Today, robotic process automation is contemplated to be the future but for a long time agents have been the muscle of these Contact Center. Even today, a huge percentage of customers want to get in touch with a human agent as soon as possible.
While robotic process automation is perceived to be the future of customer supports, a pool of industry leaders believe, an exquisite combination of agents and state-of-the-art technology can help organizations cater to customer needs efficiently. By equipping agents with omnichannel expertise, centralized CRMs, and knowledge bases, enterprises can help Contact Center agents uplift their performance.
Businesses have always relied on a set of Contact Center metrics to gauge the performance of agents. Going forward where omnichannel expertise, AI, and RPA will play a crucial role, these metrics will continue to be reliable. By leveraging these metrics, enterprises will be able to gauge the performance and measure their profit against the investment made.
The Most Important Contact Center Metrics
1. Abandoned Call Rate (ACR)
This contact center metric refers to the number of callers who hung up the phone even before the agent could answer their call. Lengthy wait times and a poor IVR system are the most common causes of high ACR.
How to reduce Call Abandonment Rate (ACR)?
Leveraging following practices can help call centers control call abandonment rate:
- Announce estimated wait time
- Inform users about the virtual queue
- Get back to users who abandoned during less busy hours
- Play interesting or engaging music during the wait time
- Prioritize users who have been waiting for long
- Allow customers to help themselves through self-help
2. Agent Utilization
It refers to that part of the day for which the abilities of the agents are being utilized to their fullest. This can be calculated by dividing the number of calls answered within the first minute by the total number of calls answered by the agent.
Agent Utilization is a primary call center metrics to focus on when trying to measure an agent’s productivity. In simple words, agent utilization is defined as the ratio of work completed by the work capacity. For example: If a contact center agent is on call for 6 hours out of a nine-hour shift, then the utilization will be 66.66% for the day. (6 hours of work produced ÷ 9 hours of work capacity).
3. After - Call Work (ACW)
Also known as the wrap-up and post-call processing (PCP), ACW refers to the work completed by the agent immediately after completing a call. This may include entering the requisite data, filling out forms, and making the necessary outbound calls to complete the transaction.
How to reduce After Call Work (ACW)?
Several methods a contact center can use to reduce After Call Work includes:
- Use a well-designed customer relationship management system
- Train contact center agents to multitask
- Optimize internal processes to reduce steps
- Create a detailed knowledge base and make it available to all agents
- Collect information, analyze them and make changes in your process
4. All Trunks Busy (ATB)
This contact center metric indicates the number of times and the total time for which all trunks were busy in a particular trunk group. However, this does not reveal the number of callers who got busy signals when trunks were busy.
How to control the All Trunk Busy metric?
It is indispensable to control the All Trunk Busy signal because customers often get pissed and leave your business. Here’s how it can be controlled:
- Deploy more agents
- Build a taskforce that routes calls to the preferred agent at the earliest
- Allow customers to get in touch with the specific agent directly instead of transferring calls
5. Average Call Transfer Rate (ACTR)
This contact center metric signifies the number of calls that were transferred to a different department, supervisor, or queue due to a lack of competent support. Call transfer generally leads to higher customer dissatisfaction as their query remains unresolved or is made to wander in the same queue. ACTR can be calculated by dividing the total number of calls transferred by the number of calls that were handled successfully and then, multiplying it by one hundred. This score can be improved by refining the IVR system and equipping the agents with the requisite knowledge and skills.
Best practices to control Average Call Transfer Rate includes
- Train agents to answer multiple types of calls, which might include support, sale or service activation
- Allow agents to access knowledge database while answering calls
- Streamline calls using IVR. Take input from customers and then route them.
- Focus on offering quality support on the first call. Increases first call resolution too.
6. Average Handle Time (AHT)
It is the average time spent by a customer service agent to handle customer-related issues or transactions, the duration for which his/her call is placed on hold, and the time spent after work to complete these back-office tasks. AHT is calculated by dividing the total number of calls handled by an agent by the total of the agent’s total talk time, total hold time, and the total after-call work time.
How to improve the Average Handle Time (AHT)?
- Improving the agent training process
- Monitoring calls and identifying weak areas
- Accurate call routing
- Arming with the requisite knowledge base
- Use an internal communication system
- Evaluate employee’s performance
7. Average Speed of Answer (ASA)
It is an average amount of time in which calls are answered at the call center during a specific period. ASA is calculated by dividing the total waiting time by the number of calls received during that duration. The lower the rate, the higher is the efficiency of the call center.
What is the impact of the Average Speed of Answer (ASA)?
The average speed of answer is perhaps one of the most primary contact center metrics. A very high average speed of answer means:
- Poor customer satisfaction
- High abandonment rates
- A decent increase in handling time
- Overall efficiency decrement of contact center
- The decreasing ability of first call resolution
- A tender rise in cost per calls
8. Agent Schedule Adherence (ASA)
This rate is used to determine whether an agent is performing his/her job duties efficiently as per the set schedule. It can be calculated by dividing the total time for which the agent is available to work by the time for which the agent is scheduled to work.
How Contact Centers can increase Agent Schedule Adherence?
- Leverage a tracking tool to stop agents from wasting time
- Use annualized breaks to control the leisure period of agents
- Time agents to aim and reward them when agents accomplish it
- Inform agents about the consequences of less adherence to schedule
- Keep a tab on the number of agents going on break simultaneously
9. Available Time
Available time is the total duration for which an agent or an agent group waited for the arrival of calls during a particular period.
Why Available Time is an important Contact Center metric?
- It protects contact centers’ KPIs from increasing when there’s an unexpected rise in calls
- While some managers see available time as the amount of time wasted, some managers see it as a window of opportunity
- A 0% available time means the contact center is running at its full capacity
- Available Time metric also oversees that all agents are maintaining work-life balance
10. Average Delay of Delayed Calls
This is the average duration for which the delayed calls were delayed. It can be calculated by dividing the total delay for all calls by the number of callers who had to wait in the queue.
Measuring Average Delay of Delayed Calls can help with
- Proper allocation of agents to cater to the growing needs of the customer
- Management of service requests raised by customers efficiently
- Up-scaling of customer experience provided through contact centers
11. Average Sales per Agent
This refers to the average number of sales that were closed by the agents working at a call center within a specified period.
Why Average Sales per Agent is an important metric for Contact Centers?
Gauging average sales per agent offers the following insight:
- Understanding of overall performance of outbound contact centers
- Helps agencies identify weaklings and strengthen them
- Offers a platform for future development
- Allows managers to understand the growth rate and arbitrate it against the investment
12. Call Completion Rate (CCR)
This contact center metric refers to the number of calls that were connected successfully in comparison to those that failed. This rate can be calculated by dividing the total number of successfully connected calls during the day/hour by the total number of calls that were attempted during the day.
Factors that influence Call Completion Rate at a Contact Center include
- Individual customer completion results
- Phone call answer rate
- The response rate for answered calls
- The response rate for total calls
- The intensity of the media campaigns
13. Cost per Call (CPC)
Cost per call is the cost incurred by the call center to call the customers for a particular period. CPC can be calculated by dividing the total operational cost of the firm by the total number of calls made by the allocated resources during a given period.
How to reduce Cost per Call (CPC)?
The following measures can help reduce the cost per call for a contact center:
- Quality Training
- Call monitoring
- Effective scheduling
- Proper management
- Use of knowledgebase management system
14. Call Center Shrinkage
Call Center Shrinkage is the measure of the amount of time wasted by the agents on ineﬃcient tasks like bathroom breaks, callbacks, and paperwork and team meetings. Shrinkage is often divided into two groups’ internal and external shrinkage. While internal shrinkage consists of sick, public holidays, and lateness, external shrinkage is made up of team meetings, coaching, training, and special projects at the office.
15. Call Arrival Rate
This contact center metric refers to the average number of incoming calls during a particular period. Knowing this rate helps in determining the number of calls that are to be answered or put on hold during a particular period.
How gauging Call Arrival Rate will benefit Call Centers?
- A sudden increase in call arrival rate depicts an upcoming surge in service requests
- Helps organization upscale agent pool and system requirements to offer quality support
- Allows enterprises to prepare agents for a heavy load
- Failing to gauge call arrival rate can negatively impact other important metrics
- Lack of preparedness will affect customer experience and brand reputation
16. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
Customer Satisfaction is perhaps the most important customer experience metrics, which is generated through the CSAT Survey. In CSAT Survey, customers who have made any recent purchase or transacted recently are asked to answer a simple question like “how satisfied were you with your purchase today?
It is indispensable to measure customer satisfaction during a lockdown or when a huge number of agents are working from home because it is a direct reflection of how well agents are catering to customer’s needs. Dipping customer satisfaction means contact center agents are not performing to their optimum levels.
How Contact Centers can achieve a higher Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)?
- A proactive approach to customer service
- Study complaints and learn from them
- Rely on multichannel for customer service
- Control wait time
- Increase first call resolution
17. Customer Retention Rate (CRR)
This contact center metric is the percentage of customers that stay with your business as compared to those you had at the start of the journey. Effective in improving the company’s growth and revenue, the process of customer retention begins with the customer’s first contact with the company and continues throughout the lifetime.
How to improve Customer Retention Rate (CRR)?
- Offer first call resolution
- Benchmark calls against industry standards
- Control average wait time
- Offer quality support with the help of the knowledge base
18. Customer Churn Rate (CCR)
It is the percentage of customers lost by a business during a particular period. CCR can be calculated by dividing the number of customers who left the business by the number of customers with whom you started your business multiplied by 100.
How Contact Centers can lower Customer Churn Rate (CCR)?
- Make an everlasting first impression
- Exceed customer expectation regularly
- Leverage omnichannel expertise for customer service
- Listen to your customers first and then offer support
19. Conversion Rate
This contact center metric signifies the number of calls that helped in attaining a positive outcome for the company such as sales or lead generation. The conversion rate can be calculated by dividing the total number of conversions by the number of people who contacted or were contacted by the call center.
How Contact Center can improve Conversion Rates?
- Hire skilled agents or upskill your workforce
- Offer quality support and cater to specifics
- Offer free education to customers
- Do not work with lengthy literature
- Make the most of criticism and implement it for the betterment
- Re-route calls for proper support
20. Calls per Hour (CPH)
It refers to the total volume of calls handled by the call center per hour. Determining this number separately for different agents enables easy identification of high-performing and low-performing agents.
Why Contact Centers must measure Call per Hour metric?
- It is true reflection of success of an inbound contact center
- It helps organizations swiftly increase their pool of agents
- Puts business needs into perspective
- Helps organization realize the need of technological breakthroughs
21. First Contact Resolution (FCR)
This contact center metric is the rate at which an agent or contact center resolves a customer’s query the first time he/she calls. Known to attract customer loyalty as well as drive profitability, FCR is calculated by dividing the number of cases resolved in a single call to the total number of issues resolved.
Top ways to improve First Call Resolution (FCR) include
- Identify and fix the issues
- Comprehend your customer’s need
- Improve your support structure
- Total contact ownership
- Restructure your internal processes
- Focus on attaining maximum customer satisfaction
22. Agent Attrition
It refers to the reduction in the number of agents employed at the call center due to retirement, resignation, or death. A major factor leading to high cost, factors like lack of foreseeable opportunities and challenges, cultural misalignment, and zero appreciation often lead to its high rate.
How Contact Centers can reduce Agent Attrition?
- By optimizing the process of hiring and training
- By measuring performance based on customer satisfaction
- By leveraging clear communication channels
- Rewarding best-performing agents from time to time
23. Online-to-Schedule (OLTS)
This contact center metric refers to the number of minutes for which an individual was logged-on as compared to the actual duration for which he/she was required to be logged-on. Factors like breaks taken off-schedule, not-ready, make-busy, and logged-out are not included in its computation. But factors like talk time, idle time, and post-call wrap-up time are included.
How to improve Online to Schedule (OLTS) metric?
- Set time-oriented milestones and reward agents who adhere to it
- Rely on proven tools for time tracking and stopping agents from wasting time
- Define clear break timings to ensure adherence to schedule
- Publish rules and mention the consequences of failing to adhere
- Restrict movement of agents in groups for a break
24. Peak Hour Traffic (PHT)
It refers to that time of the day when a call center receives the maximum calls from the customers. Determining this metric helps in keeping the requisite team prepared so that it can handle the upcoming call load from the callers with ease.
How measuring Peak Hour Traffic helps Contact Center Streamline their Processes?
Monitoring and measuring the Peak Hour Traffic (PHT) helps with
- Managing pool of agents to ensure every call is answered
- Leverage new technology to assist agents to answer calls efficiently
- Generating a knowledge base that comes handy during rush hours
- Identifying the need for team leads and upscaling as per the need
Delay is also known as queue time, delay refers to the amount of time a caller spends waiting in queue for an agent to become available.
What does this Call Center metric reveal?
- Delay highlights lack of preparedness on the enterprise’s part
- Delay is also a measure of how serious organizations are about customer’s time
- A high delay reveals lack of knowledge base provided to agents for better support
- A low delay is a good sign and can be used as a tool to market call center services
- Benchmarking for Delay against leading players is a common practice
26. Escalation Plan
It is a step-by-step guide specifying actions that are to be taken when the queue begins to build beyond acceptable levels. With an escalation plan in place, call centers can upscale their performance and cater to the growing client base. Festivals, Holidays, and Unexpected Events are the period when an escalation plan is needed the most.
Failing to have an escalation plan can impact the call center’s entire performance. Multiple contact center metrics will provide erratic percentages that might upset clients and impact customer experience heavily.
How an Escalation Plan saves the day for Contact Centers?
- Effective implementation stops customers from churning
- Allows agents to take calls on a priority basis
- Protects agents against other metrics that measure delay
- Informs stakeholders about the requirement of technology and agents
27. Forecasting Accuracy
This refers to the percentage by which the inbound customer contacts that were forecasted for a particular period varied from the number of contacts who contacted the center. In simple terms, forecasting accuracy refers to the difference between the forecasted contact load and actual contact load.
Why Forecasting Accuracy is important for every Contact Center?
- It allows stakeholders to understand whether they need to upscale or downscale their pool of agents
- Helps contact center make sure enough resources are available to cater to all clients
- Puts the growing load and the reasons into perspective
- Simplifies amplification of resources by providing accurate data
29. Longest Call Hold
This refers to the longest duration of time for which a caller was put on hold before getting connected with a call agent.
Why is it important to measure Longest Call Hold?
Contact centers can access these details by measuring Longest Call Hold metric:
- Type of calls that requires time for resolving
- Which agents performed well on long-duration calls
- What are other tools or guides that can simplify these calls
- What issues added to metrics like average hold time
30. Longest Delay
The longest duration for which the caller has waited in the queue before abandoning or connecting with an agent.
Gauging Longest Delay can help Contact Centers overcome problems including
- Identify hours when maximum calls are abandoned after a long wait
- Identify area of service for which maximum calls were delayed and then canceled
- Discover reasons that led to delay in catering these clients
- Find out why agents took long to attend other clients and seek a solution
The contact center metric Overflow is used to refer to those calls that flow from one group or site to another. Interflow occurs when calls flow between different agent groups and interflow occurs when calls flow out of the ACD to another site.
What makes Overflow an important Call Center metric?
- Increased overflow depicts lack of agents or support system
- An unexpected rise in overflow illustrates the organization’s degrading customer service
- Overflow requires immediate action or customer churn rate can increase
- Overflow also depicts the lack in preparedness in handling the sudden surge in requests