The Top 13 Call Center KPIs to Measure
A key performance indicator (KPI) is something tangible that you can measure as an indicator of overall performance. Of course there are always a variety of things you can measure to help you figure out how well you’re doing, but some of them are a better indicator of success than others. That’s why it’s important to keep track of more than one KPI while making sure the KPIs you’re measuring are adequate indicators of how well your call center is performing. To help you stay on target, we’ve compiled a list of the top call center KPIs you should be measuring.
1) Call Abandonment Rate
A call is abandoned when a customer hangs up without having spoken to a call center agent. You’re bound to get some of these, if only because customers call and get interrupted or realize they misdialed, but if you have a high call abandonment rate, that means something’s wrong. You may need to invest in more call center agents or meet with your call center team to discuss ways to bring down call times so agents can answer more calls.
2) Percentage of Calls Blocked
These are the calls that could not get through because all agents were on the phone and the queue was full or because the call center software was unable to handle that amount of traffic. Either way, you want this number to be as low as possible. If it starts creeping up, you might want to think about investing in more agents and/or better call center software.
3) Average Speed of Answer
This is how long it takes for a customer’s call to be answered, including how long they were waiting in the queue plus how long the agent’s phone was ringing before the customer got to talk to a real, live person. The shorter the average speed of answer, the more efficiently your call center is running. Ideally, you want to strike a balance between a fast answer rate without having agents sitting around waiting for the phone to ring.
4) Service Level/Response Time
This is defined as the percentage of calls answered within a certain number of seconds. This call center KPI is vital for determining how easily customers can contact your call center and how well they are handled when they do call.
5) Average Time Spent in Queue
The time spent in queue is the time customers are kept waiting on the phone before they can talk to a call center agent. The longer they have to wait, the more frustrated they get. Keeping this call center KPI small is a sure way to impress customers and increase the likelihood of a customer interaction.
6) Average Call Handling Time
This is the time from when the agent picks up the phone until they hang up with the customer and it acts as a general indicator of how long it takes your agents to solve customer problems. The average call handling time should be fairly short, as a quick resolution is likely to result in a happier customer, but keep in mind some issues take longer than others to resolve and the focus should always be on servicing the customer.
7) Average Call After Work Time
This goes along with #6 because it’s related to the amount of time it takes an agent to resolve an issue. If they hang up after spending a couple minutes talking to the customer, but then spend the better part of an hour on the phone with another company or department and/or sending emails to try to actually resolve the matter, that’s a lot of time they’re spending to on one problem. The more quickly and efficiently your agents can resolve customer issues and move onto the next customer, the more issues they’ll be able to solve and the greater your customer satisfaction will be.
8) First Call Resolution (FCR)
FCR refers to calls in which the customer’s issue is resolved on the first call, when they don’t have to call back to follow up or take care of a related issue. Experts estimate that FCR is the call center KPI that most directly impacts customer satisfaction, so you really want to closely monitor this one and do everything you can to get it as high as possible.
9) Average Age of Query
If your customers are generally calling about new issues that just cropped up earlier today or yesterday, then you’re probably on the right track. Now you just need to turn those calls into FCRs.
On the other hand, if your customers are calling about issues that are weeks or even months old, then chances are they’ve contacted you about it before, either through your call center, your contact form on your website, or some other form of communication. If this call center KPI is high, then you’re probably not getting a lot of FCRs, and that’s bad. You can’t make your customers call you as soon as a problem crops up, but chances are they will, especially if they trust you. From there, it’s up to your call center team and the rest of your employees to make sure the matter is resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible.
10) Agent Occupancy Rate
This refers to the amount of time your agents spend working relative to their down time. This includes the time they spend on the phone as well as time dedicated to other work-related tasks, such as answering emails, accessing and/or updating the database, etc.
Keep in mind occupancy doesn’t always mean productivity. Agents that don’t get regular breaks can become overworked and stressed, which leads to reduced levels of productivity, but you also don’t want agents abusing their breaks. Ideally, you want to strike the perfect balance that keeps agent productivity at its highest.
11) Contact Quality
This is the most labor-intensive call center KPI to measure, but it’s vital to making sure your call center agents are doing the best job they can. In order to measure contact quality, managers need to listen in on phone calls between agents and customers to make sure the agent is properly representing the company – from the proper greeting to giving and collecting the right information, to hopefully solving the customer’s problem and creating an FCR.
12) Customer Satisfaction
This call center KPI is another one that’s not easy to measure. The best way to determine customer satisfaction is by surveying customers (either by email or by having another agent call the customer back) after their call is completed. Some companies have started using IVR-based post-call surveys, in which a computer asks the customer a standard set of questions after their interaction with the call center has been completed.
Just be sure to keep in mind that customers are frequently short on time and may very well be annoyed by constant requests to fill out a survey. Surveys should always be optional and you should always be sure to thank customers for taking the time to fill them out. Try to strike the right balance so that you get a good representation of your customer satisfaction without bombarding them with surveys.
13) Agent Turnover Rate
Good call center agents are hard to find. You need ones with the right temperament so they won’t snap at your customers, and when you do find a good one, they require a fair amount of training in order to get them familiar with your software, database, business practices, etc. All that training is time that gets taken away from addressing pressing customer issues, so hiring new call service agents is not cheap. If your agent turnover rate is high, conduct an investigation to see what you could be doing differently in order to attract good agents and make sure they stick around – whether that means higher pay, free snacks, or just a more supportive work environment.
You don’t have to measure all these KPIs, but the more call center KPIs you can keep track of, the more you’ll know about how efficiently your call center is running. But getting the data is just the first step. You must also act on it if you’re going to make your call center as successful as possible.