When you’re a contact center manager, you have to make plenty of decisions that impact your contact center’s bottom line. And flying by the seat of your pants is not an option.
You need contact center metrics that measure agent performance. What is the Average Hold Time? How high is the transfer rate? Are your agents solving customer issues and providing a good customer experience?
The only way to truly measure agent performance and productivity is with solid, reliable contact center metric best practices.
Because contact center software can offer a wide variety of metrics in real time, you also need to know which metrics are important to follow more closely. And of course, once you have the KPIs, you need to know how to use them.
What metrics should you measure — and what can you learn from those contact center metrics? Here are 10 of the most important contact center performance metrics to track.
1. Abandon Call Rate
The Abandon Call Rate measures the percentage of callers who hang up before they reach an agent.
This contact center metric won’t likely tell you much about an individual agent, but it will tell you a lot about agent performance and productivity. If your Abandon Call Rate is too high, look for problems that affect all of your agents and see why they aren’t able to get to your customers in time.
This metric is also indicative of your customer experience. If customers have to wait for your team to help for so long that they give up, something needs to change in your contact center to drive better customer experience.
2. Blocked Calls
The Blocked Calls metric is the number of callers who were prevented from reaching an agent. Blocked calls often occur during extreme peak times, in which case callers would be prompted to call again later. If this contact center metric is too high, it means your agents are losing the opportunity to help customers, who are likely to grow frustrated if they can’t get the assistance they need.
If you aren’t meeting this KPI, it may be because you don’t have enough available agents assigned to a shift. Or maybe it’s time to implement more customer self-service options, so the simpler customer issues can be handled without agent support. Either way, find out how you can free up your lines and agents so your customers aren’t being turned away.
3. Queue Time
Another metric for the overall agent performance and productivity metric is average Queue Time. This metric can be calculated by dividing the total time callers wait in the queue by the total number of calls answered. As one of your key contact center metric best practices, measure average Queue Time to improve the experience your customers are having.
This metric is related to the Abandon Call Rate as well — as time in queue increases so does the likelihood of call abandonment. If you find customers have a longer hold time than usual, you can challenge your team to drive this KPI score lower by being more efficient in handling calls. Another option is to offer customers a call-back service or a self-service option, so they don’t have to wait.
4. Service Level
Service Level is one of the contact center metrics that measure agent performance in real time as agents take calls. It’s a percentage of calls answered within a specific number of seconds.
Use this metric to determine if agents are moving quickly enough from one call to the next. Encourage your agents to keep this KPI within your expected range. Struggling with a lower Service Level metric? It may be time to consider workforce management and staffing.
5. Response Time
When you measure agent productivity, one of the best contact center metrics to assess your team of agents is their average Response Time. This contact center metric calculates the average time it takes for calls to be answered within a specific time frame.
If this metric is too high, it may mean that your agents aren’t moving as quickly as they could and your customers are waiting too long on hold. See what’s keeping them from picking up the phone faster. Something as simple as improved work tools could help reduce their average Response Time.
6. Average Handle Time
One of the most important ways to measure contact center agent productivity is through the Average Handle Time metric. This is the average time it takes from when a customer initiates the contact until they disconnect with the agent, including hold time and transfer time. It also includes the agent’s after-contact work.
Average Handle Time is a contact center metric with some nuance to it. When your agent’s Handle Time is too long, it may mean that they’re struggling with customer issues, or lacking a grasp on how to respond to concerns. Yet, if the agent’s average handle time is too short, it may mean that they aren’t offering any real assistance, rushing the customer through, or not listening thoroughly. Use quality management software to monitor call quality and make sure all your bases are being covered.
Focus on training and provide the tools they need to respond quickly to customer queries. Give them all the information they need at the click of a mouse so they can reach their KPI goal.
7. After-Call Work
Average After-Call Work time is a great way to measure contact center agent performance. Average After-Call Work time measures the average time it takes agents to do the work associated with a call after it’s finished.
Your agents need to spend enough time to do this post-call work accurately and thoroughly. At the same time, if you find that the average After-Call Work time is too high, there may be something else going on. Agents may not have all the resources they need, they may not know how to resolve core issues, or they may need some coaching on how to resolve them with efficiency.
Could you create and provide templates? Is the paperwork too much? Find out what’s keeping them from completing this work quickly and see how you can simplify this task.
8. First Contact Resolution
First Contact Resolution is one of the most straightforward ways to measure contact center agent performance and productivity. If a customer has to call back multiple times, has a high transfer rate, or is handed over to a supervisor to get their issues resolved, you need to examine how to eliminate this so they can have their issue addressed the first time around.
Proper training, agent empowerment, and not setting other metrics that work against First Contact Resolution are all solutions to keeping this metric up. It’s all at the core of a strong customer experience — therefore, measuring this KPI is one of the top contact center metric best practices. Customers hope to have their concerns addressed and fixed when they first connect with your organization: it’s that simple.
9. Occupancy Rate
Contact center Occupancy Rate is a way to measure agent performance across all their call-related duties. It’s the measure of how much time your agents are on live calls and/or finishing up work related to those calls versus being idle.
Simply put, if your agents’ Occupancy Rates are too low, they aren’t doing something work-related. Use this contact center metric to identify duties and address situations outside the call-related work.
10. Customer Experience
While many other contact center metrics can reveal areas where your agents are falling short, the customer satisfaction score is the most direct measure to tell if your contact center is providing the support your customers need. Ultimately, this is what it’s all about for the success of your brand and your organization.
A good customer experience is usually determined by after-call surveys, although other contact center metrics such as Net Promoter Score may be included in the assessment. If your team is doing well on this metric and effectively solving customer issues, it’s a good cause for celebration and rewards!
As a contact center manager, you might have a general sense of how well your agents are doing even before you look at the metrics. However, by measuring contact center metrics and specific key performance indicators, you’ll be able to pinpoint your successes and areas of improvement.
If you’re looking to centralize your KPIs in one place and create contact center dashboards to share with your teams and agents, Playvox could be the solution that fits your needs. Schedule a demo today!