Author: Elena Arretche, Product Marketer at PhoneIQ
Call Center KPIs are essential metrics that every contact center manager needs to track and measure to ensure the performance of their contact center. Call Center managers' ultimate goal is to drive their call center operation to success. This can only be achieved if 3 key pillars are aligned and working in tandem to feed one another: Customer experience, agent efficiency, and the overall call center performance.
To drive operational excellence, call centers need to mix great talent with great tools. With the acceleration of digital transformation during COVID-19, many companies have decided to switch to cloud based solutions that enable instant scalability, remote work and advanced features that align with the new way of doing business.
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If your goal is to manage an efficient, successful and data-driven call center, here are 15 useful KPIs every call center manager should track in Service Cloud to achieve operational excellence.
First and foremost, call centers need to assess how effectively they're helping customers. The goal is to deliver memorable customer experiences and successful resolutions. Here are 5 customer experience KPIs that can make or break your customer loyalty.
As its name suggests, this indicator measures how happy your clients are with the support you provide them with. Conducting customer surveys is the standard practice to get continuous feedback and enable the definition of client-centered updates on an ongoing basis. Companies usually set CSAT goals and follow them very closely, as any variations suggest an opportunity for improvement.
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) = (Total number of positive responses/Total number of responses) x100.
This will result in your CSAT percent.
NPS measures customer loyalty by asking clients to rate how likely they are to recommend your company. Clients responding 9-10 out of 10 are considered promoters, as they are very likely to recommend your company and to repeat their purchase in the future. Hence, they represent a great upselling opportunity. Clients who give scores ranging between 1 and 6 are detractors, customers who can damage your brand and require you to take palliative actions. Those who respond with a 7 or an 8 are called passive, satisfied clients who aren't likely to mention your company at all. Though passive respondents tend to be neglected, they actually hold an unpredictable disposition to become either a promoter or a tragic detractor.
To calculate NPS, sort out what share of your surveyed clients are detractors, passives, and promoters. If they represent 10%, 50% and 40% respectively, your Net Promoter Score (40% Promoters - 10% Detractors) = 30.
Quick and easy to calculate, the net promoter score is extremely useful for predicting growth and evaluating your competitiveness according to the market's parameters. Companies aim to have a relatively high NPS in the contact center sector, typically around 50.
As its name suggests, this indicator shows the percentage of calls in which agents can solve client inquiries in a single contact without needing to transfer, escalate or even return the call.
First Contact Resolution (FCR) = (Total calls resolved on first attempt/total calls received) x100
While being able to solve your clients' problems ASAP is closely linked to customer satisfaction, not being able to do so can increase churn and impact CSAT and NPS scores. The potential negative consequences of having a bad FCR make it crucial to monitor and strive towards problem resolution consistently. Typically, the market benchmark for FCR falls between 70% and 75%.
Per definition, the Abandonment rate is the percentage of clients that hang up their call before they are connected to an agent. There are endless reasons why a customer would hang up, but it's a call center manager's responsibility to ensure that operations run as smoothly as possible.
Call Abandonment Rate = (Total abandoned calls/Total calls received) x100
One very important feature is to have the ability to configure a short abandoned call threshold. This is defined as a threshold in seconds, in which a call won’t be considered as abandoned. E.g.: If your short abandoned call threshold is set to 10 seconds, calls that enter the ACD Queue and are hanged up by the caller within the first 10 seconds will not count against the call abandonment rate. This is important in order to account for things like misdials.
This customer focused indicator is influenced by many others, such as service level, the average speed to answer, scheduling adherence, occupancy rate, after-call work, contact duration, customer satisfaction, and the aforementioned first call resolution rate. As an industry standard, a reasonable abandonment rate ranges between 5% - 8%, and you should keep an eye on this metric; making sure customers coming to you for help aren't leaving empty-handed.
Customer acquisition is undeniably more expensive and time-consuming than building stronger bonds with your current client base. Win-win is the basis of brand loyalty. Opposite to Customer Retention, Customer Attrition or Churn reveals the rate at which your clients stop doing business with your company.
Customer Attrition Rate (CAR)= (Total client base at period A - Total client base at A / Total client base at period B
It's expressed as the percentage of clients who discontinue their contract in a period of time. Call center managers aiming to grow their client base must make sure the expansion in terms of new clients exceeds the attrition rate.
The second pillar for a successful call center operation is agent efficiency. This is basically the handle time it takes on average to successfully resolve an interaction. Some strategies to achieve these improvements include: efficiently routing calls to the right agent, enabling CRM screen pop with relevant customer information, automated case creation and interaction logging. To increase agent productivity, leading call center managers track the following 5 KPIs relentlessly.
This metric reflects the percentage of time agents are available to take calls during their shift. Maximizing adherence to schedule implies collecting calls fast and minimizing time in between calls.
Schedule adherence puts call center performance at stake because low adherence rates can result in poor customer service if agents are unavailable.
Adherence to schedule = (Total available agent time / Total time in an agent's work schedule) x 100.
Monitoring this score can shed some light on individual agent performance over time, help your call center identify optimization opportunities, and support new agents' learning curves. The standard call center industry benchmark suggests agent adherence to schedule should never be less than 85%.
A closely related metric to adherence to schedule is the agent utilization score. This KPI indicates the average percentage of time an agent spends handling calls per working day. It is a great way to measure individual and team efficiency, the work produced divided by work capacity.
Agent Utilization score = (Total time in call handling / Total time agent is scheduled to work) x 100
This equation includes the hours in a shift, restroom and lunch breaks, paid holidays or medical leave, and training activities, among others. Bear in mind that low utilization rates mean an increased cost per agent. Contrary to this, high rates of agent utilization mean an efficient cost structure with a lower cost per agent.
Average speed to answer is a metric that tracks the average amount of time it takes an agent to answer an inbound call after it’s presented to them. The Abandonment rate is inversely related to how fast your agents answer calls. This is why call center managers are keen on reward agent agility. Identifying an average target speed to answer helps motivate agents to go the extra mile and be accessible to their customers while assisting managers to assess their team's performance and detect the need to expand their workforce.
Average Speed to Answer = Total waiting time before call is handled / Total calls handled
According to call center standards, the average speed to answer should follow the 80/20 rule, which means 80% of calls should be answered within 20 seconds.
The great value that lies in Service Cloud is that it helps companies provide an amazing customer experience by empowering agents with quick access to up-to-date customer information on every interaction. After call work is a key component of this process, enabling contact centers to capture valuable information about each interaction like agent comments, tags, disposition codes, call purpose, caller mood and more. Having an integrated solution that automates the logging process of this information in Salesforce will inevitably improve this metric.
Average After-call work time = Total time spent on after-call work / Total number of calls handled
Industry average ACW time ranges between 60 -120 seconds. If the KPI is over this threshold, it might mean you need to work on efficiency. Start by taking a look at how you can streamline this process with disposition codes and notes, embracing automation. Many call centers have shown that by implementing Salesforce call routing, they can make a smarter, more efficient call distribution so the best qualified available agent will take the incoming calls. This will help reduce the After call work time and ultimately, average handle time.
Average handle time is a metric that tracks the total duration of an interaction between a customer and an agent. Starting from the moment an agent picked up the call, it includes everything until the call is completed, plus the after call work time. It's a great KPI to track an and compare individual agent performance.
66% of customers prefer calling support over the phone if they have inquiries or issues.
An increased AHT means higher cost per contact, so call center managers should always strive to reduce average handle time. Even if a manager achieves a 10-second reduction per call, when multiplied by the number of calls processed each year, it can represent significant savings. Increasing performance in AHT can be achieved by agent training and using a platform that leverages screen pop, automated call logging, agent scripting, smart routing, and more that help agents streamline support and deliver a great customer experience.
Though average handle time varies from one industry to another, these are some industry specific AHT benchmarks:
Average Handle Time (AHT) = Total time spent on an active call + Total time spent on after call work / Total number of calls handled
The average handle time correlates directly with the complexity of the inquiry. Managers usually find features like call monitoring, whisper, and barge very useful for training and coaching purposes.
Call center efficiency boils down to optimizing operational costs without sacrificing customer satisfaction. Call center managers face constant challenges that threaten their overall efficiency. These top 5 KPIs will help managers keep a pulse of their Call Center’s Efficiency.
It goes without saying that this KPI needs to be complemented with others to provide further context. Nonetheless, the number of incoming or outgoing calls will determine how busy or idle your agents' shifts are. Sudden changes in demand can cause call abandonment if agents aren't able to answer calls fast enough.
The Service Level KPI is one of the most important and commonly used to track inbound performance. It shows the percentage of calls answered within a preconfigured time threshold, usually configured in seconds. Think of this as a target max time threshold to answer inbound calls. As an example, a call center manager might set a goal to answer 90% of calls within 30 seconds or less.
Service level = Number of call answered within the 30s threshold / Total inbound calls x 100
Since this is one of the most important KPIs, this metric is usually displayed to managers and agents in real time.
A call center’s goal is to be a valuable resource for customers that need to connect with a live agent, so the percentage of calls blocked due to agent unavailability, queue misconfiguration or calls being routed directly to voicemail are a few examples of cases where inbound calls get blocked.
The percentage of calls blocked or call timeout is a crucial indicator for any call center as it will showcase the amount of customers that tried to connect but ultimately were unable due to inefficiencies in the call center.
Every call center manager needs to track and understand call volume by time of day to spot the hours of peak inbound call traffic. This indicator will help plan schedules, staffing needs, breaks and more. A bad forecast will lead to blocked calls and call abandonment rate spikes.
An increasingly competitive market, coupled with higher salaries and benefits, makes cost efficiency a first order of business. This indicator shows the impact of each call on your bottom line.
Cost per call (CPC) = agent's salary and benefits for period A / Number of calls handled by the agent in period A.
There are many strategies deployed by call center managers to reduce cost per call. But ultimately, every strategy that increases the overall time an agent spends on the phone and call volume during a shift will lead to a better cost per call. Cloud based call center platforms that automate outbound dialing, inbound call distribution and provide the right indicators to management will be the single biggest contributor to a more efficient CPC.
Call center managers should focus on choosing the right technology platforms for their call center operation, and pair these with the right staff and training.
Once these things are set in place, relentlessly tracking these 15 KPIs both in real-time and on a monthly basis will ensure the operation runs smoothly, efficiently and delivers an impactful customer experience.
Written by Elena Arretche, Product Marketer at PhoneIQ
Cloud-based phone system and contact center platform for Salesforce.
Published: Friday, September 17, 2021
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