February 2, 2022

These Agent KPI Metrics Can Improve Your Call Center Efficiency

Agent KPI Metrics to Improve Call Center Efficiency

As their name suggests, Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, are measurable values that assess the level of a company’s efficiency.

Call centers need KPIs to measure the productivity of their agents, identify areas for improvement, and determine whether they are meeting the company goals. This is especially important when the call center agents are working remotely. 

But which agent KPI metrics should you focus on? We’ll break down the top KPIs to consider in your call center to get you on the path to better process management!

Calls Per Agent

Calls per agent is one of the most fundamental agent KPI metrics. This metric will allow you to measure how productive agents are, which is especially helpful when they work from home.

To assess this KPI, you need to use agent monitoring tools that analyze the real-time data of your cloud-based scoreboard.

As well as overall figures for each agent, you can measure your team’s productivity throughout the day. Levels can vary from day to day or during specific times of the day. The system you choose should be able to:

  • Monitor agent performance
  • Provide communication channels such as message transmission and listening
  • Automate workflows
  • Manage break requests
  • Configure automatic logouts

The system should be designed to support the agents by motivating them in their work. It is beneficial to compare remote workers and those working in-house to identify any differing levels of performance.

Average Handle Time

Another metric to consider is AHT, or Average Handle Time, which provides information on the average duration of a customer’s call. This is one of the most common KPIs in agent performance.

AHT management will seek to:

  • Minimize the time a customer is on hold
  • Improve the talk time
  • Increase the number of calls dealt with
  • Improve customer satisfaction

Bear in mind that AHT will vary depending on the type of call center and the support it provides callers. While reducing AHT may help increase the number of calls per agent, you need to make sure these metrics are not coming at the expense of customer service. AHT targets should not lead to agents cutting short their call time before reaching a satisfactory outcome.

Improving AHT Rates

If you identify a problem with your AHT, there are several steps you can take to improve this agent KPI. They include providing good training, providing a database of common issues for agents to access, and being clear about when to use call routing and internal communications. 

In some cases, the CRM or software your company uses may interfere with your AHT. For example, software that does not make it easy for an agent to access the customer’s previous call logs will lead to wasted time because the customer has to explain their issue again to the new agent. Make sure your team has the support of good software solutions before focusing on AHT targets.

First Call Resolution

FCR, or First Call Resolution, is another metric that measures how a call center resolves a query presented by a customer at first contact.

Providing resolution on the first call is strongly related to customer retention. It can also help your business with:

  • A reduction in operating costs
  • Improved feedback from satisfied customers
  • Increased sales opportunities
  • Improvement in employee morale
  • Reduced call queue times

FCR provides an advantage over competitors and ensures that the brand gets a reputation for good customer experience. 

To improve the FCR of your agents, it’s useful to identify the common reasons why a first call is not resolved. It can also help to have a dedicated response team for issues that are complicated, and offering a call-back when more interaction is needed. Other specific issues with agent performance can often be addressed with staff training.

Hold Time

Hold times are an issue that frustrates both customers and agents. Lengthy hold times also generate a higher rate of queuing.

To address your hold time KPIs, you need to explore the reasons why customers are put on hold.

  • If certain agents have longer hold times, this may indicate the need for more training.
  • If holds are due to the need for more information, software solutions should be put in place so that relevant information can be accessed more quickly.
  • Average hold times can be added to agent dashboards, so that they are aware of their performance whilst on a call.

Hold times must also be kept at a minimum for potential new customers. Targets should prioritize fast responses to new callers.

Transfer Rate

Transfer rate is an indicator that affects FCR rates. Customers that experience transfers are more likely to give poor feedback or drop out altogether.

High transfer rates indicate:

  • A lack of good routing solutions
  • Poor agent performance due to poor training
  • Inefficient organization and internal processes

To improve transfer rates, encourage agents to do warm transfers. The caller will not have to give their information again, as the information is passed from the first agent to the next. Alternatively, CRM technology can be used to transfer all the information about the customer as the call is transferred.

Consider using software that identifies a caller’s location, status, or response to a specific marketing initiative. This can route the call to the department that is most likely to be able to help.

If transfers are necessary, offering a rapid call-back can alleviate customer frustration.

Post-call Work Time

One of the aspects that can be the most frustrating for agents is the time spent working after the call is completed. This work can lead to longer waiting time, lower productivity, and significant frustration for both the agents and the customers still waiting to be served. 

The proper use of specialized software can go a long way in improving this KPI. Consider the use of better CRM and the integration of your dialing, chat, and CRM systems. Furthermore, encourage agents to enter information whilst on the call, to use standard acronyms or shortened information, or to re-use common or repeated call details.

All this will improve agent call rate and performance, and the productivity of the whole organization.

Optimizing Your Call Center

Like any other business activity, call centers seek to provide their customers with the highest possible quality of service at the lowest possible cost. Setting and measuring agent KPI metrics is a critical part of achieving this.

The first step is to set up the resources you need and implement appropriate tools to measure results. Equipping your agents with the proper set of tools is the first step to setting your call center up for success.

You also need to regularly review the KPIs and the measures taken to improve them. If you implement focused training to deal with specific issues, for example, you want to see the KPI improve afterward. This focus on improving and maintaining agent will help keep your business at the forefront of your industry’s customer service.

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