Call centers strive to be the best at providing the services they deliver. However, not all of them measure up to the competition. To get ahead of the game, call center performance evaluations are necessary. After all, a problem that is unnoticed is unlikely to be fixed.
Evaluating a call center often involves understanding every element from the knowledge of the agent to the satisfaction of customers. All of these feed into call center benchmarking and where the facility needs to reach in terms of goals.
Call Center Key Performance Indicators
Key Performance Indicators, or KPI, are elements that show the efficiency of a call center. These data points are quantitative and show with great accuracy how the facility functions. At a glance, managers are capable of making decisions to quickly address issues in the workplace based on performance measurements.
The KPI is often measured for individuals, teams and possibly the entire facility. These metrics are broken down into easy-to-read data allowing managers to make changes.
For a call center to be truly successful, it needs to be competitive against industry standards. For example, does the call center compete in terms of industry response times or abandonment rates? Of course managers will not know for sure without proper call center benchmarking. This is where KPI comes into play.
Evaluating the Performance of the Call Center
Proper evaluations cover a wide scope of call center functions. It’s more than simply analyzing call times. It takes routine analysis of performance metrics to make sure a call center remains competitive. Otherwise, the business may develop a reputation as being inefficient.
Adherence to Schedule
Agents need to keep up a specific schedule. These blocks of time are usually established according to data such as peak operating hours. Agents need to handle calls, manage after-call workloads and take breaks during assigned periods.
Absenteeism impacts the entire call center. Not only does it create more of a workload for others, but it may also cost the company money. For instance, paying an employee sick or vacation time means handing out a paycheck for zero productivity.
Part of maintaining a strong workforce is having accuracy when it comes to forecasting needs. For example, knowing when peak call times are in relation to the day helps managers fill agent positions to meet those demands.
The occupancy rate is a measurement of time an agent spends with a caller. This includes elements such as talk and wrap-up times. It’s important to note that “occupancy” only reflects time an agent is productive. Being ready for a call and waiting is not part of being occupied.
Agent attrition is a measurement regarding staff turnover. It’s analyzed annually and often shown as a percentage. A high level of attrition is bad for the call center, and it may signify problems such as poor management or a high-stress environment.
Using self-service platforms, such as allowing callers to find their own information, help cut costs while improving efficiency. Things like live chat or voice recognition systems are common self-service features. It’s important to regularly monitor these systems for issues.
Average Speed to Answer
An important metric to monitor is that of the average time it takes an agent to answer a call. Obviously, call center managers want this time to be as low as possible.
Contact quality is a component which expresses a high level of service. Courtesy, professionalism, communication and more all play into a superior customer experience.
Response time is calculated by comparing how all contacts are handled within a certain amount of time. For instance, a call center could have a goal of 100 percent of email requests handled within 24 hours. Of course this will be different depending on the call center’s functions.
First Call Resolution
First call resolutions are one of the most important KPIs for a call center. Being able to handle inquiries without call-backs improves the customer experience while enhancing efficiency in the workplace.
Call Wrap-Up Time
In some cases, agents will need to enter data or do other tasks after the end of a call. The less time they spend working on these aspects of the call, the more time they have for other callers.
This is the number of callers who abandon a call while waiting to for an answer. These usually happen because of long hold times.
Customer Satisfaction is the measurement regarding how callers feel about their experiences. Many facilities will use interactive voice recognition software to run surveys at the end of the call to record this data.
Measuring KPIs in the Call Center
When measuring the KPIs of a call center, the right tools are necessary. With the right software, this data is apparent and will be influential in future strategies. These tools include:
Feature-rich Call Center Solutions
Call center software is often loaded with features that will drive success. Elements such as automatic call distribution, telephony integration and built-in customer relations management software work to provide the best data possible.
Agents who are able to see current data regarding their progress can determine for themselves where they need improvement. Accessing KPIs such as number of calls in the queue and longest wait times provides a value for agents to identify and improve.
It’s the manager’s job to make sure agents are doing well. Using a real-time dashboard helps management solve immediate problems while building an overall strategy to improve efficiency.
Dashboard for Monitoring Calls
Part of identifying quality service is monitoring calls as they happen. Managers and supervisors need to have access to listen in on interactions between agents and callers.
Dashboard for Reporting History
Being able to see data over time shows agents and managers if certain measures are making an improvement in various metrics. Things like call volume, handle times and abandonment rates are often influential for setting goals for all involved.
Software for Managing the Workforce
Last, but certainly not least, is software that helps manage the workforce. Supervisors need easy access to schedule employees, monitor absenteeism and measure agent attrition rates to formulate improvement strategies.
Evaluating call center performance requires accurate data. In fact, KPIs would be useless without this accuracy. Metric data and robust software help guide a call center to greater levels of quality. The end result is a facility that feels good to work in while delivering a superior customer experience.
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