Call center benchmarking can be defined as the measurement and comparison of standards and practices, within an organization and/or with other operations externally. This will help the management to identify the key areas where there is scope for improvement. It can be used to analyze whether your team is performing optimally or not.
Considerable benefits can be gained from benchmarking a call center. Selecting areas to focus on and gathering required data can be a valuable management exercise. It may also bring out the areas which have not been previously measured on a regular basis. Thereafter, comparisons can be made with other call centers. This will help you to evaluate your call center operation, implement improvements, and bring about necessary changes.
Actions taken as a result of the data obtained through benchmarking can lead to improvements in terms of productivity, customer satisfaction, and cost and revenue.
- Call Center Benchmarking based on Service Level
Service level means the percentage of calls answered within a predefined time period (30 minutes, 1 hour, 1 day or 1 week). The standard benchmark for service level on a global basis is – 80% of calls answered within 20 seconds. It is the total amount of time a call stays in the call queue, before being connected to an agent. Your call center’s service level target defines the service level threshold. Service level is a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) that has a direct impact on customer satisfaction level.
- Average Speed to Answer & Occupancy Rate
The average amount of time it takes for an agent to answer a call within a set time frame can be termed as the Average Speed to Answer. This includes the total time the customer has to wait in the queue. However, it does not include the total time it takes the customer to navigate through the IVR. The standard benchmark for Average Speed to Answer on a global basis is – 28 seconds. The common method for calculating Average Speed to Answer is by dividing ‘Total Number of Calls Answered’ with ‘Total Waiting Time for Answered Calls’.
Occupancy Rate is calculated by adding an agent’s total amount of time on a live call to the after call work (logging the call, creating a trouble ticket, escalating the ticket to the next department, and others). The standard benchmark for Occupancy Rate on a global basis is between 60% – 80%. Occupancy Rate is affected by various factors. If a customer calls with a complex issue, then it might take a lot of time to resolve the issue. It does not happen often, but the few times it happens – it will increase the agent’s occupancy rate. If the agent lacks process knowledge or does not have the appropriate tools, it will also lead to a high Occupancy Rate.
- Abandonment Rate and Accuracy of Call Forecasting
Abandonment Rate is the number of customers that hang up the call before reaching an agent. The standard benchmark for Abandonment Rate on a global basis is between 5% – 8%. A lot of factors contribute to customers abandoning a call. The key reason is that they get frustrated due to a long hold time. Whatever the reason may be, Abandonment Rate has a detrimental impact on customer retention.
The Accuracy of Call Forecasting is the difference between the total number of calls expected during a set time frame and the number of calls that actually arrived at the call center. The standard benchmark for Call Forecasting on a global basis is – 5% variance.
- Adherence to Schedule
An agent’s degree of compliance with his/her assigned schedule can be termed as Adherence to Schedule. Following are some factors that affect an agent’s adherence to schedule.
- Coming late for work, and leaving early.
- Going for unscheduled breaks.
- Logging in late to their account or not logging in at all.
- Manually changing their status to Busy or Away to avoid calls.
- Taking unscheduled leaves.
The standard benchmark for Adherence to Schedule on a global basis is – 95%.
- Call Duration and Call Wrap-up Time
The total amount of time an agent speaks with a customer on a call can be termed as Call Duration. The standard benchmark for Call Duration on a global basis is – 4 minutes per call. Most of the times, an agent will be able to keep their standard call duration. However, in situations when the customer is irate or the customer has a complex service issue, the call duration may go well over the limit.
The time an agent takes to wrap up the after-call work, post the conversation with the customer, is called the Call Wrap-up Time. The standard benchmark for Call Wrap-up Time on a global basis is – 6 minutes.
Agent Absenteeism (standard benchmark – 5%), Agent Attrition (standard benchmark – 15%), Customer Satisfaction (standard benchmark – 90%), and First Contact Resolution (standard benchmark – 70%-75%) are some of the other measurements that you can compare to determine the efficiency of your call center.