What are call center metrics?
Which are they?
Why are they so important?
Let’s answer all these important questions.
Call Center Metrics
Every call center needs to measure its performance in order to improve. That’s where the metrics come into place.
Call center metrics are numerical values that evaluate the performance of a campaign or contact center. These are often referred to as KPI or Key Performance Indicators.
Depending on the nature of the campaign (inbound or outbound, sales or customer service), there are different types of metrics to take into consideration.
Let’s analyze the ones that are general to all campaigns.
Average Handling Time – Call Center Metrics
This is one of the most important call center metrics. Average Handling Time or AHT is the average time that agents spend handling phone calls.
To make it a little bit clearer, it’s everything that happens from the moment the call starts until the agent is available to take the next call.
The AHT offers a fast insight into the agent dexterity when handling a phone call.
Sometimes people confuse the Average Handling Time with the Average Talk Time.
AHT is usually measured in minutes and seconds (AHT = 0:01:23; one minute and twenty-three seconds).
One of the most beneficial points of about the handling time is that companies are able to pinpoint bottlenecks during calls and optimize the call flow for better customer experience.
The handling time is composed of the talk time, hold time and after-call or wrap-up time.
Let’s discuss each one in detail.
Talk Time is the amount of time that the agent spends talking with a customer during a phone call.
It’s also called active time since it’s the moment where the conversation between the agent and customer takes place.
Depending on the nature of the campaign, talk time can reveal useful information.
During an outbound campaign, a short talk time could indicate that customers are not interested in the offer that they’re hearing.
In an inbound customer service campaign, a short talk time can mean that agents are able to solve issues for customers in an expedited way.
The hold time is another important metric. It goes hand in hand with the overall customer experience and the agility of the agent.
A prolonged hold time during a phone call can translate into an agent that can’t handle the call efficiently due to several reasons.
Problems with the CRM or system, a poorly trained agent, difficulty communicating with internal departments are a few examples of inefficient situations.
Hold times are great opportunities to detect and solve communication issues within a company.
Wrap up or After Call Time
The Wrap-up time or After Call Time, is the amount of time spent by the agent after finishing the call.
In this period of time, agents write all the details about the phone call in the CRM or dialer.
Depending on the situation, agents should be able to document everything within 30 to 60 seconds after the call is finished.
Average Call Abandonment Rate – Call Center Metrics
This is a really important one. The abandon rate indicates immediately if the call center is losing money.
When the center is losing calls, it’s letting go of sales opportunities and it’s falling to address customers problems. In either case, it’s lost for the company.
The call abandon or abandonment rate is calculated by diving the total amount of abandoned calls by the total amount of incoming calls.
An example would be, if you receive 200 inbound calls and 40 of them are abandoned, then your abandon rate is 40 abandoned calls / 200 inbound calls, this is equal to 0.2 or 20%.
An acceptable abandon rate is something between 1% and 5%.
Anything above that is an alarming figure that needs to be addressed right away.
Average Time in Queue
Average time in queue is the time (usually measured in seconds) that customers are waiting in line for the next available agent.
Anything above 30 seconds is considered too much time.
This takes us to the next metric, the Service Level.
Service Level – Call Center Metrics
Service level is closely related to the Average time in Queue, since the longer the time in queue, the lower is the service level.
The service level is the percentage of calls that are handle within the first 20 or 30 seconds.
The standard is usually 80/20 or 80/30, meaning that 80% of the calls are answered within the first 20 or 30 seconds.
Calculating the service level is really simple. It’s the number of calls answered within the first 20 or 30 seconds divided by the total amount of incoming calls.
If you receive 500 calls in a day and 350 are answered within the first 30 seconds, the SL or service level is 70%.
The working hours are a good metric that the sales manager takes into consideration to calculate the most important metric in any sales campaign, the SPH or Sales Per Hour.
Working or productive hours are the total amount of Login Time (Time when an agent shift starts until its finished) minus the non-productive time (Lunch, Break and Rest time).
The occupancy rate or occupancy level is an extraordinary metric. It tells the percentage of time that agents are handling phone calls.
To calculate the occupancy level, the total amount of handling time is divided by the total amount of working hours.
Working time or productive hours is the total amount of login time of all agents minus the non-productive time (Lunch, Break and Rest time).
Let’s see this with an example.
If you have 10 agents working from 8 am to 5 pm (that’s 9 hours of log in time) and they have 1 hour for non-productive activities, 9 log in hours minus 1 non-productive hour equals 8 productive hours per agent.
The total amount of productive hours is 8 X 10 agents = 80 productive hours.
If the total handling time of one agent is 5 hours and 30 minutes and for the sake of keeping this exercise simple, we’re going to assume that each agent made the same amount of time. So it’s 5 hours and 30 minutes multiplied by 1o, gives a total of 53 hours.
Now we divide 53 hours (total handling time) by 80 hours(productive time) and the occupancy level is 66.25%.
From a financial point of view, if the occupancy level is high (above 80%) the campaign is being efficient. Since agents are busy most of the time.
From a management point of view, if the occupancy level is too high (above 90%) the center is taking the risk of burning out the agents.
It’s important to reach a percentage that’s beneficial for every point of view since losing good agents due to fatigue can impact negatively financially speaking to the campaign.
Amount of Sales
It’s self-explanatory. Is the total amount of sales made by the sales agents in a specific period of time. These periods can be hourly, daily, weekly or monthly.
The conversion rate is another key call center metric. It’s calculated when the total amount of sales is divided by the number of valid calls.
Whenever an agent is able to talk with a potential customer for more than 1 or 2 minutes, it’s considered a valid call.
If a sales team is able to make 20 sales from 100 valid calls, then the conversion rate is 20%.
The conversion rate provides a quick view of the sales team’s performance.
Sales Per Hour (SPH)
This is by far the most important metric in a sales outbound campaign. It takes into consideration the total amount of sales and working hours.
SPH can tell how effective and efficient is the sales team.
SPH can be calculated by dividing the number of sales by the total number of productive hours.
Let’s do a quick example.
If a sales team of 5 agents made 30 sales in 40 productive hours, we divide 30 sales by 40 hours and the SPH is 0.75.
For some people, this not may sound much but an SPH above 0.25 is considered a great value.
Conclusion – Call Center Metrics
We hope that now you understand a little bit more about the different types of metrics used in a call center.
Remember, that implementing a small difference can make a huge impact on your business. This is why we recommend Pipes to improve the call flow, test new voice scripts and take your business to the next level.