Measuring the quality and efficiency of work of individual consultants, their teams and entire departments of call center is necessary if the company seeks to continuously improve, or at least maintain, the reached level of effectiveness. Which indicators are most commonly used in telephone communication with customers?

Let’s start with a definition. Key Performance Indicators are, quoting the definition from Wikipedia, financial and non-financial indicators applied as metres in the organization’s goals implementation level measurement processes.

The indicators applied in a call center may be divided into four categories:


Fig. 1. Four categories of key performance indicators in a call center 1

  • the handling service quality and availability – for inbound traffic, that is, e.g. hotlines, customer handling.
  • performance connected with profitability – for outbound traffic, that is, e.g. telesales, information campaigns, debt recovery, lead generating, arrangement of meetings, phone surveys.
  • productivity – both for inbound and outbound traffic
  • the cost – both for inbound and outbound traffic.

Within the framework of each category a number of various metres have been developed and, depending on the business goals, industry, local habits, size of a team and other criteria, each enterprise selects them on an individual basis. Below we present several indicators most commonly applied. We also provide the English terms which have already settled well in the practice of the Polish call centers for naming the indicators.

1. The handling service quality and availability (inbound traffic)

a) handling service quality

  • First Call Resolution – the number or percentage of matters fully handled during the first call to a consultant
  • Customer satisfaction – measured by surveys (usually automatic ones) following a conversation with a consultant
  • Quality of the consultant’s work – assessed in monitoring, through observation and recording assessment.

b) availability

  • The handling service level – the percentage of calls received within the acceptable waiting time assumed by an enterprise as regards the customer receiving the call
  • Average speed of answer
  • Average waiting time – the average time counted from the moment of beginning the call (including the time spent on IVR).
  • Abandon before answer – the percentage of calls terminated by customers before having been received by the consultant.

2. Performance and profitability (outbound traffic)

  • Hit rate – the percentage of the calls received by customers as compared to all the calls made by a consultant.
  • Conversion rate – the percentage of the calls completed with sale transactions.
  • Contact rate – the percentage of effective calls (that is, received and with a conversation) as compared to the number of closed records (i.e., the records which are no longer processed during a given campaign)
  • Performance – the percentage of calls completed in a positive way as compared to the number of all closed records.
  • Calls per record – an average number of attempts to reach a record (i.e., a given phone number) in a given campaign.

3. Productivity (in inbound and outbound traffic)

  1. Average talk time
  2. Average after call work time – the consultant’s work time with a given record after having completed the call with a customer.
  3. Average handling time – the sum of two indicators: the average talk time and the average after call handling time
  4. Adherence to schedule
  5. The number of calls per hour (received or made)

4. The cost

– the cost indicators have to be especially closely related to the type of the campaign and business goals, therefore we provide only examples below

  1. Cost per call
  2. Cost per minute of handle time
  3. Consultants’ absence – the percentage of days within a year during which no work is being carried out due to the consultants’ absence (exclusive of leaves, holidays, and the like)

What we have presented above are the indicators most often used by our customers. They allow for a good and confident start, as well as for the preparation of your own KPI list by beginner call center managers. We will help you supplement those list by means of our next posts on the blog.

Good luck!

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