The importance of tracking key performance indicators in business is a well-known truth. To achieve your business goals and use the right strategies, you should regularly monitor these indicators. But is this being done for call center KPIs?
To enhance customer service and boost sales, we need to analyze our call-center’s work systematically.
What is a call center KPI?
KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are key performance indicators that help you assess the weaknesses and strengths of your business through relevant metrics. The benefit of assigning certain KPIs will depend on your business needs, values , and specifics of your field of activity.
As an example, here are some important KPIs for an ISP help desk operator:
- Adherence to procedures: No errors in placing orders, correct greetings, and ending the conversation.
- Working with the system: Ability to work with CRM, client cards, databases, scripts, etc. A robust virtual call center platform can greatly enhance the ability to work with the system.
- Dialogue skills: Clear diction, use of transitional phrases between questions, avoidance of forbidden words, appropriate intonation, confidence in voice.
- Customer orientation: Benevolence in interaction with customers.
Analyzing call center performance requires focusing on certain metrics. Some companies prioritize quantitative metrics, while others emphasize qualitative metrics. The right call center support software can help manage these metrics effectively.
Quantitative indicators focus on numerical data, such as the total number of requests processed, idle time, and the average time a customer waits in a queue. These can be effectively tracked using a well-designed virtual call center platform.
On the other hand, quality indicators mean the level of service, the purpose of which is to provide each client with excellent service.
These indicators encompass a few key metrics. One is the percentage of issues resolved on the first visit. Others include client satisfaction levels and client effort levels.
What is a call center?
The call center is a department whose goal is to solve customer problems as quickly and qualitatively as possible. In addition, call centers are also engaged in sales. Therefore, call center metrics evaluate such characteristics as the waiting time for connection with an operator, the average time for processing requests, the level of customer satisfaction with the service, as well as indicators related to sales.
Basic KPIs for a call center can be divided into several main groups:
The first is the quality of customer service.
- Customer experience is the customer’s impression of his interaction with the company at various stages, from searching for information to contacting the helpline after a purchase.
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is a measure of how satisfied customers are with a product, service, or level of service. This indicator is easily measured by asking customers to rate the desired category from 1 to 10 or from 1 to 5.
- Customer Effort Level (CES) is a metric that allows “become put yourself in the customer’s place and go through their entire journey with the company: was it easy to search for information, find the right product, place an order or get advice? The metric is measured using a simple survey asking you to rate it from 1 to 10.
- First Call Resolution (FCR) is the number of queries that were fully resolved by an operator immediately, without the need for re-addressing or re-calling.
- First Call Resolution (FCR) has a direct impact on customer satisfaction. The higher this indicator, the better – it indicates the effectiveness of solving customer problems immediately, without additional appeal.
- Loyal Customer Percentage (NPS) is a key KPI for a call center that measures the percentage of customers who are willing to recommend your company to their friends. These customers are extremely important because they can lead to new customers and form a positive image of the company. Monitoring and developing strategies to retain loyal customers (for example, through a bonus system) is essential.
- Service level (SL) is the main KPI for evaluating the level of services provided. It is usually measured by the “80/20” formula: in 80% of cases, your operators answer the call within 20 seconds. You can check how close your call center is to this standard by analyzing statistical data.
The following additional KPI indicators are also important to monitor to improve the level of service:
- The percentage of repeat calls measures the number of calls to the contact center within a certain period. This indicator helps to evaluate the efficiency of operators during the first contact.
- Interestredirection calls are calls that have been forwarded to more qualified colleagues. A high indicator redirection of calls may indicate an incorrect call-handling strategy.
- The percentage of lost calls is the number of calls that the customer ended before being connected to an operator. If, for example, out of 100 calls, 10 were lost, this means that 10% of calls did not connect the client to the operator. When analyzing this indicator, it is important to exclude calls lasting up to five seconds – those to which operators, as a rule, do not have time to answer.
- In this context, it is important not to confuse lost calls with dropped calls – these are calls that have been interrupted due to technical problems. As part of the work of the outgoing line of the call center, the interrupted calls also include those that were made using automatic dialing: the subscriber answered the call, but ended it without waiting for the connection with the operator.
- Average call duration is the total time spent by operators in conversations divided by the number of calls received. When analyzing how long an average phone call lasts in your call center, pay attention to those calls whose duration is significantly different from the average: conversations that are too short or too long can indicate problems (for example, not enough information provided or a conflict situation).
- Depending on the specifics of different projects (as well as for incoming and outgoing lines), you can set different desired average call durations. Of course, each conversation is unique and may not be indicated within the prescribed framework, but knowing the approximate expectations will help operators better understand the requirements.
The second group of call center KPIs: sales
This indicator is calculated by dividing the number of successful conversions by the total number of potential customers (leads) contacted by call center operators. Depending on the specifics of your business, the following action can be considered a conversion:
- Agreeing on a future meeting,
- Accepting an invitation to a product presentation,
- Arrangement for a follow-up call for a more detailed consultation,
- Direct sale of the product.
A conversion is an action that shows interest from a customer, whether they are a prospect or an existing customer. The expected conversion rate is determined based on the type of leads and their stage of qualification.
The lead base can be divided into two categories: unqualified and qualified leads.
Unqualified leads include:
- Potential prospects are a group of potential customers who have not yet shown direct interest in the product but are part of its target audience.
- Prospects are potential customers who have shown interest in a product through a specific action, such as a like on social media.
- Leads are interested potential customers who have left their contact details to receive a commercial offer, for example, a request for a detailed consultation.
Qualified leads are potential customers you already have taken place previous communication with. They are already familiar with the company’s products.
And, finally, a separate category is existing customers (Customers), who have already made a purchase. In outgoing campaigns, you can also conduct a dialogue with them to realize additional and new sales.
In the context of unqualified leads, an acceptable conversion rate is 1%. However, for qualified leads, this should be at least 2.5%.
Modern software solutions for the call center can significantly simplify and speed up the interaction with different categories of customers, contributing to an increase in the conversion rate.
Interestdial up (Connection/Success rate)
This metric measures call success. It’s calculated by dividing successful calls by total call attempts. Interestdial indicates your database’s contact information quality. Poor quality information can hamper your outgoing campaign. It can also waste operators’ time on unsuccessful dial attempts.
Modern software can address this issue. Intelligent autodialer tools can boost dial-up percentages. They increase successful calls by optimizing the process. Inactive numbers are purged after a set number of tries. This ensures time is not wasted on futile attempts.
Number of attempt dial-up per hour
This indicator will help to evaluate the quality of cold base contact data. Check how many outbound call attempts were made in a certain period to measure the effectiveness of the campaign.
The third group of call center KPIs: is operator efficiency
Each company has its matrices for evaluating call center KPIs that relate to the work of operators. They vary depending on the specifics of the company’s work. For example, sales reps and their support colleagues have different sets of KPIs. Thus, each department creates its list of criteria by which the quality of work of call center employees is determined.
Let’s take a look at key performance indicators (KPI) that will help evaluate the operator’s performance in the call center.
This indicator reflects what part of the operator’s working time is spent on conversations, post-processing of calls, and other activities related to the processing of client requests (follow-up calls, correspondence, etc.) relative to his time spent in the system.
Do not confuse the percentage of operator utilization with the KPI of the call center called “Agent utilization rate”, which also takes into account other activities, such as operator training, work fees, etc.
Adherence to the schedule
With the help of specialized software for the call center, you can monitor the operators’ compliance with the work schedule, the time of delays, and the total time spent in the system.
Average after-call work time
This indicator reflects the time that the operator spends processing the client’s request after the end of the conversation. For example, working with the client’s records, sending an e-mail with additional information, or scheduling a follow-up call.
In the cloud-based call center, you can set the average call post-processing time for each project. Additionally, an additional break type can be created if the operator needs more time to process the request. Thus, you will be able to track how much time operators spend in this status.
The average speed of answer (ASA)
This KPI of the call center determines the average time during which the customer can reach the operator, starting from the moment of selecting this option in the IVR menu until the start of the conversation itself. To calculate the ASA, you need to divide the total waiting time of customers in the queue by the number of calls handled by operators.
ASA is often confused with the average wait time (Average wait time). However, this metric is more general because it includes all the time the customer spent interacting with the interactive IVR menu. This indicator allows you to evaluate the structure of the IVR menu and determine whether it is overloaded with redundant information.
It is also important to mention the average response time (Average response time) – it is an analog of ASA for appeals from alternative communication channels (e-mail, chat, social networks).
Average handle time/AHT
This indicator measures the duration of the operator’s work on a specific customer call. AHT, or Average Handling Time, is comprised of several components. These include talk time and call post-processing time. Additional post-call actions are also included, like sending emails or SMS with more information.
ART (Average Resolution time)
AHT, Average Appeal Time, is often confused with Average Resolution Time, ART. ART is the time it takes for a call center team to fully resolve a customer request: from the moment it is received to the moment it is resolved and closed. It includes not only the time of the call itself but also other actions necessary to solve the problem, such as handling the request in another department or calling back.
MTTR (Mean time to resolution)
MTTR, the mean time to resolution, is very similar to ART, but it’s less about team performance than software performance. It may include the time to restore the system after a failure.
These metrics help you track operator workload and your team’s productivity.
Time in “Active” status
Using specialized contact center software, business owners can track how much time operators spend in different states: in conversation, in post-processing, ready to take calls, or on break.
Operator satisfaction level
Employee satisfaction directly affects the quality of service.
Ensuring top-notch customer service requires comfortable conditions for contact center operators. To gauge the satisfaction and engagement of your staff, don’t forget to conduct systematic employee surveys.
For example, ask your team to rate the following parameters on a scale of 1 to 10:
- Stress Level – It’s important to know how stressful the work environment is for your staff.
- The complexity of work tasks – the assessment will help to understand whether the tasks meet the qualifications of the employees.
- The balance between work and personal life is an important criterion that affects the general well-being of employees.
- Recognition of the employee’s contribution by the management – a sense of the importance of one’s work contributes to motivation and involvement.
- Motivation system – an adequate system of rewards helps to increase the efficiency and involvement of employees.
Not all organizations pay due attention to the satisfaction of their employees. However, tracking a key performance indicator such as a call center KPI allows you to stay on top of what’s happening in your company and gain an edge over your competitors. After all, satisfied employees mean satisfied customers.
This indicator includes some professional attributes of an employee – from the level of experience to specialized knowledge, skill software ownership, etc. All these criteria ultimately determine the efficiency and professionalism of the operator.
The fourth group is general performance indicators
In addition to KPIs that reflect specific aspects of work, there are several general call center performance indicators. Let’s consider some of them:
- Inbound call volume is the total number of calls coming into the call center. In addition, you can monitor the number of incoming calls handled by each operator. This figure is usually compared to an employee’s monthly or weekly plan.
- The average number of referrals is the number of calls that your operators pass on to their more qualified colleagues.
Note that if a large number of calls are diverted, this may indicate a weakness in the call-handling strategy.
Average waiting time on the line (On-hold time)
This key performance indicator in a call center measures the time a customer spends waiting for a response from an operator – usually, the time required to gather relevant information about the customer’s inquiry.
Number of active operators
With cloud-based call center software, you can track the number of operators available to take calls in real-time. Tracking this indicator will help you determine how many operators are needed to efficiently process the flow of incoming requests. It is worth remembering that in every business there are peak periods when the number of operators may differ significantly from the general standard.
The number of calls in the queue
If many calls are waiting in the queue, it suggests operator overload. The current flow of requests may be too heavy for them to handle. We should consider solutions to ease this burden. One option is introducing self-service tools for customers. This can reduce operator load. Another strategy is to hire more operators. This is particularly helpful during peak hours.
Why is it important to track call center KPIs?
In today’s competitive market, high-quality service is not just a nice addition to goods or services – it is already a mandatory requirement.
Modern consumers have set the service bar at a very high level. The call center plays a role not only in providing support to customers but also in resolving conflict situations with dissatisfied customers and in maintaining the loyalty of regular customers. Moreover, as mentioned above, the call center also serves as a powerful sales tool. Thus, the efficiency of this department directly affects the profitability of the company. That’s why it’s important to keep a close eye on service levels and call center KPIs.
The rapid adoption of strategic management decisions
Monitoring call center KPIs allows you to determine how many employees your department needs to efficiently handle a large flow of customer inquiries, particularly during peak times.
KPIs for the call center operator give you a real picture of the level of service in the company and also give insight into whether the call center agents need additional training and professional development. This will allow you to set specific goals for employees, develop a transparent system for evaluating the quality of their work, and also understand whether they are satisfied with their working conditions in the company.
We open new ways to improve efficiency
Using call center KPIs can help process feedback swiftly and enhance business operations. Responding to customer needs promptly will help maintain their loyalty and increase satisfaction. Satisfied customers are the key to a successful business.
Ability to identify and solve problems early
A detailed KPI analysis will help you evaluate the effectiveness of the call center, determine the optimal composition of personnel for the best performance of tasks, and also identify aspects of the work of the support service that need improvement. KPI monitoring in real-time allows you to quickly respond to problems and avoid possible negative consequences.
Ability to evaluate teamwork
Call center metrics are an excellent tool for evaluating the work of the call center team and each employee. They will help you identify your employees’ strengths and areas that need improvement. With this data, you will be able to provide the team with the necessary training and other opportunities for professional development.
By setting goals (both for each operator individually and for the entire team) such as the number of processed requests per shift, the required level of workload, or the minimum number of requests resolved on the first visit, you will ensure transparency and understanding of the process of evaluating the quality of work.
Stimulating efficiency through a system of incentives
Using call center KPIs, you can create a system of incentives that will stimulate your employees to work more productively. Evaluating a call center operator’s KPIs can enhance work quality. This can improve sales skills, presentations, and handling of “cold” contacts. This can be done by organizing pieces of training and courses for operators.
Minimization of operating costs and potential losses
KPIs of the call center will help to quickly assess the level of expenses for the call center and, if necessary, to decide on the optimization of processes.
Sirius Contact Center Platform: An effective tool for monitoring KPIs in the call center and contact center
Our Sirius Cloud contact center platform, a comprehensive contact center management software, is designed to handle a high volume of contacts across multiple channels. With automated call distribution and IVR technology, agents and managers can work at maximum productivity using our smart web-based contact center interface. Your customers will be satisfied with the reliability and convenience of our service, and your business will benefit from the analytical capabilities and flexibility of our omnichannel contact center.
We are constantly updating our contact center management software with the latest technology. Thanks to our ongoing improvements, you gain access to AI in contact centers, robotic process automation, and other innovations. Whether you’re using our cloud-based call center software or deploying the platform on your servers, you’ll be able to get full support and service at any time.
A harmonious integration of incoming and outgoing requests in your contact center
Don’t miss an opportunity and save resources with our enterprise contact center software. We have developed a powerful infrastructure that is ideal for achieving various goals: handling incoming calls through a smart IVR menu, handling web chats and emails in a unified manner, analyzing contact center activity with detailed real-time statistics, quality control through AQoS software, time management, and much more.
Our contact center management software offers excellent capabilities for outbound calls and telesales. Our autodialer offers different modes of operation: predictive, progressive, and outgoing IVR. Integration with any CRM system or using a built-in CRM system for a call center – the choice is yours! Thanks to us, you will always be aware of all the actions of customers.
From this article, we learned that KPI for a contact and call center is a very important indicator that affects not only the work of agents but also the profit of the company as a whole.