A Complete Guide On How to Measure and Improve Call Center Customer Experience Properly

Business is always about money. And to surely know where your loyal customers are doing business with your company and where they are switching to another brand. Thus, you need to collect relevant data regarding your call center customer experience (CX). How much data do you actually need? The answer is resounding: you don’t need the carloads of data yourself and your staff. However, collect only valuable insight regarding the essential metrics, and your job in understanding ways to improve CX will be complete.  

In this article you will find:

Customer experience definition

How to measure customer experience in the best ways

How can the IVR system help to improve the CX?

What are the main aspects to be missed by call center leaders?


So what is the call center customer experience in nature? 

Here's the accurate CX meaning that explains it in a short way. The customer experience in a contact center means creating the right impression for your prospects and consumers. And it's reflected in the KPI (key performance indicator) metrics such as NPS (net promoter score), CSAT (customer satisfaction), CES (customer effort score), and more. 

For call centers, the positive customer experience (CX) is about establishing strong business relationships when consumers are welcomed with their inquiries while companies are rewarded with sustainable profit. It could be either during the live call, chat message, or outbound calls as a callback. But the call center customer experience turns negative if callers keep calling over and over again

By collecting information from different sources and metrics, every head of a contact center is able to build a big and relevant picture regarding a call center customer experience. Building this solid ground based on reliable data, that helps to build customer interactions with callers and achieve a great CX. In this issue, you’ll discover the details.

What is the level of significance of the call center customer experience?

Addressing customer expectations is a goal of paramount importance. And the surest way that leads to success is to have true data about satisfied customers’ needs, desires, and beliefs, which anticipates the CX. 

To put this in a logical sequence, you'll come up with this. First of all, study your consumers, and market. The solutions your contact center agents encounter more frequently. And lastly the challenging solution.

Failure to conduct this research and consequently ending up with a weak informational base at your elbow guarantees a negative effect on the company’s revenue velocity and even threats of consumer churn in parallel with the budget decline. Why? Because under these circumstances neither managers nor agents are capable to satisfy even the bottom-line requirements of consumers due to the lack of information. 

The call center managers must get their hands on these data and constantly update them to keep an eye on the customers and market changes. That's the first step to the perfection of the call center customer experience.

What are the main troubles with CX measurement you need to keep an eye on? 

The main trouble with CX measurement is that heads of call centers struggle with the proper measurements of the relevant KPI regarding customer experience. 

What's happening in this situation? Customer service teams struggle to identify or report abnormal changes in these KPI metrics. That causes the main trouble with the call center customer experience measurement, which puts agents as well as callers in a difficult position.

Another difficulty call center managers meet is the time-consuming call center operations of gathering these pieces of data from their call center software and financial reports. It’s true that overnight. Devote to the research and the relevant CX metrics to come up with a ready-to-go solution. 

But, talking about the real-time and about working out on collecting previous, current, and anticipating future metrics gives vital data for qualitative improvement of the call center customer experience.  

Top ways to measure and calculate call center customer experience KPI metrics

Here we are coming down to the most essential call center customer experience KPI metrics you need to keep an eye on to constantly measure and improve the customer experience in your call center. 

First Call Resolution (FCR) KPI metric

This is the top call center KPI metric that is put in the first place because there’s no more valuable metric than this, and it reflects the accuracy and professionalism of a company. 

Nearly 100% of inbound, and to a call center is triggered by the difficulties consumers meet with the products or services. Requests for the information. Consultation on the use. And more.

Further, the more accurately you address the issue within this particular first call, the better your agent's time utilization, consumer satisfaction, the building of business relationships, and call center customer experience. Because you exclude the possibility of repeated customer calls on the same customer queries. 

How to improve this call center customer experience metric towards betterment?

Pretty simple if you know how. All managers of call centers must create circumstances for agents and consumers towards solutions within one call. And each time agents find difficulties or struggle to resolve inquiries within the first call, the managers or supervisors need to investigate these cases to address them in a prompt manner. 

How to calculate:

Just calculate the number of the solutions resolved within the 1 contact. And then calculate the number of issues resolved with more than 1 contact on a particular issue. Use the formula:

Resolved within 1 call or contact - resolved during more than 1 call or contact = Positive or negative first call resolution. Where the positive is good (most of your issues are resolved within the 1 call or contact). Despite the fact that it's impossible to solve 100% of issues within one call, have a mark on resolving the 80% of issues during the first contact with a customer. 

Customer Effort Score or (CES) KPI metric

The top 3 customer experience call center KPI metrics are headed by the indication of how much time a particular consumer contacted a call center via phone, chat, social media, or email, in order to reach a timely and professional solution. This scale measures from 1 to 5. Where 1 – means great agent performance from your call center due to rapid resolution. 

While 5 means – the worst that it could be because agents are lacking info to solve the issue of a particular consumer. Because 4 times they failed and were forced to make 5 attempts from the customer. 

Thus if a customer gives a call or a message to a customer service representative and achieves the relevant service, product, or assistance, the CES is rated as 1 – and that’s good. 

Callers achieve the survey where they should answer by putting the rate from 0 to 5, depending on their level of satisfaction. And to calculate the customer effort score, you need to find the arithmetic average. 

Count the number of answers. For example, you have 78 answers. And sum up each answer on a customer effort survey, i.e. (5+5+4+3...) Thus your formula for the customer effort score would be like this: 5+5+4+3.../78 = average customer effort score.

How to improve customer experience call center metric towards betterment?

What is important to notice in addressing the inquiries with the CES more than 1 is that for each next unsuccessful attempt from the consumer side, you need to put in additional effort, attend to colleagues, or report to supervisors and managers. 

For instance, if CES = 2, your customer service representative must immediately report to the supervisor because already 2 times they’ve been unable to solve an inquiry of the caller. And there will be 3rd attempt from particular consumers unless a call center will give a callback and solve the issue. The goal is to approach having all CES = 1 to have a great performance. And that’s the prime goal of every call center.

How to calculate it:

Achieve the reports from your agents on how frequently they encountered the particular caller. Or send the survey to let the consumer answer. Ideally, both of the solutions are needed.

CSAT (customer satisfaction)

The KPI indicates how the services impacted the consumers’ lives. It could be only one outcome: positively or negatively. Thus, in any niche, customer satisfaction indicates whether your clients are satisfied with the given services or else. 

Whether this is the consultancy or technical support, each caller either achieves the desired result or not. The third option in this case means that they’ve been disappointed. Moreover, it’s easy to measure customer satisfaction.

In this case how to improve customer experience in a call center?

To measure customer satisfaction, you need to ask a customer via phone or chat whether the service is sharply relevant for them and whether they are satisfied. 

If they are not, you need to ask directly what exactly they would like to see in the future. Or there’s another popular and efficient method of sending a prompt survey to a person to identify their real experience. 

But don’t forget the valuable rule for these surveys. If your survey requires clicking to process the survey, sometimes customers accidentally click on the wrong image. So you must know this factor of the mistake when conducting these surveys. 

Hint: By the way, any CEO or inbound call center manager that relies deliberately on surveys or words or survey cards from consumers – is doomed to make mistakes in the long run. Because people tend to say or type in a survey card - what they currently think or feel. While the real indication of their intent looks as follows. 

That’s the way they spend their money with companies i.e. investments in particular goods and services. Yes, watch the customer journey steps, but especially where exactly consumers put their money, and you'll get all the necessary information about their internal feelings about your company or interest in services.

How to calculate it:

Despite the survey, you can send to a customer, you are able to listen to audio recordings, and talk to consumers and agents to achieve the full picture regarding customer satisfaction metrics. 

By the way!

It’s easy to achieve the Voiptime contact center software and set up your virtual phone number for calling today. Just dial the phone number below to find out the details. 


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Net Promoter Score or (NPS) KPI metric

This one is about how many people you have on your side to either promote or detract from your goods and services. Naturally, every company has prevailed in one of the categories of their prospects or consumers. That’s either promoters or detractors. If the services and goods improved the lives of people, those individuals became the promoters. 

On the other hand, if these services were irrelevant - all of those customers irreversibly become detractors.

Are there any ideas to improve customer experience using this metric?

Perfection of the services across all digital channels: phone, chat, social media, and email, towards rapid and relevant solutions – is the surest way.

How to calculate:

It’s easy to ask consumers where they heard about your company during the live call or chat. It’s also optional to send survey cards to collect this info. Based on these data use the formula:

Number of the promoters – Number of the detractors = Net Promoter Score 

Customer churn

This indicator provides you with the data on how many consumers you lost during the previous period of time in comparison with the current period. 

It’s no matter whether you are a small, mid-sized, or enterprise-like company, you’ll always have the average number of clients doing business with you. 

Here are ways to improve customer experience by tackling customer churn

Putting the client’s needs first in each conversation, finding new ways to solve solutions that reduce consumer strain, and keeping the process of assisting customers all the time, till successful solutions. 

All of these will dramatically reduce the consumer’s churn by an order of magnitude. And qualify you to achieve exceptional customer experience, customer satisfaction, net promoter score, and customer retention metrics. 

How to calculate it:

Choose the period you wish to calculate and put the number of customers (year, quarter, month, week, day). Hint: Use the formula properly by calculating the customer churn for the year and taking the number of customers for this year (not for a quarter or month). The formula is

Number of customers in a previous period (during a quarter, month, week, day) – Number of customers in a current period (during a quarter, month, week, day) = Customer churn (during the period).

Average solution or (resolution) time

The reflection of how fast or slow your team is able to deliver the perceived value to consumers using knowledge and great communication skills. Hint: You must separate the timing of this metric according to the challenging and occasional cases. Because simple tasks require a minimum time. While challenging queries always demand more time and effort from the agent’s side.

What can you do in order to fix this metric and call center experience?

Stop inventing the wheel each time you encounter the occasional and simple inquiries of consumers. If you have a workable solution for a certain line of consumer inquiries, you need to remember these solutions and keep using them regarding customer issues. 

And you need to steadily keep the same principle towards challenging solutions, which require a lot of work from the agent’s side. Steadily perfection that does not too much harm the timing and positive impact process of solving challenging issues – is the best way. 

Remember to keep an eye on the agent’s performance, you don’t want to overwhelm them too much by finding new ways towards betterment.

Customer referrals

Referrals are one of the indications of your customer service in a call center. Each business is unable to sustain and prosper if there are no improvements toward finding new consumers that would highly benefit from particular goods and services. That’s why there’s the necessity of achieving these new consumers also through referrals. 

Referrals mean that one group of your current or previous consumers highly recommended your company as a credible and reliable supplier of goods and services.

How to improve referrals with the betterment of call center customer service?

To achieve more referrals, you need to find out the way to be in the 20% of the best of the best companies in your business. That is reachable towards improving the delivering more professional services with the emphasis to solve every inquiry of consumers. 

How to calculate it:

Number of customers – number of customers that recommended your services = Number of referrals.

Active Clients for a given period

Depending on the market and product, your active clients for a given period, let’s say years, months, weeks, etc. Thus by keeping an eye on the average period of use of your products and services. And watching how frequently your consumers renew the services – you’d achieve clear data about your current clients.

What’s important to put emphasis on regarding this metric? Find out the period of the average use of your services. For instance, if this is the month-to-month basis of the business relationships, you could see how much consumers prolong the period of using services and how much not.

How to improve the situation with the active clients towards betterment?

Marketing has the same importance as delivering your services. It’s like 50/50 dependence. Of course, the services must comply with every word in the advertisement, website, etc. And this is how you’d constantly improve your active client base.

Trial and Paid clients

One of the most popular and super-effective ways to attract more qualified consumers is to give a trial period of using the products or services. That’s how consumers are able to taste and use and then decide whether these services are relevant or not. 

Hint: Those companies that have a trial period – out pull other companies that are unable to provide such services by an order of magnitude. 

How to improve this metric towards betterment?

During the trial period, provide a good-enough level of services that consumers would profit in some way. For instance, if that’s the trial subscription to the newsletters then clients achieve 1-month access to the information.

Or, if we take a more popular example, using the software during the trial period. Consumers could use and test the software and then pay for it. Hint: Every product or service with great performance is bound to succeed using the trial period method. Because of the great product, only a small fraction of users would skip the trial version and move to another solution. 

But the core audience – the 20% of the consumers that every company has would constantly use your services and generate 80% of your revenue. All successful companies many years ago already defined this kind of method to actually constantly improve their client base.

How to calculate:

Number of customers that request trial – Customers that moved from the trial to a paid = Number of trial to paid customers

That's how to measure customer experience and improve it in the long run.

Putting the IVR to work

The interactive voice response system (IVR), has proven its performance in assisting callers to reach their goals. It also made the work of call center agents much easier, allowing them to process inbound calls only in cases of challenging inquiries. 

Despite the fact of the efficiency of the IVR, a lot of call centers around the globe hear customer complaints about the use of the IVRs as the relevant tool. Specifically, those cases, when the IVR is weakly adjusted to the caller's needs. 

The situation, when callers enter the IVR menu and are unable to reach the most obvious solutions because of the vague setting, is the only case that irritates consumers. 

To improve the customer experience, using this agentless tool the work needs to be done in advance: 

  • Collecting the data about the most obvious tasks that callers could perform without attracting agents. These are the cases where no identification or checking processes are needed;
  • Adjusting the IVR settings in a way caller could easily connect with the relevant agent, in cases of stumbling with the issue;
  • Putting the callback option into the IVR session is one of the essential features so, in case of an overloaded call center, the caller could achieve a prompt callback from a free agent;
  • Considering the caller’s knowledge, making the IVR easy to understand and use. Constantly improve the IVR menu, and its UX (user experience).

To sum up the topic of the IVR, it’s necessary to say that the IVR is super efficient when it is properly prepared, set, and launched according to the needs of callers. 

That’s why it’s necessary to collect information about cases when callers are able to achieve the relevant answers via the IVR menu without resorting to connecting with agents. 

What do managers miss when measuring customer experience in a call center?

The toughest job for a call center manager in any call center is to define the right ways to deliver the perceived value to callers. In other words, starting from the manager first, all employees achieve vital knowledge of who the customer is, and what their beliefs and desires are. Only then soft skills built up on this info will perform towards the betterment of customer experience.

Once the manager achieves the data about the market and customers, and carefully vets and elevates the needs of consumers, it’s easy to build the action strategy towards the betterment of a customer experience.

But there’s something even more challenging than having a big picture at your disposal. And here is what it is. You must know to ensure your agents fully understand their place in a call center, know exactly what the manager knows, and know and understand how to perform. 

Based on the manager’s and customer’s requirements. Only after that you could develop and sustain your cx strategy.

Only top call centers know that the customer experience in a call center depends exactly on this. And they also understand that the manager is the responsible person that could delegate the responsibilities to supervisors yet must ensure that vital knowledge and soft skills are always in the call center customer service agent’s arsenal. 

Managing everything in a logical sequence your cx solutions attract constantly repeated business relationships with your current clients and new ones.

And use the call center software with artificial intelligence such as a chatbot to reduce the strain on your team and foster a positive customer experience.

The pivotal moment to choose the software

What can help you to provide only positive customer experiences? A universal and multifunctional contact center solution! 

Want your customers to stay loyal and satisfied?

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