The Role of Tech in Contact Centers

When there is so much information available for a manager to track they can easily find it impossible to deal with and lose track. That’s why a good manager should be able to choose the right metrics to track which will give insight to the experience of the customers and will help to put an equal emphasis on both quality and quantity.

As a manager set clear realistic benchmarks for certain critical areas of performance in order to maximize performance and efficiency. Some of the most vital areas that you could track are included below.

A Few KPIs to Consider

  • Answering Speed

This is a key performance indicator that applies to inbound calls. It looks at the number of inbound calls that your employees do not answer within a certain time period. The industry average is 28 seconds so you can see how well your employees are doing against this figure. If they’re taking longer, it might be a good idea to hire more employees.

  • The Level of Service

This is related to the answering speed and is a metric that looks at how many calls are answered within a certain period of time by your employees. According to the International Finance Corporation, the global benchmark is that 80% of a contact center’s calls should be answered within 20 seconds of being made.

  • Forecasting

This is the number of calls you expect on a daily basis. The International Finance Corporation has some interesting numbers for us here as well. The global benchmark for this metric is a variance of 5% either way. If the actual number of calls you receive is more than 5% greater than your forecast, then you’re probably understaffed. You’ll need to get more employees or your current ones will be overwhelmed with the number of calls they are receiving and it will affect their service. If the number of calls your contact center is receiving is less than the number you have forecasted, then your staff is not being efficient. You should either find a way to get more calls or reduce your stuff as your costs will end up unnecessarily eating into your bottom line.

  • The Rate of Abandonment

This is the number of calls that your customers abandon before your agents can answer them. It can be for a variety of reasons, such as customers having to wait too long to speak to an agent. The globally accepted average is somewhere between 5% and 8%.

  • The Occupancy of your Agents

The occupancy is a very important metric as it tells you how much time your employees are spending on a phone call. The occupancy tells you how much time they spent in conversation with the client, how much time it took to wrap up the call, update the system, and complete the paperwork associated with that call. The global average is between 60% and 80%.

  • Adherence to Schedule

This KPI looks at the availability of your agents when it comes to receiving phone calls. Your employees may all be present in the building, but that does not mean they’re all at their desks handling phone calls from clients. Staff members will regularly take breaks from taking and making phone calls for a variety of reasons. These include going to the bathroom, talking to each other, or grabbing a quick snack. It’s certainly understandable for agents to take breaks, however, they shouldn’t be taking all of their time on breaks or the costs start to pile up. They should restrict their breaks to certain times of the day and spend the rest fielding calls. The global metric, in this case, is 95%. So make sure your employees are on the clock at least 95% of the day.

  • Customer Satisfaction

You can’t overstate this. Customer satisfaction is absolutely important to the success of your contact center. Numerous studies have shown that customer satisfaction directly affects a lot of things, including their loyalty to your contact centers and the morale of your employees.

The problem with customer satisfaction is that it is a very subjective thing. As a consequence, it is a little harder to measure it than other aspects of performance. In the past, contact centers did it by conducting a survey via mail or phone calls many days after the initial call.

Nowadays, feedback is solicited immediately after a call is over to determine how satisfied with the service. The voice response system will invite the customer to rate a few aspects of the service they just received on a scale of one to ten. They’ll include a variety of things, such as their conversation with the agent, whether or not their problem was solved, and so on.

  • Attrition and Absenteeism

This is another important metric that will give you key insights into how well your contact center is doing and how you can improve it. This metric looks at how many of your employees leave your contact center on a yearly basis. It also looks at how many of them are missing work and what the frequency and reasons are. If your employees are regularly absent, it could mean that they are under a great deal of stress and they may lack the necessary motivation to work. These employees can have a negative influence on the rest of your workforce and spread that lack of morale.Also, if your employees are leaving your organization regularly, your costs will increase because hiring and training new employees costs money. You should be careful not to drive up your labor costs too high because it will bite a huge chunk out of your bottom line. The global average for attrition is 15% while the global average for absenteeism is 5%.

  • The Resolution rate on First Calls

This is another extremely important metric that tells you how likely your customers are to be loyal to your contact center. The first call resolution rate tells you the proportion of calls received by the contact center that is resolved the very first time. For a call to be resolved the first time, it shouldn’t have been rerouted to a higher ranking official and the agent shouldn’t have to call the customer again. The global benchmark for this metric is 75%. However, you should strive to keep your first call resolution rate as high as you can. It is perhaps the most important factor in influencing customer satisfaction.


The Service Quality Measurement Group conducted a study that showed that for every 1% improvement in the first call resolution rate of a contact center, the customer satisfaction of that contact center improved by 1%. They arrived at this conclusion after conducting the study on a large pool of over 150 contact centers. They found that the best contact centers in the world have a first-time resolution rate of 87% while the least performing contact centers had a first call resolution rate of a mere 67%. Your first call resolution rate can do many wonders for your firm. Improving it will certainly improve customer satisfaction. But it can do even more than that. It will leave your employees more motivated. When they resolve issues the first time, they will have to deal with fewer callbacks from irritated customers. This will improve their mood, reduce their absenteeism, and also reduce attrition.

Improving your first call resolution rate can also have a positive effect on the profitability of your contact center. Your customers will likely stay with you and stop going to your competitor. Studies show that when customers have their issues resolved the first time, only 3% of them will leave and go to your competitor. That is a remarkably high customer retention rate. On the other hand, when calls aren’t resolved the first time, a whopping 38% of customers are likely to move to your competitor.

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