10 Call Metrics That Matter Most

Call metrics help call center team managers make smarter decisions.
by
Nicholas Price

Call metrics give you a more objective way to assess your call center team’s performance. For companies using remote or distributed teams, physically sitting-in on calls isn’t an option. While good training programs will help enhance the customer experience, managers need the right tools to help guide their onboarding and teaching efforts.

A dashboard that provides a host of all the right call metrics will set you on pace to improve individual call center performance, call team performance, and the call center’s performance as a whole.

Understanding Call Metrics

Call metrics and KPIs are two terms that are connected to analyzing call data. It’s important to understand both terms as you build your call center so you can maximize your results. While the terms are intrinsically connected, there are some distinct differences between them.

Call metrics track the status of your calls. On the other hand, KPI stands for key performance indicator. Call center KPIs reflect measurable values that track performance toward your business goals. In a nutshell, call metrics track call center processes and KPIs tell you how close you are to hitting your targets.

Analytics give you a goldmine of information for running a successful call center. There is so much to gain when you learn which metrics to follow and how to set goals for KPIs. The right software solutions help you track the metrics that provide the greatest amount of insight in real-time, regardless of the teams location.

Advanced call metrics and KPIs give you specific insight to target areas for improvement, which will help your business overall. The right data is extremely beneficial for your call agents too because it gives you detailed information about each call agent’s performance and valuable insight as to how they handle calls. The right data helps you form the basis for giving each call agent specific feedback and work with them to make regular progress toward meeting established goals.  

There are so many insights that you can gain from call metrics and so many ways to use the data you collect, so we’ll focus next on the top 10 metrics that are most important for your business.  

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What Metrics Should You Be Tracking?

There’s no doubt that a well-performing call center is the key to addressing your callers’ needs professionally and expediently. You’ll be well on your way to improving your call centers’ performance when you track and evaluate the following call metrics and KPIs. 

  1. Average call length

  2. This metric is helpful for understanding how long your call agents spend on an average call. It’s most useful when you use it to establish a baseline for call length that prevents wasting time and still allows enough time for call agents to deliver personalized service and resolve customer issues professionally.
  3. Number of calls answered

  4. Use this metric to identify which call agents are answering too many or too little calls. When you know the average number of calls each agent can answer, you can better plan to scale up or down and plan more accurately for peak periods.
  5. Average speed of answer

  6. While customers prefer phone contact, they’re not always patient. Callcentrehelper.com states that the industry standard is for call center agents to answer 80% of calls within 20 seconds. If you’re already there, the next goal could be to answer 90% of calls within 15 seconds.
  7. Average wait times

  8. The 2019 eCommerce Customer Experience Study showed that 89% of customers will drop off the line if they have to wait up to five minutes. If your calls aren’t being answered quickly enough or customers are waiting too long on hold, it may be time to hire more call agents, add shifts, or shift your resources.  
  9. Number of missed calls

  10. A missed call is a missed opportunity to resolve a problem or make a sale. Even if customers use an alternative channel to contact you, if it’s too difficult for customers to reach you, they’ll be irritated when they make contact. Too many missed calls could mean it’s time to scale, answer calls more quickly, or shorten the average length of calls.  
  11. Average amount of time to return a missed call

  12. If you miss a call, you can call a customer back. A quick callback may relieve some of a customer’s frustration. You’re apt to lose the loyalty of callers that feel ignored.
  13. Conversion rate

  14. This metric tell you how many calls it takes to make a sale. Additionally, you can use it to pinpoint training issues for salespeople that are struggling.
  15. First-call resolution

  16. This metric tells you whether customers are getting help on the first call. If the percentage is too low, using call routing or an IVR can help route calls to someone that can help right from the start.
  17. Customer call frequency

  18. Customers that call repeatedly usually have a problem they need help with. Too many calls about the same problem give you a place to target for improvement.

The Importance of Call Center Agent Performance Metrics

Solid, reliable metrics are essential for measuring the quality of your call center and putting it on course for improvement. The right data will tell you what your call agents are doing, how timely they’re doing it, and whether their performance is having a positive impact on your business. 

Your cloud-based phone system conveniently collects all the right data automatically on the program’s dashboard. The dashboard gives you a single source of data. Also, it eliminates the hassle of updating multiple spreadsheets where there’s the potential for errors. Manual processes can really be a problem as your call volume increases.

It takes seconds to pull up all call metrics on your dashboard, and you can switch between reports with ease. A cloud phone dashboard offers a holistic way to view call center quality and you can monitor your call center’s performance against your company goals.  

In addition to helping you run a quality operation, call center metrics are a good way to inspire job satisfaction among your employees. Call metrics give you concrete data to share with your call agents. Call metrics are objective. They’re not based on anyone’s opinion, and the data speaks for itself.

Optimizing Call Center Performance

According to Search Engine Journal, about 65% of customers still prefer contacting your business by phone. That fact stands in sharp contrast to the 24% of people that prefer to fill out a contact form and wait for a response. Optimizing your call center performance allows you to meet customers on the right channel without wait times that exceed expectations. 

A cloud-based phone system offers dashboard analytics to help you collect data and use the system’s features to improve call data. 

These tips will help you optimize call center metrics:

  • Use call recording to identify trouble areas for call length.
  • Be clear with call agents on goals and expectations for call metrics.
  • Utilize call whispering and call monitoring to help train call agents.
  • Call barging is used to help resolve complex problems or repeat customer calls.
  • Use automated surveys to find out which metrics need improvement.
  • Cut down on call volume by using call routing, IVR, or both.
  • Increase outbound calls by using click-to-dial or power dialing.
  • Use call queue and queue callback to prevent missed calls and improve callback times.
  • Use the live feed to get a real-time snapshot of your call center in action. This helps you identify struggling call agents, shift resources, and scale.
  • Combine metrics to evaluate individual and team performances.

Pros and Cons of Collecting Advanced Call Metrics 

If you ask your customers what they like or dislike about your call center, they’re usually eager to tell you. Automated surveys and cloud-based phone system analytics give you most of what you need to know about your call center performance. Check out the following pros and cons of your call metrics. This will give you realistic expectations for how to use them. 

PROS

  • Easier and faster than collecting data manually
  • Helps you identify what’s lacking in the customer experience
  • Helps you identify loyal customers-sets up cross-selling and upselling opportunities
  • Identifies weaknesses in your communication channels
  • Helps identify opportunities for training
  • Helps you improve processes to enhance the customer experience
  • Improvements in customer service and increased sales will increase revenue

CONS

  • Data doesn’t always reflect the proper context
  • Automated surveys may not reflect customer demographics accurately
  • Some customers only respond when they have a complaint (surveys skew negative)

With Aircall, you can more easily overcome the cons to using advanced analytics.

When you use Aircall, you get access to all the right phone system features to evaluate inbound and outbound calls whether you have direct oversight over your call agents or you’re using remote or distributed teams. The right call metrics will help you to assess individual call agent performance. Additionally, call metrics give you insight into the big picture of how your call center is performing overall. More importantly, the right call metrics give you the data you need to make improvements fast.   

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