A guide to call centre metrics and KPIS

Whatever the size or niche of your company, the customer care you deliver to the people buying your products or services is what really defines your offering as a business.

As the cornerstone of the business world, customer service can shape the consumer journey, brand loyalty and, ultimately, your success.

Whether you outsource your call handling to a trusted call centre partner or have your own in-house team, there are a number of key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that can be used in call centres to measure efficiency and improve work output.

Better efficiency and greater productivity mean call centres can take more calls and keep more customers happy. Here we take you through four KPIs that all call centres should be keeping an eye on.

Average speed of answer

How it helps: The speed with which calls are answered is especially important. We all want to deliver great customer service, and responding to queries quickly is part of that.

This key metric can have an impact on customer satisfaction, with calls answered fastest linked to a higher level of happiness. Analysing the average speed of answer can also provide an insight into agent satisfaction, abandonment rates, handle times and agent efficiency.

What to look out for: When analysing average speed of answer, choosing your sample size is important.

Many call centre managers conduct outlier analysis to develop a better understanding of waiting times.

It is also essential to note that the average speed of answer may include the average time the customer has spent in a queue but does not include the time taken by the customer to navigate through your telephone menu system.

Average time in queue

How it helps: Queuing times for customers also merit analysis.No one wants to spend time queuing, and while queues are expected by consumers, keeping wait times within an acceptable range should be a primary objective for call centre staff.

Average time in queue KPIs have a direct correlation with customer satisfaction and could provide an explanation for any brand loyalty issues currently being experienced.

What to look out for: As well as analysing the average queue time, tracking the percentage of customers in call queues is vital.

This can be done by dividing the total call queue time with the number of calls answered.

Average call length

How it helps: The average call length or handle time is the time that has elapsed between call answering and disconnection.

Average call length is another great way to measure efficiency within a call centre, particularly if you’re looking to strike the right balance between delivering great customer service and ensuring optimum productivity.

What to look out for: Calculating handle time is easy with the total talk time, total hold time and total after call work time, all divided by the number of calls handled.

If you find the average call length is particularly long, there are various ways you can reduce handle time without affecting customer satisfaction levels. Improved training, continuous performance monitoring, call recording and agent coaching have all been found to be effective ways of reducing handle time while improving customer service.

Number of blocked calls

How it helps: The number or percentage of calls blocked indicates where customer care teams require additional support. This KPI relates to the percentage of callers who receive the busy tone when they call your company.

What to look out for: Blocked calls are essentially missed opportunities and prevent you from providing support to all your customer base. A high percentage of blocked calls could be the result of no available agents, full call queues or inadequate call centre software.

Looking for a call centre solution for your business? Our agents are highly trained to handle high volumes of calls quickly and efficiently.

Whether you require a full call handling service or would like us to support your in-house customer care department, we can help you deliver great customer service. Find out more about our virtual receptionist service by contacting us today.

Gemma Harding

As Head of Client Services Gemma is an expert in the call answering services industry.