Top Metrics You Will Not Be Able to Analyze Through Call Center Reports

It is often reported that measuring call center performance is of paramount importance, since it allows to trace all ongoing changes and gather the required statistics that shows whether the organization is going to be profitable or not. There is special software, which helps managers of call centers get almost any information they currently need without any haste and effort. However, these reports often cannot make it possible to build and measure metrics, which have a substantial impact upon the performance of your business. Some of the metrics that cannot be evaluated through using call center reports are customer satisfaction, personnel training and stress level. Let us have a closer look at these KPIs further.

Call center technologies

Call center technologies

As far as the main objective of any call center is all about handling customers’ problems, the rate of customer satisfaction proves to be one of those metrics that matter a lot for this business. If clients are not really satisfied with the quality of services they get, the organization will sooner or later become at a loss. According to recent surveys, around two-thirds of clients who had to turn to other call centers, decided to do that because their calls were handled badly.  In other words, the better agents handle clients’ calls, the higher customer satisfaction rate becomes. A nice way to find out whether a client is satisfied with the level of servicing is to ask him/her to rate this aspect at the end of each call. Taking into account that some customers may not be completely honest with agents who handle their calls, a better option here is to build metrics that will provide a more trustworthy result.

Call center types

Call center types

Personnel training is important as well, because this metric shows how well employees cope with their duties. Some of them may face complications not only because of insufficient knowledge, but mainly because of the inability to master new software and operations. That is why it is critical to spot this problem on time in order to provide adequate training so that the agents could constantly keep their skills fresh.

Stress level is the next aspect to be measured in a call center. The thing is that working in a company like this is often stressful because of a high amount of repetitive phone calls, irritated and impatient customers etc. With regard to this, it seems important to measure stress level regularly and undertake special measures to reduce the tension when necessary.

How to Apply Qualitative Call Center Metrics When Measuring the Performance of This Organization

Measuring call center performance is one of the most significant tasks for its owners, which should be done regularly. Though there are several ways of doing that today, metrics still remain the most effective of them. If you are right about to evaluate the way your organization functions, then you should know that all metrics are subdivided into qualitative and quantitative. The most typical qualitative KPIs involve schedule adherence, conversion rate, average call handle time, after call work as well as transfer and on-hold rates. Each agent should be also evaluated with regard to pre-defined qualitative measures such as communication skills, telephone etiquette, service and product knowledge, ability to handle calls on time, adherence to the required processes and procedures.  Qualitative metrics are generally applied to keep track of personnel interaction with customers.

Measuring call center

Measuring call center

There are different sources that can help you gather that very information you need to work out qualitative call center metrics critical for your call center. In most cases, these data come from monitoring and observation. Call monitoring, for example, is mainly done through remote tracking of inbound and outbound calls, side-by-side and recorded monitoring. Side-by-side observation includes direct monitoring of an agent’s work and his/her manner of handling calls. The most efficient way to cope with this task without disrupting other employees is to use the so-called “double-jack” telephone system, which allows both an observer and an employee to connect to one and the same phone set by means of using individual headsets.

Call center role

Call center role

Another way to gather info for building call center metrics is to apply silent monitoring, the essence of which implies the ability of an observer to trace any current call through listening to the ongoing conversation. This makes it possible to keep track of call calibration as well, which is a highly significant process of performing the evaluation of calls. This ensures fairness of the scoring process and, as a result, proper, objective and timely implementation of qualitative call center metrics you will consider meaningful for your business in particular. Any session of call calibration requires three items to be performed adequately and successfully. These are the quality-monitoring form, corresponding quality-standards docs and a number of sample calls. Individuals participating in this process should be specially trained to cope with the task properly in order to provide trustworthy information required for building and implementing qualitative metrics that will be further used to assess the overall performance of a call center.

Call Center Metrics: Improve Your Resource Utilization Capacity Today

There are different factors that affect the performance of any call center. Ability to control employees is one of them. Nowadays the process of monitoring the performance of call center agents has become facilitated due to the introduction of special software that makes it possible to keep track of the number of handled calls as well as other aspects. However, there is another effective way to find out how knowledgeable an employee is and how well he/she performs everyday work. What we mean is introduction of call center metrics, which helps improve resource utilization capacity of this organization.

Call center roles

Call center roles

Proper and effective resource utilization depends upon such KPIs as agent (staff) occupancy, staff shrinkage, schedule efficiency and adherence. Agent occupancy is reported to be one of the most meaningful indicators used to measure the efficacy of personnel use. It implies the amount of time an employee is busy handling the incoming call or engaged in the after-call work. To define this measure, it is required to divide the overall amount of workload hours by that of staff hours. The lower the occupancy is – the more inefficient an agent’s work proves to be. On the other hand, if this measure it too high, it signifies that the agents may be overworked, which negatively affects the performance of a call center. Most organizations of this type aim at reaching around 85% – 90% agent occupancy rate, because higher indicators often result in undesirable call handling employee behavior and high turnover rate.

Call center benchmarks

Call center benchmarks

The next metric that affects the efficacy of resource utilization is staff shrinkage. It is the amount of paid time agents spend not engaged in the process of handling calls. This metric is also known as “nonproductive time” and is comprised of paid vacations and days off, training and meeting time, unexplained time intervals employees spend off the phone and, of course, breaks. This indicator shows the number of people to be scheduled for every half-hour.  It should not exceed the 20% rate, though the percentage may reach up to 50 % in call centers, where employees perform multiple tasks at a time.

Adequate resource utilization is all about having the most appropriate number of agents in each place during the whole day. This is where schedule efficiency will certainly come in handy. It identifies the over- and understaffing degrees with regard to the scheduling plan. That is why this metric has traditionally been considered one of the most influential and significant indicators that help evaluate the level of call center productivity.

Ways to Define KPIs That Will Work For Your Call Center

It is crucial for any call center to find the best ways to improve its performance. In this regard, there can be nothing better than introducing versatile key performance indicators in order to define which of them will work better for your business in particular. The majority of these metrics are meant to reveal the efficacy of handling customer contacts. So, what KPIs exactly are considered the most popular and efficient here? It is reported that the following measures are the most widespread: average handle time, on-hold time and after-call work time. If you wish to find out more about these metrics, then let us analyze their essence below.

Call center efficiency and effectiveness

Call center efficiency and effectiveness

Average handle time (AHT) is claimed to be the most typical metric applied to measure the efficacy of call handling. It is comprised of the overall talk time and that required for after-call work. This KPI is a top choice for those businesses that consider it important to determine staffing requirements as well as general workload. For better results, it is recommended to measure average handle time both by day of the week and time of the day. In this case, the metric we are talking about helps identify not only the performance of a certain call center, but that of each agent as well.

Call center metrics

Call center metrics

On-hold time implies the overall amount of time a customer is on hold waiting for his/her problem to be solved. The main goal of introducing this metric is to reduce both the number of cases when a caller has to wait on hold and the duration of that period. Although this indicator is quite informative, not all call center owners consider it too significant to be implemented in their companies.  In most cases, this metric is used as a means of identifying specific gaps in agents’ performance and their knowledge by reviewing the percentage of incoming calls this or that employee puts on hold.

After-call work time (ACW) is another indicator, which is additionally considered the most controllable of all metrics. What does it imply? It comprises the amount of time an agent has to spend after the handled conversation. He/she needs this time to update computer files, fill out documents and complete all work associated with the call. After call work time should ideally be measured and then analyzed over a particular time interval in order to provide adequate assessment of the amount of time required for the accomplishment of all tasks.  This metric also helps indicate employees, who need extra training and coaching for better performance.

Key KPIs For Better Call Center Performance

Modern contact center technologies make it possible to measure and track large amounts of data that reflect the way a company functions. The prevailing number of call center managers are able to tell most facts related to their companies, starting with the average speed of answer observed last month and up to the average handle time that was tracked the day before. Though this information is quite meaningful for the analysis of contact center performance, it seems to be essential for a company’s managers to be able to analyze this info and draw reasonable conclusions. In most cases, however, we observe quite a discouraging situation. Those managers that have the above mentioned data at hand just cannot find answers to simple, but significant questions: How well a call center they run is currently performing and is there anything that may be done to change the situation for the better?

What makes the best call center

What makes the best call center

 

If you do not wish to face the same situation, then you should realize how important KPIs (key performance indicators) are and what role they play when it comes to the measurement of contact center productivity. These indicators enable managers of these companies to track, identify and find solutions to the most frustrating call center performance problems as well as to establish long-term and short-term performance objectives and ways of achieving them.

 

What makes a good call center operator

What makes a good call center operator

The overall amount of call center metrics may seem to be astounding at first sight, but this does not mean that you should apply all of them. By the way, this is one of the most frequent misconceptions some contact center managers have when it comes to the evaluation process. In most cases, it is enough to develop and introduce around 8 or 10 metrics for effective performance measurement. Some of the top metrics that may come in handy to you here are: average handle time, average speed of answer, first-call resolution rate, personnel and customer satisfaction, services levels etc. Thus, quality of customer servicing is interrelated with the level of customer satisfaction, since it shows how well an agent performs his/her tasks and if a potential client is satisfied with the level of servicing or not.  Average handle time metric is generally developed to measure the amount of time an agent needs to handle a standard call. It is not difficult to assume that this indicator is connected with customer satisfaction as well, because the quicker and the more effectively a problem is handled, the more desire a person will have to deal with a particular call center.  First call resolution helps trace the percentage of customers that had their problems solved from the very first try. These metrics will help you analyze the efficacy of your business performance and maximize your profits.

Call Center Metrics: Be Careful With What You Measure

What call center metrics are really worth measuring? This question is not easy to answer. Nonetheless, each company should find a solution to this problem the sooner-the better. This is because modern technologies allow customers get access to lots of choices, so the more effective and popular your contact center will be – the more clients will be attracted to it and the greater amount of sales it will eventually generate. With proper metrics and key performance indicators in mind, your organization will find it easier to track, measure and analyze the most critical factors that affect your business. As a result, it will be simpler for you to draw smart conclusions and make real-time decisions that will improve the performance of your call center and bring it to a brand new level.

What makes good call center metrics

What makes good call center metrics

Call center metrics should always be considered in advance. Such decisions, however, should not be made in haste. Otherwise, there will be a risk of measuring the wrong things, which do not affect your business at all. What you should know is that all performance metrics may be generally subdivided into three groups. Business performance call center metrics are applied to help you reach your business objectives. Operational metrics are used to review the way your call center operations help achieve the pre-set business objectives. Individual or agent performance metrics are implemented to drive the operational performance metrics, which, in their turn, boost business goals.

Call center benchmarks

Call center benchmarks

Let us discuss what metrics exactly are included into each category mentioned above. Business performance metrics comprise such KPIs as Revenue per unit, Net Promoter Score, Customer loyalty and Churn rate. The second group of metrics (those that deal with operational issues) include the following key performance indicators: Sales, Quality support scores, Customer satisfaction and Cost of Operation.  Individual or Agent performance metrics involve QA scores, Contact/Productivity handling indicators such as schedule adherence, efficacy of gent utilization, productive VS paid hours, attendance, amount of handled contacts, log ratio, time of call handling, percentage of calls on hold etc.

Each contact center tends to choose those metrics, which seem to be crucial for a company at a given period of time. As a rule, the following indicators are measured in such organizations most often: average handle time, service level, number of incoming and outbound calls, staffing levels, customer and employee satisfaction, abandoned volumes etc.  These metrics are those that can tell a lot about your business and its current performance.

What Makes Call Center Metrics Meaningful?

Each person who has ever bought anything has certainly communicated with call center agents. This is because this organization is the one, which makes and receives calls and handles problems customers face from time to time. It is frequently compared with a kind of an entrance to a company, the performance of which affects the amount of sales and overall success of your business. Though a great number of interactions is done with the help of e-mail transactions and over the Internet, phone calls are still considered the prevailing form of establishing contacts with customers nowadays. No wonder, adequate operation of a call center is of supreme importance both for the managers and agents of these organizations. That is why lots of them tend to make use of call center metrics and apply them quite often.

Call center specifics

Call center specifics

When developing contact center metrics, do not forget to consider a number of issues. First of all, think about the type of your business and those things that may prevent it from being successful (in your opinion). To do this, you should analyze the performance of your contact center over the recent years. As far as the list of call center metrics is quite long, it is recommended to choose not more than 10 of them. Well, this may seem nearly impossible, so try to focus on those indicators that seem critical for your business at a given period of time. Keep in mind that you do not need to make a random choice. What you require is a proper balance of business, performance and operational metrics. You should also consider the potential sources, from which you can get data needed for the development of these metrics. Lots of companies these days take into account call recordings, structured data, different surveys and, of course, social media.  Finally, define what goal you pursue at the moment. This may be anything your call center currently lacks, including revenue generation, maximization of first-call resolution and customer satisfaction, ensuring the low-cost servicing of clients and what not.

How to optimize call center performance

How to optimize call center performance

Having defined the above mentioned issues, you are welcome to select and set up those metrics you currently need. The most popular and crucial of them include average talk time, first-call resolution rate, customer and employee satisfaction, amount of handled calls, percentage of abandoned calls, response time etc. As you see, there is a long list of metrics to choose from, so be careful and attentive when coping with this task.

Call Center Metrics That Can Ensure Effective Performance Evaluation of Your Business

Any call center faces the necessity to analyze the efficacy of its performance and that of employee productivity. This is because the main goal of this organization is to establish fruitful interaction with the customers, thus increasing the amount of sales. If your company is right about to set up call center metrics that will allow assessing the most critical issues that may affect the overall performance and profitability of your business, then deciding on their amount and essence proves to be the number one objective for you.

Call center metrics for agents

Call center metrics for agents

So, what call center metrics should you initially focus on? To start with, you should pick out those indicators that will characterize the balanced performance of your company. The choice, in its turn, will depend upon a series of factors, such as your major goal, current performance and employee productivity, the type of a call center you own, main customer services you provide, the level of technical support etc. At present, the most meaningful and critical call center metrics that are actively implemented worldwide and affect the sales level of this organization include scheduled appointments, dials and talk time.

Call center working principle

Call center working principle

Scheduled appointments imply a certain level of interest a prospective customer may show when dealing with your call center. With regard to this, it is important to realize that the more prospects your organization manages to attract during a particular period of time, the higher the sales volumes will become. This is what this metric should generally show.

It is not a secret that any call center is highly concerned with the amount of calls its employees manage to handle during a pre-defined time interval. That is why managers of these companies tend to control the number of handled calls and that of dials as well. Though they cannot control external factors that affect this indicator (such as weather conditions, market events, incoming lead volume etc.), they still can track the amount of dials and this is where this metric will be useful.

Unfortunately, call center agents often fail to correlate talk time and effective and quality way of holding conversations with their potential customers. Long-time conversations can have no result at all, while short talks if done properly can positively affect the amount of sales. That is exactly why the talk time metric is meant to help them trace this issue and draw corresponding results in time.

There are other metrics to be included into your call center balanced scorecard system, so it always makes sense to learn more about them before you proceed to this process.

How to Get the Most Out of Call Center Performance Evaluation

Call center complaints… We have heard a lot about this problem, but it does not mean that your business should face the same complications. Instead, it is quite possible to make your call center the one that will be popular and successful. What is needed to do that? Well, one of the first things you should start is choosing and setting up proper call center metrics that will make it possible for you to analyze the performance of your organization and draw corresponding and, what is important, timely conclusions.

What does a customer service do?

What does a customer service do?

Evaluation of call center KPIs is rightfully considered the most popular technique used to measure the performance of this organization. There are different metrics you may implement with regard to the specifics and essence of your business. The only thing you should make sure is that these indicators should be informative and consistent. Otherwise, there would be no sense to waste your time, effort and money to organize the measurement process.

An inder call center operator

An ideal call center operator

Nowadays, the number of complications and problems associated with the effective assessment of call center performance is really impressive and it seems not easy to define those of them that affect your call center most of all. That is why experts underline the necessity of implementing and measuring a set of KPIs rather than individual metrics. This ensures an intrinsic approach to the analysis of your call center functioning, making it possible to analyze a complex of significant factors at a time.

How is it better for you to make sure that those KPIs you have selected are applicable and important for your call center? As a matter of fact, the most effective way to check this is to identify the essence of these metrics and their validity. Properly set KPIs should be collected accurately and rely on trustworthy and informative data sources. They also have to be distinguished by high value for your organization. These are the main aspects you should pay attention to in order to get the most out of call center performance assessment.

Unfortunately, it often turns out that some call center managers fail to understand the power and efficacy of metrics and the whole Balanced Scorecard system. What you should keep in mind is that these indicators are not only those tools that can enable you to measure the performance of your organization, but they offer you the most reliable and informative diagnostic capacity to identify the most striking problems that prevent your business from flourishing.

Call Center Metrics And Their Connection With Informative Agent Assessment

What is the most amazing and important thing related to the work of a call center? Well, this question may have several answers depending upon the aspects that need consideration and analysis. Thus, if we focus on a call center as a business unit, then its performance and revenue will be those issues that will matter a lot both for the managers of this organization and its clients. When it comes to measuring these aspects, we will not go without making use of call center metrics. This is because they are claimed to be the most significant measures of credibility and productivity of this organization.

Qualities of a call center operator

Qualities of a call center operator

So, what call center metrics are the most helpful when it comes to evaluating the agents of this organization? Actually, there are dozens of them, but we will talk about those that are widely implemented in the majority of these business units. These are Average Handle Time, After Call Work and First Call Resolution. What makes these KPIs important? To answer this question, we need to have a closer look at their essence.

What's a quality call center?

What's a quality call center?

Let us start with Average Handle Time or Average Call Duration. This metric is paid special attention to because it is reported to be related with the rate of customer satisfaction. With regard to this, it seems obvious that the more effective and quick the process of handling incoming calls is – the higher the popularity of a call center will be. However, we can look at this aspect in a different way. Thus, agents who try to focus on the speed of answer only, often neglect the efficiency of this complicated process. As a result, this produces a negative effect upon overall performance of this organization. What is the way out then? The best solution here is to maintain a smart equilibrium between these aspects and this is where the Average Handle Time metric will come in handy.

After Call Work (ACW) is another metric established to assess agents that work in a call center. It helps determine how quickly an employee manages to move from one incoming call to another. Nonetheless, it seems reasonable to understand that each agent needs time to rest between handling calls to be able to cope with them effectively. This is what the ACW metric implies. First Call Resolution is one more KPI that requires implementation in any call center. It is used to identify the amount of inbound calls each employee manages to handle effectively from the first try.

Though all the KPIs mentioned above matter for quality and efficient evaluation of call center agents, it is still better to apply them in combination with other metrics, which seem important for your business.


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