A successful contact center requires constant evaluation to ensure that all agents are working to the best of their abilities—and delivering the best experience for the customer. Investing time and money in your contact center is all well and good, but you need to be sure that you’re allocating those resources wisely. To find out if your agents are performing at their peak and delivering outstanding customer service in each and every interaction, there are some key metrics you should keep an eye on. Here, we’ll take a look at 11 contact center metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) that give a true picture of how your contact center is performing.
There are a number of metrics and KPIs available to supervisors and managers who want to analyze the overall performance level of their contact center, as well as the individual performance levels of each agent. The real key to accurate performance evaluation is to focus on the metrics and KPIs which are most relevant to your business. This will allow you to paint an accurate picture of how your agents are performing, and whether or not they are delivering a satisfactory level of customer service. Once you have identified the appropriate metrics and KPIs, you can then implement a platform like Scorebuddy to accurately monitor them.
A consistent system of customer service evaluation will allow you to identify any issues with your contact center’s approach to customer service and take the appropriate actions to rectify those issues. If you are monitoring the correct call center metrics, you will be able to develop a better understanding of the needs and wants of customers. With this newfound understanding, the decision-makers within the company can then make changes to business processes to improve customer satisfaction, enhance the brand’s reputation and, ultimately, generate more revenue. You should continue to perform ongoing customer service evaluations after any changes have been implemented in order to determine how customers are responding and whether or not they are having the desired effect.
Now that we understand the importance of measuring the right customer service metrics, it’s time to drill down and look at the specific metrics that matter the most for customer service evaluation. Monitoring these 11 metrics will show you how well your contact center is performing and give you a platform to make positive changes.
A customer satisfaction (CSAT) score is used to determine a customer’s level of satisfaction with a product or overall experience. In a contact center scenario, the CSAT score would determine a customer’s level of satisfaction with the service provided. The first step towards determining a CSAT score is a customer satisfaction survey. Once you have collected the data from this survey, there are two ways to calculate the CSAT score. The first is to simply take the average of the 1 to 5 score. The second option is to use the 4 to 5 scoring system, where you divide the number of customers who selected either 4 or 5 by the total number of responses and multiply the result by 100. This will show you the percentage of customers who consider themselves happy according to the survey.
The abandon rate refers to the total number of customers who hang up on a call before they are connected to an agent. To calculate the call abandon rate, first count the total number of calls received, then subtract the number of calls which were answered, divide the result by the number of received calls and multiply the answer by 100 for a percentage. The figures can be taken from whatever timeframe (weekly, monthly, yearly, etc.) is appropriate. Do remember that an abandoned call isn’t necessarily a lost cause—a poor customer experience can be salvaged. Give customers the option to request a callback or even create tickets for abandoned calls so agents can follow up. By keeping the possibility of further communication alive, you put yourself in a position to rescue the situation.
This metric measures the frequency with which a customer’s issue is resolved during their first call with an agent. This is an important metric as high rates of first-call resolution indicate that agents have a strong knowledge of the product and are efficient in their approach to dealing with customer issues. It’s also connected to customer satisfaction, as customers are more likely to report high levels of satisfaction when their issues are resolved promptly. Spending too long on calls, or requiring multiple calls, could indicate that agents lack sufficient knowledge of the product or service.
Average handling time (AHT) refers to the time an agent spends resolving a customer call. It’s not limited to phone interactions, however, and takes into account time across other contact channels like email and live chat. The AHT metric serves two purposes; raising customer service standards and monitoring agent performance. The first step to reducing AHT is using quality assurance tools to identify the root causes of poor AHT scores. Once you have identified these causes you can take steps to improve agent performance and carry out regular AHT reviews to ensure that your average handling time is trending in the right direction.
Using the right tone and language when speaking to customers is vital for positive interaction. Voice recognition software can be implemented to scan for keywords used by agents, while a script can provide the basis for successful agent-customer interactions.
Measuring agent performance in terms of cross-sales can offer a greater insight into how thoroughly your agents understand the needs and wants of customers. If an agent is attentive to the needs of a customer, then cross-selling becomes an organic process where the agent is offering additional benefits relevant to that customer. As with every metric on this list, monitoring over time is essential to improving performance in the long run and boosting numbers. Make sure your agents have a method of tracking cross-selling opportunities and whether or not they were successful in closing those opportunities.
Customer retention rate is another strong indicator of customer service performance in a contact center. Identifying how many of your customers repeatedly purchase your products and services will reveal a lot about how well your agents are meeting their needs in agent-customer interactions. By monitoring the rate and nature of repeat purchases over time, you will start to see trends appearing and can then act accordingly to boost customer retention even further.
Generally speaking, the shorter the call, the better the quality of service the customer receives. Call time tells you how quickly agents are getting to the root of the customer’s problem and resolving the issue. If the data reveals a longer-than-desired average call time, you could set up average call time goals for agents to make them more efficient in their interactions with customers.
Evaluating handover rates can be a useful way to find potential inefficiencies in how agents are handling customer calls. Of course, sometimes it is necessary to transfer a customer to another individual or department to resolve their issue, but if this happens too often the customer may grow frustrated with the perceived inefficiency of the process. A tracking system for how often agents are handing over calls could help decide whether call handovers are occurring too often.
Comparing the number of service tickets with the number of resolved tickets within a defined timeframe will give you a sense of how effective your agents are at resolving customer issues. By digging deeper, you can also pinpoint which types of tickets are going unresolved, highlighting areas which may require improvement. Once you have identified these areas, you can supply targeted training to agents to boost the number of resolved tickets.
We all know how frustrating it is to be stuck on hold, that’s why queue time is an important metric when it comes to evaluating customer service. Being made to wait for an agent is a frustrating experience when the customer just wants to receive the information they need.
This is why queue time is closely linked to abandon rate, another metric we explored earlier. A long queue time can increase the likelihood of the customer hanging up before connecting with an agent, leaving them with a negative perception of the company’s customer service practices. The more productive and efficient agents are, the more calls they will be able to handle in a given time period, thus reducing the likelihood of lengthy queue times.
There are several approaches to take when evaluating customer service, each with their own advantages. Below we have highlighted some tried and tested Customer Service (CS) evaluation approaches that will help you to determine the performance levels of each CS team member and take action to improve and refine the experience for customers.
Customer surveys are one of the most common approaches to customer service evaluation. A direct feed of information from the customers who interact with the CS team is an invaluable asset when it comes to measuring performance levels. In particular, customers who may have had a less-than-satisfactory experience with your company will be eager to share their experience, highlighting potential areas for improvement.
Innovative technologies like AI and text analytics can comb through the data from each and every agent-customer interaction to identify patterns and highlight problem areas. Using the insights garnered from these technologies, you can take corrective steps and provide targeted training to upskill agents and improve your company’s customer service.
As noted above, targeted training based on high-quality data is a key tool for improving both individual agent performance and the overall level of customer service on offer. By monitoring these metrics and providing continuous training based on the most relevant KPIs, you will be able to take your customer service to the next level.
There are tons of important metrics and KPIs to take into account when analyzing the overall performance of a contact center. If you want to focus on customer service in particular, it’s important to decide which of those metrics are most relevant to your company and pay careful attention to how they perform over time. In doing so, you will uncover actionable insights which can lead to improved agent performance and a better standard of service for customers. A one-stop quality assurance platform like Scorebuddy can help you to collate all of these metrics in one place, analyze the data, and take appropriate action. To learn how Scorebuddy could solve your contact center’s customer service issues, request a free trial today.