In a world that relies on technology and digital solutions, it’s no surprise that businesses have adapted and evolved to connect with customers everywhere. Contact centers, like Twilio Flex, are innovative solutions to the rising demand for round-the-clock, omnichannel communications.
Implementing a contact center as a customer service solution is only one part of optimizing your service strategy. Every business and industry is different, so how do you know if your contact center performs adequately or falls behind?
With data, of course.
Call center metrics give you a reliable way to compare your contact center's performance, but these numbers indicate very little if you don't know what they mean. Unfortunately, there are so many metrics available to track that it can be hard to narrow down which are the most relevant to your business.
Let us give you a hand. Below, you'll find the most critical call center metrics your business should be monitoring and improving. We'll break down what each call center KPI means and why it matters.
21+ Important Call Center Metrics
1. Customer Satisfaction Score
Customer satisfaction score, or CSAT, is the most direct metric to help you understand customers’ experiences with your customer service processes. CSAT is not quite as quantitative as the other metrics listed below, but it provides invaluable qualitative understanding.
CSAT is measured by asking open-ended questions about the customer service process and the service representative’s performance, followed by a Likert scale asking customers to rank their experience 1 through 5, 1 through 10, or from very unsatisfied through very satisfied.
These measures help us understand how individual experiences vary. It can help your representatives understand how their skills and knowledge directly impact their customers on a case-by-case basis.
Metrics and statistics are great because they help us understand a range of efficacy in specific subject areas, but customer service is about people. Numbers cannot define people and experiences. Providing an opportunity for more subjective, qualitative feedback allows us to better understand what our own customer service experience is really like.
2. First Contact Resolution
First contact resolution (FCR) is essentially what it sounds like: the measurement of how often a company’s contact center completes a customer’s request or inquiry after their first contact with a service representative. This metric is found by dividing the number of resolved inquiries within the first contact by the number of total calls.
It’s important to keep tabs on your FCR because it’s an indication of how well your customer service representatives resolve issues, as well as your standard operating policies and processes.
Your FCR illustrates precisely where your customer service strengths and weaknesses are. If your FCR is low, it can indicate an issue with your customer service procedures. To improve your FCR, you can examine the entire customer service process, from service representative training to procedures and documentation.
3. Customer Retention Rate
Customer retention rate (CRR) measures the number of customers that maintain their business relationship with a company during a given period.
CRR is another indication of the efficacy of your contact center. Typically, a high CRR means that your customer service processes are helpful and practical, and a lower CRR can mean there’s room for improvement.
To improve CRR, consider offering incentives to customers with service inquiries. Providing incentives can alleviate frustration and stress for customers, especially when resolving an issue can take more time than expected.
4. Cost Per Contact
Cost per contact (CPC) is fairly intuitive and considered one of the more important contact center metrics. CPC refers to the total cost of operations at a contact center. CPC can be calculated by dividing the total contact center’s operational costs by the total number of contacts/inquiries processed.
Knowing and understanding your CPC is important because it can help narrow down which communication channels are most effective with your customers. Whether your contacts tend to come through traditional voice calls or are split between email and SMS, your CPC can tell you which of your channels performs best.
5. Call Abandonment Rate
Call abandonment rate measures the rate at which customers disconnect before speaking with a service representative. This metric shows the efficacy of your holding procedures and customer service processes. It can also indicate delayed response times from customer service representatives.
To find your call abandonment rate, subtract your total number of handled calls from the total calls, and convert it to a percentage. Your call abandonment rate can be improved by streamlining your holding procedures, including removing superfluous IVR menus.
6. Average Speed of Answer
The average speed of answer (ASA) metric is exactly what the title implies. ASA tracks the time passed between the initial contact from a customer and when a service representative responds.
Knowing your ASA can help you evaluate how well-versed your service representatives are in your products or services and whether or not they need assistance in the form of training or additional team support.
7. First Response Time
First Response Time (FRT) measures the average amount of time it takes for an agent to provide an initial response to a customer. FRT is similar to ASA, but FRT also measures responses outside of phone calls. This could be a response to a customer inquiry or support ticket, meaning you may respond via email, social media, chat, or text message.
8. Average Handle Time
Average handle time (AHT) encompasses the entire duration of an inquiry, from when the contact begins, through any holds or waiting periods, to the final solution. Your average handle time can indicate your service representatives' knowledge and the efficacy of your customer service processes.
To find your average handle time, find the total sum of a service representative’s time working with a customer, the total hold time during the contact, and the total work time after the contact. Divide that number by the number of total contacts.
9. Average Wait Time
Wait times refers to the situations when agents place a caller on hold. That agent might have to finish something or wrap up another conversation. Ideally, you want to minimize wait times to solve customer concerns faster.
You can calculate your average wait time by dividing the total number of seconds customers spend on hold by the total number of calls.
10. Service Level
The service level metric refers to the contract of service (or Service Level Agreement (SLA)) between customers and businesses, measuring whether the two parties' scope of work is actually being met. This includes the measurement of service representative availability and translates to the amount of time customers spend in queues and on hold. Often, each queue has its own SLA.
Knowing your service level metric allows you to step into your customers’ shoes and understand what day-to-day interactions with your contact center can look like for customers.
11. Average Call Transfer Rate
Average call transfer rate measures the number of times that contacts are transferred from one initial representative to another, transferred to another department, or to a manager or supervisor. To find the average call transfer rate, divide your total transferred contacts by the number of total handled contacts.
Average call transfer rate is key to understanding your customers’ experience. If a customer gets bounced around from representative to representative, hold to hold, they’re more likely to become frustrated with the experience. To improve this experience (as well as your call transfer rate), consider implementing a comprehensive, cross-departmental training for representatives to better answer inquiries with fewer transfers or offer incentives to customers that wait in long queues.
12. Agent Attrition Rate
Agent attrition rate measures the frequency of service representatives who leave a contact center during a given period. Agent attrition rate is an excellent indicator of the quality of your customer service. If you have high agent turnover, it can be challenging to provide consistent, thorough help for your customers.
Agent attrition rate can be found by dividing the number of service representatives that leave the contact center over a given period by the total number of representatives in that period and multiplying by 100 to get a percentage.
13. Agent Utilization Rate
More agents isn't always the answer to higher call volume—sometimes, you just need more efficient agents. Agent utilization rate measures the productivity of your workforce. This ratio is determined by dividing the number of hours worked by the number of hours in the workday.
For example, if an agent works 4 hours out of an 8 hour-day day, they have an agent utilization rate of 50%. This metric can help you identify peak performers and those who need a little extra motivation or training.
Remember to factor in time for breaks, lunches, and time off to get a more accurate calculation.
14. Call Volume Trends
Call volume trends look at call volumes across different time periods compared to your average speed to answer. For example, you might look at your call volume trends for Wednesdays at lunchtime or for weekends during July. These insights can help you identify specific times when income calls start to challenge agent bandwidth.
You can use this KPI to inform scheduling and hiring. You may find that call volume spikes during the holiday season, and you may need to hire seasonal help to fill the gaps. Or you may need to schedule a few more agents during the evening hours (and less during the morning) to cover an influx of calls.
More agents during busier periods lead to faster response times, and speedier response times lead to a better CSAT score.
15. Peak Hour Traffic
You can find your peak hour traffic by diving deeper into your call volume trends. Peak hour traffic represents the time when you receive the highest number of calls. Find this number to identify the hours, days, weeks, and months when resources may be overburdened. This will help you allocate agents in advance to handle the higher traffic volume.
16. Repeat Calls
Your repeat calls metrics illustrate how often a customer calls to resolve their problem. They could be calling about the same issue or a new issue. Use this along with FCR to understand how well your agents and resources do at solving customer concerns.
If repeat calls are too high, try improving your self-service solutions or providing your agents with additional issue-specific training. You could consider improving your IVR system to better handle customer calls without human intervention, too.
17. Active Waiting Calls
Active waiting calls is a live metric you can use to track real-time performance. High active waiting calls often lead to slow ASAs. If you find too many customers are waiting to be contacted, you might consider hiring more agents, improving workflows, or improving your AHT.
18. Callback Requests
Instead of asking customers to sit on hold, some call centers allow them to request a callback. This is a great alternative to help customers get solutions to their problems without increasing their frustration.
However, if callback requests get too high, it's an indicator that you don't have enough agents or bandwidth to get to inbound calls. Hire more agents or improve your efficiency to decrease your callback requests and answer more calls in the moment.
19. Channel Mix
Channel mix looks at the number of inbound requests on different digital channels like SMS, chat, social media, or voice. This will help you learn which channels your customers prefer to contact you with, enabling you to invest in the right technology, agents, and resources.
For example, if there's a growing number of social media requests, you might need to train or hire more agents on these tools.
20. Call Type Mix
Call type mix measures the volume of different call types. Types can include:
- Technical support
- Billing assistance
- Account help
- Complaints or issues
Use this information to provide better agent training or self-service solutions for your customers. You can also use it to build better IVR tree menus to direct customers to the right extensions from the get-go, improving your FCR and reducing your call transfer rate.
21. Custom Metrics
You don't have to limit your call center metrics to industry standards or any of the items on this list—set your own custom metrics. Want to measure your agent’s happiness? Set up a survey and measure it. Curious how your SMS response satisfaction compares to your call satisfaction? Measure it.
Set your own call center KPIs and establish new expectations for your business.
Twilio Flex—The Only Contact Center Solution You'll Ever Need
Twilio Flex is a fully programmable, cloud-based contact center solution, making it easy to add remote agents, new channels, chatbots, and self-service.
Flex helps developers easily create or augment an existing contact center in the cloud. Using Flex, you can build and deploy a 100% cloud-based contact center in a week or less, using a wide range of channels including Voice, SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WebChat. But more importantly, you can change and iterate the contact center rules, integrations, or user experience as your business strategies change.
Flex provides the opportunity for omnichannel routing, allowing developers to apply unified routing logic and prioritization across all communication channels and multiple vendors. Twilio’s omnichannel routing is powered by TaskRouter, allowing us to provide our customers with powerful routing logic, complete cross-channel reporting, faster development time, and unified agent presence.
Programmable chat helps create mobile-friendly chat channels quickly, using Twilio’s SDKs and global real-time messaging infrastructure. Programmable chat makes it easy to set up your chat channels, providing chat primitives to avoid starting from scratch, state sync for consistent communication, cross-platform SDKs to adapt to different operating systems, and developer tools to help you along the way.
Mobile Customer Care
Twilio Flex enables customers to create a mobile-friendly platform with mobile customer care. Flex provides the mobile flexibility necessary to answer customer questions faster with interactive calling and messaging within the context of your mobile app. Mobile customer care allows us to provide our customers with tools for developing context to route information to the best service representative to get our customers the solutions they need quickly. To meet the unique needs of each call, multi-channel escalation allows representatives to shift back and forth between channels as necessary.
When you use Twilio Flex, the only limit is your imagination. We can’t wait to see what you build.
Start Using These Call Center KPIs
"What gets measured gets done."
Use these call center metrics and KPIs to start more effectively monitoring your contact center's performance. Decide how regularly you want to review them: weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.
You don't need to track all of these call center KPIs—that would be way too overwhelming. Instead, focus on the ones you believe are most relevant to your business and industry.
If agent attrition isn't an issue, then don't worry about monitoring that metric. And if your agents are trained to handle all scenarios independently, you probably don't need to worry about call transfer rates, either.
Keep a list of the critical metrics for your contact center. Establish benchmarks, set regular goals, and make adjustments to make it happen.