When you’re a call center manager, you have to make plenty of decisions that impact your call center’s bottom line. And flying by the seat of your pants is not an option. You need call center metrics that measure what your agents are doing, how fast they’re doing it, and how well they’re satisfying your customers.
The only way to do that is to measure agent productivity with solid, reliable call center metrics.
What call center metrics should you measure, though?
Because call center software often gives you a 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.
Here are 10 of the most important call center performance metrics to track.
1. Average Call Abandonment Rate
You want to deliver great customer service, but it will never happen if your customers don’t stay on the phone long enough to get assistance. The average call abandonment rate measures the percentage of callers who hang up before they reach an agent.
This call center metric won’t likely tell you much about an individual agent but it will tell you a lot about agent productivity. If the average call abandonment 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.
2. Percentage of Calls Blocked
Percentage of calls blocked refers to the number of callers that received a busy tone when they called. If this call center metric is too high, it means your agents are losing the opportunity to help customers, which can create frustrated customers who cannot get the assistance they need.
If you are not meeting this KPI, it may be due to not having enough available agents assigned to a shift. Or maybe your lines are being used for personal reasons? Either way, find out how you can free up your lines and agents so your customers aren’t being turned down.
3. Average Time in Queue
Another metric for the overall productivity metric is average time in queue. You get this metric by dividing the total time callers wait in the queue by the total number of calls answered. Measure average time in queue to improve the experience your customers are having.
If you find customers are waiting in line longer 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 so they don’t have to wait.
4. Service Level
Service level is one of the call center metrics that measure agent productivity in real time as agents take calls. It’s a percentage of calls answered within a specific time in 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.
5. Average Speed of Answer
When you measure agent productivity, one of the best call center metrics to assess your team of agents is the average speed of answer. This call 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. See what’s keeping them from picking up the phone faster. Something as simple as improved work tools could help reduce their ASA.
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6. Average Handle Time
One of the most important ways to measure call center agent productivity is through the AHT metric. This is the average time it takes from when the agent picks up the phone until they disconnect the call.
Average handle time is a tricky metric because it needs to be squarely within the range you set. When your agent’s handle time is too long, it may mean that they’re struggling with customer requests. Yet, if the agent’s average handle time is too short, it may mean that they aren’t offering any real assistance. Use quality assurance 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. Average After Call Work Time
Average After Call Work Time is a great way to measure call center agent productivity. Average after call work time measures the average time it takes agents to do the work associated with a call after it’s finished.
You need your agents to spend enough time to do this work accurately and thoroughly. However, if you find that the average after call work time is too high, there may be something else going on.
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 Call Resolution
First Call Resolution is one of the clearest ways to measure call center agent productivity and effectiveness. If a customer has to call back multiple times, is transferred too often, or handed over to a supervisor to get their issues resolved, you need to see how to eliminate this so they can have their issue addressed the first time around.
Proper training, setting metrics that aren’t counterintuitive to FCR and agent empowerment are all solutions to keeping a high First Call Resolution.
9. Occupancy Rate
Call center occupancy rate is a way to measure agent productivity 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.
Simply put, if your agents’ occupancy rates are too low, they aren’t doing something work-related. Use this call center metric to identify duties, events and address situations outside the call-related work.
10. Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is a comprehensive way to measure call center agent productivity.
While many other call center metrics can reveal areas where your agents are falling short, the customer satisfaction score is the most direct measure to tell if your call center is providing the support your customers need.
Customer satisfaction is usually determined by after-call surveys, although other call center metrics such as Net Promoter Score may be included in the assessment. If your team is doing well on this metric, it’s a good cause for celebration and rewards!
As a call 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 specific key performance indicators, you’ll be able to pinpoint your successes and areas of improvement.