Your customer-facing employees are crucial to your business success, which is why call center performance should be routinely evaluated and improved. Being in the frontlines, your call center staff has a significant impact on your overall customer satisfaction.

According to the Microsoft 2018 State of Global Customer Service Report, 95 percent of global consumers say that customer service influences their brand choice and loyalty. This means that their overall experience with you impacts their brand perception, regardless of how good your products or services are.

The Value of Call Center Efficiency

The purpose of call centers is more than just picking up the phone. It’s about establishing customer relationships based on satisfaction and value. Your contact center is also a good source of data-based, accurate feedback. Customers call in with insights and information that you can use to improve your product and service offerings.

How do you make sure your call center is fulfilling its function?

It begins with setting the right key performance indicators. The right metrics extract valuable data sets that let you accurately measure your contact center’s overall capacity. Ultimately, having the right KPIs help you determine the effectiveness of your customer service and how it affects your bottom line.

Call center software measures various metrics in real-time. Each point to different aspects of your contact center, pinpointing your areas for improvement. But some metrics have more weight than others. Below are five inbound call center metrics you absolutely need to measure.

1. First Contact Resolution

First call or contact resolution (FCR) is among the most important metrics in customer service and customer relationship management. If your agents manage to fix a customer’s issue during the first call, that means your approach to conflict resolution is effective.

But if a customer has to call or be transferred multiple times, then you need to look at your current processes to know what’s causing the inefficiency.

Keeping a high FCR is crucial to call centers. First, how fast you resolve customers’ problems directly impacts their satisfaction. They can easily get frustrated if it takes you too long to identify the cause of their issue and propose a solution.

Plus, a high FCR lowers your cost per contact and increases your overall call center efficiency. When your agents resolve customer issues fast, they have more time to answer more calls.

The two common ways to solve for FCR are:

OR

The first approach shows your FCR for all customers, so it gives you a more accurate picture of your customer service team’s performance. But the second approach can also be useful if you want to exclude repeat calls.

2. Average Speed of Answer

Your average speed of answer (ASA) is the average time it takes for your team to accept waiting calls. When your ASA is too high, that means that there are barriers to your contact center’s productivity. Your agents might be slow to pick up calls or are taking too long to resolve issues.

If these two reasons are the culprits behind your low ASA, evaluate your new employee training programs to see if there’s a better way to build their call management and problem-solving skills.

You also want to consider hiring more people in your call center. You might be understaffed, which is why your team takes too long to pick up calls.

Here is the most common way to calculate for ASA:

3. Average Call Abandonment Rate

Your call abandonment rate is the percentage of callers who give up after waiting on hold too long. A high abandonment rate usually goes hand-in-hand with a low answering speed. The longer your agent takes to answer a call, the more likely the customer is to drop it.

You might wonder: Why do you need to measure for both abandonment rate and ASA if they give you similar facts?

Measuring your abandonment rate tells you how many customers you lose, whereas your ASA shows you the answering capability of your team. You can draw a correlation from these two metrics and find out how fast you need to answer calls. From there, you can determine the best method for improving your ASA and abandonment rate – whether it’s to hire more people or intensify your training.

Calculate your abandonment rate using this formula:

4. Average Handle Time

Average handle time (AHT) is an important metric to measure because it affects your cost per call and productivity. But it can be tricky to calculate and set a target figure for. When the handling time is too long, it might indicate that your agent is having trouble dealing with the customer. But if the handling time is too short, it might mean that your agent wasn’t able to offer valuable assistance.

You want an average handle time that’s long enough for your agents to provide value, but short enough that it doesn’t cause a long call queue.

You’ll need a quality assurance software to monitor the quality of your calls. This helps you make sure that your call center is maximizing their interaction with each customer while meeting your target AHT.

Call center automation software can also help improve your AHT. The program takes care of manual form-filling, note-taking, call logging, call recording other micro-tasks that take up time during each call. Your agent can just focus on the customer and provide better solutions.

Here’s the formula for AHT:

5. Customer Satisfaction Rate

The goal of every call center is to keep your customers pleased with your brand. One way to measure customer happiness is through the customer satisfaction score.

You have various options for measuring customer satisfaction. Most call centers partner with third-party surveying tools, while others create their own surveys to gather feedback. You can combine your customer satisfaction rate and quality assurance measurements to get a more comprehensive picture of your call center’s effectiveness.

As a call center manager, monitoring your KPIs is critical to business success. You need to know how to extract these numbers and understand what they mean for you to measure your effectiveness at handling customers.

It can be overwhelming to deal with high volumes of figures and information. Investing in high-performing call center software will help you collect, organize, and interpret the data you need, letting you measure your performance more effectively.

Proven Call Center Software Solutions

Lingo Communications provides small-to-medium sized businesses with modern, efficient cloud-based call center technologies that help your team work faster and smarter. By equipping your customer service team with unified tools to win customers, we help you blow the competition away and become your target audience’s top choice.

Get in touch with Lingo Communications today to learn more about our call center solutions or click here to learn more about call center solutions.