Call Center Metrics: Understanding the 5 Most Important Call Center KPIs
Using Call Center KPIs to Help Your Department Succeed
The technology available for collecting call center KPI (Key Performance Indicators) data is extensive these days. In fact, the managers of most of these departments are typically able to provide the numbers for everything ranging from the average call time to its speed of answer.
However, unless they are also capable of understanding the value of all of this information, then it is of no greater use than a broken telephone. There is an important difference between being able to quote a statistic and understanding what it actually means, especially when combined with other call center KPI data.
For example if the cost per call has dropped, but the abandonment rate has spiked, how do you gauge the success of the department? How do you know if this month’s performance has improved over previous months?
This is the true struggle with call center KPI. While the information is available, understanding how it suggests that the department is running is a rare ability. It requires you to be able to follow and understand trends in performance, as well as to diagnose, identify, and resolve performance issues, and to set performance goals while empowering team members to attain those goals.
An ever-growing number of successful call centers are discovering that when it all comes down to it, with performance metrics the key is not to overdo it. There are, in actuality, only five call center KPI that need to be measured, managed, and regularly polished.
Call Center Metrics: What are the Five Most Important Call Center KPI? Though the average department manager will monitor over 25 call center KPI, this will usually only manage to generate a great deal more work for that individual, and will not lead to much in terms of improved performance and productivity for the department.
The most successful world-class departments rely on only the five most important call center KPIs, which are:
• Customer Satisfaction
• Cost Per Call (CPC)
• Agent Utilization
• First Contact Resolution Rate
• Aggregate Call Center Performance
Understanding Call Center Metrics
These five basic call center KPI will provide any manager with 80 percent of the information required in order to run a truly successful department. This statistic is based on evidence provided by over a thousand call center benchmarks.
The primary purpose of any business is to be capable of the best possible quality while doing so at the smallest possible cost. Therefore, the quality and the cost are two natural measures that should continue regularly. Though it is easy for the minimalist thinker to believe that those could be the only two call center KPI – by way of customer satisfaction and cost per call – and that the rest can be dropped, it must also be noted that the remaining three are also important indicators of those first two. Customer satisfaction is, in fact, the result of many different factors.
Though they could all be measured independently, it is the first contact resolution that is the single most important driver of satisfaction among callers. Even callers who begin the contact angry will report the greatest level of satisfaction when their issue is resolved within a single phone call. Similarly, the CPC call center KPI is heavily based on personnel; the largest expense that a call center usually has. Typically speaking, 67 percent of the cost of this type of department is labor-related, including salaries, benefits, and other expenses such as incentives or bonuses.
Therefore, the largest cost in the CPC is the labor. This means that to keep the CPC down, then the agent utilization – that is, the labor efficiency – must be practiced at its greatest. The better the agent utilization call center KPI, the lower its cost to the department and therefore, the lower the CPC.
Call Center Metrics and Call Center Performance
Lastly, there is aggregate call center performance. This call center KPI has to do with combining the other measures in order to develop a clear picture of the performance of the department as a whole.
By being able to come up with one score that will tell you how your department is doing based on all of its call center KPI, you will be far more capable of tracking progress over time and understanding whether the performance is improving or declining over the months.
Though it can be very easy to become swept up in all of the available call center KPI data, it is important to remind yourself that less truly is more, and that by sticking to the most important five call center KPI, you are capable of measuring the progress and success of the department and making the necessary changes in order to improve its performance.
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