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call center kpi to watch for quality and productivity

The 3 Overlooked Call Center KPIs for Quality and Productivity

call center software


Every call center KPI is different.

Some KPIs are essential.

Some KPIs fight agent burnout.

And some are simply overlooked, even when they help to dramatically increase quality and productivity in call centers.

It’s those that managers forget which we’re focusing on in this post. Because when call centers managers track and improve the following KPIs, their organizations produce better service and run smoother.

3 Overlooked KPIs Every Call Center Manager Should Be Tracking

Self-Serviceable Calls

The self-service economy is growing, and today, 40% of customers prefer using self-service technology rather than dealing with humans.

This is significant, and if call center managers don’t capitalize on this trend, they’ll be dealing with more and more unhappy customers.

Just a few years ago, 67% of customers used some sort of self-service tech. As time passed, that number jumped to 76%, according to Forrester research – and the trend continues today.

It’s not hard to see why. Customers know what they want, and, if call centers make it easier for them to get what they want quickly without waiting to speak with someone, they’ll gladly take that option.

The most common self-service technology for call centers is an interactive voice response (IVR) system.

When a contact center receives a call from a customer, it’s intercepted by the IVR system which greets them and provides various options for the customer that they can select using their voice or number pad.

Typically, the options will include:

  • Paying a bill
  • Checking a balance
  • Routing to a certain department
  • Hours of operation

After a customer chooses an option from the initial menu, they’ll be given a new set of options and so on, until they’ve either accomplished what they wanted or they’re routed to a live agent if they need one (which we’ll cover in the next KPI).

To make the most use of this KPI, track how many people satisfy their needs using the IVR, how many remain on the IVR system and how many opt out of it in favor of a live agent.

If call centers have a lot of people opting for live agents, that may mean that the bulk of your incoming calls are around issues that can’t be easily resolved through IVR. Also, it may mean that the self-service options aren’t obvious enough early into the IVR experience. The BEST place for those common self-service options is the first or second layer of options.

Call Routing and Performance Measurement

Inbound call routing is one of the most important call center KPIs to track for both improving the customer experience and for increasing the productivity of agents.

If a call center has an IVR system, then some form of call routing is enabled.


Call centers have to be careful about choosing the type of call routing they use. There are several options, and they each have their pros and cons.

The most common kinds are:

  • Routing to agents who are least occupied or first available.
  • Routing calls in a set order.
  • Routing calls based on agent skill levels.

Routing to agents who are least occupied or first available is a fine tactic for call centers with agents who have roughly the same skill sets. It’s also beneficial for giving other agents a break. The problem is when important calls are handed off to mediocre agents or callers with complex questions are given to new agents who don’t know how to help them.

Routing to agents in a set or cascading order can work out great for some smaller call centers who don’t handle as many calls or handle very similar calls. The issue with this is similar to the last strategy; more callers are more likely being given to agents without the proper skills to help them.

Routing to agents based on their skills is by far one of the best strategies. It allows the IVR to direct calls to agents who are best suited to help them solve their problems. The downside is that it may prevent new agents from developing their skills.

Regardless of which type of routing a call center pursue, they should focus heavily on customer satisfaction rates, first call resolution rates, hold times, etc. to determine which calls are coming in, how best to route them and who is best at resolving each problem.

Build your call flows using analysis of these KPIs with these proven routing strategies.

Speech Analytics

Speech analytics is a growing technology that offers a wonderful KPI for managers willing to use it.

But to determine how to use speech analytics as a KPI, it’s important to identify how speech analytics will be used at all.

Will it be used to:

  • Identify customer likes and dislikes?
  • Find out how well agents are performing when talking to customers?
  • Improve regulatory compliance?
  • Identify agents using incorrect disclosures or language?

Because speech analytics can be used to understand so much about the performance of a call center, it can be used for a variety of different KPIs.

The Missing Tool for all Call Center KPIs

The overarching technology that helps managers track and measure call center KPIs is Business Intelligence (BI).

BI helps call center managers do it all:

  • Track employee behavior and improve it.
  • Better understand customers and how to please them.
  • Root out inefficiencies in the office and streamline the organization.

The list goes on and on.

Want to see how?

Get a free copy of our Business Intelligence Brochure and see how powerful BI is, today!

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