The primary goal of a successful call center is to provide excellent customer service, assistance, support, and education to new and existing customers who call to interact with your business. And customers have high expectations when they reach an agent — they expect friendly and professional service and a swift resolution to their problem or query.
Whether you have an in-house call center or an outsourced team, tracking and analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs) can help your organization measure agent productivity and efficiency, agent effectiveness, and overall customer satisfaction. You should have a basic understanding of what metrics are most important so that you can accurately judge the performance of your call center.
Below are some common call center KPIs that can help you track performance, efficiency, and effectiveness throughout the entire process.
The customer experience begins as soon as they dial the number for your company. Tracking KPIs related to the call initiation process is critical to reduce the number of people who hang up or become frustrated by a long wait or no response before ever reaching an agent.
- Average time in queue. How long are your customers stuck waiting in the queue? As a general rule, you want to connect callers with agents as soon as possible to prevent customers from getting frustrated and leaving. Longer queue times are normal during peak call hours, but consistently high wait times could indicate inadequate staffing and the need for more agents.
- Average abandonment rate. Abandoned calls are those that end before the customer speaks to an agent. Hang ups in the queue, hang ups due to a busy tone, or calls that go straight to voicemail are all considered abandoned calls. The lower your abandonment rate is, the better. Customers who can’t get through to you when they need help are left with a poor impression of your brand’s customer service.
The following KPIs measure the quality of the time customers spend interacting with agents. These metrics help ensure that agents act professionally and work efficiently and effectively to find solutions for customer problems and queries.
- Average time to answer. This KPI tracks how long it takes agents to answer the phone for inbound calls. Ideally, agents answer their phones within 25-30 seconds to avoid leaving callers hanging on the line. Quick answering times demonstrate agent efficiency, accessibility, alertness, and responsiveness.
- Average handle time. Average handling time tracks the total length of time agents spend on calls. Busy and impatient customers want to spend as little time on the phone as possible. Consistently fast handling times indicate that agents are efficient and prepared to handle customer concerns, which in turn leads to more satisfied customers. On the flip side, agents who have consistently long handling times may need more training and support.
- Escalation rate. How often are agents escalating calls to supervisors or managers? High escalation rates could indicate any number of problems: agents may not have the right tools and resources to handle customer inquiries or they may have poor phone etiquette that’s leading to negative customer experiences. Either way, getting to the bottom of high escalation rates is critical to improving efficiency and customer service.
- First contact resolution. This metric tracks the number of times an agent is able to resolve a customer’s concern in one call, with no follow-up or callback required. Callers perceive significantly better experiences and customer service when they’re able to get an issue handled promptly in a single call. Inevitably, some customer issues will be too complex to resolve in one phone call, but a high first contact resolution rate indicates excellent agent efficiency and preparedness.
- Etiquette and procedure adherence. Call center agents are the face of your company during customer interactions. One way to track call quality is to record calls for playback and assessment, or schedule specific times for a manager or supervisor to sit in on agent calls. The purpose of quality assurance is to ensure that agents are following proper phone etiquette (greeting customers by name, being warm and friendly, etc.) and following the proper steps to resolve customer issues. Customers have better experiences and leave calls feeling more satisfied when agents are polite, empathetic, confident, and knowledgeable.
Sending post-call surveys via text or email is an excellent way to track and measure the overall customer experience and customer satisfaction. Below are three KPIs to help you monitor how well your call center agents are delivering an amazing customer experience.
- Customer satisfaction score (CSAT). The CSAT gauges how satisfied customers are with your products, services, and customer service. In a call center setting, CSAT surveys can help you identify which agents are performing the most effectively.
- Customer effort score (CES). CES measures how much effort customers have to exert to resolve an issue. The goal is for customers to put in as little effort as possible — the easier it is for them to resolve an issue after contacting your company, the more satisfied they are. Like the CSAT, CES surveys can help you determine how effective your call agents are.
- Net promoter score (NPS). An NPS survey asks customers how likely they are to recommend your company to friends or family members. It’s a great metric for evaluating how satisfied your customers are overall.
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We provide broad-spectrum medical marketing services, including strategy and investment, analytics, paid media, social media, remarketing, content marketing, and acquisition and call centers. When you’re ready to hire a marketing agency that can drive more to your bottom line, contact NewGen Marketing for a free consultation.