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, and on their preferred channels. Contact centers, like Twilio Flex, are innovative solutions to the rising demand for round-the-clock, omnichannel communications.
What is a contact center?
Lexico defines a contact center as “an integrated and usually automated communications system that coordinates all telephone and electronic contacts between an organization and the public.” Companies across all industries utilize contact centers, including healthcare, finance, travel, and tech among others.
Although similar (and sometimes referred to interchangeably), contact centers and call centers are not the same thing. Contact centers handle customer communications across several applications, including calls, chat and messenger platforms, and email. Call centers tend to handle only inbound and outbound calls.
Implementing a contact center as a customer service solution is only one part of optimizing your service strategy. To get the most out of your contact center, you must understand how to track different contact center metrics. 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.
The following are ten metrics that all contact centers should track to better understand the customer experience and the efficacy of your customer service procedures:
1. 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.
2. 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 effective 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.
3. Cost Per Contact
Cost per contact (CPC) is fairly intuitive, and can be considered one of the most 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 to 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.
4. 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 to a percentage. Your call abandonment rate can be improved by streamlining your holding procedures, including removing superfluous IVR menus.
5. 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 to determine 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.
6. Average Handle Time
Average handle time (AHT) encompasses the entire duration of an inquiry, from the time the contact begins, through any holds or waiting periods, to the final solution. Your average handle time can indicate the knowledge of your service representatives as well as 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, and divide that number by the number of total contacts.
7. Service Level
The service level metric refers to the contract of service (or Service Level Agreement (SLA)) between customers and businesses, measuring whether the scope of work agreed upon by the two parties 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.
8. 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 average call transfer rate, divide your total of 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.
9. Agent Attrition Rate
Agent attrition rate measures the frequency of service representatives that leave a contact center during a given period of time. Agent attrition rate is a great indicator of the quality of your customer service. If you have high agent turnover, it can be difficult 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 percent.
10. 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 above, but provides invaluable qualitative understanding.
CSAT is measured by asking open-ended questions about the customer service process and about the service representative’ s performance, followed up 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, although less bound by numerals, are helpful in understanding how individual experiences vary. It can help your representatives to understand on a case-by-case basis how their skills and knowledge directly impact their customer. Metrics and statistics are great in that they help us understand a range of efficacy in certain subject areas, but customer service is about people. People and experiences cannot be defined by numbers. Providing an opportunity for more subjective, qualitative feedback allows us to better understand what our own customer service experience is really like.
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 to 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 so as to quickly get our customers the solutions they need. 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.
Brooke Isaacs is a Content Marketing Associate at Twilio SendGrid contributing to the blog and writing other digital content. Brooke is a self-proclaimed pop culture geek, and when she’s not writing she can be found nerding out about her favorite TV shows and books.