Which are the most important call centre metrics?
Your call centre employees are at the frontline of your business. No matter what goes on behind the scenes, when it comes to the phones, your company's efforts all boil down to the interaction had between your customer and agent. In turn, you need to know exactly how your agents are performing and be able to identify areas for improvement – but which are some of the best metrics to gauge this?
Average queue time
Okay, okay, we just said that it all boils down to the interaction itself, but that very interaction is largely characterised by the queue time. If the caller is held up for a long period of time, the agent might end up with a very disgruntled customer, or, if they give up, no customer at all.
The queue time can make or break the caller's experience, meaning it should rank highly in prioritised metrics. It goes without saying, but the shorter your average queue time, the more satisfied the caller. If you find that your average queue time is long, then you can action that by either training your agents to handle calls more efficiently or perhaps introduce an alternative, such as a call-back service.
Leading nicely on from average queue time is the abandonment rate. As mentioned before, if the queue time is too long, the caller might just hang up. This is an important pain point to fix: if the customer won't stick around long enough to be connected to an agent, how will they ever experience your kick-ass customer service?
Frustrations from long queue times and consequent abandonment set a significantly negative tone for the overall customer experience. Plus, if the caller never gets the support they need, they will never be satisfied by your offering. Similarly, if they have a query about one of your products, they may never come around to purchasing. Therefore, it's in a business's best interests to keep abandonment rates to a bare minimum. There are creative ways of doing this, from upping the ring time (yes, upping it) so that they don't feel they're in the queue for as long, or by making sure you have a 🔥 fire 🔥 playlist to keep them entertained.
Average handle time
Notice a theme yet? Remember, your customers are not calling your agents for a chinwag (well, they might be). Rather, callers are calling usually because they have a problem, and they want to stop having that problem – quickly. Thus, your agents need to be able to handle problems efficiently.
By checking in with your average handle time, you can determine whether your agents are giving customers their answers quickly enough. Firstly, you want your agents trained well enough that customer queries can be answered by the first point of contact. Secondly, try to automate what queries you can. For example, some banks are able to provide customers with details such as their bank balance all through an automated service.
However, you should also just ask your agents what support they need to keep that handle time low. As useful as metrics are, they won't necessarily provide you with answers. Instead, check in with your workforce and find out how you can help them help your customers.