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    12 Call Center Outsourcing KPIs You Need to Focus On

    Outsourcing your call center functions can be a strategic move, allowing your company to focus on its core competencies while professionals handle customer interactions. But how can you ensure your outsourced call center is meeting the mark?

    Monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) helps paint a picture of your call center’s performance, laying the groundwork for informed decisions to improve customer service. However, picking the right KPIs to track isn’t as easy as you think—you must ensure they align with your business needs.

    In this article, we’ll show you the best KPIs to monitor, how to set expectations for these KPIs, and how to avoid common mistakes that come with tracking metrics. Plus, we’ll point you toward software that can help you monitor KPIs and improve your call center performance.

    The 12 most important KPIs for call center outsourcing

    Ensuring optimal performance in call center outsourcing is crucial for delivering top-quality customer service. By monitoring KPIs, you can make data-driven decisions about your business and improve the customer experience.

    We’re going to break down the most important KPIs into four categories—each highlighting performance in different areas—and how they can improve CX, efficiency, agent performance, and more.

    Customer satisfaction metrics

    Measuring your customer satisfaction is fundamental to the success of any call center. If your customers aren’t happy, they won’t do business with you. These metrics highlight the overall quality of your service and the abilities of your outsourcing vendor, as well as the general happiness of your customers.

    • Net Promoter Score (NPS): This KPI assesses customer loyalty with a simple question: “On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend?”. Your NPS score isn’t just a reflection of the quality of your products, but also the quality of your call center’s customer service. 
    • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): Similar to your NPS, the CSAT metric calculates the short-term happiness of your customers, usually based on the customer service interaction they just had. Answer options typically range from “Very unsatisfied” to “Very satisfied” and it’s a good idea to leave space for customer feedback. Monitoring this KPI can help ensure your call center outsourcing partner meets desired customer service levels.
    • Customer Effort Score (CES): This KPI gauges how much effort a customer makes to resolve their issue, measuring the simplicity and convenience of your customer support process. According to Gartner, a lower customer effort score can lead to increased loyalty. If your CES is higher, it may indicate that you need to streamline your processes and retrain agents.

    Operational efficiency metrics

    Setting targets for certain call center outsourcing KPIs is key to ensuring your outsourcing vendor is balancing cost-effectiveness and service quality. Operational efficiency metrics help you maximize productivity and enhance the overall performance levels of your agents.

    • Average Handling Time (AHT): This metric calculates the average time an agent spends handling a call, including all related tasks to resolve it. While a short AHT suggests efficiency, an extremely high or low AHT may indicate poor quality service. Regularly analyzing and optimizing your agent’s AHT can enhance productivity, improve service levels, and drive overall efficiency.
    • First Call Resolution (FCR): FCR measures the percentage of customer issues resolved at first contact. A high FCR shows your call center outsourcing agents are solving issues immediately, improving customer satisfaction, while a low FCR can indicate problems with internal processes. By monitoring FCR, you can identify workflow bottlenecks, address skill gaps for agents, and drive continuous improvement.
    • Service Level Agreement (SLA) Adherence: This KPI reflects how consistently your call center outsourcing partner meets your expected service levels. Maintaining a high SLA adherence rate builds trust with your vendor, ensures contractual obligations are met, and delivers steady, quality service.

    Quality of service metrics

    Maintaining service quality is critical when outsourcing your call center operations, and monitoring quality of service KPIs helps ensure your outsourcing partner is meeting your standards. These KPIs offer insights into the overall performance of your call center, enabling you to identify areas for improvement.

    • Quality Assurance Scores: You generate these scores by evaluating an agent’s call against predefined criteria such as communication, product knowledge, and problem-solving. Regularly assessing quality assurance scores can identify opportunities for targeted training programs, resulting in more effective support and agents that can efficiently handle problems.
    • Error Rate and Accuracy: This KPI measures the percentage of calls that resulted in misinformation or were mismanaged. Tracking these error rates and your overall accuracy can help ensure your outsourced agents provide accurate solutions, ultimately leading to increased customer satisfaction.
    • Compliance with Scripts and Procedures: Aiming to maintain consistency within customer interactions is vital, which means that agents will need to follow along with procedures and scripts set in place for them. This metric evaluates how well agents adhere to these established guidelines, reflecting your call center’s standardization and risk mitigation efforts.

    Employee performance metrics

    The performance of your team is a critical part of any call center. It’s even more important for outsourced teams, as it helps assess how your outsourcing partner manages their staff. Tracking these call center outsourcing KPIs enables you to drive productivity and maintain service quality.

    • Agent Utilization: This KPI measures the percentage of time an agent spends on productive, customer-oriented activities. Higher utilization rates signify efficiency, but if they’re too high, it may result in employee burnout. Using this metric to maintain a healthy balance between work quality and your agent’s wellbeing can significantly enhance your customer service.
    • Agent Turnover Rate: This represents the rate at which agents leave the call center voluntarily or involuntarily. High turnover rates may signify multiple issues with your outsourcing vendor and cause gaps in service. Monitoring this metric can help you understand overall employee satisfaction and identify areas of improvement for your vendor.
    • Agent Attrition Rate: Attrition rate shows the number of agents that leave a call center after a certain period. Higher attrition can indicate deeper organizational issues, such as poor training, low job satisfaction, or unsatisfactory compensation. While this is mostly out of your hands when outsourcing, it can indicate more extensive issues with your vendor. Tracking agent attrition can aid in ensuring a stable, competent, and satisfied workforce.

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    How to set KPI benchmarks and targets

    Setting the right benchmarks and targets for your KPIs is vital for the success of your call center operations. It all starts with laying a foundation that factors in what your business needs—and wants—out of your call center.

    Analyzing industry standards for call center outsourcing KPIs is an excellent way to build that foundation. Research data published by reputable sources within your industry, speak with your peers in similar businesses, and work with your teams to establish a clear picture of your call center outsourcing KPIs. 

    Then, it’s time to figure out the KPIs most important to your business. If your goal is to boost customer satisfaction, look into your CSAT and NPS scores and set a target within the standards you’ve researched. Aligning KPIs to your business goals helps ensure your efforts directly contribute to your long-term success. However, you’ll still need to stay flexible with your targets.

    Market dynamics, seasonal fluctuations, and shifting customer behavior can easily shake up your call center and lead to missed targets. One size rarely fits all, and you should be ready to tweak KPI benchmarks as needed. Flexibility while setting your call center outsourcing KPIs allows you to adjust your expectations without undermining your partner’s team.

    Finally, you shouldn’t shy away from using new technology to support and track your KPIs. Modern call center software can provide in-depth data analytics and dashboards. Plus, those dashboards can highlight critical issues, helping your team adapt to changes and monitor your benchmarks in real time.

    Five most useful tools for monitoring KPIs

    Evaluating and improving call center performance requires having the right tools to track KPIs. These come in many different shapes and sizes, all ranging in functionality and what they bring to the table. Let’s take a look at the five most useful types that can get the best out of your call center outsourcing KPIs.

    Call center software with data analytics

    This is an integral part of your call center’s tech stack. Having software with built-in data analytics helps you track all sorts of KPIs. For example, you can monitor SLA adherence by following how fast calls are answered or how effectively customer queries are resolved with FCR.

    Third-party analytics software

    Beyond native tools, third-party analytics platforms can offer additional, comprehensive insights into your operations. These platforms collect data from your call center and analyze it to highlight patterns and performance issues. Your teams can use this software to visualize peak times or create a heatmap for call volumes, giving you a clear picture of demand so you can better manage staffing levels.

    Customizable dashboards

    Clear, easy-to-read dashboards are crucial to relaying complex data and trends. Having software to create dashboards allows management to tailor it to their roles or to track specific KPIs at a glance. For example, QA managers can set up dashboards to track error rates and QA scores, while operations managers may want to focus on AHT or FCR rates.

    Cloud-based solutions

    These solutions have emerged as powerful tools for modern call centers. They help monitor KPIs in real time, enable easy scalability, provide disaster recovery, and more. As an example, using cloud-based tools would allow managers to track CSAT scores from anywhere and sync these results with other members of call center management across multiple call centers.

    Quality assurance tools

    Call Center Quality Assurance (QA) tools are pivotal to ensuring your call center interactions meet or exceed the standards you’ve set for your partner. This software helps identify issues, track agent performance, monitor parameters like call resolution time, and collect customer feedback. Using QA tools can help managers assess an agent’s call within their specific criteria and monitor individual quality assurance scores.

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    Common pitfalls to look out for when tracking outsourcing KPIs

    We’ve established how critical KPIs can be, but it’s not as simple as setting them up and forgetting about them. There are several potential pitfalls if you aren’t careful, such as:

    • Overlooking employee feedback: Never underestimate the importance of including employee feedback when assessing KPIs. They offer valuable insights into the reality of your agent’s day-to-day work and can shine a light on areas that need improvement before they become an issue.
    • Ignoring trends and patterns in data: Focusing on isolated numbers won’t give you a complete picture of your call center’s performance. Keep an eye on the trends and patterns across the board to identify recurring issues or roadblocks that can impact your customer service or highlight areas performing above the average.
    • Focusing only on cost-saving metrics: While saving on costs matters, concentrating solely on them may strip your call center of crucial resources. Ensure you have a balanced approach by incorporating KPIs that include service quality and customer satisfaction.
    • Tracking too many different KPIs: Juggling multiple KPIs can lead to scattered focus and spreading efforts too thinly. Instead, streamline your priorities and only select the most critical ones that align with your business needs.
    • Not aligning KPIs with organizational goals: The KPIs you track should reflect your company’s objectives and directly contribute to achieving them. If your KPIs don’t align with these goals, you’ll miss the mark with your call center operations.

    Conclusion

    Effectively managing your outsourced call center is integral to your company’s success; KPIs are the foundation of that process. By identifying key industry standards, aligning KPIs with business goals, staying flexible, and leveraging modern tools, you’ll be better equipped to measure and enhance your customer service.

    If you want to take your call center to the next level, consider using a robust QA tool like Scorebuddy. With Scorebuddy, you can seamlessly monitor KPIs in real-time, perform in-depth analysis, and map employee feedback to uncover actionable insights for improving your call center operations.

    Experience how Scorebuddy helps align your KPIs and elevates your customer experience today. Sign up for a free trial and see for yourself.

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      FAQ

      What are the most important call center metrics?

      While it generally depends on your call center and the industry you work in, some KPIs are important for any business. Key examples include:

       

      • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT): How satisfied customers are with the service of your call center.
      • First Call Resolution (FCR): The percentage of calls resolved in the first interaction.
      • Average Abandonment Rate (AAR): The percentage of calls that are ended by a customer before reaching an agent.
      • Net Promoter Score (NPS): A score of how likely the customer is likely to recommend your company to a friend.
      • Average Handling Time (AHT): How long it takes to handle a customer call, including all tasks performed during and after the call.

      What should be considered when outsourcing?

      There are many factors you should keep in mind when considering an outsourcing vendor. Evaluating their services, industry expertise, technology and infrastructure, and pricing models are all important steps when selecting an outsourcing provider.