How to Create Effective Benchmarks and Metrics in a Contact Centre

The performance of your call centre is an important part of your business, one of the most important when you consider the impact it has on customer satisfaction levels and brand reputation. Your customer support is therefore so important, but how do you ensure that your call centre staff are meeting the targets you are set and that your customers are happy? The first thing that needs to happen is the creation of metrics and benchmarks that work for your specific industry and call centre, from there it will help you to maintain high standards on a consistent basis.

There are different combinations of call centre metrics that you can choose from, so it is important to gain an understanding of what they mean and how they can be utilised for your specific call centre agents and the projects they are working on. This is where it pays off for some businesses to outsource projects to call centre staff, as they have the set-up, the highly trained call centre agents and the software to create effective metrics and benchmarks that are suitable to a specific business and customer market.

To begin with, it is worth looking at the industry as a whole and what other companies in the sector are using for metrics. With this information you can track how your call centre operatives are performing against the numbers of competitors and how you can improve your own metrics in the future.

Every business is unique though, so you should never blindly follow a competitor and how they use metrics to analyse performance, instead taking the best bits from other areas and implementing it in a way that suits your business, projects and agents. Which call centre metrics should you track?

Service level This is the percentage of inbound calls that are answered below a specific target. It relates to the accessibility of a company to cope with customer calls. It rates how quickly your customers are connected to your agents and how your customers view this process.

Abandonment rate The average abandonment rate looks at the number of callers that hang up before they get through to an agent. This helps you look at the speed with which a call centre answers calls, and you want as low an abandonment rate as possible to increase business opportunities and increase customer satisfaction.

Average answer speed Similarly, the average pace at which a specific call centre agent answers incoming calls will help you to assess the efficiency of the staff currently in place and how satisfied your customers will be with the entire process.

Average call time This highlights the total amount of time an agent speaks to a caller on the phone. The shorter the call (as long as there is a resolution to the conversation) the better it is for your company and its level of efficiency.

First-call resolution rate This is the percentage of all calls where a customer’s query is answered by the first agent they speak to at the call centre, without it being transferred to another agent. This provides a good picture of how accurate your call centre agents are, but also how efficient the company processes are in providing solutions at this first stage.

Implementing good metrics and benchmarks will help you to create an efficient, productive and profitable business with the use of a specialist contact centre team.

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