11 Call Center KPIs for Customer Satisfaction CSAT

    Customer satisfaction is make-or-break for any organization, especially a call center. If you don’t keep your customers happy, you’ll soon find that your customer base is dwindling and the bottom line is shrinking.

    However, with 93 percent of support teams agreeing that customer expectations are higher than ever, maintaining customer satisfaction can be tricky. To keep them loyal and stay ahead of your competitors, you’ve got to deliver exceptional customer experience.

    A set-and-forget CX strategy won’t do it either. To keep up with industry trends, customer demands, and changing technology, you need to choose the right QA metrics. That’s why we’ve pulled together 11 essential contact center KPIs that measure customer satisfaction.

    What Is Customer Satisfaction?

    Customer satisfaction (CSAT) is a measure of how pleased customers are with the products or services provided by a business, and whether or not their expectations are met. In a contact center, this is typically determined by how quickly and effectively the agent is able to resolve the customer’s issue.

    To calculate CSAT, most companies use a survey with a simple scoring system (e.g. 1 to 5) and express the result as a percentage. While it may seem basic on the surface, CSAT can provide insights into customer loyalty, likelihood of churn, service issues, and more. In fact, 62 percent of CX leaders regard customer satisfaction as their most important metric.


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    What Are Contact Center KPIs?

    KPIs (key performance indicators) are metrics that measure the success of a call center—an essential aspect of any quality assurance program. You can use KPIs to evaluate agent performance, measure customer experience, and understand how well your call center is meeting its objectives.

    Why Is Customer Satisfaction So Important for Your Call Center?

    Customer satisfaction can be the difference between success and failure. A great customer experience can cement loyalty, drive growth, and even attract new customers. On the other hand, weak CX can damage your brand image, drive customers away, and cost you money.

    Increases Customer Retention

    60 percent of business leaders say that high-quality service improves customer retention. It might seem obvious but it’s worth repeating—happy customers will keep coming back. If you make them feel valued in every interaction, they’ll repay the favor and retention will soar.

    Builds Customer Loyalty

    There’s no business without customers. Building relationships is essential to driving revenue and ensuring long-term profitability, with 93 percent of customers more likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent service.

    Strengthens the Brand

    High customer satisfaction is essential to building your reputation and strengthening brand loyalty. 75 percent of customers have recommended a company based on excellent customer service, making word of mouth as powerful a marketing tool as any.

    Reduces Agent Turnover

    When an employee is making a positive impact on customers, it’s likely that they’re empowered and engaged in their work. This means less stress, improved morale, and a lower chance of churn.

    Enhances Productivity

    Quickly and accurately resolving customer queries is the bread and butter of a call center. If customers are happy, then it’s highly likely that your team is productive. First call resolution is a key metric here, with 52 percent of customers ranking it as the main factor in their CX.

    Offers Competitive Advantage

    80 percent of customers say that the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. In a saturated marketplace, offering a better CX than your competitors could be a real difference-maker.

    Grows Revenue

    Customer satisfaction is an underlying factor in nearly every aspect of revenue generation. Happy, loyal customers spend more, positive word-of-mouth brings in new opportunities, and more productive agents have a greater bandwidth for upselling and cross-selling.

    The Impact of Customer Satisfaction on a Call Center

    How to Pick the Right Contact Center KPIs

    With 86 percent of consumers prepared to leave a brand after just two poor experiences, it’s more important than ever to prioritize customer service KPIs. Not only can they help increase customer satisfaction, they can also show how your call center is performing against customers expectations.

    These metrics matter for everything from CX to revenue generation, so it’s important to understand what KPIs are, and how to pick the right ones for your call center. If you stay focused on your goals and keep the following tips in mind, you’ll be able to identify the most relevant KPIs for your business.

    • Less is more: There are countless KPIs to choose from, but it’s better to focus on a few select metrics rather than trying to measure dozens of reports. This limits the chances of mistakes and distractions.
    • Real-time versus historical data: Although measuring past performance is useful, you should take the time to understand why you are measuring certain processes. Prioritizing real-time data can help you be proactive and catch issues as they occur.
    • Stay on course: There is no shortage of KPI data available, but try to stay on course. Stick to metrics that are relevant to your specific goals and avoid information overload.
    • Be realistic: With modern QA tools like conversational analytics, you can measure every single process and interaction. As tempting as this may be, it’s better to stay realistic with your scope and only measure the most impactful KPIs.

    11 Customer Support KPIs to Monitor

    There are many different customer satisfaction KPIs you can monitor and, depending on your business aims, some may be more relevant than others. However, there are some metrics that always matter for call centers. That’s why we’ve chosen the top eleven KPIs that measure customer satisfaction, agent performance, and call center performance.

    1. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): The classic single-question CSAT survey is a way to measure overall customer satisfaction using a simple ranking scale. While there is no definitive phrasing of the question, it’s usually something like, “On a scale of 1-5, how satisfied are you with your experience?”
    2. Average Speed of Answering (ASA): Also known as Average Delay of Calls, this customer service KPI measures how quickly call center agents answered the phone.
    3. First Call Resolution (FCR): This metric analyzes whether contact center agents were able to resolve a customer issue during one interaction, or if multiple interactions were necessary.
    4. Average Handling Time (AHT): This KPI can be a bit tricky. It measures how long it takes to resolve a customer call, but too low a score can negatively impact call centers. This is because the goal should be to resolve the issue and not to shorten the length of the call.
    5. Average Idle Time (AIT): AIT measures how many seconds an agent takes to resolve an issue after wrapping up a customer call. This includes inputting information and necessary details after taking a customer call. This process can be expedited using QA software.
    6. Average After Call Work Time: This valuable KPI is another term for Average Idle Time and measures the same steps an agent takes to input information after a call. This KPI is helpful when analyzing the efficiency of call center processes.
    7. Average Abandonment Rate (AAR): This metric tracks if a customer call is ended prematurely, or if the customer hangs up during an interaction.
    8. Customer Effort Score (CES): This metric is extremely valuable because it provides key insight into the customer experience. CES analyzes how easy the call center was to work with from the customer’s perspective, and measures wait and transfer times and if they had to repeat themselves numerous times.
    9. Net Promoter Score (NPS): While not a direct measure of satisfaction—it’s more focused on loyalty and whether or not a customer will recommend you—Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a popular survey that can help evaluate the quality of your customer service, which is a key factor in determining customer satisfaction.
    10. Revenue Per Successful Call: Also known as Net Income Per Successful Call, this KPI measures revenue gained from a customer call. This customer service metric helps understand how much money your call center is making per call.
    11. Agent Turnover Rate: Call center agent turnover is high. The average industry attrition rate is 42 percent, which can be devastating for call center quality assurance processes. Understanding the turnover rate in your call center can help identify training, hiring, and onboarding issues, which you can then rectify.

    Understanding these customer service KPIs can greatly enhance call center processes and customer satisfaction scores. If you prioritize these important KPIs, improving the customer experience will become second nature.

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    How to Improve Customer Satisfaction

    To improve customer satisfaction in your contact center, you’ll need to take a multi-pronged approach involving agents, QA management, technology, and more. While the strategies that work for one company won’t necessarily work for yours, there are some tried-and-tested approaches that frequently get results.

    Identify Areas for Improvement

    If you want to make improvements to your contact center’s customer experience, you first need to understand what’s working—and what isn’t. By conducting regular reviews of both agent performance and operational processes, you can pinpoint your weak spots.

    To do this, you should track CX KPIs like CSAT and NPS, as well as productivity metrics such as average handle time, first call resolution, and abandonment rate. You can then dig into this data with reporting and analytics tools to understand what needs to change.

    Provide Regular and Targeted Agent Training

    Simply onboarding your reps isn’t enough—training needs to be continuous and consistent to get results. Customer needs, industry trends, and call center tools are always changing. If your agents aren’t up to speed, they won’t be able to resolve issues fast and CX will suffer.

    By delivering varied, ongoing training via one-on-one coaching sessions, visual materials, roleplays, and more, you can prepare your team for any customer query. Besides, 62 percent of agents want ongoing call center training opportunities anyway so it’s a win-win.

    Ensure Sufficient Staffing

    Customers don’t like sitting in a queue—physically or on the phone. Excessive wait times are frustrating and immediately put your call center on the back foot in terms of CX. To avoid this, you must ensure that you have sufficient staff to handle inbound call volume.

    With reporting and analytics tools, you can forecast call volumes and build effective schedules, ensuring that you have adequate staff for peak times. You could also consider offering a callback option, so customers can be “in the queue” but still go about their day.

    Leverage Emotional Intelligence

    We mentioned agent training earlier, primarily focusing on hard skills and technical knowledge, but don’t forget about soft skills and emotional intelligence. At the end of the day, call centers are about human interactions so your agents need to be capable of empathy.

    By encouraging your agents to develop their communication skills and show a genuine interest in the customer, you can better equip them to deliver a positive experience, even in tense situations with agitated customers.

    Foster a Positive Culture

    Disengaged agents are 11 percent less likely to provide FCR and 14 percent more likely to make customers repeat information. Coincidentally, customers’ top service issues are “not getting issues resolved during first contact” and “having to repeat myself to multiple agents.”

    Putting those numbers together, it’s clear that keeping agents engaged is essential for customer satisfaction. By fostering a positive workplace culture, you can improve morale, engage agents, and make sure that everyone in the organization feels valued.

    Streamline Operations

    77 percent of customers think that contact center queue times are too long. If your average wait time is high and average speed of answer is slow, customers will grow frustrated and abandonment rates will soar, putting a serious dent in your customer satisfaction scores.

    By streamlining call center operations, you can give your the tools and resources to manage the inbound queue efficiently and ensure a clear process for assigning and handling calls. You can even conduct regular call center audits to identify any operational bottlenecks.

    Always Put the Customer First

    If you want to keep your customers happy, you need to always consider their needs ahead of everything else. This means taking a customer-centric approach and delivering a personalized experience at every touchpoint.

    Today, 71 percent of customers expect personalized interactions and 76 percent get frustrated if that doesn’t happen. Using CRM data, agents can leverage demographic info and interaction history to customize their approach depending on the specific customer.

    Gather Customer Feedback

    Speaking of customer needs, what better way to discover these needs than to ask your customers directly? By gathering feedback via surveys, social media, interviews, focus groups, and more, you can make informed changes to your CX, operations, and more.

    With 38 percent of companies gathering customer feedback and doing nothing with the information, proper analysis and implementation can give you a competitive edge when it comes to delivering a positive customer experience.

    Offer Self-Service Options

    Self-service options are available 24/7, offering your customers greater freedom while also easing the workload from inbound calls. This frees up your agents to focus on more complex queries that require a human touch, improving CSAT scores across the board.

    Support tools like chatbots, knowledge bases, and FAQs could be a major factor in improving CX, with 81 percent of customers stating that they would like more self-service options, but only 15 percent expressing satisfaction with the tools currently available to them.

    Prioritize Quality Assurance

    Quality assurance is key to maintaining high standards, both operationally and in terms of agent performance. By setting performance benchmarks and criteria, you can ensure that your agents are always adhering to correct processes and delivering excellent service.

    With purpose-built QA software, you can monitor customer interactions, evaluate agent performance with scorecards, and use reporting and analytics to gather insights into customer behaviors, satisfaction levels, and the impact of your CX strategy.

    Use the Right Technology

    For modern contact centers, an effective tech stack is key to delivering an exceptional customer experience. By implementing call center technology like AI, automation, chatbots, and more, you can speed up response times, reduce average handle time, and improve FCR.

    Take interactive voice response (IVR), for example. Advanced IVR uses intelligent routing to quickly direct customers to the most suitable agent, significantly reducing waiting times and improving CX. These tools that minimize customer effort are key to improving satisfaction.

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    Keeping your customers happy is the key to success for your call center. If customer satisfaction starts to drop, you’ll soon find that the business is struggling too. Thankfully, with a proactive approach, you can meet rising customer expectations and blow the competition out of the water with streamlined operations and exceptional CX.

    Using an all-in-one QA solution like Scorebuddy, you can assess every aspect of the customer journey and ensure top-quality service in every interaction. Evaluate agent performance with custom scorecards, dig into customer motivations with integrated business intelligence, and deliver targeted training with a fully featured learning management system.


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      What are the top 4 KPIs in a call center?

      This most important KPIs can vary depending on the specific call center, but the four most commonly used metrics are:


      • Average Handling Time (AHT): The average amount of time an agent spends resolving customer service calls, including hold times, delays, transfers, and follow-up tasks.
      • First Call Resolution (FCR): The percentage of customer queries that are resolved during their first call or interaction with your contact center, without the need for escalation, transfer, or further follow-up.
      • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT): A measure of how satisfied a customer is with your product, service, or overall experience, typically calculated using a customer feedback survey.

      Net Promoter Score (NPS): An assessment of customer loyalty, based on answers to a single-question survey: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?”

      What is the most important metric in a call center?

      First call resolution (FCR) is generally regarded as the important call center metric. FCR offers insights into customer service standards, operational efficiency, agent performance and more.

      Customers agree on its importance, with 52 percent ranking it as the biggest factor in their CX, compared to 14 percent for the second-highest ranking factor—queue time/wait time for response.