Call centers aim to provide excellent customer service to a company’s client at all times.
Your call center counts on the performance of its customer care employees to give better service with every engagement, whether it’s over the phone, email, or through the live chatbox on your website.
Tracking call center performance is critical for learning how clients perceive your sales and support services so you can improve and adapt to their demands.
There are two main modes of measuring call center performance. These are call metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Call metrics track the status of various business operations involved in the call center. On the other hand, KPIs allow you to monitor how near you are to achieving your company objectives.
Using the correct call tracking software, you can derive critical information to guide your decision-making process when looking to strategically improve your call centers.
Your customer service agents are the face and foundation of your company to your clients. It is, therefore, crucial to have professionals who are knowledgeable in the field involved.
How can you measure your call center performance?
Call metrics are used collectively to gauge the overall effectiveness of your customer service representatives and track the performance of your call centers. Call metrics include aspects such as:
Average call length
This metric records the average duration of a call, from the time an operator picks up the phone to when the call ends. On average, it takes about six minutes for customer service agents to handle a call. If your agents take longer or too little time, you may need to schedule a training workshop.
On average, it takes about six minutes for customer service agents to handle a call.
Average time in queue
This metric indicates how long callers are stuck in call queues. The total number of calls answered is split by that number. Clients will give up if the waiting period is too long, resulting in the loss of possible sales.
Check your call volume to make sure your call center is correctly scaled for the call duration to avoid having some departments too busy while others have free agents.
This metric assesses real-time agent productivity based on the percentage of calls answered in a certain number of seconds.
In a shift, your agents should be receiving roughly the same number of calls. If they are just answering a few calls, they need to improve their speed. If they’re responding to too many calls, it could indicate shoddy or rushed work.
This metric mostly depends on the quality of your leads. It measures how many calls it takes for your agents to make a sale.
If your conversion rates are low, you may need to create a workflow to encourage clients to buy your products or services through the marketing funnel.
First calls resolutions
The percentage of calls where an agent can resolve a caller’s issue without transferring, escalating, or returning the call is tracked.
This indicator allows you to determine whether your agents are qualified and knowledgeable enough to efficiently handle consumers and whether they have the necessary sales tools to do so.
How to leverage call metrics to improve call center performance?
It’s critical to get a basic understanding of the call center metrics that are typically used to analyze call center effectiveness and how to leverage training and technology to assist agents in being more successful and reducing attrition. To help you with that, here are my favorite 8 ways to leverage call metrics to improve call center performance:
Track the right metrics
Whatever call center metrics you choose, they’ll provide you with a good idea of where you should concentrate your efforts. For instance, some metrics apply specifically to the agents at an individual level.
It’s unrealistic to expect to listen in on every conversation to provide specific feedback on contact agent performance. There are alternative techniques to watch call center activities and pinpoint trouble areas.
Depending on your goals and objective, you need to choose the right set of metrics to track. Tracking the right metrics will allow you to identify those that are doing well and those that need proper training. You can also learn whether your clients are satisfied with your products, services, and customer service before and after a sale.
This information can also generate reports for your call center performance at an organizational level to see which departments are doing better than others and which needs improvement.
Benchmark your data
Call center benchmarking is the process of comparing the procedures and metrics of one call center to those of similar businesses. You can benchmark most call center metrics to gauge where your company stands concerning call center performance.
These metrics include call abandonment rate which is 5-8% globally, first call resolution which is 70-75% globally, and service level calls 80% of which are answered within 20 seconds.
Comparing your data with your competitors can give you valuable information which can help you make data-driven decisions.
Call center benchmarking also helps you identify points of improvement, find areas where you may save money, quantitatively evaluate the performance of your call center agents, improve their sales representative skills, and assess the efficacy of improvement initiatives.
Integrate technology to improve performance
Call centers use cloud-based technology and software integrations to improve performance.
A cloud-based phone system offers a slew of other useful capabilities, such as call queuing, which ensures that you’re serving your clients on a first-come, first-served basis. To assist with staffing and growing, you can use a virtual call center to set up remote or distributed teams.
For example, call center software from MyOperator offers sales and support integrations that boost performance. Some customer support software comes with inbuilt live chat features, quality assurance, productivity evaluation, billing and payment, all in one package. Using a cloud-based call center with CRM and support software of your choice, you can improve your overall call center performance.
Get to the root of the problem
If one of your call centers is performing extremely low or high or has had a drastic change in a short period, it is essential to find out why.
If the call queue time is exceptionally long, you should find out whether that’s because you have few agents, the service level is low, or the employees are spending too much time on the phones.
Once you have identified the source of the problem, you can start working on a solution.
Provide agents with Information about their performance
One mistake many companies make is hiding the information about agents’ individual performance from them. If they don’t know how well they are performing, you can’t expect your agents to make any efforts to improve themselves.
Letting your customer service agents see their progress makes them feel like a part of the organization. They will also be motivated to work harder and pick up where they are slacking.
You can even gamify the process to motivate your agents. People enjoy a little competition and get a feeling of accomplishment when they win. You can organize incentives and rewards whether on leaderboards, earned badges, or monetary rewards like bonuses.
Your organization also wins because your customers remain satisfied at the end of the day.
Listen to your agents
Providing a feedback loop with your customer service agents can also help you understand why some parts of your call centers are underperforming. The agents experience the challenges during service provision firsthand and can let you in on crucial performance hindrances.
Sometimes your processes are not effective enough and are causing brokenness in your system. You can solve these problems to optimize the working environment for your agents and thus improve their performance.
Continuously train and improve your agents
A continuous training schedule is the only solution to ensuring all your agents are adequately suited for handling clients effectively. Learning sessions for your agents should tackle new customer handling skills, best practice procedures, and how to overcome specific problems in your call center.
This technique will ensure your whole customer service team is competent and knowledgeable at all times.
Recommended read: 99+ best customer service quotes to keep you inspired.
When optimizing performance, you can’t just forward customers to any agent and expect your performance to be good. Some agents will inevitably be better at some processes than others.
You should be smart about routing the calls coming in. Skill-based routing technologies are available for businesses. Although they apply a random routing strategy, they can also be customized to route to the agents that will tackle the customers’ issues in the first call.
This will improve customer service and general performance. Your other agents will not be left idle either. They will take calls in their own areas of expertise.
Now, go on, rock your customer satisfaction
As a business owner, you must have a strategy in place to enhance your call center performance. Customer satisfaction is vital for your business growth, and using the tips above will give you a competitive advantage.
Technology also plays a crucial role in ensuring your organization stays on top of the game. The integrations bring efficiency into your operation which enhances performance.