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How to Choose the Right Contact Center KPIs?

The contact center is a complex, dynamic and multichannel environment that can bring both chaos and structure to the business. Many companies aren’t ready to take the challenge. They collaborate with third-party service providers to shift the responsibility of heavy operational and staff management.

But either the company has everything in-house or transfers communication with the customers to outsource staff, customer care requires control and evaluation of efficiency.

Are metrics in a contact center so necessary? And which of them is a priority?

In the modern world of online technologies, social networking, and informational flows, brand and the product itself take second place when the customer decides to buy something. The first place goes to customer experience. Thousands of marketers, business development and sales reps, customer success managers, and call center operators are eager to get happy with positive feedback.

That’s why it is so important to have a reliable system of measuring the satisfaction and quality of service provided to the customer. Especially crucial is the capability of the business to use the knowledge of the most common mistakes and significant shortcomings of the workflow at the contact center.

Picking up the right metrics is genuinely overwhelming for managers. When choosing, it is better to take into account the following aspects:

  • The initial goal of a contact center. What aims the business has for using this department? Is it about support or sales? Or maybe it operates only for QA activities? Depending on the structure, the valuable metrics can be different. 

  • The available data and tools. We need to have accurate and complete information about customer engagements. There is no point in tracking metrics based on personalized data that is not sharable. Another example is setting KPIs for any case type is meaningless if you don’t have instruments to classify cases.

  • Added cost. For some metrics, companies need additional tools or external technologies, like Natural language processing, voice recognition, omnichannel CRM, etc. TOP managers should be ready to invest in some of these before creating a measurement plan

There are plenty of opinions on Contact Center KPIs. Some CX professionals recommend choosing 20, some say it should be 27, and some experts mention it should not exceed 10. 

It is impossible to guarantee that any of these numbers will give you the full scale of information.

But based on an analysis of multiple sources,  we made a list of the most informative metrics.

TOP 5 Contact center KPIs (key performance indicators):

1. Average Speed of Answer (ASA) is the time the customer spends waiting for the agent’s response to the query. The shorter this metric, the less risk of losing the customers because of their impatience. The world standard is to have ASA rate of 25% of the Average Handle Time.

Average Speed of Answer calculation considers only those interactions which made their way to the ending. If the person hung up the phone before the agent’s answer, it doesn't count.  Those particular types of calls go to another KPI - Abandonment Rate. 2. Average Abandonment Rate shows how many incoming callers didn’t wait until response.

Long waiting frustrates and annoys the customer. Moreover, this rate affects potential customers much more than existing ones. It is more likely that the person who hasn’t become a client yet will go to another service provider instead of useless spending time holding the phone.

3. First Call Resolution (FCR)

We already made a separate post about this quite valuable metric: Shortly, it measures performance for resolving customer issues within the first call. This KPI can demonstrate an agent’s ability to solve most cases without causing repeated inquiries. A good FCR leads to a lower cost of service.

4. Average Handle Time (AHT)

This KPI is calculated as time spent on each call or contact from start to end. 

Supervisors use it to measure the productivity of support services and how much cost is spent on every customer. AHT can set up a gold standard for the agents.

Net Promoter Score and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

These measurements refer to one of the strategic goals of any support service: customer loyalty. Contact centers usually get client satisfaction information through email and call surveys, chatbots, social media, and other automated tools. Usually, customer service representatives ask the client to respond on a “0-10” scale if they would recommend the service to anyone or not. After that client can get one of the statuses:

  • Promoter
  • Neutral or Passive
  • Detractor

NPS = % of Promoters - % of Detractors

The alternative indicator is Customer Satisfaction Score. It goes with the same approach but on a different scale. 

Customers should point to 1 of 5 levels of own satisfaction by provided service: from extremely unsatisfied to very satisfied.

Those metrics are hardly helpful without additional analysis of the causes. But it will help to evaluate the agent’s performance or to see the most problematic areas in the contact center support. The other side of getting NPS is the need for additional resources and instruments.

Many companies are turning their eyes towards more innovative solutions empowered by AI to understand customer satisfaction and joint complaints.

Sales per agent and Lead conversion rate

These two metrics are essential if your contact center has a quota for sales. They help to do performance reviews for the agents who should generate new leads or bring new deals in a given period. 

5. Sales KPIs are widely used in banking, financial services, insurance, telecommunication, and retail industries.

Many believe that KPIs in Contact Centers exist for C-level and supervisors only.

But analysis of the TOP KPIs should be done not only by supervisors and managers. Recent trends demonstrated that engaging all of your agents in self-evaluation is valuable. Allow them to track their own KPIs and be able to get feedback based on their performance. The whole team's involvement will double the benefits of any followed indicator.

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