Customers call, agents resolve their queries, managers supervise, all things seem to run their course…
What about the work output, its monitoring and optimization?
Outbound and inbound customer services should be constantly measured to be improved. Fortunately, there is an enormous amount of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to consider. Today we’re starting our blog series on the key call center metrics that will help you gain powerful insights into the sales call performance and keep an eye on your customer service efforts.
In the first part of the series, we’ll discuss the most basic inbound call center metrics to ensure customer satisfaction and keep your call center agents organized:
The simplest, but still the most important call center KPI. The majority of inbound call center metrics originate here and can’t be calculated until you count your inbound customer service calls.
You can measure the number of inbound calls daily, weekly, track it over a specific period of time and compare from month to month to see if the total number has changed. What’s more, you can monitor the inbound phone calls handled by each of your agents i.e. per day. Using this information, you’ll learn how much time they need to respond to one customer query.
It’s worth noting in particular that the inbound call volume has no much value in itself if you ignore its trends and lump calls altogether. The reasons for all incoming phone calls aren’t equal, so you should study them pretty well prior to getting starting with other calculations.
First call resolution (FCR), perhaps more than any other call center KPI, shows the level of customer service. It can tell you how well your agents deal with challenges since FCR is the number or percentage of issues that are fully resolved on the first interaction with one of your staff members.
How to calculate FCR rate?
You can calculate first call resolution either for a specific day (today, yesterday, etc.) or averaged over a specific time period. Here is an easy way to do this:
Let’s say, last week your customers contact your agents 50 times because faced the problem uploading an audio file to your app. Fortunately, it turned out that 45 of them simply tried to load files of the wrong format, so your call center heroes resolved that question right away without the need to transfer or follow-up. We don’t have to perform complex mathematical calculations to say that your last week’s FCR was 90%.
As you might have already gathered, it’s extremely important to keep your first call resolution rate as high as possible if you seek to ensure your customers have the best-in-class experience. Your clients don’t call you to discuss the weather forecast for the coming week, they call your support to gain resolution of their query. And your job to help them as soon as you can.
Call Abandonment Rate, or CAR, as is usual in call center industry, refers to the percentage of customers who hang up without waiting for agents to answer. This call center KPI is one of the most critical call metrics and is widely used by managers. It affects customer satisfaction, which, in turn, correlates to the success of the call campaign and business itself.
What does call center abandonment rate calculation look like?
Just like any other rate, the call abandonment rate is always displayed as a percentage and should be calculated in the following way:
It’s very simple, let me give you an example:
Consider today customers called you 150 times (Great, way to go!), 9 of their calls haven’t reached any of your agents as people decided not to wait for the answer and simply hang up:
Call Abandonment Rate = 9/150 x 100 = 6%
Kind of makes you wonder, what exactly led to your customers terminating the call, causing the abandoned calls. Many reasons can be advanced to explain this, ranging from dialing the wrong number by mistake to caller’s impatience.
Since the reasons vary, you might be interested in call center abandonment rate industry standard. Although it depends a lot on the industry, callers’ intentions and a whole bunch of other factors, it’s good to keep your call abandonment rate below 8%.
What’s true is true, you should constantly strive to reduce the number of abandoned calls. But you should always remain objective and understand that a certain percentage of abandoned calls is natural and has right to exist.
>As the name implies, Average Waiting Time (AWT) is measured to find out the information on the average time each of your customers has to wait in the call queue until one of the call center agents answers the call. This call center KPI on a par with other call center metrics indicates how well your customer service team is performing and whether your customers get the service they might expect.
How to calculate Average Waiting Time in queue?
Average Waiting Time in queue is often measured in seconds; however, if you take into consideration large periods of time, it’ll be better to consider minutes or even hours.
People – particularly those with urgent questions and queries – hate call queues, and they have a point. That’s why the time they spend waiting in a call queue often overlap with the call abandonment rate. It’s a sign you should work your hardest to keep average waiting time as low as possible.
The more clients you have, the more inbound phone calls you get. Well, there’s good and bad news. Let’s get into the good stuff first. Your customers are very sociable and always want to talk with you. Sure, cool, now meet promised bad news – average waiting time in queue takes about 13 hours annually (13 HOURS!). And all that for a small talk.
Occupancy rate represents the percentage of time your agents spend actually talking (and time spent on the other tasks associated with calls like making notes, checking contact history, etc) from the total amount of time they spend working.
How to calculate occupancy rate?
To get the most accurate occupancy rate you should check beforehand whether the raw data (including the talk time, time spent on call-related tasks and working hours) is represented by the same time units (minutes, hours or days).
Additionally, I would like to draw attention to the fact, that this is not the only formula used by call centers worldwide. If you talk to certain managers, it turns out that some of them don’t include i.e. agent idle time in the total working hours and ignore it when making their calculations. As a rule, it’s believed that occupancy rate falling between 70-80% is optimal. However, according to Dan Rickwalder, the occupancy can be tricky enough and sometimes even 85% would not be sufficient to realize performance targets.
To be continued
The inbound call center metrics we’ve discussed in this post are just some of the major call center KPIs. There’s a lot more ground to cover in analyzing sales call performance and your customer service efforts. In the next parts we’ll mix our four-part series with 5 outbound call center metrics that matter most, including the total number of call attempts and contact rate.
In the meantime, tell us what inbound call center metrics you measure! Do share them with us in the comments below.
Till the next time!