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Measuring Productivity in a Call Center

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Call center executives are often tasked with measuring worker productivity, and there are several different metrics you can use to track your employees’ efficiencies on the phone. As noted in numerous industry publications and survey results, improving call metrics can be directly tied to customer satisfaction.

Here are some common call center metrics used to measure overall performance:

  • Average Call Duration (ACD): A measure of the average call length for an individual agent, useful for measuring worker efficiency. If an agent’s ACD is far higher than that of their colleagues, it can indicate a need for further training and coaching. However, ACD becomes a less effective metric at higher levels of support. When a support position is highly detailed, a focus on customer satisfaction and overall agent methodology are more effective indicators.
  • Call Quality: An attempt to quantify the elements of a successful call. Standard elements vary based on industry but can include call openings, call closings and asking if further assistance is required. Other elements are more objective and based on the employee, and can include terminology used with customers and building good communication (or rapport) with the callers. The elements of call quality you focus on should be reflected in any customer surveys that are administered.
  • Customer Service Satisfaction Score (CSAT): CSAT scores are often in response to the single question, “How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the service you received?” Simply put, they measure customer satisfaction, and there are several ways to measure the data. This can be done on a scale of 1 to 5 or a qualitative level of satisfaction such as “very satisfied” or “very dissatisfied.” When using CSAT scores, some customers won’t want to answer survey questions, and others might be angry about issues outside of your agents’ control, which can bring scores down unfairly. While CSAT scores are useful, they need to be taken in context.
  • Escalation Rate: A measure of how often an agent sends customers to higher-ranking agents for resolution. While some escalations are unavoidable, they should not be a common occurrence. If an agent is escalating too many calls, this can be a sign that further training is required either technically speaking or in general customer inquiry handling strategies.
  • First Call Resolution (FCR): A measure of how many customer issues are resolved on the first call. It is one of the most common metrics used in the industry, and a high FCR rate is a sign of an effective and properly trained workforce. If customers are calling back on solvable issues, further training or training modifications could be needed.
  • Resolution Time: A measure of how quickly customer issues are solved. Resolution time is often measured in hours or days and is more often found in industries where technical support might be needed. While the goal is to solve issues in a timely fashion, never sacrifice quality. Resolution time should be compared with customer satisfaction to assure that shortcuts are not being taken and solutions are being correctly communicated and rolled out.

There are a wide variety of ways to measure productivity and as no two call centers are exactly alike, the metrics you choose to focus on will depend on your industry. Some of the metrics above will be important, while others will have no real bearing or impact on daily business concerns and overall company revenue. The key with measuring any business metric is to ensure that it directly relates to the work being done and that all results are analyzed in context and with a complete understanding of overall business goals and work environment.

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