COVID-19: Call center agents at home?
Dec 18 2020

Key call center performance metrics

How do call center executives know where to direct resources for managing performance? To introduce changes that ultimately generate more revenue, you first need to assess the current state of operations. Data-driven decisions start with introducing powerful call center software that can provide insights on several measurable parameters for your calls, agent teams, and inbound or outbound campaign settings.

However, tracking all possible metrics and comparing the numbers to industry standards may actually turn out to be counterproductive. Keep in mind that any call center reference percentages you may find on the internet strongly depend on the business profile and may not apply to your case.

Focusing on the following key metrics and finding your own preferred values for them will be the perfect start. Navigate the three groups to learn more about outbound and inbound performance parameters, depending on your primary type of traffic, and agent monitoring metrics applicable to any call center.

Outbound dialer monitoring

Average Waiting Time (AWT)

Modern call centers leverage outbound dialers to eliminate manual number input. Instead of initiating calls themselves, agents wait for the dialer to provide them with the next call. This accumulates into the average waiting time, and the longer it takes to connect agents with clients, the fewer calls are made in a day. Daily or weekly tracking of AWT is crucial for the success of any outbound campaign, signaling whether dialer settings need to be changed in order to minimize the AWT.

Abandonment Rate (AR)

The abandonment rate is the percentage of calls prematurely terminated by a lead. It results from the dialer initiating more calls than there are agents available to achieve a lower AWT. When the person picks up an incoming call and nobody is there to assist them, they will most likely hang up. Losing too many calls negatively affects customer satisfaction, so tracking the AR, sometimes legally enforced to be less than 3%, is essential to ensure the quality of a campaign.

The same metric can be monitored in inbound call centers as well - with high abandons most likely related to clients tired of waiting in long queues - and will be mentioned separately in the next section.

Answer Seizure Ratio (ASR)

Answer seizure ratio is the amount of calls that are answered out of the total calls made, including the ones that go to voicemail. This metric is an important indicator of the receptiveness of leads in your calling list - and the higher it is, the better. Advanced software solutions are also able to detect calls that are picked up by answering machines and separate them from real agent-client conversations, providing more accurate statistics on the results of your outbound campaign.

Inbound queue monitoring

Queue Abandonment Rate

Among other parameters used to measure customer satisfaction, the queue abandonment rate is perhaps the most critical. A high amount of pre-queue abandons may indicate your IVR needs some improvement, while calls dropped in-queue usually suggest the customers have to wait in line for too long. Tracking these metrics in real time gives campaign managers and supervisors a chance to appropriately reassign agents between queues.

Average Speed of Answer (ASA)

The speed of answer is calculated as the total length of customer wait time divided by the total number of calls answered. The average can be assessed for the overall call volume or for any particular queue depending on your needs. ASA is often a key part of the service level agreement - a guarantee that a certain percentage of calls will be answered within an agreed amount of time.

Agent monitoring

Average Call Duration (ACD)

Average call duration is the average length of all answered calls, an all-purpose parameter that can be measured separately for agent teams, performance of individual agents, queues, and so on. As the numbers may differ for each use case and campaign, the optimal ACD is something every call center has to figure out internally. Supervisors can also analyze the weekly deviation from the mean for each agent to identify top performers and those in need of more training or resources.

Status / Occupancy

The revenue of each day in a call center depends heavily on whether the agents were able to perform their tasks within assigned shifts. One of the fundamental challenges for managers is to keep the agent occupancy at an adequate level -- not too high for them to be overwhelmed yet high enough for achieving pre-set goals. Depending on your call center software of choice, agent statuses may be available in the form of pie charts, lists, etc. Supervisors will find real time occupancy tracking especially helpful.

Average Handle Time (AHT)

Every call can be broken down into parts like routing, actual conversation, talk time, hold time, and after-work time. As agents are responsible for updating the CRM records after each call, that last aspect of their routine can negatively impact the overall AHT. Call center software that supports CRM integration can help by simplifying the agent’s after-call work.

Properly assessing the importance of these eight key performance metrics will help your call center grow and achieve new goals. With call center software like Voiso, you can easily measure all of these metrics -- and 40+ more -- both in real time with dashboards and retrospectively via advanced historical reporting.

Start tracking today to deliver the customer service your clients expect tomorrow.