5 Call Center Metrics to Optimize Agent Performance

Leaving call center success to chance is a mistake a growing business cannot afford in the post-COVID economy. Crisis or not, your business can benefit immensely by setting and measuring the right indicators to gauge the success of your call centers. These KPIs can help continuously improve agent productivity reports and high scores on customer satisfaction parameters. That being said, choosing the right call center metrics to monitor is just as important as operationalizing them. For instance, picking the wrong metrics may lead you to focus on increasing the number of calls handled per hour while overlooking the importance of the quality of resolution and speed of escalation closure.

To help you efficiently monitor your call center success, we have identified five key call center metrics that you should keep an eye on to set the right benchmarks and ultimately improve your business’ overall performance.

1. AHT (Average Handle Time)

One of the most important yet tricky call center KPIs is the average handle time that should be carefully integrated into each agent productivity report. This metric determines how long a call lasts on average in the call center and includes the time it takes to disconnect and pick up the next call.

Average Handle Time

AHT is a metric that has a direct impact on a call center’s operational efficiency, and agent effectiveness as a long handle time could mean that the agents are unable to efficiently tackle customer requests against minimal AHT that hints at agents’ inefficiency in providing customers with any real assistance.

2. CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score)

Customer satisfaction is the framework around which all call center operations should focus. A study by Microsoft suggests that 97% of global consumers believe the quality of customer service affects their buying decision and purchase behavior.

Measuring customer satisfaction is an important indicator of the overall happiness of your customers. CSAT scores can be obtained by employing intelligent technologies such as sentiment analysis of a real-time call monitoring tool.           

The sentiment analysis feature of a speech analytics platform figures out the tonality of the customer’s voice and integrates it with semantic analysis to come up with a satisfaction score. These scores can help pinpoint customer issues in real-time. Call recording systems that carry speech analytics can replace manual surveys to find out customer satisfaction levels.

Companies should seek to improve their CSAT scores continually through targeted training as well as by subscribing to best call center practices to set the bar high in accordance with other important metrics such as AHT and average call abandonment.

3. FCR (First Contact Resolution)

One of the most important call center metrics, first contact resolution signifies the effectiveness of the agents in dealing with customer requests within their first interaction. Improving this metric can exponentially improve customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

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FCR can be positively impacted if a call center makes intelligent use of speech analytics capabilities that can provide insights into the customer tonality and semantics in real-time. These action points can immediately be deployed to improve customer happiness levels and resolve issues. This explains why a Speech Analytics Study by Aberdeen found that speech analytics can improve the average FCR to 76% as opposed to 23% for organizations that don’t use the technology in their call center operations.

Low FCR usually indicates flaws in either agent performance or call center compliance or a lack of customer interest/engagement. With the right intervention, the quality of calls and FCR can be improved significantly.

4. NPS (Net Promoter Score)

It is not wise to ignore the Net Promoter Score (NPS) - an indicator of word-of-mouth affection to your business service as it impacts the long-term association of your customer. A research study by Fred Reicheld (who came up with the concept of NPS) claimed that NPS scores for highly profitable businesses are almost double the scores of companies with average growth rates.

Calculating NPS essentially involves asking your customer this simple question - "How likely are you to recommend <call center/company name> to your affiliates?"

Generally, the customer answers can be received on a scale of 0-10, and the responses can be classified as follows:

  1. Promoters (9-10)
  2. Passives (7-8)
  3. Detractors (0-6)

The final NPS score can be arrived at by using these numbers:

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NPS is a good long-term indicator to track for a call center because it allows you to make key changes in your customer success strategy and improve relationships with your customers with the right interventions delivered through agent training.

5. CAR (Call Abandonment Rate)

Call Abandonment Rate is simply a call center metric that tells you how many customers are hanging up the phone before speaking to your agents. It is one of the most important call center metrics if you intend to measure your overall success because it indicates the levels of customer satisfaction and indicates the likelihood of their attrition.

Call Abandonment Rate

Even though it’s almost impossible to figure out a definite reason behind each abandoned call, a keen analysis of your overall operations can provide some clues. Improving the other four metrics can help you improve the CAR. As per your industry’s average, try to keep it in single digits.

Once you know which numbers are useful, start acting on them. To keep a tab on important numbers, first, check if your call center is equipped with call recording and analytics capabilities to help you keep an eye on these metrics in multimedia formats and give you detailed insights for better decision making.