Along with the needs of your business, there comes another crucial moment, which is customer satisfaction. You can demonstrate the highest operational efficiency but it won’t mean a thing if your customers stay unsatisfied with the service.
So here we are, trying to optimize workflow, achieve performance metrics, and meet (or exceed) customer expectations at the same time. To stay in sync with your goals, you need to take control of your data. Do it by focusing on the right KPIs.
In this post, we’ll talk about some of the key contact center metrics you might want to measure. Let’s dive in!
Conversion rate (%) is the percentage of calls that ended up in a closed sale/ successful contact with the customer (depending on your goal for this one). Call centers use this KPI to calculate individual agent performance. For example, it’s very typical of telesales to calculate conversion rate per hour.
Conversion rate should be high ‒ the higher, the better. Low conversion increases cost per lead, so if your conversion rate is lower than it should be, it will show on your company’s revenue. Therefore, the conversion rate is one of the most important outbound call center metrics in your sales department.
Abandoned Call Rate
The call is considered "abandoned" when a prospect hangs up before connecting to the real agent and abandoned call rate (%) is the number of abandoned calls divided by total calls. This percentage directly affects the performance of a call center, so it should be low. Usually, an abandoned call rate is monitored separately for an inbound and outbound line.
It’s especially important to measure this KPI because it directly impacts customer retention.
That said, the threshold for abandoned calls rate for outbound calls in most countries is spelled out by law. For example, in the USA, Canada, Great Britain, and some other countries, a legally acceptable abandonment rate for outbound calls should not exceed 3% per 30 days (or 5% for Canada). Too high abandoned calls rate is a sign that you need to review your dialing speed, i.e. to change the dialing mode to Power or even Preview (if your team is not less than 5 agents).
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 a total time that the agent spends at work.
It’s important to mind that 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.
Average Talk Time
Average Talk Time (ATT) is literally the amount of time an agent spends talking to customers. Important note ‒ “talking” is not the same as “handling”. Managers often confuse talking time with handling time, which results in inaccurate performance analysis conclusions.
To make a distinction, average handling time (AHT) is the total amount of time spent on an agent-customer interaction. Unlike ATT, AHT includes everything from the first ‘Hello’ and up until the next call (including the time spent on hold).
Average Wrap-up Time
Wrap-up time is the time that the agent spends on after-call work (ACW) once the conversation with a customer is over. ACW is an important component AHT. You should measure wrap-up time for several reasons.
First, ACW which 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 how much time is invested by a customer. And next, it helps you understand whether the call pace is optimal for your agents and identifies the need to reorganize the processes.
Say, 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 burnout.
Case volume is the total amount of calls processed by an agent during the shift. This metric is often used by the managers to motivate agents to take more calls and also make sure they don’t spend too much time on one call (when it makes sense for the call center, of course).
There are also some other metrics that help managers in some disciplinary moments. For example, the adherence rate (%) shows whether the call center agents are working the amount of time they are scheduled to work. Inadequate case volume combined with low adherence rate are the supervisor’s warning bells showing that the agent is not meeting performance expectations.
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 very popular call center metric regardless of industry.
Supervisors usually choose random calls for such quality reviews. This practice is 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.
There are no universal KPIs and you obviously cannot track everything, but you actually don’t have to. Choose the metrics that would accurately reflect your business goals and focus on them.