call center metrics

TOP 20 Call Center Metrics Managers Can’t Ignore – Part 3

Thanks for coming back to read “TOP 20 Call Center Metrics Managers Can’t Ignore – Part 3”!

(Take a look at Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven’t read them yet!).

In our previous blog posts, we’ve discussed the most basic inbound and outbound call center metrics to help you ensure customer satisfaction and keep your call center agents organized.

We’ve already given you some tips for KPI calculations. Now we’ll cover the other 5 inbound call center metrics that are essential for providing the best customer service:

#11. Average handling time

#12. Transfer rate

#13. Hold time

#14. Missed phone calls

#15. Service Level

#11. Average handling time

Average handling time (AHT) is an average time an agent devotes to handling customers’  calls and resolving their issues. Apart from the time actually talking to the customer, this call center metrics also includes time spent on hold and after-call duties required to fully close the contact (i.e. taking notes, updating contact details in CRM, etc.).

Sales managers often call upon providing customers with a solution as quickly as possible. However, the speed of the conversations doesn’t often overlap with their quality. You got to keep in mind, that you’re there not to respect customers’ time, but to provide effective customer service.

How to calculate average handle time?

Average handle time formula may seem complicated at the first glance. But if you make use of call automation tool the calculation of AHT is no harder than checking KPI on the dashboard. It’s calculated as the sum of the total talk time, total hold time and total after-call work time, divided by the total number of calls handled by the agent.

Average handling time = (total talk time + total hold time + total after-call work time) / total number of calls handled by the agent

To greatly improve (not reduce!) the average handling time without affecting the customer satisfaction, provide your agents with a helpful tool where they will be able to take notes, view customer details, set status and more.

#12. Transfer rate

Transfer rate is a call center KPI that reports the percentage of ongoing inbound calls transferred to another better-skilled agent, sales manager or another department. The reason for the call transfer could be the lack of call center agent’s knowledge or authority to make the decision, call routing mistake or just a client’s request.

Although call transfer is also extremely useful when a customer’s call goes to the wrong agent, according to multiple surveys 89% of customers get frustrated when they need to repeat the same issue to different representatives. Admit it, when you call customer service with the question, you want to receive the answer as soon as possible. You need assistance, not “queuing” again and again.

That’s why it’s crucial to calculate transfer rate once you notice that customers’ calls seem to be transferred way too often.

How to calculate the transfer rate?

To calculate the transfer rate you need to know the total number of calls answered by your agents. Once you do, use the following formula:

Transfer rate = number of transferred calls / the total number of calls handled by the agent x 100%

#13. Hold time

The hold time call center metrics gives an understanding of the average amount of time (usually expressed in seconds) which customer spends on hold during the call. At this time an agent can check some note taken by the colleagues or quickly discuss customer’s issue with a manager.

However, long hold time can significantly affect the customer experience and satisfaction. According to the survey conducted by AT&T, well-known telecommunication companies, the most callers hang up after an average of 1 minute and 55 seconds of being on hold. Just two minutes and you’re risking to lose a lead or existing customer.

How to calculate average hold time?

Easy! Let’s take a look at the simple formula to calculate average hold time:

Hold time = Length of time customers are placed on hold/ total number of inbound customer calls answered by the agent

If you notice an unusually high average hold time, you should think about reducing the amount of time your customers wait. Start with improving and optimizing your call scripts! Properly built scripts serve as helpful prompts during the conversations. If the calls have been recorded, play them back, as they are something really solid to build upon when updating your scripts.

#14. Missed phone calls

Missed phone calls are literally killer for the call center. This KPI has a direct impact on the call center’s efficiency and perspective.

Under competitive conditions missed phone calls always refer to lost leads and customers. You can give very little weight to the individual calls you’ve missed. However, the situation is starting to look kind of scary once you calculate the amount of missed phone calls over the last year. As Jessica Lalic outlined on the Telux HD VoIP Blog, the average cost of missing a customer call in the UK is £1,230!

Significant potential revenue loss may be one of the top reasons you should consider ways to reduce the amount of missed phone calls. Sure you can expect a callback from that person, or you can simply set up call forwarding and reduce the number of missed calls.

Make sure that your call queues are configured optimally. Call routing ensures you avoid missed phones calls and optimizes your human resources costs by utilizing each agent as efficiently as possible. Call center software can provide you with this power!

#15. Service Level

Service level is taken into account almost in every call center around the globe. But there is a catch: its meaning depends on the call center service level formula used to calculate it.

Most often, in call centers Service Level is calculated as the percentage of calls answered by agents within a predetermined amount of time (10 – 20 seconds).

How does a call center service level formula look like?

The most commonly used call center service level formula is the following:

Service level = (number of calls answered within a certain threshold / total number of answered calls) * 100%

Most widely-used service level target is 80/20, meaning that 80% of all calls get answered within 20 seconds. The long story short – the faster an agent answers an incoming call from a customer, the more he contributes to the higher service level.

However, exploring the topic you might notice that 80/20 is not the service level standard within the industry. There are also other service level targets used, including 60/60, 90/10 and 75/20.

To be continued

The inbound call center metrics we’ve discussed in this post are another major call center KPIs. There’s a bit more ground to cover in measuring call center performance and that’s exactly what we’ll do in the next, final part of our series.

As always, feel free to leave your comments telling us what call center metrics you do measure!

To make sure you don’t miss out the next parts of the series, follow us on the social media —> here’re our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Till the next time!

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