Your call center is the “window” to your businesses. The call center remains the key way customers contact businesses — even with the Internet’s explosive growth. It’s also a key to determining how your customers perceive you and your brand. Obviously, your call center’s performance is critical. But how do you judge call center performance? One popular & proven way is to compare what your center does to industry standards or benchmarks.
The information gleaned from this exercise is priceless. It can help you transform your call center into a powerful revenue driver.
Use the seven indicators below to help gauge your call center’s performance. Keep in mind that 15% of customers who don’t get their inquiries answered or problems resolved are likely to go to your competitors.
1. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
Ideally, CSAT measures a customer’s satisfaction with his or her experience. It’s usually expressed as a percentage between 0 and 100. Standards scores vary depending on the industry, but successful companies boast CSAT ratings in the upper 80s and low 90s…and higher.
2. First Call Resolution (FCR)
Use FCR as a key initiative to improve customer call center service and cost performance. The call center industry standard is 68%. This means that 32% of customers must call back a second time. The call center industry average is 1.4 calls to solve a problem.
3. Percentage Of Calls Blocked (PCB)
PCB gauges the percentage of callers that get busy tones. Many call centers have a goal of blocking less than 2 percent of calls. You can decrease this number by doing two things: (1) make sure your call queue system is powerful enough to handle large volumes of calls, and (2) use call center software that allows customers to leave voicemails.
4. Service Level (SL)
SL measures the percentage of calls answered within a specified number of seconds. SL is a call center metric—not an agent metric. Generally, 80% of the calls answered in a 20 to 30 seconds is a common goal for many call centers—especially in healthcare.
5. Average Abandonment Rate (AAR)
AAR tells you the percentage of callers who hung up before speaking to an agent. While some call centers accept an abandonment rate of 10% to 20%, top-flight customer service-oriented companies set much more ambitious goals. Providing agents with real-time analytics helps reduce this rate.
6 Average Speed Of Answer (ASA)
ASA gauges the average time it takes for calls to be picked by an agent. There’s no real industry standard for ASA because rates vary depending on the time of day and the industry. The “target” company average varies from around 80% of calls answered in 20 seconds to 90% of calls answered in 10 seconds.
7. Average Handle Time (AHT)
AHT measures the average amount of time spent on each call. It includes related administrative duties, such as submitting call reports. It’s a good measure of both individual agent performance and call center performance across the board.
It’s also a good measure of call efficiency when taken into consideration with call resolution rate and cost per contact. A good target rate is 1 min and 36 seconds. But you never want to sacrifice customer service to achieve a low AHT.
Comparing your call center’s performance with industry standards is instructive. It can give you insights into call center areas you must strengthen to boost performance. That in turn can transform how customers perceive you and your brand.
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