Call centers are an integral bridge between a company and its customers. That’s why call center managers monitor agent performance and track the status of their business processes.
But how do you measure if these business processes are hitting your targets?
Using the right call center KPIs!
Call center KPIs are measurable values that show how effectively a call center is able to meet its business goals and targets.
This article covers:
(Click on the link to go to a particular section)
- Call Center KPI: Definition
- 16 Effective KPIs for Call Center Managers
- Call Arrival Rate
- Peak Hour Traffic
- Percentage of Calls Blocked
- Call Abandonment Rate
- Average Speed of Answer
- Service Level
- Average Handle Time
- On-Hold Time
- After Call Work Time
- Time Lost Due To Technology Issues
- Repeat Calls
- Cost per Call
- Customer Satisfaction Score
- Revenue per Successful Call
- Agent Schedule Adherence
- Agent Turnover Rate
- 8 Simple Ways to Improve Call Center Productivity
Let’s get going.
Call center KPI: Definition
A call center Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a performance indicator that evaluates the progress of your call center towards an intended result.
KPIs are based on metrics that give the organizations clear insights into the factors that lead to profits or losses.
Call center KPIs convey relevant information about agent performance and the customer journey that can be used to reward great performances and improve the problem areas.
16 effective KPIs for call center managers
Multiple KPIs help call centers at different levels. You should select the KPIs based on the type of your call center and the data you wish to find.
Here are some effective KPIs that can assist in improving a call center’s functionality and providing optimal customer support:
1. Call arrival rate
The Call Arrival Rate metric keeps track of the number of live calls that come in each day. It usually includes data for at least 30 days.
You can use this metric to identify patterns about the incoming calls, such as the type of calls, time period for the maximum number of calls, etc. It can help you create an efficient call agent schedule.
2. Peak hour traffic
The Peak Hour Traffic metric helps you recognize the busiest hours of the day for your customer service center.
These peak hours are the time range in which the call center gets the maximum number of incoming calls.
You can use this key metric to forecast your staffing needs for these peak periods and allocate sufficient agents to handle the traffic effectively.
3. Percentage of calls blocked
The Percentage of Calls Blocked metric shows the percentage of total calls blocked because they received a busy tone when the customers called the call center.
Here’s how to calculate this percentage:
When a customer calls and gets a busy tone, it is either because all the agents are busy or because there’s an issue with the call center software. You can also identify whether the problem is department-wide or from a single employee.
In any case, getting a busy tone is the last thing a customer wants when they’re looking for immediate solutions to their problems. That’s why a higher percentage of blocked calls may lead to dissatisfied customers.
4. Call abandonment rate
The Call Abandonment Rate (CAR) measures the number of calls that the customer disconnects before connecting with an agent.
Here’s how you can calculate the abandon rate:
A high abandonment rate harms customer retention. That’s why all call centers need to keep track of the abandoned calls and ensure that the number remains below a set value.
5. Average speed of answer
The Average Speed of Answer (ASA) metric shows the average time it takes for call center representatives to answer a call during a specific time frame.
Here’s the formula for calculating ASA:
Note: This metric considers the customer’s time in queue from the time when the phone rings. However, it doesn’t include the time required to navigate through your IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system.
This critical call center metric is a great indicator of the team’s and center’s efficiency.
6. Service level
Service Level is the percentage of customer calls answered by the agent within a specific threshold (specified number of seconds.)
You can calculate the call center’s service level using three different formulas. The formula you choose depends on how you consider the abandoned calls — a missed opportunity, ignored or counted.
Let’s look at the three formulas:
a. When abandoned calls are considered as a missed opportunity
b. When abandoned calls are ignored
c. When abandoned calls are counted
Note: Here, Y seconds is the predetermined threshold within which an agent should attend customer calls.
This KPI is typically displayed on your call center software’s dashboard in real-time.
The data is displayed to agents and managers to make data-backed decisions to reach the service level goal.
7. Average handle time
The Average Handle Time (AHT) KPI tells you the average time taken for a single call from the beginning till the end. The average handling time also includes the customer’s hold time on the call and the agent’s after-call work time.
The formula to calculate the AHT is:
This metric helps you understand the workload of every agent and estimate your staffing requirements accordingly.
8. Average on-hold time
Average On-Hold Time involves the average time a caller waits on hold during the call. For example, an agent may put a customer on hold to look up something, transfer the call, etc.
Let’s look at the formula:
Long hold times can lead to a poor customer experience. That’s why many call centers specify the maximum number of seconds the caller may be kept on hold, after which the agent should check back on them.
9. After call work time
After Call Work Time is the time agents spend on post-call work like sending emails, filling out forms, updating the database, etc.
You can calculate it using the following formula:
The metric helps you learn about an agent’s efficiency for completing the post-call work. Managers often use automation tools to reduce this work time to be free to handle more calls.
10. Time lost due to technical issues
This metric provides an insight into the amount of time lost because of technical issues such as apps not updated, software subscriptions not renewed, etc.
Technological issues can lead to a rise in the number of dropped calls or missed calls. That’s why it’s essential to monitor downtime.
11. Repeat calls
Repeat Calls are a key metric that shows the types of problems that are difficult to resolve in the first call.
Call center managers can identify recurring customer issues during inbound calls. They can then focus on fixing those issues with the maximum occurrence rate, aiming to reduce the number of incoming calls for that customer issue.
This may require additional agent training, self-service options, etc.
12. Cost per call
The Cost per Call (CPC) metric shows you the costs associated with a single call, including:
- An agent’s time to carry out the call.
- Resources allocated for generating the call.
- Investments made for call equipment.
- Operational costs like facility rental, utilities, management overhead, etc.
Here’s the formula for calculating the CPC:
This metric allows call center managers to improve the cost efficiency by monitoring the cost against a target value to ensure it does not go beyond a set amount.
13. Customer satisfaction score
The Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) metric indicates how satisfied the customers are with your brand.
The CSAT metric includes a customer survey that asks customers to rate their satisfaction levels.
You can then calculate the average CSAT score using the following formula:
This key metric allows you to understand if your agents resolve the customer issues satisfactorily. It plays a huge role in building customer loyalty.
That’s why you should ensure that your agents maintain company standards and uphold the customer satisfaction level. A good CSAT score is an indication of a happy customer.
14. Revenue per call
The Revenue per Call (RPC) metric enables you and your agents to understand the revenue they bring in for the company from one successful call.
Here’s the formula:
Note: This metric is different from conversion rate (the percentage of customer calls resulting in a successful sale), as the revenue can also come from existing customers.
Additionally, you can also use this metric to plan the expected revenue and set agent targets accordingly.
15. Agent schedule adherence
Agent Schedule Adherence measures whether or not agents work according to their set schedules.
Here’s the formula for calculating schedule adherence:
Minimal agent absenteeism ensures a smooth transition between different shifts. This can significantly reduce the number of dropped calls and missed calls and result in higher customer satisfaction.
16. Agent turnover rate
The Agent Turnover Rate metric displays the percentage of agents that exit the company during a given period.
Here’s how you can calculate the attrition percentage:
A high turnover rate can increase your operational costs and also negatively impact your team’s productivity.
It can reduce your call center’s ability to serve customers efficiently, resulting in lowered customer retention and satisfaction.
8 simple ways to improve call center productivity and performance
Productivity is an estimate of the work done over a period of time. A call center’s success depends heavily on its agent’s performance and productivity.
So how do you boost your call center’s and agent’s productivity?
The following tips can guide you:
Convey the importance of KPIs to the team
You should explain the importance of all the KPIs so that your agents can work to improve their performance, customer experience, and the company’s success.
Flexible call center setups can provide the agents an option of working wherever they’re most productive. This type of freedom boosts agents’ morale and improves their engagement, enhancing agent performance.
Frequent interruptions such as meetings, colleagues stopping for a chat, etc., can inhibit the agent’s workflow and drastically hamper agent productivity. That’s why you should schedule team meetings, so they don’t interfere with work and also have appropriate break policies in place.
Engage call center agents
Actively engaging call center representatives is crucial for improving productivity. You can increase employee engagement by taking their feedback on certain decisions and allowing them to participate in certain processes of running the call center.
Create an incentive program
An engaging incentive program can help increase agent productivity and efficiency. This can help increase employee satisfaction and also enhance their personal growth and development. Both these factors can positively impact your productivity and the bottom line.
Focus on workflow
Incorporating an efficient workflow in your call center can work wonders for boosting your overall productivity. You can do this by sending the customers to the agents who are best suited to resolve their issues.
Measure and adjust
Regular quality checks will help you understand the key metrics you need to improve. Continuous monitoring and improvement in the relevant metrics will positively affect your customer experience and loyalty, agent productivity, and ultimately, the bottom line.
Use productivity software
You can use productivity software to track time, attendance, make payments, etc., and enhance your team’s operational efficiency. Comprehensive tools like Time Doctor offer all these features.
Time Doctor is a productivity management and performance enhancement tool used by large companies like Ericsson and small businesses like Thrive Market to enhance overall productivity.
You can use Time Doctor to:
- Track crucial time-based KPIs like average after-work call time, the average duration of inbound and outbound calls, etc.
- Asses agents’ productivity using productivity ratings.
- Set shifts and schedules for agents.
- Track attendance using specific attendance reports.
- Pay agents directly in any currency and for any pay period.
Call center KPIs enable you to monitor the progress of and manage a call center effectively.
With these KPIs in place, you can get a clear picture of your team’s performance and efficacy. Use the KPIs and tips mentioned in this article to improve your performance and meet your business targets.
Andy is a technology & marketing leader who has delivered award-winning and world-first experiences.