Call centers handle large numbers of interactions, including inbound and outbound calls, chats, emails, etc. Reporting metrics are critically important to properly manage a call center. Below are some of the most important call center metrics and definitions.
- The amount of time an agent or agent group is available to receive calls. The amount of time they are logged-in and available to take calls (and not in training, break or some other status that would prevent them from taking a call or some other type of interaction).
- Average Call Length
- The amount of time an average call lasts. Usually measured from the time the call arrives at a switch (or is answered by a customer in the case of an outbound call) to the time when a party to the call hangs up. Average Call Length is often calculated for a certain period of time (e.g., such as Today, or This Week, or Last Hour).
- Average Queue Before Abandon
- For abandoned calls, the average amount of time the caller was in a queue before the caller abandoned.
- Average Talk Time (“ATT”)
- The average (across a number of calls) amount of time that an agent was on a call. Average Talk Time may differ from Average Call Duration in that the Average Call Duration may include queue, IVR or other time that the agent was not on the call. Average Talk Time typically is measured over a period such as Today, This Month, Last Hour, etc.
- Average Time to Answer
- The average time a caller waits for an agent after entering a queue. Typically measured from after the caller exits from an IVR and enters a queue until the time an agent is connected.
- Average Wait Time
- The length of time that a caller must spend on hold or in a queue before the ACD is able to route the call to an available agent.
- Blocked Calls
- A count of the number of calls that were not able to be completed because the inbound call was blocked. This count is typically expressed over a period of time such as Today, Last Hour, etc.
- A count of calls made and received. Call counts may be tracked as “Inbound Calls” as well as “Outbound Calls”. Calls may be an aggregate number that includes both failed calls (such as Blocked calls) as well as successful calls (which may be expressed as “Agented Calls” or “Handled Calls”, etc.)
- Calls Offered
- The total number of calls routed to an agent. Calls Offered will include calls answered, calls paused by an agent, etc. In general, Calls Offered may be larger than Calls Answered due to technical issues (e.g., such as an agent having headset issues, an agent having station issues, or an agent who logged off or went into an unavailable status before the call could be answered).
- Calls Transferred
- The count of calls transferred (this may include calls transferred internally as well as external transfers).
- Conversion Rate
- Conversion rate is the rate at which calls (or other interactions) result in a desired outcome. The outcome is typically the sale of a product or service. For example, if 10 out of every 100 calls results in a sale of a product, the conversion rate is 10%. Conversion rates are typically calculated based on “handled” calls (and do not include abandoned calls or drops).
- Cost Per Call
- Cost Per Call (or Cost Per Contact in an omnichannel call center) is the total cost divided by the the number of calls. For example, the total cost may include agent pay plus telephony and system costs.
- Hold Time
- The amount of time that a caller is in a “hold” status. A caller may be placed on hold by an agent or by the system. Hold Time may be expressed as an average as well.
- Idle Time
- Idle Time may be tracked separately to track how unproductive agents are. Idle Time is the inverse of Busy Time.
- Max Concurrent Agents
- A count of the maximum number of agents that were logged into the system at a given time.
- Max Concurrent Calls
- The count of the maximum number of concurrent calls in a given period of time (such as Today, This Week, This Hour, etc.). The count may be expressed for the entire call center, a specific agent, or a specific campaign.
- Occupancy (also known as “utilization”) is the amount of time that an agent spends either talking or interacting with a contact or performing after call work. Occupancy is typically expressed as a percentage and is calculated by the total handle time divided by the total time logged in and available. For example, an 85% occupancy rate means that 15% of agent time is idle time waiting for calls or other work to be delivered to the agent. Managing Occupancy is critically important — too high of Occupancy rate leads to agent burnout and turnover, while too low of an Occupancy rate leads to an unprofitable call center.
- Queue Time Out
- A Queue Time Out is a system disposition of a call that failed to be delivered to an agent from a queue. Many ACDs allow call centers to set a limit on queue time (or a queue time out parameter). Often, this time is set to be 30 or 60 seconds (or longer). Call centers set queue time outs to ensure that callers are not stuck in queue for undesirably long periods of time. Many ACDs allow queue time out settings to specify where the call should be delivered in the event of a queue time out. Common delivery settings include: sending the call to voicemail, sending the call to another queue, etc.
- Roll Out Time
- The amount of time that a call is rolled out. For example, a call may be forwarded from the answering call center to another call center. The Roll Out Time is the portion of the call where the call has been rolled to another call center. Roll Out Time may be an important billing metric as it is often billed at a separate telco rate.
- Service Level
- Usually expressed as a percentage of a statistical goal. For example, if your goal is an average speed of answer of 100 seconds or less, and 80% of your calls are answered in 100 seconds or less, then your service level is 80%. Call centers in different industries have vastly different criteria for measuring successful service.
- Shrinkage is a key element of workforce planning. Shrinkage is the amount of planned off phone time expressed as a percentage. Shrinkage may be a result of absenteeism, breaks, training or team meetings.
- Talk Time
- The amount of time an agent spends placing or answering calls. Talk Time does not include queue time, IVR time, after call work, or time in other statuses (such as break, restroom, training, etc.).
- Time in Queue
- Time in Queue is also known as “queue time” and is the length of time that a call spent in an ACD queue. Typically, a call is placed in queue while the ACD searches for an agent to deliver the call to. A call center should try to reduce the time in queue. A larger time in queue typically indicates that there are insufficient agents to handle the volume of calls.