31 Contact Center Statistics to Live by in 2021

In the ever-changing world of contact center service, there are always new trends to watch. Today, we’re going to look at thought-provoking statistics in 6 areas of service.

In this post:

Best practice for contact center service

There’s a lot to think about in contact center best practice. A growing range of cloud tools means increasingly sophisticated services are open to any business.

Think blended service, custom call routing, automated outbound and more. 

(The starting point for sophisticated services is a strong integration strategy. Read ‘How do APIs enhance contact center service’ to learn more.)


The average speed of answer is 15 seconds better in blended contact centers than in those with dedicated inbound and outbound teams. Source


86% of agents feel that they don’t have the resources or the authority to deal with customers effectively. Source


20-30% of call volume is about previously unresolved issues. Source


60% of failed attempts at FCR (First Contact Resolution) are due to an agent’s inability to access the right data. Source


One-third of customers say that the ability to follow up with the same person is a key element of great customer service. Source

Outbound service and sales

The gaps between service, sales and marketing are closing up. Plenty of businesses are interested in a more holistic approach, with the contact center at its heart

That means tools – and strategies – which can move easily between these different demands.

(Need to know more about outbound service? Read ‘Your auto dialer is the key to gold-standard service.’)


87% of consumers want proactive customer service from the companies they buy from. Source 


Almost three-quarters of customers who receive proactive service feel a positive change in their perception of the brand. Source 


Organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing teams have 38% higher sales win rates. Source


Between one-third and one-half of sales go to whichever vendor responds first. Source


Nurtured leads make purchases worth almost 50% more than non-nurtured leads. Source

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IVR and hold time

IVR continues to be both strength and weakness for many contact centers. It’s clear that modern IVR really can offer great service. But these systems need more maintenance than some businesses have given them.

As for hold time… there are clear ways to improve the hold experience!

(What if hold time *didn’t* wreck your CX? Read all about a better kind of IVR.)


Over 70% of customers get ‘extremely frustrated’ waiting on hold. Source


75% of customers find the idea of a callback ‘highly appealing’. Source


Customers most dread hearing: ‘We’re sorry to keep you waiting. Did you know you can find a range of answers on our website?’

They’re most interested in hearing a regular, specific update about how long they will be on hold. Source


One-quarter of customers hang up after five minutes. Source


How do callers feel about IVR?

IVR complaints



There’s no doubt that self-service is a winning strategy; customers love it (when it’s done well) and it saves huge amounts of money. There are still big questions about how to integrate self-service as a channel though. 

Don’t just think of self-service as a way of dodging customers!

(Wish your self-service was more developed? It can be! Learn about your options in our post on replacing call center services with self-service. )


Almost three-quarters of customers think they should have the ability to solve their own product or service issues. Source


65% of consumers feel good about themselves when they successfully use self-service. Source


One-fifth of contact centers have never made changes to their self-service system! Source


66% of contact centers don’t provide any option for customers to move between self-service and an agent. Source


Improved self-service is among the top three priorities for businesses that want to compete on CX. Source

Contact center management

What do contact centers really want? No surprises really – it’s more automation, fewer calls and a lot more control over how they work. Number 24 really jumps out as a concern – still, few contact centers design their own processes. 

We tend to think they’re the best people for the job! 

(In fact, we’re obsessed with giving contact centers more options, with No-Code automation. Read up on the contact center tasks you should be able to automate.)


Well over half of customer care executives consider call reduction their top priority. Source 


What’s the single biggest challenge contact centers face to getting the most out of strategic investments? It’s ‘integration with existing systems’. Source


80% of businesses say they deliver ‘superior’ customer service. 8% of customers agree. Source 


Under one-quarter of contact centers enjoy full design collaboration for their own processes. Source


contact center obstacles


Customer loyalty

Practically nothing is more valuable than the loyalty of your customers. In fact, 2020 should be your year of customer loyalty (and retention…) The things customers value aren’t complicated either; a little personal treatment goes a long way. 

And personalization is nowhere near as challenging as it used to be!

(Do you personalize your routing based on customer and contextual data? Our users do – find out how in ‘Personalized call routing – what’s really stopping you?’)


Loyal customers spend 67% more than new customers. Source


Acquiring new customers costs 5-10 times more than selling to existing ones. Source


One-third of customers who abandoned a business relationship in the last year did so because personalization was lacking. Source


48% of customers expect specialized treatment for being good customers. Source


Millennial customers are some of the most loyal. Once they find brands they like, 80% will stay long-term. Source

And finally…


Practically everyone – 96% of customers – says customer service plays a leading role in their choice of (and loyalty to) brands. Source

This fact says something very important: the contact center’s main output is customer loyalty

It’s not about fire-fighting. Actually, the contact center is how your business shows its dedication to customers. 

That dedication means speed, accuracy and consistency. Those are three results which are best achieved with automation. 

Ready to learn more about automation in your contact center?

Then read, ‘Your (free) Guide to Contact Center Automation’ now!

Get your free Ebook and learn how call center automation is about to change your business