Call Center Key Performance Indicators

In order to run an effective call center, it is important to establish call center key performance indicators that match your business’s goals. We’ll discuss the top KPIs for several different types of call centers, including inbound, outbound, and blended. Then, we’ll talk about how to use these metrics to improve your call center performance.

Most virtual call center solutions offer a wealth of reporting tools to help you monitor and measure your call center’s success. While this real time and historical data is helpful in its own right, it can be difficult to narrow down the top call center key performance indicators that are most important to your business.

In order to provide a little more insight into which KPIs you should be monitoring, we’ll review the three main types of call centers: inbound, outbound, and blended. Then, we’ll talk about which metrics are most valuable for each.

Choosing the Right Call Center Key Performance Indicators

Depending on the kind of call center that you operate, the key performance indicators you should monitor may vary. KPIs for inbound call centers typically focus on customer satisfaction and the length of time that it takes to address complaints or issues. Because outbound call centers tend to be more focused on sales, top key performance indicators often include conversion rates and the amount of time it takes to close a deal.

Inbound Call Center KPIs

Since inbound call centers are often measured on customer satisfaction, we have identified the top call center key performance indicators that relate to quality service.

First Call Resolution

This metric describes the percentage of calls in which the customer’s problem or complaint is resolved within the first point of contact.

Average Age of Query

This metric tracks the average amount of time that a case remains open in your call center if the issue was not resolved during the first call.

Average Wait Time

This is one of the most important call center key performance indicators. Average wait time describes the average amount of time a caller is waiting, which includes the time that it takes for an agent to answer the phone, and the time that a caller is put on hold during the actual call.

Abandon Rate 

This metric is based on the percentage of times that a caller hangs up before the call is answered.

By monitoring and measuring these service-oriented call center key performance indicators, you can improve customer experience and streamline operations.

Outbound Call Center KPIs

Because outbound call centers have a stronger focus on sales goals, they tend to monitor KPIs that are focused on profit and efficiency. A few of the most common outbound call center key performance indicators include:

Conversion Rate

This metric refers to the ratio of calls to a service or product sold.

Agent Turnover

The cost of hiring and training new agents makes this KPI particularly important. Most call centers consider this the percentage of agent positions that need to be refilled during a year.

Blended Call Center KPIs

Blended call centers receive incoming calls from customers as well as making outbound calls to potential leads. Because they handle both service and sales activities, they need to monitor a wider variety of call center key performance indicators, including those listed in the sections above.

There are a few KPIs that apply to all three types of call centers, including:

Average Talk Time

This metric focuses on the average conversation time of each call. In some cases, agents may take too much time to address individual cases. Alternatively, agents may be in such a hurry to answer the next call that they are negatively impacting customer experience.

Average Call Work

Whether you’re selling to or assisting customers, you will want to monitor how long it takes for agents to handle data entry that is related to the call.

Average Handling Time

This metric describes the average amount of time spent on each call, which includes talk time and additional call work.

Service Level

This KPI refers to the percentage of calls answered (or made) within a defined amount of time.

How to Use KPIs for Call Center Success

Once you’ve determined which key performance indicators are essential to your call center’s success, you can start setting goals and targets for your agents and the company as a whole.

You can make the most of your metrics by getting your agents involved. One of the best things that you can do is to publish these call center key performance indicators in a public place, whether it is in the break room or within a shared CRM or software. Highlight where the team is making strides, and what areas still need improvement.

It’s also important to develop motivational tools and performance targets for your agents. Depending on the KPI, the rewards may vary. For example, if your team is able to reduce the average wait time by one minute, you may choose to host a company lunch. If a single agent sells twice what his or her quota was for the month, you may want to offer a monetary reward.

The bottom line is that call center key performance indicators are meant to be shared. When you share this essential information with your agents, they can actively work to improve performance. And when you make a point of recognizing these improvements in a positive way, you’re more likely to have happy agents.

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