Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are specific metrics that a business sets in order to drive performance; these metrics can align initiatives in order to achieve organizational goals. You’ve likely heard people talk about choosing or reaching KPIs, but what are they really?
A common misconception is that KPIs and performance metrics are the same. While both are things that you measure to evaluate performance, they are functionally very different. While call center metrics are intended to track everyday activities, KPIs track things that directly impact the long-term goals of an organization. Consequently, good KPIs have a direct objective and the intended organizational results are clear. For example, Average Handle Time clearly impacts the organization’s goals - improving that KPI will very likely increase customer retention as satisfaction improves.
Call Center KPI Examples
Here we will review a variety of KPIs that you could implement in your organization. The important thing to consider when selecting KPIs is to make sure that each one has a direct impact on the goals of the organization. Uncover what makes sense for the structure, departments, and needs of your call center. KPIs should be unique to every call center, and may even need to be unique to every department, depending on the size and operational structure of your call center.
These KPIs are broken up into three categories -customer, agent performance, and operations. These represent categories of business outcomes that an organization may be working toward. For example, your organization may focus on customer-related outcomes like increasing customer retention or increasing the amount customers spend per visit. These KPIs focus on a customer’s interaction with your organization, encompassing what kind of service they receive as well as how fast they receive it.
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT):
A value of customer satisfaction with the service they receive Customer responses are usually gathered through a survey.
CSAT is calculated by dividing the number of customers who indicated they were satisfied by the number of customers who responded to the survey. Multiplying that number by 100 gives you the CSAT score - the percentage of surveyed customers who were satisfied with the help they received.
# of Satisfied Customers
_______________________ x 100 = CSAT Score
# of Survey Responses
Net Promoter Score (NPS):
A score that indicates how likely customers are to recommend a company to a friend or colleague. This score is collected through surveys on a scale from 0-10 and essentially measures the overall relationship between customer and company. Responses are then broken up into 3 categories - Detractors (rated by the organization 0-6), Passives (rated by the organization 7-8), and Promoters (rated by the organization 9-10).
To calculate the NPS score, you then divide the number of detractors by the total number of respondents to get the percentage of detractors. You do the same with the promoter category to get the percentage of promoters - dividing the number of promoters by the total number of respondents. Then, you subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters to get a percentage - your Net Promoter Score (NPS).
# of Promoters
# of Responses
# of Detractors
_______________ x 100
# of Responses
First Call Resolution (FCR):
A measure of how often customers have their concerns addressed on the first contact with the call center.
FCR is calculated by dividing the number of calls that were resolved on the first call by the total number of calls that were handled by agents, then getting the percentage by multiplying by 100.
# of Calls Resolved on 1st Contact
_______________________________ x 100 = FCR Rate
# of Total Calls Handled
KPIs that Influence Agent-Performance-Related Goals
The following KPIs are metrics that affect the results of agent performance-related business outcomes. Tracking and managing these KPIs are essential to all other elements of call center performance - it’s hard to have a call center if you don’t have any agents. Plus, your agents are the face (or voice) of the business - they’re the ones the customers will interact with and the ones customers will remember.
Agent Turnover Rate
Measurement of how often/how much your work force changes. This is an indicator of the internal health of your contact center, because agents who are motivated are less likely to leave. This is also an early indication of performance challenges you may be facing soon. If you have a high agent turnover rate, you must be prepared to handle and manage a high volume of recruiting, hiring, and training. Use your findings to identify the key factors negatively (or positively) impacting the results.
Calculating agent turnover rate is done by dividing the number of agents who stopped working for the organization during a time period by the total number of employees employed during that time period, and then, as usual, multiplying by 100 to get the percentage.
# of Agents Who Stop Working
________________________________= Agent Turnover Rate
Total # of Agents Employed
Average Handle Time
A metric that reflects how long an agent spends on the phone. This metric has value in understanding the operations of your call center, but you may want to carefully consider highlighting this metric as a main KPI. If agents are solely focused on handling calls as quickly as possible, other KPIs performances may suffer; among others, customer satisfaction and first-call resolution are likely to decrease if agents feel pressured to decrease average handle time.
Average handle time can be calculated for an individual agent, or it can be calculated for the entire call center.
To calculate average handle time, add up the total time that it takes an agent to complete their calls, including on-call time, hold time, and after-call work, and divide by the total number of calls handled.
Total Call Time (Talk Time + Hold Time + After-Call Work)
Avg. Call Time = __________________________________________
Total Number of Calls Handled
A measurement of how often scheduled agents to attend their shifts. This is an important KPI to consider when making decisions about future training, hiring, and scheduling practices.
To calculate agent attendance, divide the number of hours an agent worked by the number of hours they were scheduled to work, then multiply by 100 to get the percentage of hours an agent attends. You can also then subtract that percentage by 100% to get the percentage of agent absence.
Total Worked Hours
Agent Attendance = _______________________ x 100
Total Scheduled Hours
Agent Absence = 100% - Agent Attendance =
Total Absent Hours
__________________ x 100
Total Scheduled Hours
KPIs that Influence Operation-Related Goals
These KPIs show the operational performance of the call center. These are metrics that aren't necessarily impacted by agent performance, and instead impacted by the operations and management of the call center.
Call Abandonment Rate
A measure of the number of customers who disconnect a call before reaching an agent, often because they’re frustrated with reaching an IVR or long hold times.
Tracking call abandonment rates can give you an insight into customer satisfaction, along with other KPIs, and give you direct ideas on how to improve (like decreasing hold times).
To calculate the call abandonment rate, divide the number of abandoned calls by the total number of received calls, then multiply by 100.
# of Abandoned Calls
_______________________ x 100 = Call Abandonment Rate
Total # of Incoming Calls
Percentage of Blocked Calls
This KPI measures the percentage of callers who are disconnected before they reach an agent through no fault of the customer. Customers may reach a busy signal and/or be automatically disconnected if the call center management software cannot complete their call - for example, if there are not enough agents available, if the software is overwhelmed by a sudden high volume of calls, or if queues are at capacity.
Percentage of Blocked Calls =
# of Unsuccessful Calls (Not Including Customer-Abandoned Calls) ______________________________________________________
Total # of Calls
Average Time in Queue
A simple metric that represents the average amount of time customers spend waiting in a queue before they reach an agent. This is a KPI that also influences many other KPIs - for example, wait times are directly correlated to customer satisfaction.
To calculate the average time in queue, take the combined total of how long customers spent in the queue, and divide it by the total number of callers, to get the average time customers spend waiting for an agent.
Total Time Customers Spent in Queue
Average Time in Queue = _____________________________________
Total # of Customers
KPIs Will Guide Decisions
When looking to select KPIs for your organization, remember that our call center-focused examples are just the beginning. The best KPIs will be tailored to your specific agents, departments, and needs. It may take some trial, and error, adjusting, and adapting, but once you have identified the KPIs best suited to your current business objectives, you will find that they will simplify the strategy and decision-making processes of your call center.
For more information on choosing metrics and identifying KPIs for your call center, read our Call Center Metrics eBook!