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Top call center metrics your organization should care about


The Team at CallMiner

November 29, 2022

contact center call center productivity
contact center call center productivity

Call center metrics, including call tracking metrics, can make improving operations at a call center or contact center much easier to manage. Whether you are an agent handling calls directly or a floor manager assisting and guiding your team to succeed, using the right call center metrics can have a significant impact on performance — and the bottom line. In this article, we’ll review the most important call center metrics including:

  • Call abandonment rate
  • Average speed of answer
  • Average talk time
  • Average handle time
  • Transfer rate
  • …and more

We’ll discuss these metrics in more detail, but first, let’s discuss why call center metrics matter.

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Why call center metrics matter

Call center metrics, in particular call tracking metrics, are essential for those looking to optimize a call or contact center's operations. It is difficult, if not impossible, to improve performance if it you’re not benchmarking and tracking how calls go. Adopting the right metrics can make it much easier to tell which facets of your organization's operations are performing well and which ones are lagging behind industry standards and business goals. That said, not all metrics matter or even make sense for all call and contact centers to focus on. Discovering and implementing the right metrics is integral to making the most of them on the whole.

Call tracking metrics (or key performance indicators) take aim at the way actual calls are handled. From speed and customer satisfaction to clarity of the call and other technical details, call tracking metrics help your team to identify weak points in your processes and devise new solutions to bolster performance where it matters most.

Examples of call tracking metrics for contact centers

The following call tracking metrics fit the bill for use in even the most demanding call centers and contact centers:

Call abandonment rate

There are numerous call completion metrics to choose from, and each one offers a unique perspective on potential problems your call center may be experiencing. Your call abandonment rate charts the number of customers who simply end their call before it can be answered by an agent. This makes it a lot easier to tell if you have enough agents available at a given time to handle call volume and can help to inform your staffing strategy.

Call source

Many contact centers specializing in handling marketing related calls and sales interactions are likely aware of this vital piece of information. The source of the call is essential for verifying which of your outbound campaigns is yielding the best results and which ones should be dropped.

To leverage this metric, you will likely need to implement a more complex call routing system. Ideally, you should consider using dynamic phone numbers as these can be altered based on the campaign they are used in, simplifying the tracking process and neatly stratifying your callers into logical, meaningful groups.

Active waiting calls

This metric provides crucial insight into the reality of waiting times for callers. Both the number of active waiting calls as well as the average time spent waiting to be connected are tracked in this way. Plus, this metric can be evaluated more granularly by measuring the waiting calls for individual agents to better reflect the reality of the situation within your call center.

Average speed of answer

By measuring your call center's average speed of answer, you can determine whether staffing decisions are aligning correctly with call volume. The time it takes agents to answer calls can be combined with the average talk time (covered below) to pinpoint performance issues such as poor training practices or understaffing with relative ease.

Average talk time

If you choose to track average talk time, you will be able to tell if calls are dragging on for too long or, perhaps, are too short. Calls that do not last long enough could contribute to lower caller satisfaction and poor first call resolution. On the other hand, when calls go on for too long, they can hint at an agent struggling to handle certain issues or even call a core facet of an organization's operations into question.

Average handle time

Average handle time (AHT) differs from average talk time in that, rather than the average of the time agents spend actively talking with a caller, it’s an average of the total time it takes an agent to handle a call from start to finish, which includes post-call documentation and other tasks. Because agents aren’t available for another call until after these tasks are finished, this is a crucial metric to measure that provides insight into your call center’s capacity.

Time of phone calls

This metric is particularly useful for staffing decisions as it allows your team to determine precisely when incoming calls peak and how many agents will be needed to field them all. As calls come in, the time is logged for future reference and can be cross-referenced with other marketing campaigns to single out poor performers.

Transfer rate

This call tracking metric measures the percentage of calls that have been transferred to another representative for resolution. By tracking how calls are manually routed within your team and organization, you can quickly determine who should be handling calls of a given variety. Lowering your transfer rate is generally accomplished by optimizing your routing system to better match agents with callers.

First call resolution

The first call resolution rate (FCR) reflects the percentage of calls that are resolved in the first call, without the need for the customer to call again or use an alternate contact method to resolve their issue. First call resolution plays an important role in customer effort score (CES) and overall customer satisfaction, as it requires more time and effort for customers to make numerous attempts to have an issue resolved.

Track & improve call center metrics with conversation analytics

A robust conversation analytics and conversation intelligence software, like the CallMiner platform, provides the insights you need to improve efficiency, performance, and customer satisfaction. CallMiner leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to automatically monitor and analyze conversations at scale – from calls, to texts, emails and more – and monitor the call tracking metrics that matter most.

Leveraging the CallMiner platform to measure the call center metrics discussed above, including call abandonment rate, average speed of answer, AHT, transfer rate, and more, provides a more comprehensive view of your contact center’s overall call performance. The insights they provide can then help power other parts of your business and guide key strategies across your enterprise.

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