Tracking call center key performance indicators (KPIs) simplifies measuring call center efficiency.

These KPIs are measurable values that provide critical insights into your customer support team’s performance, helping you determine whether you’re on the right track to achieving business objectives and providing an enhanced customer experience.

But how do you identify the metrics that really matter? This guide covers the key call center KPIs you should track to improve overall efficiency and productivity.

What Are Call Center KPIs?

Call center KPIs are handy performance measurements that provide insight into your customer support agents‘ productivity and the quality of customer service provided.

You can use them to evaluate the success of your call center or of a specific process, as well as set goals related to performance, employee development, and revenue.

Why Are Call Center KPIs Important?

At this point, you’re probably wondering whether call center KPIs are worth it. Here are the key benefits of setting them for your business:

Determining Employee Performance

You can use KPIs to measure individual agent performance by tracking their calls and having daily and monthly goals for them. 

If you set a daily call goal for each agent at 80 calls and increase the number to 100 after three months, you can use the original KPI of 75 calls to determine whether the agent is ready to advance to the next call goal. It’ll also help you filter good employees from bad employees.

Pinpointing Call Inefficiencies and Call Blocks

Call center KPIs also tell you the total number of calls where the customer was either put on hold by the automated system or heard a standard dial tone. 

Tracking call blocks will help you identify any problems with the automated system or the volume of calls the company receives. For instance, if your agents are frequently putting callers on hold, you might consider hiring more agents to provide more open lines.

Screenshot of RingCentral webpage for Call Center Metrics and KPIs
RingCentral can help you measure your call center’s performance with its analytics and reporting features.

Reducing Call Abandonment

Call abandonment typically occurs when customers are made to wait for long or don’t receive an answer from agents. With the right KPIs, you can identify the chief causes of abandonment and accordingly address these issues to provide prompt and efficient support.

Improving Customer Satisfaction

Another reason measuring call center KPIs is worthwhile is to improve overall customer satisfaction.

By reducing call center queue times and call abandonment and increasing the number of available agents, your support team will be better equipped to effectively meet customer demands, improving company reputation and customer engagement.

Optimizing Business Costs

Call center KPIs help you calculate the basic costs of your business and accordingly set realistic financial goals. For example, you can use them to identify when it’s time to switch phone plans to reduce overhead costs.

By analyzing business costs, you can maximize revenue and create elaborate financial management plans to ensure your organization thrives in the long haul.

11 Call Center KPIs to Optimize Customer Experiences

Next, let’s review the main call center KPIs and metrics that make the difference between a good call center and an excellent one.

1. Average Handling Time (AHT)

AHT refers to the average time taken for a customer service rep to complete one conversation. It starts when a customer initiates a call, including any holds and follow-ups, until the agent can start the next call or chat. 

This call center KPI is a prime factor when deciding your call center’s staffing levels to prevent overburdening agents. You should know how long each call is likely to last and accordingly set your agents’ workloads.

You can also measure individual rep average handling time and determine which agents require more training.

2. Average Time to Answer

The average time to answer calculates the average time from when an inbound caller dials your helpline number until an agent answers it. It’s typically expressed in seconds.

Note that while this KPI does factor in the total time spent waiting in the queue, it doesn’t consider the time the caller takes to navigate through the IVR system. 

It’s useful for assessing your support team’s efficiency and degree of accessibility to customers. You can also use it to define service objectives (think: answering a certain percentage of calls within a specific time period) to improve the average time to answer.

3. Average Abandonment Rate

The average abandonment rate tells you the number of callers who disconnect the call before speaking to a rep. In other words, callers who grew frustrated enough to leave without receiving support.

4. Percentage of Calls Blocked

This call center KPI compares the number of calls that were put on hold to the total number of calls received. In other words, it shows the percentage of followers that heard the busy tone when they were calling you.

Naturally, you want to keep block calls to a minimum. Find the chief cause of the high number of block calls (think: understaffing, technical issues, or lack of adequate training), and work on implementing an effective solution.

5. First Call Resolution (FCR)

FCR measures your customer support team’s ability to resolve customer issues on first contact without any follow-up or callback. 

Generally speaking, the more capable your customer support agent is the higher their personal FCR rate. But there can be cases where a customer’s query warrants action by another executive, so it’s important to use your discretion.

6. Transfer Rate

Transfer rate indicates the total calls an agent had to transfer to another individual (another available rep or even another department) to ensure the caller gets the right support.

The reasons for transferring customer calls will vary, ranging from agent fault to special requests from the caller to incorrect call routing. Ideally, your transfer rate should be lower than your FCR.

7. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

Customer satisfaction indicates whether your callers are happy with the service received. If this KPI is high, it means your customers are delighted with your service; if it isn’t, it means you need to improve the quality of your service.

8. Average Idle Time

Average idle time, also known as after-call work time, indicates the total seconds an agent spends completing customer interaction-related tasks after ending a conversation. 

You’ve likely tasked your agents to input relevant information or notes into your organization’s call center software so that there’s a record of all past conversations. But, at the same time, you don’t want them to waste too much time keeping data.

9. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

NPS is a useful call center metric to gauge customer loyalty and experience. It’s based on the response to a single question: “how likely is it that you would recommend this organization or agent?” 

The idea is to learn how likely your customers are to recommend your brand to others.

The scoring is based on a 0 to 10 scale, with 9 and 10 being promoters, 7-8 being passive, and 0-6 being detractors. You can calculate the NPS by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the promoters. 

If you score over 50, you’re good to go. Any lower, and you should take immediate measures to improve the quality of customer service.

10. Cost Per Call

You have to pay a specific price for every call, which is determined by the length of each call and the call center software your customer support team uses.

Long calls will likely cost more if your call center software doesn’t charge a fixed price. But a long call also has the potential to save money in the long run since the caller would be less likely to contact your team twice. 

11. Agent Turnover Rate

While measuring customer satisfaction is important, it shouldn’t be your only priority—you should also take care of your agents. After all, you can’t provide excellent customer support without them.

Agent turnover evaluates the rate at which reps leave your organization to work somewhere else. A high turnover negatively affects team morale and call scheduling and handling, ultimately lowering customer satisfaction. 

It’s why you shouldn’t neglect agent experience indicators when tracking customer center KPIs.

How to Set the Right Call Center KPIs

Here are three handy tips for identifying and setting the right call center KPIs for your business:

Choose Specific KPIs for Specific Processes

KPIs are very flexible. You can measure them as a large unit or in smaller specialized units for specific purposes. While most leaders factor in the former, they fail to choose metrics for specific call center activities.

For example, if you see a significant rise in your call abandonment rate, you should prioritize KPIs that help you identify and address the chief causes behind this issue.

With this approach, not only can you improve the accuracy of your data but also build a profile for each part of your business and accordingly set better goals that push your call center towards success.

Collaborate With Your Team

Your KPIs can be a collaborative effort between you and your employees. For example, you can ask the reps to monitor their call volumes.

The good thing about nurturing collaboration is it’ll help you verify the information and track more KPIs. Enlist your reps early on in the KPI process to get started. Make sure you explain why collecting KPIs is important to the business, so they participate actively.

Get Customer Feedback

As the ones spending the most time interacting with your reps, your customers are invaluable to your call center’s KPI process. 

Leverage them to identify and set the right metrics for your business by asking them for feedback and engaging them during calls. A good tactic is to get them to complete a post-call survey that will help you accurately determine the quality of the call and the performance of the call center agent.

Final Thoughts About Call Center KPIs

Tracking and measuring call center KPIs helps you better understand agent effectiveness, support success, and overall call center productivity. It gives you an in-depth overview of how to best use technology and talent to deliver enhanced customer experience and ultimately drive profitability.