We have all heard the old saying: "What gets measured gets improved." Though it might seem cliche, it is certainly applicable to call center performance. But, that's just one half of the equation. Before you think about measurement, you must ensure that you are tracking the call center KPI benchmarks that will help your call center achieve success in customer service, productivity, top line revenue, or whatever you are aiming to improve.
What are Call Center KPIs?
Call center KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, are measurable metrics that relate to specific objectives. Businesses track KPIs to evaluate whether or not they have achieved target goals related to these larger objectives.
For example, a call center focused on delivering higher levels of customer service might use first call resolution as a KPI. First call resolution identifies the percentage of customers whose problem was resolved the first time that they contacted the call center.
Below are just a few of the most common KPIs that call centers use today:
Average Speed of Answer
How quickly are your agents answering the phone? This call center KPIs measures just that. Officially, it is the amount of time it takes for a call to be answered during a specific time period.
Average Wait Time
How long are your customers waiting in the call queue before an agent becomes available? Known as average wait time, this call center KPI is defined as the average combined time that a caller is waiting. This includes the time it takes an agent to answer the phone and the amount of time that a caller is put on hold during the encounter.
First Call Resolution
We already touched on this call center KPI briefly, but first call resolution is defined as the percentage of calls in which the customer's issue is resolved within the first point of contact.
Average Call Duration
This call center KPI tracks how long your agents spend on an average phone call with prospects or customers.
Average Handling Time
Average handling time is calculated using the sum of Average Call Duration and After Call Work, and dividing that by the total number of calls. It tells you how long your agents are spending on calls as a whole, including after call work.
Are your agents actually available and ready to make or receive calls for the entire time that they are scheduled to work? With schedule adherence, you can calculate this. It is the amount of time a call center agent is available divided by the time that they are scheduled to work. This metric is then expressed as a percentage.
Choosing the Right Call Center KPI Benchmarks
Different businesses have different metrics by which they measure success. As such, they have different KPIs that vary based the industry, size, and purpose of the call center.
The first step to selecting the right call center KPI benchmarks is to determine what type of call center you're running. There are three basic variations: inbound, outbound, and blended call centers. And, they are almost exactly what they sound like.
Inbound call centers deal with a majority of incoming calls or contacts. This applies to a lot of customer-service focused call centers. Outbound call centers are usually focused on outbound campaigns to prospects or customers; in most cases, agents in outbound call centers are focused on sales opportunities. Blended call centers handle both inbound and outbound calling.
If you're running an inbound, customer service focused call center, you are probably focused on KPIs like first call resolution, average hold time, and average speed of answer. If you're running an outbound, sales-focused call center, you will want to track different KPIs, like conversion rate, agent turnover rates.
Call Center Performance Benchmarking
Now that you have determined the right call center KPIs for your business, start thinking about call center performance benchmarking. Establish effective benchmarks for your KPIs by measuring and tracking performance from both quantitative and qualitative perspectives.
Today's call center software solutions allow you to do just that. AVOXI's call center platform, Smart Queue, features over 150 pre-built reports and dashboards that allow businesses to track call center and agent performance. With these historical reports, you can see how your call center has performed in the past. This data provides you with the information you need to benchmark your performance and set tangible goals for improvement.
Managing a Successful Call Center
Whether you're running an inbound, outbound, or blended call center, KPIs allow you to make smart, data-driven decisions that can increase efficiency, boost customer satisfaction, and even reduce costs. To learn how Smart Queue, AVOXI's virtual call center platform, can help you gain actionable insights into your call center's performance, talk to an AVOXI specialist today.
For more information on call center performance benchmarking, explore these related articles: