• Joel Seaegg

Understanding the Key Call Centre Metrics

An effective call centre is the cornerstone of any strong customer service department. Every decision from staffing to use of interactive voice recordings or a call back system can significantly impact the quality of your customer service and your business’ bottom line. Swivot has developed some explanations about some of the key metrics and strategies your business should be employing in your call centres.

Abandon rate

No. of Abandoned Calls / No. of Total Calls = Abandon Rate

Have you ever sat in a virtual call queue for so long that you just hung up? Abandon rate refers to the percentage of inbound phone calls made to a call centre that are abandoned by the customer before speaking to your team. High abandon rates indicate an under-allocation of staffing and can encumber a business with a reputation of providing poor customer service. The best brands manage abandon rates by forecasting call volumes to predict appropriate staff coverage. Some call centres also stagger staff start times and breaks to ensure more hands are on deck during peak hours. Whichever strategy you choose keeping abandon rate low is key to customer satisfaction and your call centre’s success.

Average speed of answer

Total wait time of Answered Calls / Total Number of Answered Calls= Average Speed of Answer

Average speed of answer (ASA) measures the average time it takes for calls to be answered. It includes the time the caller is in a queue but does not include the time it takes callers to navigate through an interactive voice recording (IVR). Improving ASA and maintaining a consistent speed of answer through peak and off-peak periods is key to a low abandon rate. ASA can be improved through many strategies including appropriate triaging and routing of calls through an IVR or appropriate staffing. Call centres with limited resourcing can also consider voicemail features and/or call back options to ensure your customers are not waiting in a queue for an extended period of time.

Average handle time

Total Talk Time + Total Hold Time + Total wrap-up Time / Total No. of Calls Handled= Average handle time

Average handle time (AHT) measures the average time it takes from when the agent picks up the phone until they disconnect the call including any time on hold. Although a long AHT might indicate that your agents are struggling to handle a customer’s request it is important to distinguish improving AHT from reducing AHT. A short AHT might represent that your customer service team is hurrying customers off the phone rather than resolving their issues. Key strategies to improving AHT include splitting teams to deal with specific types of products and then optimising call routing via your IVR, or optimising agent training so they understand your products. Improving AHT will feed directly into customer satisfaction and call centre efficiency.

Quality assurance scores

Quality assurance audits are usually run by QA and workforce management teams to measure anything from the tone and empathy through to the ability to understand and resolve an enquiry of a customer service representative. A scorecard should be put together in line with the priorities of the business. The number of audits will vary depending on a business’ needs but you should prioritise undertaking at least 1 audit per agent per week (ie. mark one call per week). If you are outsourcing your call centre, you should audit the auditors – try running a calibration session with your service provider whereby you compare your providers scores to your own and scale accordingly (ie. their 8 for empathy might reflect as a 7 for you). QA scorecards are key to measuring and improving the individual performance of agents as well as the whole call centre.

Quantitating Customer Feedback

Quantitating customer feedback through Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) or Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys is a powerful tool for measuring your customer service performance. CSAT is measured through one or more variations of the following question at the end of a call:

“How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the service you received today?”

The customer then provides a score of 1-5. 1 being very unsatisfied and 5 being very satisfied. The results are averaged out to give a Composite Customer Satisfaction Score as a percentage.

NPS measures the loyalty of your customers to a company. Customers are surveyed with one single question:

“On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this company’s product or service to a friend or a colleague?”

From here customers are categorised into promoters (9 or 10), passives (7 or 8) and detractors (0-6). The NPS score is calculated as follows:

% of Promoter - % of detractors = NPS

There are many things you can utilise your NPS and CSAT score with including determining customer churn or what type of services/products lead to promoters and detractors of your business.


Each metric provides a key insight into a call centre and business’ health. Utilising these are sure to provide your business with an edge when making decisions from staffing through to products/service offerings.

#outsourcing #BPO #CustomerService #CallCentreMetrics #CSAT #NPS


© 2020 by Swivot Pty Ltd. ACN 631583741

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