A call center can be a pretty hectic environment. Between the online customer service handling social media channels and emails from customers, you also have tons of calls coming in and going out.
With all that’s going on, it can seem impossible to measure employee performance accurately. Unfortunately, you just can’t fly by the seat of your pants.
Efficient productivity in the call center is critical if you want the best results for your business. The more efficient your call center agents are, the more your revenue. It sounds simple, but it’s not that easy.
You need to have a firm understanding of how productive your call center agents are by recording and assessing practical call center agent performance metrics. TO have these metrics built into your platform, see more on how SignalWire can help.
What Are Call Center Agent Performance Metrics
In a nutshell, call center metrics are data that measure the amount of work completed over a set period and are used to gauge the overall efficiency and productivity levels of the team.
Customer service managers use these metrics to create a generalized set of key performance indicators or KPIs. This way, they can better determine how effectively the call center is achieving its business goals.
But everything is not so straightforward. A positive customer experience goes hand-in-hand with call center productivity. Choosing to follow the wrong metrics can hurt your call center and the customer service experience it provides.
The pressure to meet unrealistic KPIs can push agents over the edge since they’ll be prioritizing customer needs over numbers.
To help you out, here’s a detailed breakdown of the performance metrics you need to consider to determine call center efficiency.
1. First Call Resolution Rate
This is the most significant metric to track for many call centers, and it’s easy to see why.
First call resolution (FCR) is a measure of if a client’s concerns are resolved the first time they reach out to the call center.
If a client has to call back numerous times with the same concern, is transferred too often, or has their issue escalated to the supervisor, you need to analyze how you can have their issue addressed the first time around.
By keeping the FCR rate low, the center will achieve lower repeat calls and higher customer satisfaction rates. As such, this metric should be a top priority for any call center.
2. Average Call Abandonment Rate
The average call abandonment rate indicates the percentage of client calls who hang up the phone before their call reaches an agent. This is not rare in call centers and often happens as a result of long hold times.
Although it may not reveal much about a particular agent, it can be very telling about agent productivity.
If the average call abandonment rate is too high, try and find problems that are synonymous with all your agents to determine why they cannot respond to clients on time. On the other hand, a low percentage of abandoned calls means your agents are productive and tending to a lot of incoming calls, thus providing a positive customer experience.
3. Percentage of Calls Blocked
The blocked call percentage shows the percentage of clients who tried to reach the call center but received a busy tone.
This can happen if the call center management software is unequipped to handle a large volume of calls or there aren’t enough available agents assigned to a shift when call queues are full. It could be that there are enough agents, but the lines are being used for personal reasons.
Either way, look into how you can free up your lines to avoid clients from being turned down.
Remember that behind each blocked call is a possibly frustrated customer you missed out on serving. As such, try to keep your blocked call percentage at a minimum.
4. Average After Call Work Time
Average after-call work time measures the average time it takes for agents to tend to the customer’s needs after the call is finished. Make sure you factor in both inbound and outbound calls when measuring this KPI.
After-call work time should take up a third to a half of the average call. There may be an efficiency issue if your agents spend more than 20 to 30 seconds engaged in customer tasks. Nonetheless, they shouldn’t rush the call cause they might end up compromising the quality of their service.
5. Average Handling Time (AHT)
Finding out your AHT is one of the most significant ways of measuring call center agent productivity. Your AHT refers to how much time an agent spends on work related to customer interactions from the moment they pick up the phone until it is finished.
Many call centers are evaluated on how fast they handle callers because faster AHT rates show that the agents are more efficient, plus call center managers aim to reduce call wait times.
However, prioritizing this metric could be detrimental to the quality of service provided by agents since they’re being pushed to move faster. Customers don’t want to spend 30 minutes on the phone talking to customer service, but they also don’t want to have to call again because the issue wasn’t properly sorted.
6. Average Time in Queue
Another metric you should look at is the average time in queue. This metric indicates the number of time customers spend on hold, stuck in call queues waiting to get through to an agent.
You can find out the average time clients spend in the queue by dividing the total time callers wait by the total number of calls your agent answer. If you find customers waiting on hold longer than they need to, challenge your agents to drive the number low by being more efficient in call handling.
Alternatively, a good measure of excellent customer service is providing a call-back service, so they don’t have to wait or make a return call.
Winding It Up
If you want to take your business to the next level, you need to improve the productivity of your customer service. Use the metrics listed above to find out how you can help agents better address customer concerns.
However, focusing on call center performance metrics rather than the quality of the service is what you don’t want to do because it helps no one. Instead, engage and train your call center agents on how you can improve the quality of customer service in general.