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A KPI or Key Performance Indicator is defined as a metric that allows for the measurement of the efficiency of something you’re doing. In a contact center world, there are hundreds of ways to measure campaign and agent performance, but only a handful of these metrics are actually useful to track.

Your contact center software will collect the data and process it into dashboards and reports, we help you navigate the complexity of analytics so that you can make data-informed decisions to improve customer experience, productivity and sales in your call center.

So here’s a list of the fundamental KPIs to track in order to run the most successful operation.

  1. First Contact Resolution (FCR)

Whether your objective is to close sales or deal with customer queries, doing it all in the first contact is a clear sign of success. Aiming for at least 85% FCR will ensure your contact center is highly efficient. Repeat contacts are not only costly, they are also frustrating both for the customer and the agent. They erode customer trust and end up impacting loyalty. An interesting side KPI that is commonly monitored is PTC or propensity to call. It is the other side of the coin, meaning it is the likelihood of repeat contacts.

  • Average Handling Time (AHT)

This is an average of the overall time that it takes to deal with a customer query. This is sometimes incorrectly measured without the after-call work (ACW), which should definitely be included as it means the agent is not available to take another call during that time. We recommend that you monitor this metric both per agent and across the contact center. There is not really a threshold for what would be considered a good AHT as the duration of a call is dependent on the reason for contact and the complexity of the product and operational processes.

  • Customer satisfaction (CSAT) or Net Promoter Score (NPS)

These are both key measures in understanding how highly a customer rates your business. It is no secret that the quality of your customer care is a key dependency. NPS is the calculation of the difference between customers who would recommend your brand (rating between 8-10) and detractors (0-6, 7 being neutral). CSAT is calculated through customer feedback, usually surveys, by working out the percentage of positive responses. Most companies track both but it’s not always relevant to do so, depending on the type of organization you run.

  • Call abandonment rate

Sadly, it’s unlikely you will be able to answer 100% of calls as they come through. Some customers will drop the call, either because they’ve been waiting too long or because the telephony system failed or sometime simply because they had dialed an incorrect number. It’s not dramatic if a customer waits for an agent to pick up for a few seconds, in fact it would be counter-productive to aim for 100% of calls answered. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 85 to 90% of calls answered within the first 30 seconds, as this is a threshold that has been established as providing a good service whilst not over resourcing your call center.

  • Idle time

This is a direct way to measure agent productivity. Idle time is the total time where an agent is not “doing anything”, meaning they’re not on a call or on a break or doing after-call work, but instead are waiting for the next call to come through. There are a number of levers to reduce idle unproductive time, such as reviewing the settings of the outbound dialer and if the software allows it, switch to a predictive dialer. Another common mistake resides in resource planning, both for inbound and outbound calls. If there are too many agents on the floor when the volume of calls is low, then the agents are bound to be waiting longer for the next call. Should this happen, a quick win could be to use blending or switch some agents to back office work.

  • Wait time

How long does it take for an agent to get to a customer? Whatever the answer is in your call center, if your customer had to hear the annoying hold music, chances are they thought it was too long. Wait times are closely linked to customer satisfaction and abandonment rates. In addition, after a long wait, the customer is likely to be very frustrated and take it out on an already tired employee. As we mentioned before, aim for 85 to 90% of calls being answered within the first 30 seconds, and not to disguise wait times in a convoluted IVR. Simple processes, adequate resource planning and training, a high-performing software and real-time monitoring are the key ways to positively impact wait times and avoid destroying what could otherwise be a great customer experience.

  • Employee Engagement

The quality of your employee experience (EX) is a tricky one to keep track of and measure accurately. However, it is crucial as agent productivity is directly dependent on their motivation and happiness at work. In addition, agent turn-over comes at a high-cost to companies and can damage their reputation, including to customers. So it’s really worth taking the necessary steps to create a healthy, balanced and fun workplace!

That being said, tracking the performance through these metrics is only the beginning of success. Sure, it will give you a good perspective on what is happening in your contact center, but the real challenge is to actually do something to improve your KPIs. You should at least consider a continuous improvement plan and put someone in charge of following through, it’s a great development opportunity for an aspiring supervisor!

We hope you found this article helpful. To go deeper into contact center engagement KPIs, we’ve developed an e-book that you can download completely free, no strings attached.

Let us close this article with a reminder that a good contact center software should keep you informed about KPIs in real time. Our clients love the ICR Evolution monitoring and reporting features and we’d be delighted to show them what they can do! Get your demo here

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