How to Calculate Cost per Call in a Contact Center

Contact centers act as an effective route to add value to your business. But running a call center involves various overheads. The most obvious expense of making a call center run is employee wages. But there are also other associated costs involved that must be considered, such as the expense involved in making calls to customers.

Business managers or call center owners must maintain a balance between the amount of money spent on running the call center and the amount spent on interacting with the customer. In other words, they must look for ways to reduce costs without compromising on customer service quality. In order to do that, they must first determine the cost per call.

Cost per call is a call center metric that enables contact centers to measure efficiency. Outlined below is the process that you can use to calculate the cost per call and budget the expenses of your call center.

Calculating Cost Per Call

  1. The first step of calculating the cost per call in a call center is to compile a list of all the call center agents working for your center.
  2. Define the time period for which you want to calculate the cost per call. You can calculate the cost per call for an hour, a day, a week, a month, a quarter, or even a year. Here, let us calculate the cost per call for an hour.
  3. Decide the number of calls attended by each agent during an average shift. To do this, find out the number of calls handled by each agent during a week. Take that number and divide it by the number of hours an agent works.
  4. Make a list of the agents and note down the average number of calls made by each agent during a week. Now write down the wages of each agent against their names.
  5. Select a random agent and determine the average number of calls attended by him or her during a period of one hour. For doing this, you will have to consider the average number of calls made by the agent during a day and divide the number by the number of hours the employee works. For instance, if an agent handles 80 calls a day and puts in 8 hours of work each day, then the average number of calls made by the agent during one hour will be 80 divided by 8, which will be 10 calls per hour.
  6. To determine the cost per call, take the agent’s wage and divide it by the average number of calls made by the agent during an hour. Consider that the particular agent you considered gets 20 dollars an hour. In order to determine the cost per call for this agent, divide the 20 dollars an hour by the 10 calls made per hour on an average. The result is two dollars, which is the cost per call for a particular agent.
  7. To determine the total cost per call for your call center, repeat steps 5 and 6 and divide the result by the average calls made by your call center. That is, determine the average wage paid to your agents per hour and divide the number by the average calls handled by your call center in an hour. This metric will give you an average figure of what each call is costing your business.

Reducing Cost Per Call

In order to improve the efficiency of your call center and reduce costs, you will have to implement measures to reduce the cost per call. Here are a few tips to help you reduce the cost per call for your call center.

Quality Training

Hiring and training employees cost a huge amount of money for any call center. Ensure to provide quality training to your employees. Well-trained employees who have excellent knowledge of all the process involved in handling customer calls can help to reduce call times and improve first-call resolution rate. This, in turn, can improve customer service quality and reduce your cost per call.

Call Monitoring

One effective way of keeping costs down is to maintain high call quality. The best way to achieve this goal is to implement live call monitoring. Call center managers must monitor calls and offer constructive feedback to agents to improve their quality. This will ensure efficiency and decrease the cost per call.

Effective Scheduling

Proper agent scheduling can go a long way in reducing cost per call. Considering factors like peak call times, and agents’ adherence level while scheduling agent shifts can help to improve customer service and bring down the cost per call.

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Cost per call is not the only factor that can transform a call center into a profitable one. But it sure is one of the ways that can help to maximize employee efficiency and reduce costs.