Make sure your Contact Center Metrics are Actionable and Improve Customer Experience

Read our How-to Guide 

Top 12 Contact Center Metrics

Companies wanting to improve customer satisfaction and see long-term, profitable growth should be tracking contact center metrics that align with their customer experience strategy. Outlined below are 12 metrics common metrics that contact centers use today.

All the metrics should be used in conjunction with one another to gain a big picture understanding of how your company is performing and what needs to be done to improve going forward. Your metrics should serve a cross-functional purpose to increase customer experience, loyalty and revenue across your organization.

Simply said, no one metric is the end all, be all. Each offers something different – a specific insight that can be used to guide future growth.

1. First Call Resolution

The First Call Resolution (FCR) metric is just what it sounds like – it’s a score revealing the percentage at which companies are able to resolve customer issues on the first call, or first interaction with a customer, eliminating the need for future contact.

Companies measure this with post interaction surveys or looking at agent interaction dispositions. Often times organizations think that FCR rates are higher than they actually are.

When needs are met more efficiently and effectively, customer satisfaction rises. Conversely, if multiple calls or interactions are needed to solve a customer’s issue, frustration builds and customer satisfaction decreases.

2. Next Call Resolution

While harder to track, Next Call Resolution (NCR) measures how often you are able to be proactive and predict what the caller’s needs are to solve future customer needs before they occur. Next Call Resolution requires understanding your customers’ needs and common issue types, so agents know what common challenges arise for different customer challenges.

NCR improves FCR, increases customer satisfaction and loyalty, reduces operational costs and enhances the agent experience.

3. Schedule Adherence

Schedule Adherence is a metric revealing whether or not call center agents are adhering to their assigned schedules. The metric is defined as a percentage of the working day where an agent is available for calls.

Schedule Adherence plays an important role in call center performance.  Low adherence rates could result in poor customer service. The metric helps companies understand how to better optimize resources.

4. Average Handle Time

Average Handle Time (AHT) measures how long it takes call center agents to complete a certain task and help callers reach a resolution. Used for measuring efficiency, AHT helps call centers plan staffing needs.

5. Net Promoter Score

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a metric used to assess long-term customer happiness, or customer loyalty. The metric examines the number of people who would recommend a company’s products or services to their family or friends.

6. Customer Satisfaction

CSAT measures short-term happiness, or how a customer feels about a specific service or product.  Unlike NPS, it does not address how a customer feels about a company as a whole. CSAT is often used to measure the quality of a company’s particular products or services.

7. Contact Quality

Contact Quality scores examine a caller’s overall experience, or the quality of interaction provided by an agent. This is most often obtained by listening to conversations agents are having with customers.

Common criteria for assessing contact quality include an agent’s professionalism and courtesy; if an agent collects necessary customer data; if an agent can resolve the issue at hand on the first call (FCR); and if an agent uses proper grammar and spelling when emailing or instant messaging with customers.

Scores can be used to understand a company’s quality of performance as a whole, or they can be broken down to the agent level.

8. Service level and REsponse Time

The Service Level & Response Time metrics look at how fast agents are able to respond to calls and how many calls they can handle at any given time.

Service Level is defined as the percentage of calls answered within a specific amount of time (e.g., 85% of calls answered in 15 seconds.)

Response Time refers to customer inquiries that don’t need to be met immediately. This is most common for email requests. The metric is defined as: “100% of contacts handled within X amount of time.” (e.g., all customer email inquiries will be handled within 6 hours).

Service Level and Response Time metrics help companies manage call centers more effectively by knowing exactly how many available agents are needed for answering customer service inquiries so that no customers are waiting too long.

9. Call Abandonment

Call Abandonment rates are the percentage of customers who hang up before interacting with a representative. This could be due to a frustrating IVR, long wait times or disconnection issues when transferring. Queue management solutions and customer journey mapping prior to creating a call flow and script can help ease call abandonment rates.

10. Right Party Connects

Right Party Connects (RPC) is an outbound call center metric examining how well companies connect with the “right” person. The metric is defined as the percentage of calls made where the agent was able to connect with the intended person, divided by the total number of attempted calls.

This metric is important, so that companies can gauge the success of outbound campaigns and identify any trends that may reveal why some people are harder to connect with than others so that resources are utilized more effectively in the future.

11. Forecast Accuracy

Forecast Accuracy is a performance metric that examines how many customer inquiries a company anticipated having versus how many customer inquiries a company actually had. The metric is defined as a percentage reflecting the variance between anticipated contact load and actual contact load.

This is a crucial metric for companies, as it determines staffing needs. If managers underestimate the number of incoming calls, this results in long wait times, unhappy customers, and overworked agents. If managers overestimate, then companies are wasting money and not using resources effectively.

12. Self-Service Accessibility

This metric is crucial for companies utilizing automated technology where customers can service themselves. It looks at:

  • How many callers choose to begin self-service over speaking with an agent
  • How many callers are able to reach a resolution on their own
  • How difficult or easy customers navigate through the information offered in the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system.

Some call centers that heavily emphasize self-service use specialized monitoring tools to identify any system errors that may prevent customers from being able to service themselves.

Overall Benefits of Using Call Center Metrics

Understanding what the key call center metrics are and how to analyze them is essential for future improvement. It is equally important to analyze metrics for what they are as organizations often make decisions based on call center metric analysis that adversely affect customer experience.

While these are 12 commonly used call center metrics, it is important to understand the metrics that will help you make change to your customer experience to improve customer loyalty and revenue before implementing metrics and reporting.

Once benchmark and target numbers are set, companies can begin to analyze results to understand how they are performing and what they need to do in order to see customer satisfaction rise as their costs lower and revenue increases.