Average After-Call Work (ACW)/Wrap-Up Time

The job of a contact center agent goes beyond answering the phone. The agents must also take care of other tasks, such as updating CRM, maintaining spreadsheets, and sending emails. This can affect the completion of other calls. Hence, it is always good to keep the ACW as low as possible. 

The Average Call Work Time (ACW) reflects the amount of time agents spend on work other than answering calls. 

Formula to calculate The Average Call Work Time (ACW): Total time spent by a specific representative after the calls / the sum by the total number of calls over the same timeframe.

🤔You might also be interested in Best Ways To Reduce Call Center Wrap-Up Time

7. Average Sales Per Agent

Average Sales per Agent, or simply SPA (Sales Per Agent), measures an agent’s performance or competence. It shows the effectiveness of the agents at closing deals and meeting company goals. This metric can help you find your best performers, tweak sales targets, and improve training.

There is no specific formula for calculating average sales per agent. In order to calculate the average SPA, you need to find the total sales made by an agent within a given period.

8. Idle Time

Idle Time refers to the amount of time that agents are not actively involved in interacting with customers. It is crucial to monitor time in order to maximize agent productivity. As a manager and supervisor, you must remember to allocate ample idle time for your agents. This can be for lunch, coffee breaks, and recreational activities. 

However, idle time might also include gossiping with colleagues or just hanging around the office, which is not productive. 15% is the ideal idle time for any call center agent. 

The formula to calculate the Idle time = sum of the time spent on all non-work related tasks/ total working hours in a day 

9. Average Hold Time

The Average Hold Time refers to the amount of time that callers spend waiting on hold before being connected with a person. Customers often have to hold the call for a longer period of time when using automated or predictive dialers, which may cause call drops or call abandonment.

There is also the possibility of longer hold times due to technical problems or when the agent is seeking assistance from a senior agent.

Formula to calculate Average Hold Time (AHT) = (Sum of the total talk, hold, and follow-up time) / Total number of calls.

10. Abandon Call Rate

Abandon Call Rate

The Abandonment Rate is measured by determining the percentage of callers who end the call before connecting with a representative. This metric is indicative of both customer patience and the overall effectiveness of call center operations.

In the abandoned call rate metric, you can see how many callers hang up the phone or abandon the queue. It is ideal to have as few abandoned calls as possible.

Formula to Calculate Abandon Call Rate = the total number of abandoned calls / the total number of calls

11. Dropped-Call Rate

The droppe­d-call measures the percentage of calls cut short early. This often happens because of technical problems or system crashes. However, the causes might range from poor coverage to low signal quality to crowded ne­tworks and outages.

This metric helps managers and supervisors make necessary changes in the phone and network systems. 

Formula to Calculate Dropped Call Rate = (total number of calls dropped / the total number of calls received) *100.

12. Cost Per Call

A CPC measures the cost that is incurred by a call center when handling each call.  Using CPC allows organizations to assess the economic efficiency of their customer service operations and budget appropriately. In addition, the statistic determines whether the cost of acquiring contacts is excessive or if it is beneficial to acquire contacts.

Sprinklr claims that the average cost per customer service call calculated across the different industries ranges from $2.70 to $5.60.

Formula to calculate Cost Per Call (CPC) = Sum of all expenses (operational, maintenance, and licensing fees, payment to agents) / the total number of calls.

13. Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

CPA stands for Cost Per Acquisition and is used to evaluate how much it would cost to acquire one paying customer on a campaign or channel level. Some call centers might consider leads as acquisitions. Any specific action can be considered an acquisition, such as a sale, click, form submission, demo booking, etc.

Formula to calculate Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) = Total amount spent / Total Attributed Conversions

14. Agent Turnover Rate 

The Agent Turnover Rate measures the number of call center agents who leave their positions within a certain time period. A high turnover rate can negatively impact the quality of service and the stability of operations. It can be very difficult to achieve a zero agent turnover rate. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. 

Formula to Calculate Agent Turnover Rate: Number of terminations during the year / the number of employees at the beginning of that period.

15. Occupancy rate

Occupancy rate

Last but not least, the occupancy rate is also another important call center metric. Occupancy rate is the time agents spend on live calls. It represents the hourly rate at which agents handle incoming calls, divided by staff hours divided by workload hours.

The chances are your agents are spending most of their time on unproductive tasks if they have low occupancy rates. You should also keep an eye on the occupancy rate in addition to other call center metrics.

Formula to Calculate Occupancy = total time an agent stays on live calls / total working hours in a day

📖 Also read: 7 Most Essential Call Center Software Features in 2023

Best Practices To Improve Call Center Metrics

Best Practices To Improve Call Center Metrics

We have learned about the importance of implementing call center metrics in businesses. However, implementing those metrics can be a difficult task. Moreover, even after implementation, you cannot just expect that it will work as anticipated. So, here are the right things you as a business should do to improve the call center metrics. 

A. Define Clear and Realistic Goals and Objectives

First and foremost, it’s important to have an understanding of your call center’s objectives and how they align with the business goals. In this manner, you can guarantee that the metrics you employ directly contribute to the organization’s success. Additionally, it aids in the creation of a guide for employees to adhere to.

B. Regular Monitoring

Create a system for monitoring and analyzing metrics on a regular basis. Also, think about assigning a supervisor or manager to make sure that employees are following all the metrics and regulations accurately. This way, you’ll be able to spot trends, patterns, and areas where improvements can be made.

Furthermore, it’s crucial to strike a balance and not be overly strict, as it may impact employee motivation and potentially cause problems.

C. Offer Training to Agents

Ensure that your customer service representatives undergo training in customer service techniques, product understanding, and the effective utilization of call center resources. This will result in resolving customer issues on the contract. Ultimately enhance overall customer satisfaction. Moreover, it will equip employees with the knowledge and skills to perform their tasks efficiently, leading to a reduction in employee attrition rates.

D. Invest in Technologies

Investing in cutting-edge call center technologies and tools that support call management and customer service, such as call routing, customer relationship management (CRM), and analytics, can prove to be a wise decision. Moreover, integrating automation and AI-powered solutions has the potential to greatly enhance the efficiency of your agents.

E. Use the Customer Feedback

The best way to redefine and set customer service metrics and processes is through customer feedback. Take advantage of customer feedback, such as surveys and reviews, to identify areas for improvement.  Using this feedback, you can refine processes, improve training methods, and address customer concerns effectively

Conclusion

In summary, it’s crucial for call centers to utilize metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure smooth operations and achieve business success. These metrics and KPIs play a crucial role in enhancing customer satisfaction, guiding decision-making processes, and maintaining quality assurance.

Therefore if you aim for a thriving call center and wish to witness the growth of your business, it is essential to implement some call center metrics and KPIs. It would be beneficial to prioritize the metrics as mentioned above. 

However, keep in mind that implementation may not always yield results. Hence, we recommend that you explore strategies for improving these metrics well.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the four 4 commonly used KPIs in a call center?

The four commonly used KPIs used in a call center are:

  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT).
  • First Call Resolution (FCR).
  • Agent Handle Time (AHT).
  • Service Level (SL).

What are the most important metrics in a call center?

The most important metrics in a call center highly depend on the nature, goal, and audience of the business. However, one common metric that is considered very crucial in every call center of every business and industry is customer satisfaction. Hence, it can be considered the most important metric in a call center.

What are the KPIs for team productivity?

The KPIs for team productivity in a call center include the following:

  • Adherence to Schedule
  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
  • Call Resolution Time (CRT)
  • Average Handle Time (AHT)
  • First Call Resolution (FCR)

What are the KPIs for customer service calls?

The common KPIs for customer service calls are: 

  • Customer Satisfaction Score
  • First Contact Resolution
  • Positive/Negative Call Rate
  • Customer Effort Score
  • First Contact Resolution
Sandipan Khadka is an Associate Content Writer at Dialaxy with the knack of writing content that is appealing for the readers. He has written broadly in the area of VoIP and call center solutions.