How to raise and track effectively Call center KPIs and Metrics [ULTIMATE GUIDE]

Call center metrics and KPIs are irreplaceable tools for measuring call center performance. They determine the effectiveness of all processes inside the team, from agent occupancy to First Call Resolution. Some of them are must-haves, while others may be ignored. But some people still think that if their customers seem to be happy and agents look like they are hard-working, then everything is okay. Is it so?

If it was so, we wouldn’t have started this article. Call center KPIs, or contact center metrics - no matter the name - play the first role in evaluating performance, providing the best customer service, and controlling all processes. As a business owner, you know that control is the first part of success. And without contact center KPIs, control is impossible.

How to measure call center metrics? Are all contact center KPIs so vital? What are the definitions of call center metrics? What contact center metrics are used for sales and what - for workforce management? Are there any contact center performance metrics for measuring agent enactment? 

We’ll answer all questions, just let’s deal with everything in order. 

Ten years ago, no one was bothered by such redundant things as metrics. Because no one wants to test something that is not proven. When competition in the markets starts to grow, the most successful companies begin to acknowledge that every detail of the company's activity is important to track. And the surest way to know results, sales, and ROI, is to use metrics. 

These days KPI metrics drastically improve contact center performance. These sorts of data give you a clear view on performing sales, responses, profits, customer satisfaction, etc. Once less profitable companies start to use contact center metrics to track their results, they start to work productively by tenfold. As a result, they skyrocket their sales and ensure a great customer experience in a company.

Measuring the success of call center key performance indicators begins with setting goals for your business or company. Key call center performance indicators (call center KPIs) are to be a measurable quantity that managers and directors should periodically evaluate.

To see how well the contact center meets various operational goals and whether their agents meet the needs and expectations of customers. You need to be advised about call center performing metrics and call center reporting metrics.

In this article you will find:

What Are the Important KPIs for a Call Center and how to perform goals?
What Are the Industry Standards for Key Call Center Quality Metrics?
How to Ensure That Each Standard is Met?
What Are the 5 Key Performance Indicators?
How to Improve Call Center Metrics?
Kick Your Sales Business Into Hyperdrive Today

When used correctly, call center KPIs can serve as a form of communication and can be used to improve the quality of customer service (CX).

For call centers, it is a common mistake to accept standard call center KPIs without configuration. And the option to reflect the unique needs of their businesses. Each crucial call center KPI must be timely presented to the team.

Presenting in an easy-to-understand fashion guarantees the results from an employee. When agents follow: rules, policies, and instructions, it gives the brand and CX image.

What Are the Important KPIs for a Call Center and How to Perform Goals?

Here are some of the best key call center performance metrics to focus on to help you personalize your customer experience and increase brand loyalty today.

Productivity

  • Call Volume
  • Abandon Call Rate
  • Call Completion Rate
  • Call Handle Time - Average Call Time
  • Average Wrap-up Time (also known as After Call Work Time)
  • On-Hold Time

Service level

  • Service level (SL)
  • % Repeat Calls
  • % Call Transfers
  • First Call Resolution (FCR)
  • Missed calls

Call center performance quality

  • Agent occupancy (also known as Agent Utilization)
  • Sales Conversion Rate, Average Sales per Agent
  • QA scoring or Call quality analysis

Customer Satisfaction & Recommendations

Customer Retention

Productivity

Each contact center approaches measuring call center productivity metrics in its own way. Here are the most outbound and inbound contact center metrics:

Call Volume ‒ the sum of calls that all agents have received ‒ the entire volume of incoming and/or outgoing calls that the agent has processed. These standard call center metrics are compared to an individual plan of each agent. This call center metric has to show how every agent deals with your performance plans and what is the overall call center unload. 

Abandon Call Rate ‒ all conversations that did not take place because the customer ended the important call before the agent answered. For example, if the number of lost calls is 10 out of 100, it turns out to be 10% of calls - an easy one of call center metrics calculations. It shows the percentage of lost conversations. A crucial feature in long-term consideration is the cost per call.

Cost Per Contact – this is the amount of dedicated budget call centers spend annually on each contact. The less money we spend on each contact, the more cost-efficiency we get. 

It is not easy to define this parameter, as well as other call center formulas. If we divide the dedicated budget by the number of each contact, we'll achieve an average cost per contact.

Call Completion Rate ‒ this is one of the crucial contact center metrics, which shows the percentage of repeated calls, due to lack of conversation. For example, conversations can be interrupted by a bad connection. This contact center KPI should be decreased as low as possible, especially if most interruptions happen by your fault. 

Average Handle Time ‒ these call center efficiency metrics can be a little tricky. Although you want to provide your customers with a solution as quickly as possible in order to respect their time, you also want to make sure that you provide them with an effective service, and not just “get them on the phone.” 

The shortest TTR (Time-to-Resolution) is the goal of each technical support group. The main goal is to solve a customer's problem. If the problems and concerns of the clients are solved within a talking time, everything is fine. Yet, if there is a big amount of unresolved issues or talk time with clients is too short, this is the reason to check the records of this operator and understand the cause and effect of these conversations, so this call center metric is really irreplaceable for any business.

Average Wrap-up Time (also known as After Call Work Time) ‒ wrap-up time is one of the contact center performance metrics that determines the time that the agent spends on after-call work (ACW) once the conversation with a customer is over. ACW is a crucial component of AHT. You should measure wrap-up time for several reasons.

First, ACW sheds some light on the length of agent-customer interaction. Add the wrap-up time to AHT, and you’ll see how much time is invested by an agent. Separate it from AHT and you’ll see the length of time that is invested by a customer to solve his or her needs. And next, these typical call center metrics help you understand whether the call pace is optimal for your agents and identifies the need to reorganize the processes.

If the call requires long post-processing by the agent, you might want to consider automating the process and transferring the key points of the issue to specialists who will then address it. At the same time, you don’t want your agents to have too little time between calls because it’s a sure way to burn out.

Average Hold Time. Putting a customer call on hold for a long time to find out some details and give a complete answer is never a good idea. The customer can get off the phone and stay unsatisfied. Appreciate the customer effort to reach you and use this call center metric to control the performance.

Service Level

The service level (SL) is your ability to deliver the standard of service promised to your customers by Service Level Agreement (SLA). Your SLA with call center KPIs holds you accountable for your promise. It typically looks at the % of calls answered in X seconds. 

The successful call centers use the call center KPI benchmark and 80/20 call center rule. This rule means that your agent team answers 80% of calls within 20 seconds. The higher the SLA, the less time your customers spend waiting to speak with one of your agents.

Although the call center SLA benchmark is an industry standard, it can differ from organization to organization (for example, it can be 90/10 for incoming calls in banks). To check how close your contact center is to this rate, check the SLA reports of each of your inbound lines. 

Crucial note: you need to look at it in dynamics. Namely, if SLA goes down at particular hours, you should re-organize agents’ shifts to achieve the desired number. Use the Erlang calculator to determine how many inbound line agents you need per shift.

Percent of repeated calls (% Repeat Calls). This is the number of repeated incoming calls for a certain period of time. Depending on average speed, It helps to assess the speed of answer of your operators and has a powerful influence on customer experience and customer satisfaction contact center metrics.

Percentage of calls that are redirected (% Call Transfers). These are the calls, transferred by your agents to their more qualified colleagues. What to look for? When this figure is too high, it might mean that you’ve chosen the wrong call handling strategy, and/or your agents might lack information for high-quality processing of requests on the first line.

First Call Resolution (FCR) is a metric that tracks how many customer issues are resolved on the first call or first interaction. This call center KPI is crucial for ensuring a high level of customer satisfaction. The sooner your agents resolve customer issues, the happier your clients become. The ideal situation is when the FCR metric isn’t lower than 80%, but every business has its own factors and specialties that influence the ideal FCR rate. 

For example, such industries as banking or mortgage offer experience services, so not every issue or request can be solved for the first time, and what’s more, it shouldn’t be solved in one try. These niches' FCR contact center metrics may be lower than it is average across the market, while e-commerce can show higher FCR rates. Keep in mind that all call center metrics work a bit differently for every unique firm, and this is vital to select awaited rates based on your industry requirements and characteristics. 

Call Center Performance Quality

Each company should have a call center agent performance monitoring metric and instruments for assessing a set of KPIs. These depend on the specifics of their work (for example, sales reps and their technical support colleagues have a different set of desired characteristics). Therefore, all departments make their own list of criteria by which they can assess the quality of work of contact center agents.

Agent occupancy (also known as Agent Utilization). Agent occupancy (%) is the percentage of total logged-in time that the support agent spends on call-related activity (i.e. talk time, hold time, and after-call work). 

Agent occupancy is sometimes confused with “utilization”, which is the total time that the agent spends at work. It’s crucial to mind the distinction between agent occupancy and utilization because utilization time includes everything an agent does in the call center, like meetings, training sessions, etc. 

You don’t necessarily need to measure utilization, but you might want to measure the time spent on handling calls. Contrastingly, such call center KPI as utilization can show the fact of agent call avoidance or other facts of unfair actions, or be used to determine the time spent on training or coaching activities that is crucial to improve overall agent performance.

These contact center metrics have to show you how agents spend their time and can point to some problems in scheduling or workforce management. 

Sales Conversion Rate, Average Sales per Agent. This is one of the top call center metrics that indicate results. Call center managers need to monitor the average sales per agent to understand how effective they are at closing deals and meeting company goals. Comparing the sales average to a set target also helps call teams gauge their call agent performance metrics. Sales conversion rate is the call center key metric that shows how many contacts were closed as a deal. Measuring it on distance shows how effectively your sales strategies work. 

QA scoring or Call quality analysis. Call quality is the evaluation of call recordings by the supervisor on things like professionalism, courtesy, compliance, adherence to company standards (greeting, following the script, refuting objections, etc), and more. This is a popular call center metric regardless of industry.

Source: Most Contact Centres Monitor Less Than Six Calls Per Advisor Every Month

Supervisors usually choose random calls for such quality reviews in a call center statistic. These call center reporting metrics best practices are very useful in the context of coaching and training.

It also helps to build a consistent tone and message, which is crucial for the company’s digital image.

Customer Satisfaction & Recommendations

Building on our previous point, the overall customer satisfaction level is vital to call setup success rate regardless of its size. It’s the beating heart of your entire operation, so monitoring and reacting to call center metrics of this kind is essential.

Source: Datapine

Customer Satisfaction is inevitably linked to the Quality of Customer Support. This contact center KPI will give you a clear insight into what your customers think about you and your ability to support them with their needs.

Despite the fact that your day-to-day operation could be efficient enough, there might be some problems that have escaped your notice – repetitive issues that can prove detrimental to the perception and future of your organization.

If your customers face the same problems over and over again, it will reflect poorly on them, so you will face low customer retention and conversion rates, while these contact center statistics determine your success. The better your Customer Satisfaction score, the more successful you will be. 

Once you create call center service level standards, you will take appropriate action by rolling out digital customer feedback surveys and integrating a writing box into your customer journey so that satisfied customers can leave detailed feedback and help you to measure these vital contact center KPIs.

Customer Retention

One of the most valuable contact center performance metrics is customer loyalty. Retaining consumers is of vital importance because it costs a business much more to acquire new customers than to retain already existing ones.

This is a typical customer call center KPI that you can use for your department. This contact center metric is measured by dividing the number of customers making repeated business or purchases by the total number of active customers. 

Keeping a happy customer costs less than inciting a new prospect to your business, and by being able to view your retention levels, you can ensure that your call center helps the business to become as effective, economical, and profitable as possible.

The exact specific value varies depending on the nature of your business. 

For example, a car dealership has the potential for growth despite having a poor level of customer retention. On the other hand, an online retail store needs to maintain a high retention rate and secure sustainable commercial success.

A thriving retention rate is the main aim for most businesses, and as such, it should be one of your primary call center metrics. 

An exceptional brand image as a customer service metric in a call center coupled with a superior satisfaction score will serve to boost your customer retention rates, in turn, boosting the overall success of your business.

What Are the Industry Standards for Key Call Center Quality Metrics?

Instant and effective estimation of service benchmark

The traditional level of service in the contact center is to answer 80% of calls in 20 seconds. 

However, many contact centers have been trying to improve the level of service, and call center benchmark statistics, trying to answer 90% of calls within 15 seconds.

Here is a list of the usual service levels for the contact center channels provided by Call Center Helper:

  • Email – 95% of emails are answered within four hours (the better contact centers are aiming to respond to 80% of emails within 15 minutes);
  • Live Chat – 80% of chats answered within 40 seconds;
  • Letters – 95% of letters are answered within three days;
  • Social Media – 80% of contacts answered within 20 minutes;
  • SMS/Messaging Apps – 80% of messages responded to within 40 seconds.

First Contact Resolution (FCR)

70–75%

The industry standard for this one is around 70-75%, but there are many different ways to measure the resolution rate. Depending on the method you prefer, the result will be different. This is the reason why it's extremely difficult to measure FCR. Especially, when you are using multiple information channels. On the other hand, if you don’t evaluate the FCR rate, you will not be able to understand the tendencies of the customer service provided by your agents. If FCR starts to decrease, it is a loud ring that something is going wrong. 

As we have mentioned before, take into account the specialties of your industry before you will choose the expected FCR rate. Such contact center metrics as FCR depends on nuances of the customer service, so if you keep it less than 70% it isn’t always a reason for panic. 

Maximum Occupancy Rate

83.3% (based on 190,702 entries into Erlang Calculator)

This contact center metric means the number of processed calls during agents’ worktime and should aim at 85-90%. This is a common percentage for processed inbound calls with a very high value of the lost inbound call. When you detect that some agents start to tire, you need to perform actions. 

To protect your team from burnout you need to slow down the intensity of work, and that’s what successful call centers do. Agents can't perform if the intensity is too high. For example, 70-80% agent occupancy is an optimal percentage for telemarketing call centers.

Quality Assurance (QA) Call Center Metric

75-90% (scoring of 4 random calls per month)

This is the final and one of the really vital call center KPIs, as it shows how agent performance meets the business standards and goals. It is measured by comparing agents’ real-time dialogues and contacts to a customer service scorecard and evaluating their performance as a mark of 100 points. The scorecard may contain such queries as “Was operator friendly enough?”, “Did he describe the solution of the issue in detail?”, “Was the agent fast enough in resolving the problem?”, and so on.

Most contact centers score up to 2 agent-customer interactions per week. However, researches show that many contact centers don’t meet this standard.

How to Ensure That Each Standard is Met?

It’s possible to improve the quality characteristics of the agents’ work through sales training, workshops, presentations, processing cold contacts, etc. Apart from that, there are also a couple of changes that you can implement in your call center workflow to start seeing better results faster.

Service Levels across channels

Be proactive and plan in advance

There’s always a time of the day when call volumes are at their peak. Encourage your agents to balance their response time and plan activities for the day ahead on the shift (for example, plan callbacks for the less busy hours). 

Also, consider implementing things like IVR, channel prioritization, and intelligent call routing. This will help your team be more efficient.

First Call Resolution

Take personalized approach

You’ll be better off if you find individual FCR for different call reasons. The more FCR reasons you determine, the more accurate insights you will get. You might have surprising findings. 

For example, you might notice that some reasons are hard to deal with for your customers, whereas others are hard to resolve for your agents. Similarly, implementing skill-based routing can do wonders for your call center. By sending customers to the right agent from the get-go, you’ll significantly reduce the number of escalations.

Maximum Occupancy

Optimize workflow

Without a doubt, you need to have an efficient dialing system, yet many other activities eat up a lot of your agents’ time. Hopefully, you don’t use Google spreadsheets anymore, and if you do, consider switching to a decent CRM system that will integrate smoothly with your dialing software, or purchase a call center solution that has a built-in CRM already, like Voiptime Cloud.

It minimizes routine work and helps your agents stay really productive. Make sure your agents have just enough work to do. Turn the idle time into productivity, without stressing too much.

Quality Assurance (QA) Scoring

Provide sufficient feedback

Most contact centers use random call scoring, and some of them make one common mistake – they don’t follow up with the analysis and feedback. If you want to improve your agents’ work, help them fix their weaknesses.

You can dedicate some time to each agent individually or organize peer-review sessions. Test different approaches and see what works for your team.

What Are the 5 Key Performance Indicators?

You certainly don’t want to dig into charts, blueprints, and diagrams to find out the KPI that suits your situation. Moreover, you want to understand them in an easy-to-read fashion. Here are the most valuable call center KPI metrics for sales teams:

  • Conversion rate. This is one of the most valuable call center KPIs that shows the call center is working properly. The sales or a conversion from a prospect into a customer is the most effective indicator of success.
  • Monthly sales growth. This is a contact center KPI, which you can use for tracking your month-to-month growth. By tracking your results in sales, you can measure the effectiveness of a call center.
  • Average Wrap-up time. This call center key performance indicator shows how fast your agents can make a notice about a particular prospect or customer. You don’t want to press wrap-up time, but understanding how much time each agent needs to devote to noticing routine is important.
  • Call volume. The call volume reflects the number of calls that each agent proceeds. Despite the fact that not all of the conversations will be ended with the closing of a sale, the sales agents work productively when they work more. All of the agents got to have a certain minimum of calls in a day, week, or month. The more you tell, the more you sell.
  • Abandon call rate (ACR) for inbound and outbound calls. This KPI is a good experience to change or maintain a sales strategy. This metric shows how many calls were successfully operated by agents. If ACR for inbound and outbound calls continues to occur, this is the issue that requires solving.

How to Improve Call Center Metrics?

Now you are acquainted with the common call center metrics list and contact center KPIs metrics. You have to remember that if you limit your performance and call center KPI to the most basic records and reporting, then you are likely to restrict the overall potential of your contact center.

The business will most likely go right if you monitor the performance of your agents, and:

  • take into account what issues customers are shielding;
  • request their feedback;
  • pay attention to how their brand is discussed on social networks;
  • actively measure the tendency of your clients to recommend their financial services to others.

Using call center metrics, analytics and reporting make a difference in contact center performance. The advantage of using KPI is clear, it shows a real value of a metrics usage. The effectiveness of the metrics depends on the goals. Here are a few important metrics, you need to be advised of:

  • Conversion rate KPI;
  • Monthly sales growth;
  • Average wrap-up time;
  • Call volume;
  • Abandon call rate.

Call center KPI for business is crucial for tracking the productivity of your company. The second priority thing to do is to have proper technologies and software that you can use to soar your call center agent performance metrics.

Kick Your Sales Business Into Hyperdrive Today

Start to grow your ROI today, by purchasing the advanced call center software from Voiptime. Voiptime company has all the necessary software for your call center, to skyrocket your sales. The software includes such features as:

  • Automatic Call Distribution and Interactive Voice Response system;
  • Preview, Power, and Predictive dialer;
  • Call center CRM;
  • Call recording and online call monitoring;
  • Call center reporting. You’ll achieve a pack of detailed information, about: agent workload, call distribution, incoming and outcoming call data, e-mails, SMS, web chat handling statuses, and many more.
  • Multichannel contact center software.

By purchasing from Voiptime Contact Center, you have a guarantee for the safety of your data, calls, alteration, unauthorized disclosure, unauthorized access, and other valuable data.

P.S. Whether you are a newbie or an expert in this niche, you'll achieve all the necessary assistance to start your software work for you.

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