A call center manages numerous calls each day and at the same time puts a lot of effort to maintain a high standard of customer service. To determine the success of call center operations and to perform all the activities effectively, it becomes imperative for call center supervisors or managers to analyze and assess key performance indicators (KPIs). However, it is often not clear which metrics to measure in order to improve the day-to-day operations and increase overall profitability while providing quality customer service.
Described below are certain key metrics to consider for improving call center performance and customer engagement:
Call Abandonment Rate
Call centers must track this KPI as it measures the percentage of callers who hang up the call before getting connected to an agent. Customer gets irritated while waiting in the call queues and hence is forced to disconnect the call without getting their problems resolved. It impacts customer retention and customers are forced to switch to your competitors.
Service Level or Response Time
This metric is crucial for effectively managing your call center and to deliver good customer experience. It is defined as the percentage of calls answered within a specified number of seconds. Call center managers should ensure that they track this call center KPI very closely as it measures how well you let the customers get in to your contact center and how you handle him/her so that it leads to long-lasting customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Average Speed of Answer
It determines the average time it takes for calls to be answered by an agent in the call center. This includes both, time spent by the caller while waiting in the queue and the time while the agent’s phone is ringing. Through this metric, call center supervisors or managers can measure the efficiency of the team and the level of accessibility they offer to the customers.
Percentage of Calls Blocked
It refers to the percentage of inbound calls which are not answered by the agents either because none of the agents is available to take the call and call queues are also full or the call center software is not capable enough to handle high call traffic. Every blocked or unanswered call matters as you lose an opportunity to connect with your customer which ultimately leads to customer dissatisfaction and frustration.
Average Time Spent in Queue
It indicates the total time spent by callers in queue divided by the total number of calls answered by agents. If your customers end up waiting for long in queue then it obviously frustrates them and also demonstrates poor customer service of your company.
Average Call Handling Time
It simply refers to the average time the agents spend while answering a call, means when the agent answers the call till the time the call gets disconnected by him/her. The less time you take to handle the customer’s query, the more satisfied your customer would be.
According to a research done recently, FCR has the highest impact on customer satisfaction compared to any other KPI. For every 1% improvement in FCR, you get a 1% improvement in customer satisfaction. First Call Resolution is achieved when there is no call transfer or follow-up required and the customer is satisfied during the first call only. It also leads to lower operating costs, reduced risk of customers defecting to competitors and also higher agent satisfaction
Agent Occupancy Rate
It measures the amount of time agent spends on answering calls and to complete other associated tasks such as updating the database, sending emails etc. Call center managers always look to optimize this occupancy rate but should always set realistic targets for the agents depending on the workload and their stress level.
It is usually measured by recording and monitoring the calls answered by the agents. Call center managers evaluate the calls on the quality of interaction an agent had with the customer. It basically checks:
- If the agent greeted the customer properly
- How courteous or professional the agent was during the call
- If the agent captured key customer data
- If the customer was provided with correct and relevant information
- First Call Resolution
This metric is really critical for any contact center. Higher customer satisfaction means higher customer loyalty, revenues and agent’s performance. However there is no standard method of measuring customer satisfaction but by conducting customer surveys via emails or taking phone interviews after the customer interaction is over, a call center can somewhat measure the customer satisfaction level. It helps in analyzing call center efficiency and effectiveness. These days, contact centers have adopted IVR-based post-call surveys wherein the caller is asked a series of questions related to the interaction and are asked to rate each question which leads to easy calculation of customer satisfaction degree.