Call Center KPIs – 7 Metrics Worth Tracking for Your Business

Call Center KPIs - worth tracking metrics

With present day technological capabilities, and the explosion of applicable data science in the reporting systems, tons of data is present at one’s disposal. Many a time, the relevant data is hidden in the maze of insights derived from less significant metrics. Such information is of little help to improve the business.

What is even more appalling is that many managers are unaware of, and/or unappreciative of the part the call center Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) could and should play in any enterprise, especially call centers. In spite of all the data they have, how many call center managers can honestly answer the one relevant question of how their call center is performing?

Effective Performance Management – a Prerequisite for Effective Decision Making

So, how many call centers fully take advantage of call center KPIs? A really exhaustive research shows that most of the call centers use metrics only to track and gauge their performance. What they miss is the value of performance by not exploiting the symptomatic capabilities of KPIs.

The real potential of call center KPIs comes only when they are holistically adopted. They should be used to measure not only performance but also to:

  1. Benchmark performance Vs. Industry peers
  2. Design and implement performance goals for both agents/supervisors and the call center as a whole
  3. Diagnose and figure out the inherent causes of performance gaps
  4. Discover the strengths and weaknesses in the call center
  5. Prescribe actions to enhance performance
  6. Track and trend performance over time

Adoption of performance measurement and management as a vital discipline will ensure the best in class performance of a call center.

Relevance of the usually tracked Metrics

On an average, a contact center tracks over 25 metrics. They can be roughly put in 6 buckets such as:-

Agent

New Agent Training Hours

Annual Agent Training Hours

Annual Agent Turnover

Daily Agent Absenteeism

Schedule Adherence

Agent Occupancy

Agent Tenure

Agent Job Satisfaction

 

Call Handling

Inbound Contact handle Time

Outbound Contact Handle Time

Inbound Contacts as a % of all Contacts

Self – Service Completion Rate

 

Cost

First Level Resolution Rate

Cost per Minute of Handle Time

Cost per Inbound Contact

 

Productivity

Inbound Contacts per Agent per Month

Agent Utilization

Agents as a % of Total Service Desk Headcount

 

Quality

Call Quality

Customer Satisfaction

First Contact Resolution Rate

 

Service Level

Call Abandonment Rate

Average speed of Answer (ASA)

% Answered in 30 seconds

 

This is a definitive example of quantity over quality where it is wrongly assumed that by tracking all these metrics, the call center management is doing something good and productive. In reality, most of these metrics are not really relevant. 

The KPIs that Matter

There are about 7 metrics which represent the 80/20 rule that deals with the contact center performance. The vast majority of value derived from performance measurement and management in a call center can be obtained from the following 7 metrics:

  1. Agent Satisfaction

This metric is closely related to many others on the call center. High levels of Agent Satisfaction lead to low levels of absenteeism, turnover, lower handle times, and high First Contact Resolution Rates. These in turn will bring about higher Customer Satisfaction and lower Cost per Contact. A contact center must measure Agent Satisfaction at any rate two times a year, minimum, and act upon the findings without fail. They must train, and mentor the agents to maintain standards much above the industry average. This boosts not only Agent Satisfaction but also their morale.

  1. Agent Utilization

Agent Utilization is the most dependable measure of labor efficiency. As the labor costs forms the major chunk of call center expenses, if Agent Utilization is high, the cost per call will be definitely low. But care should be taken not to drive this too far, as push for extremely high utilization will lead to burnout, which will lead to turnover.

  1. Cost Per Call

As mentioned earlier as well, labor is unquestionably the biggest expense in the call center. Studies say that for any given call center, about 67% of all costs are personnel related; like the incentive pay, salaries, other benefits etc.

  1. Customer Satisfaction, CSAT

Inarguably, the best indicator of a call center quality is Customer Satisfaction. This metric is affected by other metrics like Average Speed of Answer (ASA), Call Quality, Handle Time etc., though. With CSAT survey it is very easy to nail not only the reason(s) for customer dissatisfaction, but also provide a great comparative basis for the company’s performance pitted against those of the competitors.

  1. First Call Resolution Rate

First Call Resolution is the single most important driver of CSAT. 90% of the time, when customer satisfaction needs improvement, it could be achieved through an increased First Call Resolution. A variety of tactics is engaged to constantly and continuously improve the FCR, like, tied agent incentives, training, investments in knowledge bases etc.

  1. First Level Resolution Rate

It is a critical measure of the overall efficiency of the call center. In the absence of First Level Resolution Rate, it is possible for a call center to appear efficient by achieving lower Cost per Contact, only by driving a very high Total Cost of Ownership, TOC. That is by fraudulently achieving a low Cost per Contact by escalating and transferring contacts to other support levels, which invariably results in an increased TCO.

  1. Aggregate Service Desk Performance

With this single metric, the overall performance of the Call center can be measured, and hence the name. It aggregates a number of measures, and gives a combined score. This critical measure is an amalgamated roll up of metrics like Cost per Call, ASA, and Call Abandonment Rate etc. While tracked over a period of time, this metric gives the call center insights into whether the overall performance is climbing or falling.

Missing the Forest for Trees

A lot of call centers commit cardinal mistakes like, tracking too many metrics, and not exploiting the entire potential of performance metrics as a diagnostic tool. Well, the aforementioned 7 call center KPIs ought to remedy that.

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