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Enablx's Best Practices...Call Center Statistics or Contact Center Performance Metrics?

There is a difference between statistics and performance metrics. Both are very helpful to the call center but are used in two different ways. Statistics are used to show the current status of the agent or group and performance metrics show how well the agent or group is performing. Statistics can provide a view of what is happening in the call center right now, for the interval or for the day. These statistics are helpful when the agents, team leaders and managers want to know the current status of the call center. Good statistics that show the status of the call center are:

  • Average Handle Time (AHT) or Average Call Handle Time (ACHT) Calculation: Total talk time + wrap time (After call work)/total calls
  • Service Level (SL%) Calculation: The percentage of calls answered within a certain amount of time. For example if 80 out of 100 calls were answered within 30 seconds then the service level is 80%. Some call centers have a shorter time frame such as 20 seconds or even 10 seconds.
  • Abandon Rate (ABN%) Calculation: Total Abandoned calls / Total incoming calls Some customers are now adding abandon calls from IVR and Chat sessions to this calculation.
  • Average Speed Answer (ASA) Calculation: The average number of seconds (minutes) it takes to answer a call. If it takes an average of 30 seconds to answer a call then the ASA is 30 seconds. These statistics should be measured by interval and for the day. These statistics can change throughout the day depending on the type of call center.
  • Longest Wait Time (LWT) and Average Wait Time (AWT) Calculation: The Longest Wait Time is the longest a caller has to wait before the call is answered. Average Wait time is the average time a caller has to wait before the call is answered.

Calls in Queue (CIQ) Calculation:

The total number of calls in the queue waiting to be handled by the agents. Some call centers are now adding email and chat queues to the total Calls in Queue. Some call centers track these statistics separately.

  • ACD Time Calculation: The total talk time by an agent or group (split/skill) spent talking to customers. Some call centers view the average talk time to understand the amount of time, on average, that the agent spends on each call. These calculations for each statistic are the industry standard, however, your call center may want or need to measure these statistics in another manner. There are many more statistics that are available and each Call Center manager needs to determine what is best for their call center. These statistics and more are available from our system.. For a complete list of statistics that are available for our call center, contact Enablx. Our SIP Based Platform supports Call Centers by capturing call center statistics and providing a unique view for the individual agents, a group view for the team leaders, and a call center view for the managers. Reports can be generated and displayed on LCD screens, web based reports, desktop dashboards, mobile devices and email. Agents can improve their efficiencies by knowing how well they are doing compared to their goals and targets. But, is that enough? Performance metrics provide a different picture of the call center. While statistics show us what is going on in our call center, performance metrics will show you what your customers think of your agents and call center effectiveness. The team leader or call center manager may be aware of the call center status (statistics) but not aware of what the customers think of the call center or how well we are doing compared to our goals (performance metrics). Performance metrics are used to manage the call center and drive sales, improve efficiencies, and increase overall customer satisfaction. When the call center performance metrics improve, the state of the business will improve. Some performance statistics that are useful by the call center manager are:
  • First Call Resolution (FCR%) Calculation: The percentage of customer issues or tickets that are resolved on the first call. Sometimes this is a survey that the customer takes immediately after the call or given by the agent. This is a metric that can be difficult to measure, however it is an important metric as it gives the call center a clearer picture of the quality of the call center.
  • Customer Satisfaction (CSat%) Calculation: Satisfied customers / Total calls. This calculation is typically taken from secondary survey results. When an agent asks if the customer is satisfied they may not receive a valid answer. To assume that the customers transaction is complete and therefore the customer is satisfied is incorrect as well. Secondary surveys are the most accurate method of calculating CSat ratings.
  • Agent Utilization Rate (AUR%)also known as Occupancy (OCC) Calculation: Total talk time + After call work + Idle Time (in hours or minutes) / total paid hours worked (both in hours or minutes). The total talk time, idle time, after call work, hours worked must all be for the same length of time (days, hours or minutes). If you capture the total talk time and after call work for the week, then the total hours worked must be for the week as well. Example: Talk time = 18 hours, After call work = 10 hours, Idle time = 2 hours, Number of hours worked = 38. 18 +10 + 2 =30, 30/38 = 79% agent utilization rate. Industry best practices suggest that an agent utilization rate should fall between 70-85%. Too low, and the agent is bored; too high, and the agent is stressed. Either condition will result in a high attrition rate among the agents.
  • Cost per Contact (CoC) Calculation: ACD Calls per hour / Agent's hourly rate. If your contact center has multiple agents with varying hourly rates then this calculation should be taken across the entire call center or for each group, depending on how your call center is set up. In this case total ACD calls for the group / total agent's hourly rate. IVR cost per call is calculated by determining the amortization schedule of the IVR, breaking that cost down to a monthly amount and then dividing the number of calls handled by the IVR for the month / amortized IVR cost for the month. Only calls that are fully handled by the IVR can be used in this calculation.
  • Average Speed Answer (ASA) Calculation: On average how long it takes an agent to answer a call. Standards vary depending on the industry. For example: Financial Businesses such as mutual fund companies strive for a less-than-20-second ASA. Software support desks for non maintenance customers can exceed 1 hour. Contact Enablx to learn more about your industry's best practices for ASA.
  • Abandonment Rate (ABN%) Calculation: Number of calls abandoned / total calls. Call abandoned should be after the first 8-10 seconds. Most calls abandoned during this time are false abandons, wrong numbers, caller was interrupted, caller was not ready, etc. Some call centers are including IVR abandons as well, but only when they are certain their IVR is functioning properly. These calculations for each metric are the industry standard, however, your call center may want or need to measure these metrics in another manner. You will also notice that Abandonment Rate and ASA are shown as a useful statistic and a useful performance metric. These two metrics can and should be used for both call center status and call center performance. These metrics will provide a true picture of performance in the call center, identify strengths and weaknesses, and help establish goals for the call center and agents. Used properly these same metrics can be used to provide an aggregate call center performance number (A single weighted number that shows how well the call center is performing, today).
  • To truly support the effort to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the agents in the call center, reporting must include call center statistics and performance metrics. Statistics tell us how we are doing right now but do not tell us how we are performing against our goals. Performance metrics show us how well we are performing but do not tell us how we are doing right now. By utilizing both statistics and performance metrics a call center manager can improve the call center. Implementing call center statistics and performance metrics in the call center can be done by having unique reporting at the agent, team leader, and manager level.
  • Agents can utilize a desktop solution that rotates through their statistics and performance. They see how they are performing and then see what they are doing right now. As they improve on the immediate issues (calls waiting, handle time, problem resolution, etc) they will see their performance improve. Agents will also benefit from seeing group statistics and performance metrics on a screen for their group.
  • Team Leaders follow the agents and the group through a web report as well as onscreen. When the group-level performance falls they are able to drill down on the web report to determine which agent(s) are falling behind and can coach them.
  • Managers utilize web based reports and mobile devices to keep tabs on the call center. They are able to determine how the center is doing against goals with the performance metrics and can drill down on the call center statistics to see which group/agent needs improvement and coaching. Staying connected while mobile gives the manager flexibility to continue to do the job while attending staff and managerial meetings.
  • Managers also are able to report to the business with a single report showing the score of the call center with a weighted scorecard approach. By selecting key performance indicators, attaching a weight to those metrics, and comparing against the goals the manager can now show the improvement and trend of the call center over time. Contact Enablx for specifics on weighted scorecards.

As a call center manager deciding on a solution to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your call center consider what is more important to your success statistics, performance metrics or both. Statistics will show you and the agents how they are doing right now and performance metrics tell you what your customers think of you and how well the center is performing against goals and targets. Contact Enablx today to learn more about improving your call center performance through the deployment of our outsourced robust contact center model.