Call centers produce an endless amount of call data that can be tracked and analyzed. Focusing on some of the primary metrics like overall customer satisfaction, answer rate and speed, and call resolution will not only help you fine tune your call center’s staffing and operations, but it will also help you generate more sales.
On average, happy customers share their experiences with a company to nine of their friends. Comprehensive call center software can help you measure and track these metrics so that your customers are sharing happy experiences with your business to their friends.
Here are nine call center metrics to track for an improved customer experience.
1. Overall Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
Customer satisfaction, or CSAT, is a numerical measure of how your customers rate your service. According to a recent survey that polled close to 400 contact center agents, 95.7 percent reported that CSAT is the most important metric by which to measure their success.
You can measure CSAT scores in a number of ways, but many contact centers employ either an interactive voice response (IVR) survey or a follow-up email to gather data on customer satisfaction. A question often asked is “On a scale of one to five with five as very satisfied, how satisfied are you with our service?”. You can then divide the number of satisfied and very satisfied customers by the total number of customers surveyed.
High CSAT scores strongly suggest that your contact center provides great customer experiences.
2. Average Handle Time
Average handle time (AHT) is the total time that elapsed starting from the moment the agent answers the call until the agent completes any work related to the call such as database updating. Many call centers track this metric as it’s associated with customer satisfaction.
In fact, some analysts consider AHT to be just as important as CSAT, if not more so. For example, a SalesForce study reveals that close to 2,000 customer service leaders believe that AHT is the most important call center metric. You can help to reduce your AHT with RingCentral’s CRM integrations, such as SalesForce, which provide your agents with the right details to make every call as efficient as possible.
Many factors contribute to the improvement of AHT including arming agents with knowledge to address customer queries, reducing hold time, and reducing after call work. A contact center with a low AHT suggests that agents are quickly addressing caller issues with limited hold time. In addition, they follow an effective approach to complete tasks associated with a call. Taken together, low AHT can dramatically improve the satisfaction of your customers.
3. First Call Resolution
First call resolution (FCR) can be defined in a few different ways, depending on the priorities of you contact center. They include no need for an agent to transfer a call, no follow-up work after the call, and the customer reporting that their issue is resolved after their first call.
If you opt for the third interpretation, you must reach out to your customers to get their responses. You can do so by implementing IVR surveys, email surveys, or online surveys. Once you have the definition and the data, you can divide the number of calls meeting your criteria by the total number of calls to get your FCR.
Research by Customer Relationship Metrics reveal that CSAT scores are up to 45 percent lower when a customer makes a second call with the same concern. If you want to boost your chances of keeping customers satisfied, strive to keep your FCR numbers high using a cloud-based communications tool like RingCentral Contact Center.
4. Average Speed to Answer
The average speed to answer is how long it takes your agents to answer incoming phone calls, on average. According to a CallCentreHelper study, four out of 10 callers would have dropped their call after waiting for two minutes.
Missing these calls can pose a number of potential risks, not only to your customer service but also to the company’s bottom line. Those who hang up might never use your product or service again. Or even worse, they might release their frustrations by sharing the negative experience on social media and cause countless others to avoid your business as well. You can avoid these situations by tracking and improving your speed to answer calls.
5. Call Abandonment Rate
Call abandonment rate is the percentage of inbound calls to a contact center that are dropped or abandoned by the caller before the agent gets to answer. To measure abandonment rate, you can divide the number of abandoned calls by the total number of inbound calls. Experts suggest to keep your abandonment rate at 5 percent to help keep your customers satisfied.
While wait times are one reason why customers hang up, there are other factors that can affect your call abandonment rate as well. For example, if the structure of your IVR is confusing enough that customers give up and drop the call or agents might be putting callers on hold for too long. Whatever the reason might be, you have to track this metric if you want to improve customer experience.
6. Service Level
Service level is the percentage of calls answered within a specific time frame — for example, 80 percent of all inbound calls are answered in 45 seconds — and it can help decrease your average speed to answer and call abandonment rate. To measure service level, divide the number of calls that meet the threshold by the total number of calls.
You can use the service level percentage as a benchmark for improvement. If your agents are consistently hitting the threshold, consider increasing the percentage of calls answered in a particular time frame. Other metrics like call abandonment and average speed to answer improve as your team improves on this metric.
7. Transfer Rate
Transfer rate is the percentage of calls transferred by agents to someone who possesses the skills or knowledge required to address the caller’s concern. High transfer rates suggest that your system is inefficient. Your customers are looking for instant remedies, and they wouldn’t be too pleased to be put on hold while waiting to be transferred.
If calls are often transferred, it could point to a number of issues in your system. For example, your IVR might be directing callers to the wrong team, or your IVR does not provide a detailed description of each department. It could also mean that your agents are not equipped with the knowledge required to address many of your customers’ problems. Smarter call routing features can connect your callers with the agents who are best equipped to resolve their calls.
8. Call Volume Trends
Call volume trend is the measure of your daily, weekly, or monthly call volume compared to your average speed to answer. With a wealth of data collected, you can identify the time along with days and months when incoming calls are at their highest. Armed with the information, you can effectively plan your hiring schedule and anticipate busy months.
As you hire more people in anticipation of busy months, you get to reduce your average response time. Customers are less frustrated as they don’t have to wait too long to get a hold of an agent.
9. Agent Turnover Rate
Agent turnover rate is the percentage of call center agents who leave your company and it’s the final call center metric that you should monitor to improve customer experience.
High turnover rate has a direct impact to customer experience. Even if you hire new agents and provide training, they are still less capable to address customer concerns compared to experienced agents. New agents will be forced to transfer calls to their more competent counterparts which would increase total call time and most likely decrease your CSAT score.
The Bottom Line
While there are plenty of call center metrics that you can track, there are only a handful that focuses on improving customer experience directly. Keep your customers happy by tracking your customer satisfaction score, first call resolution, and average handle time. You can also provide a better customer experience by monitoring other metrics that help minimize frustration such as average speed to answer, call abandonment rate, service level, transfer rate, call volume trends, and agent turnover rate. Keep your customers satisfied, and you’re bound to get a healthy boost in your bottom line.