A good team will benchmark its performance based on statistics—and this rings especially true the key metrics associated with call centers.

By familiarizing yourself with stats around support handle times, resolution rates, and more, you’ll be equipped to make tangible improvement across your company’s entire customer support system.

1. Most Customers Are Not Fully Satisfied

The average U.S. customer satisfaction score lingers around 75%, which is a pretty clear signal that most customer support interactions are met with some degree of frustration.

With over one-quarter of customers walking away less than completely satisfied, managers cannot afford to overlook how quality assurance influences customer satisfaction—especially when it sometimes only takes one negative interaction to lower your net promoter score and customer loyalty over time.

That said, with diligent coaching, call centers have an opportunity to dramatically improve their customer satisfaction rates. By regularly sampling calls and providing constructive, compassionate feedback to their reps, managers can better understand the pain points that stand in the way of making improvements across the entire customer journey.

2. Turnover Troubles Plague The Industry

Many call centers grapple with high churn rates, with the average annual turnover ranging between 30% to 45% across the industry.

With nearly a third to almost half of representatives needing replacement each year, call center managers must work diligently to improve employee retention through workforce management. Moreover, high turnover inhibits call centers from establishing sticky customer rapport when their support agents are constantly leaving the company.

One way to combat this issue is to identify key drivers of attrition in your center by using exit interviews and employee engagement surveys. Once patterns start to emerge around your culture, compensation, or growth outlook, your leadership team can experiment with ways to course-correct.

3. High Abandon Rates Undermine Customer Service

In 2021, global call centers averaged around a 6.5% call abandonment rate, which means a sizable number of incoming inquiries are terminated before ever reaching an agent. Naturally, since abandoned calls directly translate to lost revenue, more effective customer support is key to improving profitability.

While some instances of call abandonment remain inevitable, effective call centers should aim for a sub-3% target. To improve their call abandonment rates, managers can analyze peak periods of abandoned calls and cross-reference them with staffing schedules, promotions, new product launches, and any external factors that might explain the spikes.

At the end of the day, understanding the root causes of dropped calls can lead to more effective responses—such as increasing seasonal staff, adjusting call routing, shortening hold times, and adding call-backs.

4. Unresolved Issues Drive Repeat Calls

Previously unaddressed consumer problems make up around 20-30% of call volumes. This means that nearly one-third of an agent’s calls revolve around lingering issues that failed to find a firm resolution the first time around.

Not only do unresolved cases frustrate customers, but they can also increase your average call volumes and durations. However, by creating call scripts to address common customer problems, managers can reduce the cycle of repeat calls that congest their daily support operations.

Remember, while the struggles of customers can be complex, addressing them the first time around demonstrates good faith from your support team—and that can pay dividends down the line.

5. Call Center Managers Want More Automation

A recent survey spotlighted that half of call center managers do not feel they have sufficient automation baked into their contact center tools and systems.

This signals that the average call center is missing out on opportunities to streamline repetitive tasks, route their calls more efficiently, and resolve frequently asked inquiries. While human interaction remains invaluable, this lack of automation increases demands upon the members of your support team and inhibits their capacity to provide quality support at scale.

Be sure to look into the ways that AI and chatbots can add automations to your call center operations.

6. Customer Support Influences Purchase Decisions

Around 74% of consumers report they are at least somewhat likely to make purchase decisions based on brand experiences alone, regardless of any advertising or marketing messages. This suggests that call centers play an influential role in shaping your company’s overall brand perception in the broader market.

This also reinforces the notion that every phone conversation, email reply, and live chat carries weight that goes far beyond resolving customer issues. Instead, there are also many implications to the generation of revenue.

To keep face and ensure customer satisfaction, managers must coach representatives to deliver tailored support during their calls to provide quality support on a consistent basis. In the end, even commonplace transactions like product returns and balance inquiries present micro-opportunities to provide graceful, appreciative service that leaves customers feeling valued.

7. Addressing Overwhelming Workplace Stress

An alarming 87% of call center representatives experience frequent levels of stress at their jobs. Between the nonstop influx of inquiries, relentless performance metrics, intricate systems, and often emotionally taxing customer issues, it’s no surprise that the job can take its toll on employees.

If left unchecked, burnout can quickly materialize and lead to customer dissatisfaction, cynical attitudes, and higher rates of absence. With this in mind, it’s clear that managing rising employee stress levels is essential to maintaining an engaged and productive workforce.

Supervisors can play a pivotal role in promoting workplace wellness through monitoring employees, modeling healthy boundaries, and providing flexibility to agents. Promoting an ethos of balance and self-care from the top down can also empower employees to manage their intensity levels more effectively during their day-to-day work.

Now What? How to Use These Stats to Future-Proof Your Team

Here’s some hands-on advice for making the most of these statistics and preparing your support team for success.

Craft a Forward-Facing Call Center Strategy

Managers can leverage the metrics that affect employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity to come up with a 1-5 year plan for improving your call center’s operations.

This plan should emphasize improving agent wellness, operational adaptability, and customer-centric alignment across the following key areas:

  • Staff Support: Foster a more empowering, lower-stress environment across your call center by balancing employee workloads, providing wellness incentives, and laying out professional growth paths for your support staff
  • Agile Operations: Increase the scalability and consistency of your operations by optimizing schedule-to-demand ratios, refining your call routing capabilities, and integrating automation tools into your daily operations
  • Customer-Centric Support: Strengthen customer trust and loyalty through quality assurance, providing coaching to support representatives, and performing post-call NPS feedback analysis to improve the quality of your support calls

Capitalize Quick Wins Right Now

Call center managers can make a few quick moves that will incrementally boost the performance of support agents. Some of the things they can do right away include:

  • Reviewing peak call times and reallocating staff and shifts to match
  • Surveying agents after difficult calls to assess pain points
  • Standardizing call scripts to ensure a consistent support experience for all customers
  • Sharing trends in call data so the rest of the staff understands what is and isn’t working
  • Highlighting top performers during team meetings to inspire others

Building a Better Call Center with Data

By embracing the numbers and striving for consistent improvement, call center managers can foster a culture of excellence. Just remember, it’s up to your leadership team to set the direction.