As a business owner, you’re always looking for ways to improve your business. The only way you can do that is by measuring your business’ performance — otherwise, you’ll have no way of knowing if you’re on the right track to success or headed straight to failure.
Different businesses measure performance through different key performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs may even be different for different departments of the same business.
That said, if you’re using a call center to generate leads or handle customer service, it’s important to track the performance of your outbound calls by tracking very specific KPIs. This will allow you to fine-tune your calling strategy and get better results.
In the following sections, we’ll cover 13 important and valuable metrics that you should track to get the most out of your outbound call center.
But first, some basics. 👇
An outbound call center is a contact center that makes outgoing calls to customers on behalf of a business. The purpose of an outbound call center is usually to sell products or services, gather customer feedback, or provide customer support.
In other words, outbound call centers are businesses that provide customer service or sales over the phone. They differ from inbound call centers, where customers initiate contact with the company.
💡 Additional read: What Are Outbound Call Centers and Why Do They Matter?
KPIs help businesses measure their progress towards specific goals. In other words, KPIs tell you whether you’re on track to reach your business goals and objectives or not. This makes choosing KPIs an integral part of business planning because they must be defined precisely when setting measurable goals.
There are different types of KPIs depending on what you need to measure. The three most common are:
Financial KPIs are common to all types of businesses and measure basically the same thing across different industries. When considering metrics for an outbound call center, the more specific metrics are those related to the three other types namely, customer, operational, and employee KPIs.
The following sections cover the 13 most important KPIs to track within these three categories.
Occupancy rate (OR) is a direct measure of a call center employee’s productivity. It measures the number of time agents spends on calls as a fraction of the total time they’re logged into the system.
In other words, it measures the proportion of the available time to handle calls that they actually spend on calls with customers.
It’s important to track this metric because it indicates how efficiently your agents work. The ideal occupancy rate will vary depending on the type of outbound call center, but in general, you should aim for an OR between 70% and 80%.
There are two ways to calculate OR:
The first method is better for flexible call centers with a partially or fully remote team since it’s not easy to estimate the total time available to take calls if an agent works from home and isn’t always logged into the system.
Average Handle Time (AHT) is the average time an agent spends on a call from start to finish. It’s important to track this metric because it indicates how effectively your agents handle calls. AHT is directly related to productivity since shorter calls mean that agents can handle more calls per hour.
AHT is the sum of three components, namely, talk time, hold time, and after-call work time divided by the number of calls. The formula to calculate this metric is:
The ideal AHT will vary depending on the type of outbound call center and each call’s goal, but in general, you should aim for an AHT of between 2 and 5 minutes.
This metric is the average time an agent spends on post-call work after each customer interaction. This might include documentation, data entry, and follow-up tasks. It’s important to track this metric because it indicates how much non-productive time your agents spend on each call.
The formula to calculate this metric is:
The AAWT will vary wildly depending on the use of technology to make after-call work easier and faster. The use of speech-to-text software that automatically transcribes the call, AI tools for call sentiment analysis, and a good CRM software can help optimize the process and reduce this metric to less than a minute.
Call quality is a more subjective metric, yet there are ways to measure quality. It boils down to how you define a good-quality call and a bad one.
A good way to measure quality is by using a call monitoring system that allows you or a supervisor to listen to calls and grade them according to a pre-defined set of criteria. Alternatively, you can do this yourself by randomly listening to recorded calls and grading them yourself, or you can simply read the automatically generated transcripts of the calls at a later time.
AI-powered sentiment analysis can also be used to analyze the call and extract useful insights.
The criteria you use to grade calls will depend on your goals for each call, but in general, you should look for things like whether the agent was polite, whether they addressed all of the customer’s concerns, and whether they were able to upsell or cross-sell products.
The first call resolution (FCR) rate is the percentage of calls that are resolved or turn into a sale on the first try. This metric indicates how effectively your agents handle calls and whether they can resolve customer issues quickly without spending time and money on one or more follow-up calls.
The formula for calculating this metric is:
Depending on the type of outbound call center you run, the FCR rate can be very low or very high.
A call center’s conversion rate is the percentage of calls that result in a sale, a resolution, or some other desired outcome.
It’s important to track this metric because it indicates how effective your agents are at achieving the goal of each call.
It doesn’t matter if your call center handles hundreds of calls daily if those calls don’t lead to any success. CR measures how likely a call is to be successful in achieving its goal.
For example, if you’re in the credit cards business, the desired outcome could be upselling a premium rewards card to a current customer, or getting them to book their vacation through the issuer’s travel platform.
The formula to calculate the conversion rate is:
CPC is the average amount of money you spend on each customer call.
It’s important to track this metric because it indicates how efficiently your outbound call center operates. To calculate this metric, simply divide your monthly call center costs by the number of calls made that month:
The CPC will vary depending on the size of your call center, the type of calls being made, and the use of technology.
Call Forecast Accuracy is the percentage of calls that are correctly forecasted. This metric is important because it indicates the accuracy of your call center’s forecasting system. If your call center is overstaffed or understaffed, it can lead to inefficiencies and a higher CPC.
The formula to calculate this metric is:
Improving your CFA goes through improving your historical call data and trying different forecasting methods to see which one gives the best agreement between the forecasted number of calls and the actual number of calls each period.
Service Level is the percentage of calls answered within a certain amount of time. This metric is important because it indicates how quickly your call center can answer customer calls.
To calculate Service Level, use the following formula:
It’s generally accepted that the industry standard for SL is set by the 80/20 rule, meaning that 80% of all calls should be answered within 20 seconds. Others prefer to aim for 90/30 or answer 90% of calls within 30 seconds.
Churn Rate usually refers to the percentage of customers who discontinue using your product or service within a given period of time.
The formula to calculate the customer churn rate is:
In the case of outbound call centers, this metric is called abandonment rate and refers to the percentage of customers who hang up before the agent reaches their goal.
This metric is important because it indicates how satisfied customers are when they speak to an agent and how well your call center retains customers.
In many industries, the smaller players compete with bigger fish by providing better, more personalized phone support. It’s one of the few ways that a small-time cryptocurrency exchange from Australia can compete with a behemoth like Binance, for example.
To ensure they’re doing things right, they’ll track their call center’s CCR to ensure their customers are satisfied with the service. A high CCR can indicate poor customer service, leading to a decline in sales.
ASR is the percentage of outbound calls answered by the right person. It measures how effective your call center is at reaching its target audience and is also a good way to measure how good your customer list’s contact information is.
To calculate ASR, use the following formula:
ASR is important because it’s a good indicator of the quality of your customer list. If your ASR is low, it could be indicative of outdated or incorrect contact information. Therefore, it can help you identify pitfalls in your customer data acquisition process.
First Response Time is the amount of time it takes for an agent to contact a customer after the customer has made initial contact with the company. This metric is important because it indicates how quickly your call center can respond to customer inquiries.
FRT can be calculated by subtracting the time of initial contact from the time of first contact with an agent:
This metric is important because it’s a good indicator of the overall efficiency of your call center. If your FRT is too long, it could indicate problems with your call center’s staffing or call routing.
To improve your FRT, you can train your agents to handle customer inquiries more quickly, or you can try routing calls to agents who are more likely to be available.
The CSAT is a metric that measures how satisfied customers are with the service they received from your call center. It’s generally measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest score.
CSAT can be calculated and tracked by surveying your customers after interacting with your call center. You can get feedback and ask them to rate their satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 5.
Call center KPIs are important metrics to track because they can give you insight into what’s right and wrong with your call center.
By tracking these KPIs, you can identify areas that need improvement and make changes to improve the overall efficiency of your call center. This will help you better serve your customers and improve your bottom line.
For more of such tips and advice, check out these resources!👇
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