Knowledge Center Article

Call Center Essentials 5: Key Performance Indicators

By Art Williams / 5 November 2013

Piton-Global Call Center Essential 5


A call center agent’s job may be monotonous especially when a huge chunk of it involves working on the computer and rendering customer assistance. However, the yardstick used to measure the performance of a business process outsourcing companies is the exact opposite of monotony. To accurately gauge if the service they are carrying out is of top quality and meets the client’s standards, call center managers instituted key performance indicators or KPIs. Metrics and KPIs give managers a comprehensive and pragmatic view of how efficient the company is operating and if there issues that need attending.

To give you a better idea what kind of metrics call center managers implement and how they work, here are six of the best KPIs companies observe to ensure superior service to clients and maintain a competent organization.

1.      Service Level.

Considered as one of the most important key performance indicators, Service Level is a metric that determines your capability to provide your clients excellent service. BPO companies like call centers sign a Service Level Agreement (SLA) enforcing them to commit to an acceptable standard of service. The inability to meet the set benchmark can be detrimental for your company, so it’s critically important that you meet what the SLA requires or even more.

In coming up with an SLA, you can establish criteria that will help you compute for your efficiency. For instance, if one of the accounts of your contact center takes calls from your client’s customers, you can base your success against the criteria you’ve set. These can include calls that were completed, calls that you missed, calls that were inevitably ignored. There are also formulas you can use to calculate your SLA so that you can come up with the most accurate results as possible.

2.      Customer Satisfaction.

This particular KPI may be leaning a bit on the subjective side, but you can set specific guidelines your clients can use to rate the fulfillment they’re getting from doing business with you. Customer satisfaction is hailed as one of the most reliable yardsticks to identify whether your company is doing a great job.

There are several ways to measure customer satisfaction. Assuming that you solicit your clients’ feedback through a survey, you can have them rate your performance in varying degree, anywhere between Very Satisfactory, Satisfactory, and Least Satisfactory. You can also ask more forward questions about the probability of them recommending you to their colleagues, how they compare their experience with you to what they initially expected, and if they’re looking forward to spending another term with you.

3.      Average Handle Time (AHT).

The AHT metric is meant to help you determine if every agent in your call center measures up to your company’s standard of outstanding service. By implementing this KPI, you can determine how long it usually takes an agent to accomplish one call and perform the succeeding tasks such as submitting the report post the conversation. Familiarizing yourself with the speed at how your agents attend to a customer can help you set a realistic number of calls you should cater to for every hour of operation. In addition, this metric can improve the way you evaluate the performance of each agent as well as the cost it will take you to accommodate every call.

4.      Abandon Rate.

The Abandon Rate KPI refers to the percentage of calls that agents were unable to answer after the customers hang up. The tolerance of your customers being put on hold is varied, and while there are those who are willing to wait until they are connected to an agent, there are some who gets off the phone after waiting a while. Ideally, you should be able to answer calls within this window; an immediate response from an agent is something a customer would value and associate to satisfaction. On the other hand, if your agents are already as efficient as they can be, perhaps it’s about time you employ new batch so that your call center will be able to contain as many calls as possible and doesn’t risk losing a client.

5.      After Call Work (ACW).

This particular metric, if employed, will be associated with AHT. The After Call Work KPI deals with the adeptness of your agents of carrying out administrative tasks after completing a call such as data entry or accomplishing a form. While these tasks may seem minimal, they can collectively eat up a considerable chunk at the time agents are spending on the calls they attend to. On the one hand, ACW can help you be more specific in establishing the amount of efficiency your agents need to deliver as a company. If you must implement ACW, you should ensure the discipline and training of your agents so that they stay focused on the wrap-up process and not use the time allotted for this to do activities that are irrelevant to work.

6.      Agent Performance.

A large portion of a call center’s success (or hopefully not, failure) is the expertise and reliability of their agents. This is why a lot of KPIs are meant to gauge their effectiveness in all bases possible. The Agent Performance metric is used to measure how efficient agents function in every area that involves them. You can use this KPI to monitor the movement of agents’ activities such as who are present, are on standby, engaged in calls, and the average span of processed calls. This KPI can give you a clear idea on how your agents are faring when on the floor and when you do, you can manage the expectations of your clients and your company better.

Regardless of the size of your call center, it’s highly recommended that you implement the following KPIs to ensure that your operations run as smooth as it can. Using metrics also eliminate errors and inaccuracies in your overall performance, and they point you to the right areas that require improvement or overhaul.

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Having spent over two decades partnering with and delivering Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) solutions to Fortune 500 clients, John possesses an in-depth understanding of this intricate process. His comprehensive approach incorporates an exhaustive assessment of outsourcing requirements, precise vendor sourcing, and a robust program management strategy.

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