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Written by: Laura Fitzgerald

Head of Brand and Digital Experience

Call centers are generally busy spaces, with a cacophony of calls and noises heard throughout the floor. It’s very different from a conventional working space, and given the nature of the work, it’s important that businesses continue to use key performance indicators (KPIs) to determine performance. 

But, with so many different metrics to track, from productivity to profitability, how do you figure out which ones really make a difference? At Pindrop, our primary objective is to provide robust voice authentication to contact centers, focusing on streamlining efficiency while reducing security risks.

For a quick overview, here are the 10 call center metrics and KPIs that businesses should track in 2024:

  1. Average call handle time
  2. First call resolution (FCR)
  3. Net promoter score (NPS)
  4. Customer satisfaction score (CSAT)
  5. Call abandonment rate 
  6. Agent occupancy rate
  7. Average speed of answer (ASA)
  8. Cost per call
  9. Agent turnover rate
  10. Average time in queue

Now, let’s dig into these in more detail. 

1. Average Call Handle Time

The average call handle time represents the average duration of a single customer interaction. It is calculated by summing the total talk time, hold time, and after-call work time and then dividing this figure by the total number of calls handled. 

AHT is pivotal because it provides insights into agents’ efficiency in resolving customer issues. A lower AHT can indicate streamlined processes and effective customer service, increasing capacity for handling more calls and improving customer satisfaction.

However, it’s important to balance a lower AHT with the quality of service, as too much emphasis on reducing AHT can negatively impact customer experience.

How to Calculate Average Call Handle Time

The formula to calculate the average call handle time is:

Total talk time + Total hold time + Total after-call work time, divided by the total number of calls.

2. First Call Resolution (FCR)

First-call resolution is a key performance indicator in contact centers that measures the ability of agents to resolve a customer’s inquiry or issue during the first interaction without the need for follow-up calls or escalations. 

FCR is calculated by dividing the number of calls resolved on the first contact by the total number of calls. A high FCR rate indicates efficient customer service and can increase customer satisfaction, saving customers the time and hassle of multiple calls. 

Additionally, achieving a high FCR rate can also lead to reduced operational costs, as it decreases the total volume of calls and the associated handling time. 

Focusing on FCR can help contact centers identify training needs, improve knowledge resources, and streamline processes to enhance overall service quality.

How to Calculate First Call Resolution (FCR)

Here’s how to calculate first call resolution:

The number of calls resolved on the first interaction is divided by the total number of calls.

3. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

You’ve probably heard of the NPS being used as a metric in many departments, usually sales and marketing. That’s because it helps determine customer satisfaction levels and overall loyalty. 

It measures the likelihood of customers recommending a company’s products or services to others. NPS is calculated by asking customers to rate, typically on a scale from 0 to 10, how likely they are to recommend the company. Those who respond with a score of 9 or 10 are considered ‘Promoters,’ while those who score from 0 to 6 are labeled ‘Detractors.’ 

The NPS is then calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. This score is crucial for contact centers as it reflects the overall customer relationship and satisfaction, indicating future business growth, customer retention, and brand reputation. 

A high NPS suggests that customers are happy with the service and are more likely to generate positive word-of-mouth, which is invaluable for a company’s success.

4. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

The CSAT is a critical measure of how satisfied customers are with the service they receive. CSAT is typically measured through post-interaction surveys where customers are asked to rate their satisfaction with the specific service encounter. 

These ratings are usually on a scale, such as 1 to 5, with higher scores indicating greater satisfaction. The CSAT score is then calculated by taking the sum of positive responses (usually scores of 4 and 5) and dividing it by the total number of responses, multiplied by 100 to get a percentage.

This metric provides invaluable insights into various aspects of service delivery, including communication effectiveness, the adequacy of solutions provided, and the overall customer experience. 

High CSAT scores indicate successful customer interactions and can lead to increased customer loyalty, positive word-of-mouth referrals, and, ultimately, higher revenues.

How to Calculate Customer Satisfaction Score

Here’s how you calculate the customer satisfaction score:

Total number of satisfied customers (via surveys) divided by the total number of survey responses, multiplied by 100.

5. Call Abandonment Rate

The call abandonment rate indicates the percentage of inbound calls that are terminated by the caller before being connected to an agent. 

This rate is calculated by dividing the number of abandoned calls (those disconnected after a certain wait time) by the total number of incoming calls and then multiplying the result by 100 to get a percentage. 

A high call abandonment rate is often a red flag, signaling potential issues with customer service processes.

The significance of this KPI lies in its direct impact on customer satisfaction and potential revenue loss. High abandonment rates can point to customer frustration due to long wait times or complicated IVR (Interactive Voice Response) menus. 

This frustration can lead to negative customer experiences and potential loss of business, as customers might opt for competitor services if they consistently encounter difficulties in reaching support.

For example, a spike in abandonment rates may indicate the need for more agents during peak hours or a simplification of the IVR system to allow quicker access to human assistance. 

By addressing the factors contributing to high abandonment rates, contact centers can improve their efficiency and effectiveness, leading to better customer retention and satisfaction.

How to Calculate Call Abandonment Rate

The call abandonment rate can be calculated by:

Taking the number of abandoned calls and dividing them by the total number of incoming calls, multiplied by 100 (to be reflected as a percentage).

6. Agent Occupancy Rate

The agent occupancy rate measures the proportion of time agents spend handling calls or performing after-call work compared to their total logged-in time. 

It’s calculated by dividing the total handle time (which includes talk time, hold time, and after-call work) by the total time the agent is logged in, then multiplying by 100 to express it as a percentage. This KPI is crucial for assessing the efficiency and productivity of agents.

A higher occupancy rate shows that agents actively engage in productive work, maximizing their available time. However, extremely high occupancy rates might indicate overwork, leading to agent burnout and declining service quality. 

Conversely, a low occupancy rate can imply underutilization of resources, resulting in unnecessary staffing expenses. 

By monitoring and optimizing the agent occupancy rate, contact centers can balance efficient resource use and maintain a healthy, sustainable workload for their agents. 

This balance is key to ensuring high-quality customer service, as well as agent satisfaction and retention.

7. Average Speed of Answer (ASA)

This one’s fairly easy to understand; it simply tells the average time it takes for an agent to answer a caller’s question. A lower ASA is generally desirable, as it means that customers are quickly connected to an agent, reducing frustration and improving their overall experience. 

A higher ASA, on the other hand, might lead to increased call abandonment and dissatisfaction, as customers are less willing to wait for extended periods. 

It’s important for contact centers to monitor and manage their ASA effectively, as it can be influenced by various factors, including staffing levels, peak call times, and the efficiency of call routing systems.

It is calculated by dividing the total wait time for all answered calls by the total number of answered calls. 

ASA is a direct indicator of the accessibility and responsiveness of a contact center and significantly impacts customer satisfaction.

8. Cost per Call

One of the most commonly tracked financial metrics, the cost per call, tells you exactly what it says: the cost for each call. Understanding and optimizing cost per call is important for several reasons. Firstly, it allows for better budget management and financial planning. By knowing the average cost per call, managers can make more informed decisions about resource allocation and investments in technology or staff training.

Keeping the cost per call in check is essential for maintaining competitive pricing, especially in industries where customer support is a significant part of the service offering.

This figure is calculated by dividing the total operational costs of the contact center (which can include labor, technology, overheads, and administrative expenses) by the total number of calls handled over a given period. 

Cost per call provides valuable insights into the efficiency of a contact center’s operations and its overall financial health.

9. Agent Turnover Rate

Apart from productivity and financial metrics, there’s also an important human resource metric: agent turnover rate, which measures the rate at which agents leave the organization. 

As you can tell, a higher agent turnover rate can pose significant concerns, as it often leads to increased recruitment and training costs and can negatively impact service quality and team morale.

Firstly, high turnover can indicate underlying issues such as poor working conditions, inadequate compensation, lack of growth opportunities, or excessive workloads. 

Identifying and addressing these issues can lead to improved agent satisfaction and retention. 

More importantly, consistent turnover disrupts the team dynamics and can lead to a loss of experienced and skilled agents, which impacts the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the contact center. 

Reducing turnover can lead to significant cost savings, as the expenses associated with recruiting and training new staff are often substantial.

This rate is calculated by dividing the number of agents who have left (voluntarily or involuntarily) by the average number of agents employed over a specific period and then multiplying by 100 to express it as a percentage.

10. Average Time in Queue

The average time in queue (ATQ) is a key performance metric in call centers and customer service operations. It refers to the average amount of time that callers wait in the queue before being connected to an agent. 

This metric is crucial for assessing the efficiency of call handling and the overall customer experience. A shorter ATQ generally indicates more efficient call handling and higher customer satisfaction, as customers typically prefer their calls to be answered promptly.

For example, suppose a call center receives 100 calls in a day. If the total time all callers spend waiting in the queue is 300 minutes, the ATQ for that day would be the total wait time divided by the number of calls. 

In this case, it would be 300 minutes divided by 100 calls, resulting in an ATQ of 3 minutes. This means, on average, each caller waited for 3 minutes before speaking to an agent.

To calculate the average time in queue, here’s the formula to use:

Average time in queue = Total time spent in queue by callers / total number of calls

Improve Call Center Performance with Pindrop

Using an automated voice biometrics solution like Pindrop makes it easy for call centers to improve performance across the board without sacrificing on security or call quality. Pindrop ensures passive voice authentication, freeing up agents to focus on providing a superior service to callers. Interested in learning more? Request a demo today.