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    October 25, 2023

    19 Essential Call Center Metrics to Measure Customer Service in 2023

    The success of a call center extends far beyond managing a high volume of calls. It involves delving deep into data analytics to gain a comprehensive understanding of performance, identify challenges, and facilitate continuous improvement. And in many cases understanding how emerging artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities can be applied to the capture and interpretation of contact center metrics.   

    At the heart of this process lie call center metrics, a collection of data and KPIs that provide a microscopic view into the performance and efficiency of a call center. Organizing and analyzing this data allows call center managers to track performance and determine areas of improvement. This article specifies essential call center metrics for the best performance.

    Which Type of Call Center Metrics Should be Measured?

    The immense data in a call center necessitates organization and analysis through specific metrics tailored to each center and role. For example, a banking and financial sector contact center’s metrics are very different from one that serves the healthcare industry. 

    Likewise, call center directors need a specific set of metrics compared to a supervisor who works closely with agents. However, some metrics cut across all sectors and are crucial to every call center’s success. We are going to discuss them below:

    Industry Standards For Call Center Metrics

    Generally, contact center performance metrics are categorized into four key areas with a focus on customer satisfaction and ensuring efficacy in a call center. These are:

    • Agent productivity
    • Customer experience
    • Call initiation
    • Call center operations



    Agent Productivity

    Average handling time


    Agent utilization rate


    Average Speed of answer (ASA)

    Customer Experience

    First Contact resolution (FCR)


    Customer Satisfaction score (CSAT)


    Customer Effort score (CES)


    Net Promoter Scores (NPS)

    Call Center Operations

    Active waiting calls


    Calls Handled


    Cost Per Call (CPC)


    Call Arrival Rate


    Peak Hour Traffic


    Average Call Length


    Average Age of Query


    Callback Messaging


    Repeat Calls

    Call Initiation Metrics

    First Response Time (FRT)


    Average Call Abandonment Rate


    Percentage of Calls Blocked

    Agent Productivity Metrics

    These are used to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of individual agents in a call center. Common agent productivity metrics include:

    Average Handling Time (AHT)

    AHT measures the total time an agent spends on a customer interaction, including talking to the customer and any after-call work. Lower AHT generally indicates higher productivity, but it should not compromise the quality of service.

    Short handling time should not make the customers feel like they are being shrugged off, and neither should it lead to customers having to call back.

    Agent Utilization Rate

    An agent utilization rate measures the efficiency of agents by assessing the proportion of their available time used effectively on work-related tasks. A high utilization rate indicates that agents are effectively using their time and resources to perform work-related tasks. However, extremely high utilization rates may lead to burnout and decreased service quality. 

    Average Speed of Answer (ASA)

    This measures the average amount of time it takes for calls to be answered by a live agent after a customer initiates contact. A lower ASA indicates how fast the calls are answered and rolls over to improved customer experiences. 

    However, extremely low ASA targets may result in rushed interactions or agent burnout. The average ASA in the industry is 28 seconds.

    Customer Experience Metrics

    These are tools used by businesses to evaluate and measure the quality of interactions and experiences customers have with their products, services, or support. They provide insight into customer satisfaction, loyalty, and overall perception of a brand. Some common customer experience metrics include:

    First Contact Resolution (FCR)

    This measures how often an agent resolves customer inquiries or issues during the first interaction. FCR benefits your business in many ways, but most importantly, it reduces follow-up contacts and saves on resources and time and improtantly FCR is a key contributor to CSAT, 

    Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

    CSAT is a widely used metric to measure how satisfied a customer is with the service they’ve received. It is usually measured by conducting a survey where clients rate their satisfaction on a predefined scale, usually between one to five. 

    Lower CSAT scores serve as an early warning sign, prompting organizations to proactively address issues, improve processes, or enhance the quality of their offerings. High CSAT scores are often indicative of strong customer loyalty.

    Customer Effort score

    CES quantifies the ease with which customers can obtain solutions to their issues through a service channel. Like CSAT, it is typically measured by asking customers to rate the ease of their experience, usually based on a scale from “very easy” to “very difficult.” One of the primary use cases for CES is in assessing first-contact resolution. 

    Net Promoter Scores (NPS)

    NPS assesses a customer’s willingness to recommend a company’s product or service to others. It is measured by asking customers to rate, typically on a scale from 0 to 10, their likelihood to recommend the brand to friends or colleagues.NPS is pivotal as it provides insights into customer relationships and potential future business growth.

    Based on their response, customers are categorized into three groups:

    • Promoters (score 9-10): These customers are highly satisfied and loyal and are likely to recommend your brand to others.
    • Passives (score 7-8): Passives are satisfied but not enthusiastic about your brand. They may not actively promote your product, and their loyalty is more susceptible to competition.
    • Detractors (score 0-6): Detractors are dissatisfied customers who are unlikely to recommend your brand. They may even share negative feedback.

    Call Center Operational Metrics

    These metrics help call center managers and decision-makers make informed decisions, improve operations, and ensure a high level of customer service. Some common call center operational metrics include:

    Active Waiting Calls

    An active waiting call is when a caller is placed on hold or in a queue but remains engaged or actively involved while waiting for an agent to become available. It includes activities like listening to recorded messages, making selections using an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system or participating in a call-back queue where the caller is given the option to receive a return call when an agent is available.

    The goal is to reduce frustration and increase the likelihood of a positive interaction once they connect with an agent. This metric is often measured in real-time to manage and allocate resources efficiently in a call center.

    Calls Handled

    This quantifies the total number of customer calls managed by an agent or a call center within a specified timeframe. Call center managers use calls handled to monitor the workload on agents and ensure there is enough staff to meet customer demand.

    Cost Per Call (CPC)

    CPC tracks the cost incurred by a call center for handling each individual call. This is determined by dividing the total operational costs by the total number of calls handled over a specific period. CPC is vital for budgeting and managing the financial aspects of call center operations, enabling organizations to evaluate the economic efficiency of their customer service.

    Call Arrival Rate

    This metric denotes the number of incoming calls to a call center within a specified timeframe. It can be per hour, day or minute. Call center managers use historical data, statistical models, and forecasting tools to predict call volumes and schedule the right number of agents to handle incoming calls.

    Peak Hour Traffic

    This is used to monitor the time period when a call center experiences its highest volume of incoming calls. Like call arrival late, it is used to estimate and allocate the right number of agents to handle calls during peak hours. It also helps in implementing strategies for call queueing management.

    Average Call Lengths (ACL)

    Average Call Length refers to the average duration of calls handled by agents within a specific timeframe. It is calculated by dividing the total duration of all handled calls by the total number of calls handled.

    ACL reflects the efficiency of call center operations. Lower ACL values indicate that agents can resolve customer inquiries faster, contributing to shorter wait times and improved customer satisfaction.

    Average Age of Query

    Average Age of Query signifies the average time taken from the moment a customer query is raised until it is resolved or closed. Managers use it to assess how quickly customer inquiries are addressed and resolved. A higher average age of query may indicate delays in response or resolution times.

    Callback Messaging

    This is a customer service strategy whereby customers who reach out to a call center during high-traffic periods are offered the option to receive a call back instead of waiting in line. 

    Repeat Calls

    Refers to the instances where a customer contacts the call center multiple times regarding the same issue or query. It can be measured by tracking the number of calls from the same customer about the same issue within a given timeframe. High repeat call numbers indicate poor delivery on the agents’ side and may negatively affect customer satisfaction. 

    Call initiation metrics

    These metrics assess how well a call center handles the start of customer interactions. Some common call initiation metrics include:

    First Response Time (FRT)

    FRT quantifies the period between the customer’s initial contact and when they receive the first reply from the service team. It is generally measured in various time increments depending on the service channel, like minutes, hours, or days. 

    FRT focuses on the speed and efficiency of a call center’s customer support and applies to various communication channels, including phone calls, emails, live chat, social media messages, and support tickets. The faster the FRT, the higher the chances of customer satisfaction.

    Average Call Abandonment Rate

    This metric calculates the proportion of incoming calls that the customer terminates before being connected to an agent. It is usually measured by dividing the number of abandoned calls by the total number of incoming calls, typically presented as a percentage. When callers abandon their calls due to long wait times or other issues, it often results in dissatisfaction and frustration.

    Percentage of Calls Blocked (PCB)

    It represents the proportion of incoming calls that cannot be accommodated and are therefore blocked, often due to the call center being at capacity. 

    It’s calculated by dividing the number of blocked calls by the total number of incoming calls, multiplied by 100 to get a percentage.

    A high Percentage of Calls Blocked is a high concern as it suggests that the call center is not adequately equipped to handle peak-hour call volumes. It results in frustrated customers and missed opportunities for addressing their inquiries or issues. Call center managers use PCB for capacity planning and resource allocation. 

    Optimize Your Call Center Operations with Call Criteria’s Metrics

    It can be a daunting task to keep track of all the activities that take place in a call center. Although most call centers have protocols in place, supervisors and managers often get overloaded, making it challenging to monitor crucial call center metrics.

    Call Criteria offers a great way to capture many important call center metrics using our quality assurance software. The Call Criteria soluiton  is engineered to assist contact center ooerators in the improvement of agent productivity, customer experience, call initiation, and over all call center operations.

    The importance of capturing  the critical metrics associated  improving call center operations and overall service cannot be overstated. In addition to capturing the critical metrics, presenting  them in an easy to use format and providing tools to help supervisors and managers change behaviors and outcomes is very important. Take the first step in boosting customer satisfaction and schedule your quality assurance diagnostic and demo today.