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5 Inbound Call Center Metrics You Should Be Tracking

November 1st, 2017

Tracking your inbound call center metrics helps you manage agent performance at your call center. You need to monitor KPIs for your inbound call center to maintain an awareness of how well your employees perform throughout the year. But which metrics should you especially keep an eye on?

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Tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your call center helps operations at your company run smoothly. You can use progress towards KPIs to keep customers happy, agents on task, and your call center on track. Additionally, actively tracking KPIs ensures you catch and fix problems before they escalate.

When monitoring KPIs you should take into consideration both customer experience and internal performance metrics. Without a positive customer experience, customers either won’t call again or won’t be customers for long. Without attention to internal metrics, your center will not meet or exceed its full potential.

In order to reap these benefits, you need to know which KPIs are most important to track. Again, they should include a blend of attention to both:

  • Customer Experience
  • Agent Performance

Whichever KPIs you choose, be sure you track at least the five following inbound call center metrics:

1. Answering Speed

Think about the times you’ve had to call into a call center to have a question answered. You’ve likely exhausted all your other options to find the answer. By the time you call in, the last thing you want to deal with is waiting on hold for an extended period of time.

Once your customer navigates through the Interactive Voice Response agents must be ready to take the call as quickly as possible. It is important to provide excellent service to each customer who calls in but you also want to ensure that next customers don’t wait any longer than necessary.

2. First Call Resolution

Once you do finally call in, consider how you feel when the representative can answer your question during the first call. You don’t want to have to make a follow-up call for further clarification.

This is the reason your First Call Resolution (FCR) rate is so important. When your agents can solve a customer’s problem on the first call it saves time for both parties. The customer has a more positive experience when they don’t have to call back and agents can move onto the next call and work through the queue.

3. Transfer Rate

Along the same lines as First Call Resolution, maintaining a low transfer rate contributes to a seamless customer experience. When you call in with your question you want it answered as quickly as possible without having to wait on hold for an extended period of time.

The less time your customers have to wait for an answer to their question, the better. If your agents show high transfer rates, this may call for more training or education. Coach them on them answer customers’ questions on the first try rather than having to transfer the call to someone who can. Educated agents provide a better experience for customers.

4. Agent Idle Time

Agent idle time is an internal performance metric that addresses agent productivity. How often and how long are agents not on a call? Looking at agent idle time provides initial insight on which agents are most productive.

Agent idle time alone cannot provide everything you need to know, though. Just because an agent has a low idle time doesn’t mean they’re effective during their time spent on the phone. Using previously mentioned metrics like their FCR and transfer rates offer a more robust view of how an individual agent performs.

5. Average Call Time

It’s likely you aim for short call times, although this depends on the type of inbound call center you run. The rule of thumb is that the faster you can answer a customer’s question and move onto the next, the better, all while continually providing excellent customer service.

Look through call times for calls that last longer than average and, if you have access to them, check the call recordings. Consider how the call could have been handled better and either provide one-on-one training for specific incidents or company-wide training for more widespread matters.

How Can You Track Your Inbound Call Center Metrics?

Employing a software with detailed, built-in reporting features provides the best results. Most call center software includes some type of reporting capabilities. Before selecting your software, though, you should decide which metrics you plan to track and ensure they are included.

Don’t forget that it is just as important to track outbound call center metrics as it is to track your inbound metrics. By tracking both outbound and inbound call center metrics over extended periods of time, you can see how your agents progress, how customers respond to your approach, and how your business performs overall.