It seems customer service is now the yardstick by which consumers measure brands. In addition to making purchase decisions based on price, quality, and brand experience, consumers also seek out companies with fast, convenient, and helpful customer support. Without it, companies risk future sales and brand growth.
This means true customer service success is far deeper than just tracking calls received. Improving your customer service metrics requires a deeper look at which KPIs make sense for your contact center and the strategies you use to achieve them.
What Call Center Metrics Should You Measure?
Most CX call centers track metrics like:
- Call volume — the amount of inbound and outbound calls to and from your call center in a given period. You can use this metric to identify peak volume as well.
- Cost per call — the average cost you incur for every call handled. This metric can help you determine if your contact center is operating efficiently.
- First contact resolution — the resolution of a customer’s issue within the first call. This metric helps determine the effectiveness of your call center and contributes greatly to overall customer satisfaction and retention.
- Average handle time — the amount of time it takes a rep to handle a call from start to finish. This can help you determine which agents may need further training.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS) — a measure of customer satisfaction based on ratings between 1 and 10. The best way to gather this data is through customer feedback surveys.
These certainly aren’t the only call center metrics you can gather. Gartner recommends KPIs across five categories of employee engagement; quality operations; customer satisfaction; loyalty, churn, and retention; and advocacy brand reputation.
We also recommend tracking agent-specific KPIs, including:
- Active Contact Resolution (ACR). ACR is a new metric that measures the completeness and quality of each interaction. Agent-first design, a way of designing software from the ground up to focus on the agent experience, is a known catalyst for ACR. Improved ACR means the number of additional contacts from the same customer decreases, improving efficiency, call quality, and customer satisfaction.
- Onboarding Time (or time to value). When call center software is designed specifically with the agent in mind, new hires get up and running faster, leading to increased time to value. In fact, the time to train new agents can decrease by as much as 50% in agent-first designed systems.
How to Improve Your Call Center Metrics
No matter what metrics you track, you can improve them with intentional contact center strategy and goal setting.
- Evaluate your processes and set goals.
Take a look around your contact center. What needs to change? Where can you make improvements? Start by dividing your processes into four stages:
- What metrics do you track today?
- What other metrics should you track, but aren’t currently?
- Put context behind your data. This could mean building dashboards tailored to certain stakeholders or outcomes. Or, it could mean viewing certain metrics side by side.
- How do your data points reveal what’s causing pain and frustration for your agents and customers?
- What can you do to improve your contact center using the information you uncovered? Now that you’ve collected and analyzed your data, it’s time to act.
- What outcomes do you want to achieve?
- What do you need to fix to achieve them?
- How can you use reporting, analytics, and intelligence to prevent repeat mistakes?
- Where are you falling short, and where are your efforts paying off?
In addition to answering these questions, complete a SWOT analysis to determine where you stand. Then, use the intel to devise a plan forward. With measurable goals set, outline a specific and actionable plan to reach them.
- Set clear expectations for agents.
Your call center employees can’t improve if they don’t know where the finish line is. Communicate goals and make sure every team member is aware of and working toward the same objectives.
Additionally, invest in each agent’s growth and career path with regular work performance evaluations, yearly goal setting, and surveys to share their opinions. Provide additional learning opportunities like seminars, online courses, training, and mentorship so they can improve.
- Give your teams the tools they need to succeed.
Your call center reps will only be as good as the tools you equip them with. Sometimes it’s as simple as providing call flows and scripts to guide calls in various scenarios. But it’s more than that, too. Modern call center agents need:
- Comprehensive dashboards and reporting to track their performance
- Integrations with the apps they use most
- Recording and transcription abilities to review calls for improvement
- A knowledge base to self-service for quick answers
Investing in cloud call center software is another way of investing in your people, customers, and future growth. Intuitive, easy-to-use software takes the pressure off your agents to comb through documents or multiple systems for answers. It empowers them to find the information they need fast to keep customers informed and happy.
SharpenCX provides unified contact center software that empowers agents to deliver engaging customer experiences with an all-in-one, customizable platform. We built our platform to be agent-first so reps can get up to speed and start generating value as quickly as possible.
Is it time your call center metrics got a boost? Check out our helpful guides like The Very Real Benefits of Designing for the Agent and How to Build Customer Service Strategies. Or, contact Sharpen today to schedule a demo.