15 Essential Contact Center KPIs to Monitor
Published On April 13, 2021 | Last Updated December 19, 2023
KPIs provide specific and measurable feedback on the performance of your contact center. Learn which KPIs to track to boost productivity and enhance the customer experience.
Managing a contact center can be a difficult task. Between managing queues, de-escalating customer situations, and supervising agents, it can be almost impossible to find the time to drive improvements and find efficiencies in your contact center.
Some of the most successful contact centers have figured out how to sift through large amounts of data to identify what is most important. One way to easily increase efficiencies is to understand the KPIs and metrics that are essential to agent productivity and the customer experience.
In this article, we will review the 15 most important KPIs to track within any contact center.
What is a KPI?
A key performance indicator (KPI) is a metric or score used to indicate progress towards a specific goal. KPIs are used by business leaders to understand how effectively a company or business unit is achieving long-term goals.
Contact centers use KPIs to measure agent productivity, customer service, and operational efficiency, among other things. Common KPIs measured in contact centers include abandon rate, average handle time, and first contact resolution.
The first set of metrics we are going to dive into are measured in real time and accessed immediately. These KPIs change as agents assist customers, and customers contact your organization through chat, email, or phone.
Real-time KPIs are essential for ensuring your contact center is operating efficiently and effectively. Below are 8 real-time KPIs that you should regularly track to maintain a high-performing contact center.
First contact resolution (FCR)
First contact resolution is a KPI that measures how often customer issues are resolved within the first interaction with an agent. A high FCR shows that agents are working effectively at addressing customer queries and reducing the need for follow up calls. As you might imagine, there is a direct link between high FCR rates and customer satisfaction levels.
Average time in queue
Everyone knows the feeling of waiting on hold for what feels like forever. Long wait times in queue can lead to frustrated customers, negative reviews, and an overall poor customer experience. The average time in queue is measured by the amount of time customers wait in the queue divided by the total calls answered. For this KPI, shorter average times are better. If your average time in queue is high, it usually indicates inefficiencies in the contact center or the need to hire additional agents. Potential solutions may include additional resources for agents, training to handle calls more efficiently, or adding a call-back service to effectively reach customers on their time.
The abandon rate measures the percentage of customers who exit the system before they reach an agent. A high abandon rate can indicate the wait time to reach an agent is too long, creating an unpleasant customer experience. High wait times suggest that there are not enough agents to meet the demand or that they need additional training to handle customers more efficiently. All in all, the abandon rate is valuable to monitor to ensure a positive customer experience and agent productivity.
Short abandon rate
Another KPI that will help you understand the abandon rate is the short abandon rate, which is the percentage of customers who exit the system within a short time frame (i.e., 10 seconds). Typically, the short abandon rate captures customers who exit the system due to a misdial rather than an unnecessarily long queue time or poor customer service. Setting a proper short abandon rate will ensure your abandon rate isn't skewed by misdials, since it is subtracted from the overall KPI.
Average time to abandon
Similar to the abandon rate, the average time to abandon measures the average amount of time each abandoned contact waited in the queue. A low average time to abandon can indicate customers are unwilling to wait, and you may need more agents to support the queue to improve the customer experience. This KPI is critical to consider when setting targets for average queue time and short abandon rate. Understanding the average time to abandon can directly improve the customer experience and inform agent resourcing decisions.
Grade of service (GOS)
Monitoring the grade of service (GOS) in real time can help ensure a high level of agent productivity. GOS measures the percentage of customers that have been handled within the target speed of answer. The GOS is usually given as two numbers. For example, a GOS of 80/30 would indicate 80% of calls answered within 30 seconds. The GOS is one of the best indicators of agent productivity. When this KPI is too low, it may indicate agents aren't moving from one customer to the next as quickly as they could. There are several possible solutions to a low GOS, including providing agents with additional resources and training.
The occupancy rate measures the percentage of total work time that agents spend on customer interactions or in wrap-up time. This KPI is essential for monitoring agent productivity. If this KPI is too low, it can indicate that agents are spending too much time not engaging in work-related tasks, or that there are too many agents on duty at once. However, it’s important to not be too aggressive when setting the target occupancy rate. There needs to be a good balance between work and rest, as too high of an occupancy rate can lead to agent stress and burnout.
Average wrap-up time
This KPI measures the average time it takes for agents to complete customer-related tasks after the conversation has finished. Agents enter the wrap-up state after assisting a customer. This allows them to finish any necessary tasks to complete the customer request and prevents them from receiving another customer from the queue until they are finished wrapping up. While it's beneficial to minimize wrap-up time to ensure agents are ready to help the next customer, you also want to ensure they are completing the work accurately and thoroughly. In order to minimize wrap-up time, it can be helpful to provide agents with structured templates and tools to make customer support easier for your agents.
Although real-time KPIs help your organization make decisions based on current challenges and opportunities, historical KPIs offer insights on long-term trends and customer data. Historical KPIs are particularly helpful in identifying areas of growth for agent productivity, resulting in an overall more efficient and streamlined contact center.
Here are the top 7 historical KPIs that you should track in your contact center.
Average handle time
This KPI measures the average time from when an agent answers a customer call to when they release it. This average doesn't include the time when a customer is on hold or when consultation or conference calls are placed. The key to tracking the average handle time is to find a benchmark that accounts for the appropriate workload and allows agents to provide a positive customer experience in a reasonable amount of time. If the average is too high, it may indicate agents are struggling with customer requests. On the other hand, if the average is too low, it may indicate customers aren't getting the proper support they need. Other tools, such as quality assurance, can be used in combination with the average handle time to ensure a positive experience. Proper tools and training can help agents respond to customer queries in a timely and effective manner.
Customer satisfaction and net promoter score
While customer satisfaction can be difficult to measure, it is the most direct way of telling if your contact center is successful at providing a positive customer experience. Customer satisfaction scores (CSAT) can be calculated using surveys where customers can rate their experience, level of support, and whether their questions were answered. Through surveys, you can also measure the net promoter score (NPS) to monitor the level of customer service provided over time. The net promoter score measures how likely a customer is to recommend your organization's product or service to a friend or colleague. It is regarded as one of the best measures of customer satisfaction.
Customer effort score
Similar to customer satisfaction scores, customer effort scores can be measured through surveys sent out following an interaction. Customer effort scores are used to measure how much effort the customer had to put in to resolve their issue. You can add a question in your customer survey that asks how easy it was to contact your business or to rank the level of effort required out of 5 or 10.
Agent absenteeism is the total number of days per year that agents are absent as a percentage of the total number of working days. Agents can be absent for many reasons, including sick days, burnout, mental health, and high levels of stress. A high agent absenteeism rate may indicate high levels of agent stress. While there can be many reasons for this, one reason could be unreasonable targets or a need to hire additional agents to manage the workload. Agent absenteeism can affect the workload distribution and decrease agent morale. Monitoring this KPI can be helpful for budget planning and optimizing workforce management practices.
Agent turnover rate
No business wants to train employees only to have them leave soon after. To prevent this, it’s important to keep track of your agent turnover rate. The agent turnover rate, also known as agent attrition rate, measures the percentage of agents that leave your contact center within a specific time period. High turnover rates can indicate a problem with employee retention and may lead to skyrocketing training and hiring costs. Surprisingly, the industry standard for agent turnover in call centers is 30 to 40%.
Schedule adherence is necessary to ensure your contact center is operating and utilizing resources efficiently. This KPI is measured as the percentage of the working day where an agent is available for interactions. It's crucial to understand that agents can't be 100% productive all the time without suffering consequences such as burnout and low morale. However, a low schedule adherence rate may indicate that agents struggle with time management or are engaging in unrelated work tasks. This KPI can be improved through adequate training, establishing team leads, or setting a reward system. Setting a proper schedule adherence benchmark can increase productivity, enhance operating efficiency, and improve internal planning.
Revenue per call
One metric that is useful for tracking revenue generated by your contact center is revenue per call. As businesses increasingly turn to their contact centers for revenue growth, it is important to evaluate the average amount of revenue generated from each call. You can calculate revenue per call by taking the total amount of revenue generated over a specific time period and dividing it by the total number of calls handled. You can look at revenue per call on an agent-by-agent basis or for your contact center as a whole.
Monitoring KPIs is necessary for planning and strategizing for the long-term success of your contact center. Tracking KPIs such as the average time in queue, abandon rate, and grade of service can significantly improve the level of customer service your contact center is providing.
Additionally, tracking KPIs such as average handle time, agent absenteeism, and schedule adherence can inform business decisions related to scheduling, capacity, and operating efficiency.
If you are interested in learning more about optimizing your contact center, check out our blog on Contact Center Data Silos.