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Top Call Center Metrics for Customer Success

Mastering the Top Call Center Metrics for Customer Success

Dhivakar Aridoss

Dhivakar Aridoss

Marketing Head

You know, that question—”What metric should we use to measure the customer experience (CX) we provide?”

It’s trickier than it seems.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer because CX is made up of so many different aspects.

When you’re unsure which metrics to track, a good starting point is to pay attention to customer feedback. Have regular chats with your frontline agents—they’re the ones hearing directly from customers every day. And keep an eye on social media to see what people are saying.

But here’s the thing: no single metric can give you the complete picture of your customers’ feelings.

They’re more like signposts, pointing you in the right direction. The real insight comes from listening to what your customers are telling you—in their words and actions. That’s where you’ll find the true story of the CX you’re providing.

Does this mean that metrics don’t have any meaning?

It does.

A combination of metrics will have to be looked at, combined with what your customers and agents tell you, to get a grip on how well you are doing.

Let us look at the twelve metrics that matter the most in call centers.

1. Average Handling Time (AHT)

It’s how long it takes for a customer interaction, like a phone call, from start to finish. You know, from when they dial to when they hang up.

Now, why does this matter?

Well, it’s like a gauge of how smoothly things are running.

If AHT is high, it might mean there are some kinks in the process that need ironing out. But if it’s low, hey, things are probably humming along pretty nicely.

Plus, it gives us a clue about how productive our agents are – whether they’re handling things efficiently or if there’s room for improvement.

So, by keeping an eye on AHT, we can spot areas where we can make things run smoother and help our agents be more productive.

2. First Contact Resolution (FCR)

It’s like a window into the customer’s overall vibe with your brand.

The idea is the fewer times a customer needs to reach out to us to sort something out, the better, right? It’s all about making things super smooth and hassle-free for them.

Now, this is where the CX team comes in—they have to keep tabs on this stuff and work on improving it.

See, the goal is to make sure our customer-facing folks—like our support team—have everything they need to handle any issue that comes their way right then and there. That’s where First Call Resolution (FCR) comes in handy.

By keeping an eye on FCR, we can see where we’re nailing it and where we might need to step up our game.

It’s a win-win when our team has the tools, processes, and know-how to sort things out on the spot.

Customers get what they need pronto, and our team feels empowered to do their thing. And hey, happy customers and happy employees? That’s what it’s all about.

3. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

This is the bread and butter of measuring customer experience. Many argue against using this metric, but I am all for it.

This is more like housekeeping to me.

What is the most fundamental question that you ask?

Are you satisfied with our service? You ask them on a scale of 1-5.

The argument is that merely providing a satisfactory service beats the idea of offering the best possible experience. For me, it is a gold standard, as that would allow you to figure out if you can first satisfy your customers before beginning to delight them.

4. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Let us look at how you calculate the NPS scores. On a scale of 1-10, responses are segregated into promoters (9-10), passives (7-8), and detractors (1-6). You deduct the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters, and you get your score.

What is the fundamental question that you ask here?

How likely will you recommend our service/solution to your friend or colleague?

This is the most defining question when it comes to the voice of your customers.

You measure the NPS, and you come up with a score. What do you do with it?

The natural tendency would be to compare with industry averages and competitor scores. Avoid doing that. Instead, see how you trend over time. 

Don’t sweat over the numbers. Identify why your scores are the way they are and act on them consistently to improve them. Over time, your NPS scores will improve, and customers will give you more business.

5. Service Level (SL)

It’s all about being on the ball when answering calls.

So, picture this: say we set a target that 80% of calls should be picked up within, oh, let’s say, 20 seconds. That means we aim to be super snappy when getting to those calls.

Now, why does this matter?

Well, think about it – if we’re quick to answer, it shows we’re on the ball and ready to help customers pronto. And that’s key for keeping them happy and feeling like we’ve got their backs.

But here’s the other side – keeping track of SL helps us manage our resources smartly. If we see we’re not hitting our targets, it might be a sign we need to beef up our team or tweak our processes to keep things running smoothly.

So, by keeping an eye on SL, we’re not just making sure we’re there for our customers when they need us – we’re also making sure we’re using our resources in the smartest way possible.

6. Call Abandonment Rate

Industry statistics say that about 9% of calls get ditched before we even get a chance to chat. That’s like missing out on connecting with nearly one out of every ten customers!

Not cool, right?

Now, why does this matter?

Well, think about it – if folks hang up before they can even get through to us, they probably feel pretty frustrated.

And we definitely don’t want that! Because customers might start looking elsewhere when they aren’t happy, and that’s the last thing we want.

We have to keep tabs on this abandonment rate and work on bringing it down to as close to zero as possible.

That means making sure we’ve got enough channels for customers to reach us and making sure we’re following up, even if our reps aren’t available right away.

It’s all about showing our customers that we’re there for them, no matter what.

7. Occupancy Rate

It’s like a measure of how busy our agents are compared to how much time they have to work.

If an agent spends 80% of their workday helping customers, their Occupancy Rate would be 80%.

Now, why does this matter?

Well, think about it – if our agents are super busy, it could mean they’re feeling a bit overwhelmed. But if they’re not busy enough, we might not use our resources as efficiently as possible.

So, the goal here is to find that sweet spot where our agents are busy enough to keep things ticking along nicely but not so busy that they’re burning out.

It’s all about ensuring we’re using our team’s time wisely, keeping them happy and productive, and still ensuring our customers get the help they need.

Balancing act, right?

8. Average Wait Time (AWT)

It’s basically how long our awesome customers have to chill in the queue before they get to chat with one of our rockstar agents. You know, like when you’re waiting on hold, listening to that catchy hold music?

Now, why does this matter?

Well, think about it – nobody likes waiting around forever, right?

If our customers are stuck twiddling their thumbs for ages, they will start getting antsy. And we definitely don’t want that! We want them to feel like we’re on the ball and ready to help them pronto.

So, by keeping an eye on AWT, we can see how we’re doing in terms of keeping our customers’ wait times in check. Because when we’re quick to pick up the phone and lend a hand, it shows we’re all about giving our customers top-notch service.

And that’s what it’s all about – keeping our customers happy and ensuring they know we’ve got their backs.

9. Customer Effort Score (CES)

This is one metric that is sacrosanct for me. This defines the likelihood of customers being loyal to our offerings.

What is the most fundamental question that you ask here?

How easy is it to do business with us? On a scale of 1-10.

This allows you to understand what your customers perceive about you. You don’t have to make the qualification whether it is easy or hard.

You can dig deeper to discover why they feel something is hard and act on them to improve your CES.

10. Customer Health Score (CHS)

We use this metric called Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), where you predict the lifetime value of a customer and give them priority services.

CHS is closely related to CLV; you do not have to predict it. The data would present itself.

Customer Health Score is a metric used to understand the likelihood of a customer to grow, stay consistent, or churn. This is very appropriate in the SaaS industry, and that’s why you find that every SaaS company has a customer success manager.

The customer success leaders monitor the CHS and identify power users, account expansion opportunities, and potential churning customers in advance, as well as uncover success and failure patterns.

11. Agent Turnover Rate

It’s like a measure of how many of our agents decide to say “peace out” and move on from the call center in a given time, usually a year. You know, when someone decides it’s time to spread their wings and fly elsewhere?

Now, why does this matter?

Well, think about it – when folks leave left and right, it can throw a wrench in the works.

It’s not just about finding new folks to fill those spots – it’s about keeping our team morale and productivity on point. Because when folks are constantly shuffling in and out, it can mess with the vibe and make it challenging for everyone to stay on top of things.

So, by keeping tabs on our Agent Turnover Rate, we can see how we’re keeping our team happy and sticking around for the long haul.

When our agents feel good and stick around, it’s not just good for them – it’s good for our customers, too. After all, happy agents mean better service all around.

12. Customer Retention Rate

It measures how many customers decide to stick around and keep doing business with us over a certain period, usually a year. You know, when your favorite coffee shop becomes your regular morning haunt?

Now, why does this matter?

Well, think about it – when customers keep returning for more, it’s like a big old thumbs up to us.

It means they’re happy with what we’re dishing out and dig the vibe we’re putting out there. And that’s what it’s all about—keeping our customers happy and returning for more.

So, by keeping tabs on our customer retention rate, we can see how we’re keeping our customers satisfied and loyal. Because when we’re hitting it out of the park in terms of customer service and building those relationships, it’s a win-win for everyone.

Our customers feel valued and taken care of, and we get to keep doing what we love – making our customers’ day one interaction at a time.

Metrics are like our compass – they guide us, helping us navigate toward the best possible experiences for our customers. From Average Handling Time to Customer Retention Rate, each metric tells a story about how we’re doing and where we can improve.

But here’s the thing: while metrics are important, they’re just part of the picture.

At the end of the day, it’s all about the people – the customers we serve and the agents who make it all happen.

So, as we track our metrics and strive for excellence, let’s never lose sight of what truly matters: building genuine connections, solving problems, and making a positive impact, one interaction at a time.

So here’s to embracing the metrics but always focusing on the people behind them. Together, we can create exceptional experiences that leave a lasting impression and keep our customers returning for more.

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