The comprehensive guide to call center reporting & analytics

by Andy Nguyen
call center reporting

Call center reporting converts raw data into insightful reports.

Based on the type of report, you can understand agent performance, evaluate key team performance metrics, and make informed decisions to enhance your customer support. 

Moreover, identifying and resolving issues granuarly can help you build strategies to achieve excellent customer engagement.

This article will cover what call center reporting is, its benefits, and the top eight call center reports. We’ll also provide six practical tips for effective call center reporting.

Let’s get started.

What is call center reporting?

Call center reporting is the process of converting raw data from your ACD (Automatic Call Distributor), IVR (Interactive Voice Response), and WFM (Workforce Management) systems into insightful reports.

These reports are typically based on some key call center metrics like:

  • First call resolution (FCR): Measures an agent’s ability to resolve a customer’s inquiry during the first call.
  • Adherence to schedule: Determines whether agents are working for the total time they’re scheduled for.
  • Average wait time: A customer spends waiting in the selected queue or for a callback.
  • Customer satisfaction: Measures how happy the customers are with a business’ services and products.

You can convert these reports into charts or graphs to measure the performance of your business for a specified time range. This can be either done manually or generated automatically through call center reporting tools.

And while you can use any reporting tool to create excellent reports, it’s essential to ensure that the reports:

  • Incorporate exact formulas for calculating metrics to provide more relevant and reliable information.
  • Represent metrics clearly, allowing managers to identify the metrics that need further analysis easily.

Call center data that uses customer-centric and business-wide benchmarks provide managers with a clear and accurate analysis of their operations. 

But what about analytics? Is it the same as call center reporting?

How is call center reporting different from analytics?

Usually, call center analytics and reporting are used almost interchangeably. 

However, they’re not the same.  

Generating contact center reports is the first step of analytics. The data in the reports will help you derive meaningful insights and make informed decisions to drive up your call center performance. 

Let’s make a more detailed comparison:

Call center reportingCall center analytics
Turns raw data into simplified summaries or reports to help you understand how your call center is performing.Identifies patterns and trends in reports and provides actionable insights that you can use to make changes and improvements.
Gives you the data, but agents or managers need to analyze reports and ask questions like ‘why’ and ‘how.’Shows you why you’re getting specific problems or the results. You can then work on the issues to make improvements.
For example, reporting highlights that your latest calling campaign shows lower customer engagement than previous efforts.For example, analytics shows that the hit rate was low. This could mean that you need to improve the quality of your contact list.

Now let’s explore some of the typical reports used by call centers.

8 types of call center reports

Here’s a detailed look at eight standard call center reports:

1. Agent activity report

An agent activity report provides actionable insights about all call center agents. Managers can use this information to ensure that their agents execute their assigned tasks. 

This call center report typically contains historical data and information regarding an agent’s center activity and output. That’s why it’s sometimes called an agent detail report.

An agent activity report can include statistics like:

  • The number of incoming calls handled.
  • The total handle time for those incoming calls.
  • Average handle time.
  • Shortest and longest handle time.

2. Agent availability report

An agent availability or agent status report shows the name of each individual agent and their user IDs, along with their ACD (Automatic Call Distribution) state. It also includes how long an agent was in each state.

Some of the ACD states are:

  • Signed out.
  • Available.
  • Busy.
  • Wrapping up.
  • Unavailable or Idle.
  • Break.

Historical reports, also called trace reports, can be used to see when contact center agents signed in and out. This helps in calculating schedule adherence and occupancy.

3. Call abandon report

Call abandon reports show the percentage of abandoned inbound calls and details of the time before leaving.

Additionally, some reports can include the average wait time before a call was abandoned and the longest a customer waited before they left the call. This can help you identify where you lose most customers and assess whether the service level is appropriate.

4. Call detail report

A call detail report gives the start and end times of a call, how long it was in the selected queue, and the caller’s details. 

In other words, this report shows:

  • When the call took place.
  • Caller ID.
  • Total hold time.
  • How long the call lasted.

You can use this report to review escalations or cross-check discrepancies in claims by an agent or customer. 

Moreover, quality assurance teams can use this report to review agents. 

They can monitor and track down poor-performing agents, training opportunities, or flawed quality management systems. Taking action based on these issues may ultimately lead to enhanced agent productivity. 

These reports can also help you appreciate and reward high-performing agents that may provide incentives to work more effectively and efficiently. 

5. Call direction reports 

A call direction report, also known as a call transfer report, highlights the number of calls made or received in a direction or channel over a specified period. This report helps you understand the demand of your call center.

The directions can be categorized as follows:

  • The total number of inbound calls received.
  • The total number of outbound calls made.
  • Internal calls made to other departments.

You can also view the following:

  • Total call duration.
  • Average call duration.
  • Longest call duration.

Combining these statistics with other reports can help you with contact center forecasting.

6. Inbound call summary report

An inbound call summary report provides time interval statistics on inbound calls. In other words, this report provides statistics for all the inbound calls made to the call center for any period or interval, like a week or a month. 

It usually includes data like:

  • Total calls.
  • Answered calls.
  • Abandoned calls.
  • Talk time.
  • Agent speed of answer.

This report helps identify trends and statistics— acting as a base for call center forecasting. For example, mapping the call arrival pattern over a day can help you identify peak hours or expected call volume.

7. Queue activity report

Queue activity reports give insight into customer behavior when they’re waiting in different queues within a set timeframe. 

Queue activity reports can also include how many calls were handled across each queue.

Moreover, a few systems may also provide more information, like total calls that meet the service level.

You can even look at key metrics like the average wait time and the longest wait time for an answered call. 

8. SLA (service level agreement) report

An SLA is an agreement between the call center and its client containing the standard of the required services.

Usually, call centers have an 80-20 rule for call pick-up time. This means that they must answer 80% of calls in 20 seconds.

An SLA report allows managers to see how often the SLA was breached, by whom, and during which campaign or queue. This report provides further insight into gaps along with real-time monitoring and dashboards. 

For example, let’s say the call volume is at its peak, resulting in a high wait time, breaching the 80-20 SLA standard. Call center managers can then reshuffle the agents from different campaigns to handle the peak traffic.

Now let’s look at why using call center reporting, and KPIs are beneficial for workforce management.

5 key benefits of call center reporting

Here’s why reporting is essential for your call center operation:

1. Enhances customer service

Real-time call center reports can help you track:

  • Customer sentiment.
  • Customer demands.
  • Customer success.
  • Customer support. 

Customer experience impacts customer retention, sales, revenue, center reputation, and more. 

Understanding why your audience acts the way they do will help you understand the customer journey, keep them happy, and encourage them to continue supporting your business.

In other words, the more you understand your customers, the more targeted your efforts will be.

2. Improves agent performance

You can use your call center reporting tools to evaluate customer interaction with your agents, adherence to company guidelines, and overall success. 

You can use daily, weekly, or monthly reports to evaluate critical KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to ensure your agents are reliably meeting the set goals. 

Moreover, suppose you notice an operation-wide problem. In that case, you can use reports to see if agents need access training, like a resource library, or if your system has a problem.

3. Increased call center efficiency 

As your agents improve their work performance and become more effective at dealing with client issues, your call center, as a whole, will become a more efficient entity.

Reports and KPIs like the call abandonment rate, service level, and predictive analytics like NPS indicate the agency’s general performance as a whole. 

Call center reporting may improve agent performance, customer satisfaction, and general overhead costs. 

4. Optimize costs

Keeping call centers operational is not easy, as it’s impossible to look through every area of your center to find small ways to save on costs.

Reporting offers the insight you need to streamline your work from top to bottom. 

For example, if there are too many steps in your call flow, you can save time and effort by simplifying the process. After all, these small inefficiencies can lead to huge costs over time.

5. Manage remote teams 

Remote working has become extremely popular over the past few years, especially in the call center industry. Virtual call centers are now the industry standard. 

Reporting and quality management are the best ways to ensure proper virtual team success. 

Using the data collected from call center reports, you can measure agent efficiency and effectiveness, no matter where they work. 

So, call center reporting is highly beneficial for your organization, but only if you’re reporting effectively. 

7 practical tips for efficient call center reporting

Let’s take a look at a few best practices for your call center:

1. Identify what is important 

With hundreds of call center metrics to measure, it’s difficult and time-consuming to track each one. That’s why you need to focus on which metrics are essential, not just how it’s presented.

However, it’s also important to note that the relevance of each metric will depend on which department is measuring performance. 

For example, quality assurance metrics, like First Contact Resolution, are important to call center agents but not for HR (Human Resources) employees.

This highlights the importance of a custom report across various departments.

2. Set informed goals

Once you have all gathered information using call and contact center analytics and reporting, you should use these insights to set achievable goals. 

Before setting your goals, ask your team questions like:

  • How can you enhance customer experience?
  • Do agents have access to the call center software they need to work?
  • Are they content with our level of workplace satisfaction?
  • How can you reduce costs?

You can then use your reporting tool and dashboards to track progress in real-time. It will enable you to identify and address any flaws in your strategy quickly.

3. Benchmark key statistics 

Once you’ve set clear strategic goals, you will need to work with the agents to achieve the goal.

And benchmarking helps you with that.

It enables you to determine whether your call and contact center performance aligns with best practices and standards for the call center industry. You can also evaluate the performance of your agents compared to competitors to see whether your company is on par with its counterparts.

Using your call center metrics dashboard will offer the insight you need to optimize your strategies and reach benchmarks.

Check out our detailed guide on call center benchmarking for more information.

4. Focus on the KPIs 

KPIs, or key center performance indicators, provide unique metrics that businesses can be used to measure the success of their call center operation and create a successful omnichannel customer experience.

Here are a few common call center KPIs:

  • First contact resolution (FCR): Measures the percentage of customer contacts that are resolved upon the first call interaction.
  • Call arrival rate: Provides information about how many calls your center receives every minute, hour, or day, depending on how you measure it. This is essential for measuring call center activity and helps centers understand how many staff hires they need for the call center. 
  • Blocked calls: A blocked call occurs when a customer is redirected to voicemail or told to call back later. This KPI works with the call arrival KPI to provide contact center analytics about staffing and agent availability
  • Average call duration: Measures the amount of time a customer spends on an answered call with an agent. This KPI helps identify which issues take the longest or shortest time to resolve. 
  • Service level: The service level KPI indicates the level of service that customers receive. An example of a service level metric is the 80-20 rule (80% of calls are answered within 20 seconds). The percentage of FCRs is also a service level metric.  
  • Abandoned call percentage: Measures how many calls are abandoned by the customer before issue resolution.  The abandoned call percentage is a KPI metric that should be kept low. 
  • Average turnover rate: This KPI is solely focused on staffing and recruitment instead of customer interaction metrics. The average turnover rate refers to the number of employee turnovers in the call center. If this KPI provides a high statistic, your organization should look at strategies to retain call center agents. 
  • Net promoter score (NPS) and predictive NPS refers to a customer loyalty metric, or how many customers come back to your call center after resolving their first issue. 
  • Average wait time: Measures a customer’s wait before an agent takes their call. This KPI is focused on customer satisfaction. Poor customer experience requires implementing  initiatives to decrease the average wait time. 

By focusing on specific KPIs, you can develop a strategy to increase efficiency, decrease overhead costs, and improve customer satisfaction. 

5. Incorporate customer feedback

Your reputation among customers decides if a business is successful or not. 

This is why you should take note of both positive and negative comments while measuring customer satisfaction. It can also help you find possible improvement opportunities and enhance your customer relations. 

To collect customer reviews, you can create strategies ahead of time and form an effective survey to send to customers. But remember, the survey should be short, concise, and specific to the main business goal. 

Customer service reporting will improve your agent’s performance, reduce your customer churn, and increase the satisfaction levels. 

6. Invest in a user-friendly reporting tool

Look for a tool that will help you extract the maximum value out of your data. 

Your contact center reporting tool should include: 

  • A user-friendly interface. 
  • Interactive visualizations. 
  • Unified communications.
  • The ability to connect multiple touchpoints of data into one place. 

Though these features are important, what actually differentiates a tool is its advanced analytical features. 

Business intelligence tools offer predictive analytics to identify trends and benchmarks in your data through machine learning and artificial intelligence. 

For example, some business intelligence and reporting tools can predict call volume changes, allowing you to train your agents to tackle it with ease.

Check out this comprehensive list of all kinds of call center software, from A-Z!

7. Make data accessible to agents

Giving a call center agent access to their performance data and allowing them to create their own performance reports will enhance cross-departmental collaboration. 

It can also promote a data-driven culture in your call center. 

You can use a user-friendly call and  contact center reporting software that offers cross-platform availability but doesn’t require analytical skills to extract its full potential. This will make the reports accessible to even novice agents.

Additionally, you should have the option to view reports for any time range and easily share them with center managers or stakeholders.  

Wrapping up

Tracking contact center data is important, but you can’t make much sense of it unless it’s depicted in an understandable form like a center report or graph.

With good contact center reporting, you can track your contact center performance, enhance customer experience, and improve unified communications. This will allow leaders and managers to make well-informed, data-driven decisions to meet strategic goals.

Go through the tips mentioned in this article, and you’ll be able to perform call center reporting with ease.

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