What is a Call Center?
Call center operations can provide valuable support to any business looking to scale and improve its customer service. Call centers allow businesses to handle prospects and customer inquiries more promptly and efficiently through a phone answering service. Additionally, call centers provide a channel to collect vital feedback and data, which can also improve company-wide performance.
In this article, we’ll cover the important metrics your business should know to ace customer calls and inspiring statistics to get your business started!
Which Call Center Metrics & KPIs Should My Business Track?
There are many call center metrics that local businesses should be tracking to get the most out of their call center services. To begin with, here are the top seven call center key performance indicators (KPIs) your business should be tracking today!
Customer satisfaction (CSAT)
A call center is a direct line to your customers, so call center customer satisfaction surveys should be a priority. The CSAT score shows how satisfied your customers are with your services, products, and/or overall customer service. This customer data is invaluable to understanding how your business can improve its customer service experience.
This metric measures the productivity of call center agents in real-time. The call service level calculates how many of the incoming requests are answered within a number of seconds.
Average handle time
The average handle time is a time measurement that demonstrates how long callers wait on hold, and how long it takes them to get their call answered.
First call resolution
First call resolution (FCR) is a call center metric that measures how efficiently callers are helped in the first call. This call center KPI demonstrates whether requests are being resolved without the need for transfers, escalations, or a callback.
Average speed of answer
This call center KPI measures how quickly callers are connected with a service agent. This measurement helps call centers monitor their performance and ensure customers are having their queries resolved within a specific timeframe.
Call abandonment rate
This measures how many callers hang up before their call is answered by an agent. This call center KPI demonstrates the efficiency of call center agents and can also be an indicator of customer retention rates.
After-call work time
This call center KPI evaluates the amount of time agents spend carrying out the work associated with a caller’s requests. This has a direct relation to the service being provided and the productivity of agents resolving customer issues.
Average time in queue
This call center metric is the amount of time callers spend waiting in line, or on hold, to speak to an agent. The shorter it is, the better!
10 Call Center Statistics & What They Say About the Customer Experience
- The global call center market (including contact centers) is predicted to peak at $496 billion by 2027. (Source)
- 61% of respondents claim interactive voice responses (IVR) have a negative impact on the customer experience. (Source)
- When a customer’s problem is solved on the first call, only 1% is likely to go to a competitor. (Source)
- 80% of calls answered are within 20 seconds and this number represents the global metric for service level in a call center. (Source)
- 74% of respondents have used the phone to contact customer service—email is the next popular channel at 62%. (Source)
- 78% of sales go to the vendor or business that responds first. (Source)
- 25% of customers will abandon or end the call in just 0-5 minutes of being on hold. (Source)
- More than 76% of consumers prefer the traditional contact method of phone calls to reach customer support reps. (Source)
- 60% of customers feel that long holds are the most frustrating part of a service experience. (Source)
- 9/10 customers want an omnichannel experience with seamless service between all channels. (Source)
1. The global call center market (including contact centers) is predicted to peak at $496 billion by 2027.
Call centers are offering companies a simple and effective way to improve customer service, handle more requests, and generate more qualified leads. Naturally, this will lead to a spike in call center usage and outsourcing. There are so many benefits to call centers and/or live receptionists that the global market is expected to reach almost half a trillion dollars by 2027.
This reliance on call center managers and outsourcing is only expected to grow in response to COVID-19 and the unprecedented increase in remote working. Home service businesses can take advantage of this trend and improve first contact resolution by employing call centers, too!
2. 61% of respondents claim interactive voice responses (IVR) have a negative impact on the customer experience.
IVR has resulted in companies losing $262 per customer every year. Why is that the case? IVR, though a smart form of automation, does not provide the personal touch most customers are looking for.
For local and small businesses, customer interaction is all the more critical to your success and customer relationship management (CRM) efforts. Employing live agents to manage your call volumes is smarter in the long run.
3. When a customer’s problem is solved on the first call, only 1% is likely to go to a competitor.
If an agent has fast response times and is able to solve the customer’s problem the first time, customers are less likely to leave you. Think about it—why would they need to seek out a competitor if their issue or question was resolved the first time?
Agent productivity is essential to mastering resolution rates and customer retention. When only 1% will go to a competitor if their problem is solved on the first try, it’s imperative that your call center representatives efficiently solve all incoming call requests without having to escalate the issue or return their call.
4. 80% of calls answered are within 20 seconds and this number represents the global metric for service level in a call center.
This is the benchmark time that your business should be aiming for. Your customers should not be facing long wait times. As a local business, this expectation might be even more prevalent. Customers might expect your business, whether you’re a local plumber or HVAC professional, to answer even quicker because you’re catering to a smaller location.
5. 74% of respondents have used the phone to contact customer service—email is the next popular channel at 62%.
Most customers opt to talk directly to customer support agents over messaging them. This is likely because of the speed at which their customer queries can be solved. With nearly three-fourths of your customers wanting to contact your business over the phone, it’s time to implement a live receptionist or seek help from a call center!
6. 78% of sales go to the vendor or business that responds first.
Research has shown that it’s basic sales psychology that your customers would opt for the business that responds quickest and most satisfactorily to their queries. In the call center industry, speed is a critical indicator of success.
Your business should aspire to be a step ahead of the competition by providing the answers potential and existing customers need at exactly the time they need it.
7. 25% of customers will abandon or end the call in just 0-5 minutes of being on hold.
Long hold times are a nuisance and a sign of poor customer service for all customers. The longer the wait time, the more likely you’ll see a customer drop off the call. Ensure that your call center software and agent availability is maximized to avoid losing customers to this reason.
8. More than 76% of consumers prefer the traditional contact method of phone calls to reach customer support reps.
Technology has disrupted the customer service space. More and more businesses are becoming accessible on social media and other platforms for resolving customer queries. However, for three-fourths of your customers, traditional phone support is still the go-to method.
Even if your business is focused on providing omnichannel support, make sure you’re covering all your bases and include phone support in the mix!
9. 60% of customers feel that long holds are the most frustrating part of a service experience.
More than half of your customers are frustrated by hearing the words “Please stay on hold.” It’s only natural to want to have their queries addressed as soon as possible. If your agents can’t solve their issue right away, ensure they provide the specific time in which they can. It’s best to stay transparent from the get-go with your customers about how long it will take to interact with them; in many cases, customers will be more willing to wait as long as they know!
10. 9/10 customers want an omnichannel experience with seamless service between all channels.
The age of digital marketing and automation is upon us and it’s time for your business to go above and beyond when it comes to customer support. Why? 90% of your customers expect customer service to be integrated between all channels—this includes your business’s phone support, text, website live chat, online review platforms, social media platforms and more. It’s up to your local business to provide all of this.
The good news? You don’t have to do this by yourself. Your business can get a little help and leverage tools to boost your chat services, grow your online reviews across platforms, and deliver better results with Signpost.
We understand the importance of staying accessible to your customers and answering their queries punctually. We also understand that, for a local business, it may be difficult to handle a high number of calls without the support.
That’s why we’re here to help.