Top 5 KPIs for Inbound Call Centers

top inbound call center kpis

As a provider that specializes in inbound call center software, we are all about performance-tracking. Thanks to the advanced reporting metrics and tools available with today’s virtual contact center solutions, call center managers have all the facts and figures that they could ever need at their fingertips.

But, with all that data comes a truckload of call center metrics that you don’t need, which can be potentially dangerous for call center performance. Your mission as a call center manager is to first determine the nature of your call center, and then identify which metrics are most important to your business goals. In order to help you maximize performance, we’ve assembled a call center KPI list for inbound call centers.

1. Average Wait Time

Average wait time tracks the amount of time that callers are waiting on hold before they’re connected with an agent. While this isn’t a call center KPI of the highest priority compared to others, wait time greatly influences callers’ first impressions of your call center.

Why it’s Important:

Every minute that your customers spend on hold decreases your customer satisfaction levels.  Happy customers are connected to the right agent in approximately 30 - 90 seconds. (Depending on your industry, that range might vary slightly - but you should aim for an average speed of answer in that range.)

2. First Call Resolution

First call resolution measures a call center’s ability to resolve a customer’s call at the first call. According to the Service Quality Management (SQM) Group , a contact center consulting and research firm, the very best call centers boast an average of 86% first call resolution performance, while the worst had an average of 61%.

Why it’s Important:

The latest research suggests that first call resolution (FCR) is the single-most important KPI for customer-centric, inbound call centers. Though its direct correlation with customer satisfaction rates might seem like the only benefit, FCR also impacts operating costs, revenue, and even employee satisfaction.

3. Transfer Rate

Transfer rate is a call center KPI that reports how many times the average call has been transferred to another agent or department. If you find that customers are frequently being transferred to multiple agents during a call, you might want to reevaluate how calls are being distributed and why.

Why It’s Important:

Transfer rate can provide valuable insights about your call distribution practices. Callers can get frustrated from frequent transfers, so it’s critical to know the purpose of a situation of multiple transfers-- is it a one-off situation or an information or training gap?

4. Customer Call Frequency

This KPI for inbound call centers ties in with first call resolution as well.  If customers are calling in multiple times for the same issue, they are likely to be frustrated, which in turn puts added strain on your team of agents.

Why It's Important:

This strain can build up quickly, and often leads to high agent turnover, low morale, and even poor customer service. (Happy call center agents are more likely to provide helpful, comprehensive customer service.)

5. Schedule Adherence

Schedule adherence refers to the time your agents are logged in during the workday. Although schedule adherence is generally considered a productivity-focused metric, it has a serious impact on customer service levels.

Why It’s Important:

If your agents aren’t logged in 85 - 90% of the time (not counting appointment breaks for lunch, etc), then your average number of calls handled per hour will decrease.  As a result, your average wait time will increase, and customer satisfaction levels will suffer.

Tracking Inbound Call Center KPIs

As you can see, the top KPIs for inbound call centers revolve around customer and agent satisfaction.  In order to improve your overall performance, you’ll need to first benchmark these inbound call center KPIs and then review your progress on a regular basis.

We hope this article was helpful as you learn more about inbound call center metrics and call center KPIs. To learn more on related call center topics, check out these articles from our blog: