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call center kpi tools and tricks

Every Call Center KPI That Matters

call center software


Want a high-functioning call center?

Then measure KPIs.

Without KPIs call centers have few metrics to measure performance. Without business intelligence and proper management strategies, improvement in call centers can fizzle out.

But with call center KPIs, they’re able to improve agent performance, decrease costs, increase customer satisfaction, and overall enhance productivity.

Plus, KPIs help call centers reach greater organizational goals and objectives, increasing profitability and competitiveness long-term.

The struggle for most call centers is knowing what KPIs to measure. So today, we’re sharing the top 9 call center KPIs that every call center should measure.

9 Call Center KPIs That You Should Measure

1. The Agent’s Sense of Achievement

The Maslach Burnout Inventory Manual lists a “weak sense of achievement” as one of the major factors contributing to employee burnout.

When call center agents are burned out they will offer subpar customer service, be more prone to making mistakes, and may even take more sick days, or worse, quit.

It’s a serious condition, but it can be avoided.

If call centers measure agent performance and notice a decline, they can proactively take a poll from agents and find out from them why their performance is lacking. Then, they can focus on ways to improve it.

Some agents may just need new challenges to feel engaged with work. Others may need their roles and responsibilities shifted. Still others may need more hands-on attention from managers.

Call centers can discover the problem with agents only after they measure performance to reveal a problem in the first place.

How to measure a sense of achievement? Start by asking your agents! Or, send out a name-labeled survey to each agent, encouraging honest answers and reassuring participants that the survey is feedback to help managers make each agent’s work life better. Don’t forget to ask about that sense of achievement! (Look for department-wide trends while you’re at it – sometimes it is a process or lack of flexibility in roles that dampens that sense of making an impact.)

The Roll of Business Intelligence

A sense of achievement can be hard to develop in a fast-paced environment. Try gathering business intelligence reports on floor-wide performance for those make-or-break KPIs.

The secret? A competitive, on-the-floor competition board. Track and make available each employee’s business-building stats. Dollars collected? Put it on the list by the water cooler. 5-star post-call reviews? On the list. Handle time? You bet they will compete to show they can balance speed and customer satisfaction.

Want to amp performance as a side-benefit? Incentivize agents who break above your center’s hot-button KPI. Swag, a points-based monthly bonus, bragging rights, a celebratory event for top performers – all big hits in contact centers around the world.

2. Agent Productivity Levels

Apart from performance, call centers should also be measuring agent productivity levels.

One way call centers can track performance is by measuring the number of work agents complete. By looking at an agent’s output, call centers can determine if A) they’re finishing all their work and haven’t been given anything else to do or B) they’re confused about how to complete the work they have or C) there’s a personal or unique issue that needs to be resolved.

Regardless of the reason for a drop in productivity, measuring it will allow call centers to identify the agents who need the most attention and help to improve.

3. Absenteeism

Measuring absenteeism helps call centers spot employee burnout, like we pointed out earlier, along with any other issues agents may be dealing with.

An increase in absenteeism is especially alarming and should raise a red flag in any call center.

In some cases, absenteeism may be a capacity planning problem, leading to agents taking far more calls than they can handle without burning out.

In other cases, agents may be avoiding work because of workplace harassment or some other hidden issue.

Of course, at the end of the day, absent employees will cost call centers money and reduce its effectiveness. For that reason alone, it should be measured.

4. Schedule Adherence

Measuring schedule adherence is critical. It tells you if agents are working when they should be.

Plenty of times, agents may be arriving late to work or spending too much time talking with other employees. They may also be avoiding taking calls by switching their status to “Busy” when they aren’t busy.

Or, they’re taking longer breaks than they should.

Really, there are a million and one reasons why call centers may experience low schedule adherence. Measuring it will help call centers increase schedule adherence.

5. Handle Time

Measuring handle time or how much time agents spend on a call is one of the most popular metrics for call centers. And it is a good one to measure.

But, be aware not to fall into the trap of seeing long handle times and thinking that’s automatically bad a thing. Call centers have to take into account first call resolution and a host of other metrics to determine whether long handle times are inefficient or not.

And remember, the employee that goes the extra mile for your customer is probably also keeping your business’ interest at heart. Consider long handle times with care.

The Roll of Business Intelligence

Some of the most straight-forward KPIs tell a story.

  • Five-star NPS calls can be tied to longer handle times.
  • Higher collection rates may indicate innovation by agents in call strategy. Make them trainers.
  • Tie business intelligence reports to performance reviews to help guide specific, actionable improvement.

6. Active and Waiting Calls

Customers should never be left waiting if call centers can help it. This call center KPI is especially important and will help call centers better plan capacity, provide the resources agents need to do their jobs well, and route customers to the right agent.

7. Call Abandonment

Agents taking too long to resolve one customer’s issue will inevitable leave another customer waiting on the phone, and if they wait too long, they’re going to simply hang up.

In some cases, they’ll never call back and may even churn.

High call abandonment may mean call centers need to route calls to agents best suited to handle them, or they need more agents on staff, or maybe there’s a problem with aspects of the IVR.

Whatever it is, measuring abandonment is the first step to reducing it.

8. First Call Resolution

First call resolution is probably the most important call center KPIs you can focus on.

When customer issues are solved the first time they call, especially with the first agent they speak to, customers are going to be much happier – so are the agents handling the calls.

We recommend focusing heavily on this metric to raise it as high as possible. The hallmark of a terrific contact center is first call resolution.

Who doesn’t want to have their problems solved in a single call?

The Role of Business Intelligence

FCR is powered by a complex and harmonious operation of multiple factors. Asset availability. Unified caller information. Low agent connection delays. Business intelligence tools like KPI reports, call recording, call transcription and tagging. Taking a close look at these moving parts shreds curtains on what might be a mysteriously successful rock star agent. Build on the secrets you uncover.

9. Call Hold Time

When agents are interacting with customers and can’t produce the answers the customer wants, agents have to put them on hold.

Just like wait times, though, customers shouldn’t be on hold for very long.

One way to reduce hold times is to have all the information an agent needs right around them or easily accessible from their computer.

The easier call centers make it for agents to find the information they’re looking for, the less time a customer needs to wait on hold.

How to Make Call Center KPIs Actionable

A list like this is useless if call centers don’t put this information into action.

But here’s the problem:

Call centers can’t use their KPIs if they don’t know how to collect and track the data for each of these KPIs.

Without data, you just have goals with no way to meet them.

That’s where Business Intelligence (BI) comes in.

BI allows call centers to track data throughout their organization, organize it, and turn the raw data into actionable information.

Find out how BI allows call centers to make good use of KPIs with this free report today.

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