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CALL CENTER METRICS: What are they and how do we measure them?

August 02, 2017 Matt Rocco

In the Call Center or Contact center world, there are a number of details that we monitor that help us to know how we’re doing.  The industry term that we call these details is Metrics and as time and technology has progressed the number of metrics that we measure has progressed as well.

While the early years of call center metrics tended to focus on efficiency, in more recent years, we have become much more concerned with quality.  There are numerous metrics that can be measured, but I’d like to look at the top five.

Quality Scores: These are probably the most important metric because they can provide a great overview for the call center as well as individual agents.  We can look at the overall caller experience as well as the conversations the agents are having on their phones. Quality scores are typically measured between 5 and 10 calls per agent per month.

First Call Resolution (FCR):  This metric can also be known as “First Contact Resolution.” Basically FCR allows contact centers to see how many times a customer needs to call a company in order to get a problem resolved. While Quality scores measure from the Call Center perspective, FCR allows us to measure from the customer’s perspective.  We can all relate to this, for each of us has, at one time or another, had a frustrating customer service issue that took a while to resolve.  Believe me, call centers like to see high numbers on this metric; high numbers mean that issues are being resolved quickly and customers are not having to call over and over regarding the same issue.  Sometimes this particular metric can be a bit murky in that often a customer may call within a seven day period about different issues.  Here are some of the ways we measure FCR:

  • Calls are monitored to determine if the agent can give a satisfactory answer the first time.
  • Monitoring the number of callers that call back within a 7 day period.
  • Monitoring the calling party number within a set period
  • Monitoring the reason for call
  • Using a post-call IVR survey
  • Looking at the quality of answer and positiveness measured by a third party.

Most importantly a call center must look at some of the benefits it can reap

  • Significant reduction in the call volume
  • Reduction in the operational cost
  • Reduce Cost of complaint call
  • Identification of customer problems

Customer Satisfaction: The old favorite amongst call centers. Basically, this tells us if our customers are happy with the service they received from our agents. A simple way to improve this metric is to cultivate the culture in your call center and encourage the agents to always put the customer at the heart of your decision, be focused on problem solving and just not the process and you will see customer satisfaction growing. Capture the customer feedback, use them to identify opportunities within the call center and improve agents. This metric can be easily measured through an IVR survey, follow-up e-mail survey or mobile surveys.

Service Level:  While some in the call center industry may not see this as one of the top five, I certainly do.  It was one of the very first metrics to be developed and it looks at the percentage of calls that are answered within a given time. For example: 80% of the calls are answered within 20 seconds or 95% of the calls are answered within 15 seconds. While this metric does measure efficiency, from the customer’s perspective, not having to sit on-hold for several minutes weighs heavily when it comes to offering their feedback. There can be many reasons that impacts the services levels such as longer call length, fluctuations in call volume, schedule adherence, inaccurate forecast and exception time.

Average Handling Time: This metric is an efficiency metric looking at the total amount of time taken to handle a call. This includes talk-time, on-hold time and wrap-up.  Some of the customers want low AHT and some don’t. Here are some of the questions you must ask yourself before you decide.

  • What are the benefits of having low AHT?
  • Do your customers want you to have low AHT?
  • Are your agents ready to reduce AHT?

As I mentioned above, there are many more metrics that can be measured, but these listed tend to be first and foremost among call centers and they have a way of helping call centers get “back to basics” so to speak when it comes to providing superior customer service.

This blog has been written by Etech’s Matt Rocco, President and Managing Member. If you would like to learn more about Etech and our contact center technology and service solutions, please contact us at info@etechgs.com.