In today’s data-driven economy, measuring call center key performance indicators (KPIs) is an essential part of any organization’s business strategy.
Why are KPIs important? They allow teams to strengthen employee morale, foster personal growth, reinforce business objectives, and increase company-wide accountability, all while improving efficiency.
But in the world of call centers—where customer service is key, and split-second decision-making can make or break a call—it’s not always clear which KPIs managers need to measure. That’s bad news when contact centers continue to be one of the top ways customers get in touch with a business or service.
Always wondered what KPIs contact centers need to measure, but didn’t know where to start? We’ve broken down the call center metrics today’s contact centers need to keep track of if they want to succeed.
1. Percentage of Calls Blocked
As any inbound call center manager will tell you, blocked calls are one of the biggest detriments to a contact center’s success, as every call is an opportunity to connect with a customer or resolve an issue. And while one blocked call may not seem like a big deal at the moment, added up over time, it can have a huge impact on a company, resulting in lost revenue and (worst case scenario) customers.
Keep track of the overall percentage of calls blocked to figure out if your team has the necessary skills and tools available to help reduce call volume and wait time—whether that’s through enhanced training to help resolve issues faster, or call center software that motivates your workforce by providing best practice training and an up-to-date knowledge base.
2. Average Time in Queue (or Longest Hold Time)
The longer a customer waits on hold to speak with a representative, the worse their overall sense of customer satisfaction gets (and the more likely they are to abandon a call altogether).
That’s why it’s important to measure your callers’ average time in the queue consistently.
To analyze this KPI, divide the total amount of time callers wait on the phone to speak with a representative by the total number of calls answered by an agent or representative.
If that number seems way too long, chances are your customers feel the same way, and the service you’re providing needs improvement.
3. What's Your Call Center Abandonment Rate?
Long wait times are bad for customer loyalty, but what’s even worse is when a caller decides to abandon a call altogether. And, even if you have “please wait” messages put in place, the chance of a call being abandoned only increases the longer a caller is left on the line without speaking to a real person.
To operate below a targeted threshold, keep track of your average abandonment rate and takes steps to improve your team’s communication—doing so will help keep the lines open, and customers coming back.
4. Find Out What’s Your Contact Center Service Level
Thanks to call center software, supervisors and agents can access real-time information about the speed of their service to help make data-informed decisions about their work process.
By looking at the average service level (the number of calls answered within a certain amount of seconds), agents and supervisors alike can determine whether or not they’re being as efficient as possible.
5. ASA (or Average Speed of Answer)
Similar to measuring your call center service level, the ASA KPI looks at the average amount of time it takes for a call center to answer incoming calls to gauge a team’s efficiency.
Want to know how to calculate your call center ASA? Divide the total amount of waiting time by the number of calls over a given period. (So, if there was a total of 30 minutes of waiting time for 10 calls, then the ASA is three minutes—30/10 = 3).
6. Average Handle Time (or AHT)
Trying to get a sense of customer satisfaction, without conducting one-on-one (or automated) interviews after a call? Calculate the time it took each caller to resolve an issue (or for your representative to make a sale). By looking at each agent’s average handle time, you’ll get a good idea if they’re using their time on the phone wisely.
7. First Contact Resolution
Did the agent address the caller’s needs on the initial call, or were they forwarded to another agent or supervisor? If so, your agent might not have enough information available to get the job done, or there may be an issue with your contact center’s directory.
Often described as one of the most important KPIs for monitoring customer satisfaction, all contact centers should analyze their average FCR (also known as best contact resolution) to determine which calls are resulting in the most call-backs or forwards, and why that may be.
To calculate it, take the total number of resolved issues on the first contact for a given incident, and divide that by the total number of calls for that same incident. Then, multiply by 100 to get the percentage. (Call Centre Helper goes into more detail here.)
8. What’s Your Call Center After Call Work Time?
Like a lot of jobs, work doesn’t always end as soon as it’s quitting time. At contact centers, often the day’s duties continue once the last call is completed in the form of emails to superiors and co-workers, as well as data entry.
Supervisors should keep track of the average time agents spend on after call work time and find ways to reduce it.
9. Occupancy Rate
Occupancy rate is the percentage of time advisors take on call-related activity (including talk time, hold and after-call work time) compared to their logged-in time.
To calculate it, total the amount of time each advisor spends on call-related activity on a day-to-day basis—from the time they sign in, to the time that they sign out—to figure out the total handling time. Then, divide that by the total amount of time all advisors spend signed in over the course of the day (aka their total logged-in time) and multiply it by 100.
While it’s true that contact centers with high occupancy rates are typically running more efficiently, managers should make sure occupancy rates never go above 90%—doing so can lead to employee burnout, and poor advisor satisfaction and performance.
10. Client Satisfaction
Typically, contact centers determine their overall client satisfaction numbers through customer surveys, by measuring quality assurance, and through third-party audits. But if you want to get a quick view of your company’s overall ability to deliver customer satisfaction, organize and analyze the nine KPIs above—it should be pretty easy to get an overview of what they think of you, and the overall health of your contact center, by doing so.
11. Agent Absenteeism
Agent absenteeism, or the number of days missed annually by an agent (or a group of agents) in proportion to the total amount of days contracted in a given year, can have a severe effect on call center staffing, and is often an indicator that your employees aren’t nearly engaged enough in the workplace. Monitor this contact center KPI to see if your management practices need an update.
12. What's The Workforce Turnover Rate (For Agents) In Your Call Center?
According to recent studies, the average turnover rate for contact center agents in the U.S. is 33%. To limit the number of people leaving your workplace, and to keep the two-thirds of employees that remain consistently active and energized, contact centers need to incorporate software and services that keep their teams engaged—after all, doing so can keep staff morale high, and the customer happy.
Want to find out how leading call centers are monitoring and measuring KPIs to boost performance and improve agent/employee engagement? Take a look at what nGUVU employee engagement platform can offer your organization. (Or, if you want to learn more, reach out to our team to schedule a quick demo.)