Reading time: 22 minutes

Call Center Metrics and KPIs To Measure the Performance of Your Call Center Campaigns

author-sindhu-prabhu
By:
Published: Feb 21, 2023

Nearly two-thirds of respondents to a survey said they could only wait for a maximum of 2 minutes before hanging up a call. Over 13% of the respondents said no hold time is acceptable. 

So you see the pattern- Wait time is a crucial metric to keep an eye out for. 

Similarly, there are plenty of call center metrics that make or break your campaign eventually. You need to track the right mix of metrics and KPIs to reach your goals. 

This post shows all the essential metrics to measure, the benchmarks for them, and how you can use them to improve your call center campaigns’ performance.

What are metrics in a call center?

Call center metrics:

  • Guage campaign performance
  • Measure agent performance and 
  • Improve the overall conversion rate for your campaigns.
  • Optimize campaign strategy
  • Achieve goals efficiently 

Standard call center metrics

Here is a comprehensive list of famous call center metrics to track. We have broken down each metric into what it is, why it’s valuable, and what industries should track them.

Let’s begin.  

1. Average call abandonment rate

This is the percentage of contacts who hang up before reaching an agent. This happens when your contacts are on the line and abandon the call out of frustration. If your average call abandonment rate is high, it means your agents are not getting to the calls on time. 

A call abandonment rate between 5%-8% is deemed to be appropriate. However, the maximum allowed call abandonment rate is 3% for organizations that must comply with FCC regulations.

Important note: You may exclude the incoming calls that hung up within the first 5 seconds of making the call as these calls are possibly misdials.

Relevant for: All industries

How to calculate call abandonment rate: 

(Total number of abandoned calls / Total number of calls)*100

2. Percentage of calls blocked

This metric shows the percent of inbound callers that couldn’t reach an agent. 

Call blocks can happen for one of two reasons: 

  1. There are not enough agents to handle the incoming calls or 
  2. Your agents are spending more time than required on calls. 

If this number is high, it shows that a high percentage of calls went unanswered. 

The more the number of blocked calls, the worse your contacts’ experience. 

Relevant for: Business

Industry standard: Within 2%

How to calculate the percentage of blocked calls: 

(Total number of calls that go unanswered / Total number of incoming calls)*100

3. Average time in queue

This shows the amount of time contacts are stuck in the call queue. This metric directly impacts your contacts’ experience and the call abandonment rate. The more time your contacts spend waiting in the queue, the more likely they will abandon the call. 

This can result in a missed opportunity or a frustrated contact.  

The acceptable average time in queue varies depending on the use case. For example, the wait time may be higher for a popular hotel in a tourist attraction during the holiday season than for a restaurant receiving bookings on a weekday.

Relevant for: Business

How to calculate average time in queue: 

Total time callers are in the queue / Total number of incoming calls

4. Service level

As a business, you agree to offer a specific service level to your customers. Service level shows the percentage of calls an agent answers in a particular timeframe. This metric tells you if your agents are moving quickly from one call to another.

The industry standard for this metric is 80/20, which means 80% of calls should be answered in 20 seconds.

Relevant for: Business

How to calculate the service level metric: 

(Total calls answered in a specific timeframe / Total number of answered calls + Total number of abandoned calls)*100

5. Average speed of answer (ASA)

This is the average time it takes for agents to answer incoming calls within a specified time. The longer the ASA more significant the risk of dissatisfaction at your contacts’ end. This can also be because of agent absenteeism. 

The industry standard for ASA is around 28 seconds. However, a good benchmark for ASA is 25% of your average handle time.

Relevant for: Business

How to calculate the average speed of answer: 

Total wait time for answered calls / Total number of answered calls

6. Average after-call work time

This shows the average time it takes for agents to do the work associated with a call after it is disconnected. 

Your agents need enough time to perform post-call activities like taking notes or tagging contacts. However, if you find this time too high, it can mean a few things: Either your agents don’t have the best tools to wrap this up quickly, they are inefficient, or there is simply too much information to note down.

Train your agents to be efficient by working with a tool with easy-to-access notes and tags and saved templates.

👉 CallHub tip: Try to keep the average after-call work time under 30 seconds to increase your agents’ productivity. 

Relevant for: All industries

How to calculate after-call work time: 

Minutes spent doing after-call work by an agent / Total number of calls taken

7. Average handle time

This shows the average time an agent spends on a call, from when they pick up the call until the call is disconnected, including the time they take to do the post-call work.

This metric depends on your use case, the agent’s skills, and team size. So, use a call monitoring or call recording tool to listen to the calls. Focus on which of your agents need help in certain areas and help them optimize this metric.  

Relevant for: Business, political, nonprofit, union

The industry standard for business for the metric is 6 minutes 3 seconds.

How to calculate average handle time: 

Total talk time of an agent + Total time contacts spent in the queue + After call work time / Total number of calls

8. First call resolutions

This shows the percentage of calls where an agent solves the caller’s issues on the first call without transferring, escalating, or returning the calls. This is considered the cornerstone to measuring customer experience, as customers expect their issues to be resolved soon. 

A high first call resolution number means less number of repeat calls and so lower cost to serve a customer.

The industry standard for first call resolution is 70% to 79%. 

call-center-metrics-first-call-resolution-industry-standard
Source: SQM

Relevant for: Business

How to calculate first call resolutions: 

Total number of calls resolved in the first attempt / Total number of first calls received

9. Agent utilization rate

This metric helps you ensure your agents are utilizing the work hours well. The number of hours an agent spends working against their scheduled time gives you the agent utilization rate. So, if an agent works for 7 hours on an eight-day shift, the utilization rate is 87.5%.

Having your agents stick to their schedules significantly reduces the chances of missed or abandoned calls. However, a low agent utilization rate can also mean that you are overstaffed, and a high utilization rate may lead to burnout, errors, and rushing calls.

Relevant for: All industries

How to calculate agent utilization rate: 

(Total time an agent spends working / Total time an agent is scheduled to work)*100

10. Active waiting calls

This shows the number of calls on hold and waiting to be answered by an agent. The active waiting calls metric tells you how well your teams can handle call volumes in real-time. Optimize this metric to improve your customer service.

Relevant for: Business

How to calculate active waiting calls: 

(Number of calls on hold at a time / Total number of calls being handled at the time)*100

11. Calls handled

This shows the number of incoming and outgoing calls handled by an agent in a specific duration. 

Relevant for: All industries

12. Cost per call

The average cost for each call handled. This shows you how cost-effective your campaigns are.

In the business industry, the average cost per inbound call is $5.50; for an outbound call, the cost is $6.46.

Relevant for: All industries 

How to calculate the cost per call: 

The total cost of all calls / Total number of calls

13. Call arrival rate

This shows the total number of calls received within a specific time frame. The time frame can be in days, hours, minutes, or seconds. This is a metric that people usually track at the end of each day. 

If you receive less than 100 calls per day, then ideally, you need to measure the metric in hours. Similarly, if the number of calls in a day is over 1000, calculate the metric in minutes or seconds. 

This metric informs your staffing needs depending on the call volumes. 

Relevant for: Business

How to calculate call arrival time: 

Number of calls received in a day / Total number of hours/minutes/seconds in a working day

14. Peak hour traffic

This shows the time of day when agents receive the highest number of calls. The metric helps you forecast the number of agents you need at specific times for maximum engagement. This ensures that your team doesn’t fall behind during the busiest hours of the day and negatively affect the active waiting calls.

To get this number, log the time of the day when you receive the most calls and find the most common hours in a campaign. 

Relevant for: All industries

15. Average call length

This shows the average time a contact is on a call with an agent and not the pre or post-call work. The metric is used to set work hour expectations and distribute workloads effectively.  

The longer the average call length is, the more agents you need, assuming all your agents are skilled and efficient.

Relevant for: Political, nonprofit, business, union

The industry standard for business is 5 minutes and 2 seconds.

How to calculate average call length: 

Total time agents are on calls with contacts / Total number of calls

16. Callback requests

This is the number of callback requests over a specified time. This shows how many contacts chose to receive a callback rather than wait in a queue. 

The metric helps you assess staffing requirements.  

Relevant for: All industries

37% of callers in the business industry request a callback.

17. Repeat calls

This is the number of repeat calls from a contact related to a specific issue. This helps you understand the number of times an issue went unresolved on the first attempt. 

62% of survey respondents associated having to recontact an organization with disloyalty. One way to fix this is to introduce self-help options and appoint skilled and efficient agents.

Relevant for: Business

Formula: 

Number of calls on a specific issue by a contact / Total number of calls

18. Average call transfer rate

This shows the number of calls that were transferred to a different number. The transfer can be to a supervisor or an unintended one due to poor IVR flow. Regardless, aim to keep this metric low to improve your customer service. 

The average call transfer rate is 9.9%. Features like call monitoring help managers assist agents and prepare them for future calls.

call-center-metrics-callhub-call-monitoring

CallHub’s Call Monitoring feature enables campaign managers to join a call and listen to the conversation

Relevant for: Business

How to calculate the average call transfer rate: 

(Number of transferred calls / Total number of handled calls)*100

19. Calls answered per hour

The number of calls your agents answer in an hour. However, this number may vary depending on use cases.

Relevant for: Business

20. Average caller hold time while on the call with an agent

Sometimes, agents may need to put a contact on hold to access information. Aim to keep this time as low as possible as it defines your contacts’ experience. 

When this number is high, it can mean one thing: The system is inefficient enough for agents to access information quickly, assuming they are skilled.

Relevant for: Business

Industry standard: 25.8 seconds

How to calculate average hold time on call: 

Number of seconds contacts spent on holdTotal number of calls

21. Average first response time (FRT)

The time between a customer raising a ticket to an agent addressing that ticket. Your FRT needs to be as low as possible so your customers don’t need to wait long to resolve their issues.

Recording and evaluating your FRT shows if you need to hire more agents to improve the response time.

Relevant for: Business

Industry standard: 43 seconds

Formula: 

Total of first response times / Total number of cases resolved

22. Answer rate (outbound calls)

This is the percentage of calls successfully answered by contacts against the attempted ones. A good quality list is critical to a high answer rate. 

👉 CallHub tip: To improve your answer rate, enable automated retries, inbound calls, texting from call center, and use a spam label shield to display your organization name on the contact’s mobile screen. 

Relevant for: All industries

How to calculate the answer rate for outbound calls: 

(Total number of answered calls / Total number of dialed calls)*100

Here are the benchmarks for answer success rate by industry:

IndustryBenchmark
Business40%-50%
Political70%-80%
Nonprofit20%

Call center metrics reporting dashboards

A call center reporting dashboard is an intuitive visualization tool that displays metrics. This helps you monitor your call center campaign performance and optimize it periodically or over time.

CallHub is a call center software with a wide range of analytics and reporting tools to help you 

  • Measure and analyze the performance of your calling campaigns.
  • Increase your agents’ productivity.
  • Improve conversion rates.

You can access these reports on your campaign manager Home Page > Analytics. You can also customize your reports to track the metrics that matter most to your campaigns.  

new-analytics-dashboard

Here, the overview panel highlights the following elements:

  • Number of calls
  • Reach rate
  • Unique contacts reached
  • Average time reached.

These and other call center reporting metrics can help you track campaign performance in detail. 

Here are the ten metrics you have direct access to on CallHub:

  1. Answer/reach rate
  2. Average call duration (per day and throughout the campaign)
  3. Number of calls made (daily/weekly/monthly)
  4. Unique contacts reached
  5. Agent performance (by calls made, talk time, and connect time)
  6. Agent recruitment
  7. Agents making calls over time
  8. Team leaderboard (calls made over time, connect time) 
  9. Dispositions 

These metrics are available on your call center analytics dashboard on CallHub, and the tables can be imported as CSV, Excel, or PDF files. You may also copy select rows and paste them to the desired sheet.

Look at each metric in more detail.

How to improve call center metrics

Now that you have the benchmarks for your call center campaign metrics, the next step is to know how to hit those numbers. Not all call center metrics may be helpful at all times. Knowing your goals for each campaign will help you pick the metrics that matter. 

The most crucial step to improve your call center metrics is to ‘act on the insights’. However, your software also plays a vital role in improving these metrics. Artificial intelligence(AI), app integrations, and workflow automation are some features that assist your agents in performing better. 

For example, CRM integrations give your agents visibility into contacts’ details before, during, and after the call. This helps them personalize their conversations and, in turn, improve your contacts’ experience. AI records and transcribes your calls and generates notes highlighting every conversation.

Now let’s see some actionable tips to improve your call center metrics’ performance.

  • Implement regular learning sessions for your agents. Let the call recordings from your top performers inform these sessions.
  • Provide your agents with interactive scripts that provide a suitable reply based on a contact’s prompt. Unlike static scripts, the agent need not manually navigate to the correct answer.
  • Use a targeted contact list for every campaign.
  • Gamify the campaigns for agents to increase their productivity.

Schedule a demo today to understand how to track metrics on CallHub and optimize them.

Featured image: Photo by Lukas

Categories:
Your subscription could not be added. Please try again.
You're now a CallHub Insider.

Become a CallHub Insider

Join our community of insiders for a front-row seat to invaluable resources! Get updates on our latest blogs, webinars, and insider tips delivered directly to your inbox.