Because managing a call center is a data-driven endeavor, tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) can help continuously improve performance. The most important KPIs in a call center include:
- First call resolution (FCR). This KPI tracks the percentage of customer issues that are resolved on the initial call. High FCR rates indicate that agents are well-trained and can handle customer issues effectively.
- Average handle time (AHT). This is the average time an agent spends on a call, including talk time, hold time, and post-call follow-up. This KPI is essential for measuring the productivity of agents.
- Service level. This measures the percentage of calls where specific standards for service are met. This may include the number of calls that are answered or resolved within a prescribed time.
- Average speed of answer (ASA). This KPI tracks the amount of time that customers must wait before they can speak to an agent. High ASA rates inevitably result in frustrated customers.
- Abandoned call rate. This KPI captures the percentage of callers who hang up before they can speak with an agent. High abandoned call rates indicate sub-optimal staffing levels.
- Agent utilization. This KPI measures the percentage of time that agents are actively engaged in productive work or on the phone with customers. Low utilization rates suggest that staffing levels may be too high.
- Customer satisfaction (CSAT). This tracks how satisfied customers are with their call center experience and with the level of service they received.
- Net promoter score (NPS). This tracks the number of customers that are likely to recommend the company or the call center experience to friends and family.
What are call center metrics vs. KPIs?
Businesses use KPIs to track progress toward specific goals. Metrics is a broader category representing any data collected about business operations.
What is a call center vs. a contact center?
A call center is a customer service operation where agents communicate with customers principally by telephone. In a contact center, agents communicate with customers on any channel the customer prefers – telephone, email, chat, SMS text, social media, websites, and others.
Why are call center KPIs important?
By tracking KPIs against specific goals, call centers can better understand how effective the call center experience is for customers. KPIs also enable call center managers to track the performance of individual agents, determine optimal staffing levels, and identify areas for improvement. Specifically, KPIs enable call centers to:
- Improve performance. KPIs enable call center managers to track the performance of agents, processes, scripts, and the call center as a whole.
- Optimally allocate resources. Monitoring KPIs can help managers determine how many agents are required to provide optimal service levels and what times of day require more agents.
- Identify areas for improvement. By tracking KPIs, call centers can understand where their services are serving customers effectively and what areas should be targeted for improvement.
- Train agents more effectively. KPIs can help uncover areas where agents require more training and coaching to handle customer calls effectively.
The call center experience is the customer’s perception of all their interactions with call center agents. The calls center experience is affected by several things, including how customers feel treated by agents, and by how quickly and successfully customers’ needs are met through call center interactions.
How can call centers improve KPIs?
Call centers can take several specific steps to improve metrics and KPIs.
- Train and coach agents effectively. To resolve customer issues, agents must be knowledgeable about the business and its products and services as well as the various issues and complaints that customers may have. Agents require exemplary customer service skills and call handling techniques.
- Improve workforce management. By analyzing call volume patterns and trends in the types of calls received, call center managers can optimize their workforce skills and staffing levels to better meet customer demand.
- Automate processes. Call centers can also improve KPIs by automatically routing calls to the right agent and by automating the process of collecting comprehensive data for KPIs.
- Provide real-time guidance. Call centers can improve the outcome of individual calls with technology that monitors the conversation and provides real-time guidance to agents and supervisors. With suggestions for the next-best action to take based on customer responses, agents can more effectively de-escalate calls, improve resolution rates, and increase customer satisfaction.
What are the challenges of tracking KPIs?
KPIs are based on data. The more comprehensive the data, the more accurate the KPI reporting. Some KPIs such as average speed of answer and abandoned call rate are fairly easy to track and measure. Others like customer satisfaction are more difficult, since the data is often collected via surveys and feedback forms which have very low response rates. Manual reviews of call recordings can uncover more nuanced data about how well customer needs are met with each call, but this task is extremely time-consuming and can capture data from only a small fraction of interactions. To track KPIs more effectively, many call centers have adopted analytics solutions that automatically capture and analyze every interaction with customers on phone calls and other channels.
Call center analytics is a technology for managing performance by automatically collecting and analyzing data from customer interactions and other sources. Call center analytics solutions typically include conversation intelligence technology that can automatically capture and analyze customer conversations on any channel. Call center analytics technology also monitors operational metrics to track KPIs such as average handle time and agent utilization.
What is conversation intelligence?
Conversation intelligence platforms combine speech analytics and text analytics solutions to capture and analyze interactions with customers on any channel – phone, email, social, chat, SMS text, web, and mobile apps. Through transcription and analysis, conversation intelligence can determine what’s being said in a conversation and how it is said – the emotions and sentiments that are driving the customer’s behavior. After capturing this unstructured information from thousands or millions of phone interactions, conversation intelligence converts it into structured data that can be searched and analyzed to reveal insights about the needs of customers and their call center experience. As a result, call center managers get far more comprehensive data and meaningful intelligence that can help to enhance the customer experience, drive agent performance, and improve KPIs across the board.