You already track your team’s performance.
But every so often you should do yourself a big favor and shake up the call center KPIs your measure.
Because maybe you’re missing out on critical intelligence…
For example, a low AHT is a sign of fast service, but it’s not much use if customers aren’t satisfied with the help they receive.
And you won’t know whether that’s the case unless you also track CSat.
Choosing to track the right KPIs is essential to measuring team performance. And the options are virtually endless!
So which metrics are the most useful?
This is a list of 21 KPIs to give you some food for thought.
Select the right ones and you’ll get better visibility into your operations and make better decisions along the way.
21 essential call center KPIs
#1 Average Talk Time (ATT)
Talk time is a simple metric; it’s the total time agents spend dealing with callers.
It differs from handling time because it doesn’t include after call work or time on hold.
It’s useful to know, but – time spent talking doesn’t necessarily indicate service quality.
#2 Average handle time (AHT)
AHT is the average time it takes agents to handle a call, from when they pick up to when they finish after call work.
Keeping this metric low reduces support costs by helping you answer more queries with the same resources. But going too far will worsen the customer experience.
#3 Call abandonment rate
Callers tend to abandon the queue when they have to wait for too long.
Keep track of how often this happens by measuring your call abandonment rate – that’s the percentage of callers who quit while waiting.
If the figure starts to rise, you may need to take steps to answer calls faster!
Alternatively, you can offer a virtual queuing option.
Most businesses set a minimum threshold for calls that will be included in this measurement. For example, calls that abandon in the first 10 seconds are probably mistake dials.
#4 Service level
Service level is the percentage of calls agents answer within a predefined time limit. This threshold is the maximum amount of time you want customers to wait.
A standard version of service level is 80% of calls answered within 20 seconds.
When calculating service level, you must decide whether or not to include abandoned calls.
#5 First contact resolution (FCR)
FCR is the percentage of calls or contacts you resolve without needing a follow-up.
A high FCR suggests that your team is providing satisfactory answers to customer queries, first time.
A low number can result in poor customer satisfaction and a higher call volume than necessary.
Low FCR is often the result of under-trained staff, complicated processes or too much focus on speed!
#6 Repeat calls
Repeat calls aer the flip side of FCR.
This show the percentage of inbound contact that addresses the same issue as a previous call.
This type of call typically occurs when an interaction with your team didn’t solve an issue sufficiently.
Discovering why people make repeat calls helps you improve service.
However, it’s important to distinguish between repeat calls on a single issue and several unrelated calls from a single source.
#7 Average speed of answer (ASA)
ASA tells you the average time a caller waits after they are routed to a queue but before they’re bridged to an agent.
Customers dislike waiting, so keeping this metric down will improve the customer experience.
ASA doesn’t include time spent interacting with your IVR. From a customer perspective, the entire experience may be longer than your ASA suggests.
#8 Average hold time
This is similar to ASA. Customers hate waiting on hold, but it’s necessary in some situations.
It’s useful to bear in mind as it measures hold time only (the clue was in the name!)
That excludes any other elements of the call journey like IVR or routing time.
(The difference between this and ASA still isn’t clear, think about this way: ASA is what happened for the contact center. Hold time is what happened for the customer.)
Best-in-class contact centers use virtual queuing to avoid long periods of hold.
#9 Wait time
Wait time is also similar to ASA and hold time!
However, this metric tries to judge the entire customer waiting experience from dialing to talking.
Sometimes, that number might be the same as ASA – it really depends on the experience you’ve designed for customers.
#10 Call transfer rate (CTR)
CTR is the percentage of calls that you transfer from one agent to another.
Call centers typically aim to avoid transfers as they extend the length of a query, making it more expensive.
They also lead to a poor customer experience as callers have to wait on hold and explain their problems to multiple people.
Consider using some of the routing strategies in this article to improve CTR.
#11 Longest waiting call
The longest waiting call shows the longest time a caller had to wait on hold before getting through to an agent.
Tracking this metric reveals the maximum amount of time customers are willing to wait.
You can read more about estimated wait time here.
#12 Wrap-up time
Agents often have extra work to do when a customer hangs up. Wrap-up time is the time it takes an agent to perform these post-call tasks.
This work often consists of data entry or sending documents. Reduce wrap-up time by automating simple tasks and creating streamlined processes.
#13 Percentage of calls blocked
Blocked calls are those that receive a busy tone.
Customers who have their calls blocked cannot access the help they need, which results in a frustrating experience.
This usually indicates a contact center that receives more traffic than it can process. The answer is more automation, more agents, or better outsourced overflow capacity.
#14 Cost per call
Cost per call shows the average cost of a customer call.
Calculate it by taking your contact center operating costs in a period and then dividing this by the number of calls in that time.
Reduce this figure by training agents to answer queries more efficiently or by automating time-consuming parts of the job.
#15 Net Promoter Score
We couldn’t leave out NPS, could we?
This is a great metric for measuring customer sentiment – specifically, how likely they are to recommend your services to others.
The NPS measurement isn’t complicated… it is long-winded, so you can find a full account here.
In short, callers are asked to rate your business on a scale of 0-10, with the scores classed as either detractors, passives or promoters.
#16 Customer satisfaction (CSat)
CSat measures how happy customers are with your service.
Discover CSat by asking customers to rate your service following an interaction with your team. Keep track of this over time to see how changes you implement affect the customer experience.
Creating and sending surveys can add to your agent’s wrap-up work. Save time by automatically sending links to surveys via SMS or email after calls.
#17 Customer effort score (CES)
CES measures the effort customers have to put in when interacting with your support. A high score typically correlates with a poor customer experience.
Self-service, omnichannel support, and being proactive can reduce customer effort.
#18 Employee satisfaction (ESat)
Customers aren’t the only people your contact center should keep happy – satisfied employees are essential to any business.
ESat measures employee happiness by asking them to rate their satisfaction in several areas. If the figure is too low, consider taking steps to improve your work environment.
#19 Average idle time
Average idle time measures the time agents waiting for calls to come in.
You should expect some amount of idle time, and trying to abolish it completely can lead to agent burnout.
On the other hand, if the figure is too high your staffing costs will be more than they need to be.
85% occupied to 15% idle is generally considered a reasonable balance.
Operating a blended contact center is an effective way of bringing idle time down to a manageable level.
When incoming call levels are low, agents can place outbound calls to stay occupied.
#20 Agent turnover rate
Agent turnover rate shows the percentage of agents who leave your contact center in a specified period.
Contact centers typically have very high turnover rates compared to other jobs, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take steps to reduce yours.
We have a few tips to make life easier for agents.
#21 Agent absenteeism rate
This shows the rate of unauthorized days off taken by agents.
Managers should expect some amount of agent absenteeism – sick days are unavoidable.
But a high rate leads to more costs and lower morale as other agents are scheduled to cover those who go missing.
When tracking absenteeism, remember not to include scheduled time off!
Now choose and track the most relevant KPIs
Now you have a list of metrics, it’s simply a case of choosing the ones most relevant for your business and tracking them over time.
This enables you to see how the decisions you make affect your call center operations.
If you need more help deciding which KPIs to measure, this article discusses how to choose the most relevant ones.