What are call center metrics?

Call center metrics are used to measure the operational growth of a call center or the phone channel in a contact center. Operational growth, in turn, is a key driver of financial growth for all businesses. This makes performance reporting using these metrics all the more crucial to successful management of both inbound and outbound call centers!

Call center metrics help in laying down straightforward and, more importantly, measurable goals for your agents and your operations. You can map each metric to one or more aspects in a call center — it could be the quality of customer experience you offer or the operational efficiency of your call center software. However, like in all domains, there is a huge list to choose from. Here is a glossary of the most important call center metrics and their definitions to help you get started.

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Call center agent performance metrics

Agent performance metrics track the progress of your workforce in aspects ranging from satisfaction to efficiency, and help in maximizing their performance. These are applicable to both inbound and outbound call centers.

Agent Absenteeism

Agent Absenteeism is the number of days agents are absent from work, expressed as a percentage of the total number of working days. Reporting absenteeism helps in understanding seasonal trends, workforce management styles, and accordingly optimizing staffing decisions.

Agent Attrition Rate

Agent Attrition Rate is the rate of shrinkage in size or number of employees through retirement, resignation or death. Agent attrition increases the workload for existing agents.

Agent Idle Time

Agent Idle Time is the time spent by agents waiting to answer calls. Idle time does not include After Call Work or Call Wrap-up Time. In an outbound call center, you can offer incentives to agents for staying on tasks, and thus ensure more leads are contacted.

Agent Job Satisfaction

Agent Satisfaction can be measured just like Customer Satisfaction using surveys. It is the percentage of agents that are satisfied with their work. Agent Job Satisfaction is a leading indicator for Annual Agent Turnover.

Agent Occupancy

Agent Occupancy is another term for Agent Utilization (number of hours spent handling calls divided by number of working hours). It can influence metrics like Hold Time and Average Queue Time. High Occupancy Rate is an indicator for agent burnout as well.

Agent Schedule Adherence

Agent Schedule Adherence is calculated by taking the total time an agent's status is 'available' and dividing it by the time they are scheduled to work. Not adhering to schedule can increase missed calls and Abandon Rates which can in turn affect your SLAs.

Agent Status

Agent Status indicates how long are agents typically 'Available', 'On a call', doing 'After Call Work', 'Offline' or 'Away'. Agent status is used to measure productivity and efficiency.

Agent Utilization

Agent Utilization is the average number of hours an agent spends handling calls (inbound or outbound calls), divided by their number of working hours. Agent Utilization is a good indicator of agent performance and an even better indicator of agent burnout.

Annual Agent Turnover

Annual Agent Turnover is the percentage of agents who leave your call center in a year. This call center metric helps in planning and scheduling recruitment drives and agent training programs.


Inbound call center metrics

Inbound metrics influence the most crucial parts of the customer experience your call center provides, including the time your callers have to wait for connecting with a live agent.

Average After Call Work (ACW) Time/Call Wrap-up Time

Average After Call Work Time or Call Wrap-up time tracks the average time taken by agents to perform follow-up activities after a call. Minimizing ACW gives more time for answering calls. However, over-optimization leads to deterioration in customer experience.

Average Age of Query

Average Age of Query is the average amount of time a query remains open. It tells you how often customers have to call to get the same issue resolved. Average Age of Query affects FCR (First Call Resolution) too.

Average Call Transfer Rate

Average Call Transfer Rate is number of calls transferred divided by number of calls handled. It tracks the number of calls transferred to another agent, supervisor or queue.

Average Handle Time

Average Handle Time is the sum of call duration (including hold time) and after call work divided by the total number of calls. AHT can be improved by training agents for better product knowledge as well as improving their familiarity with their call center software.

Average Speed of Answer

Average Speed of Answer is the total time spent by your customers in call queues, divided by the number of calls handled. It includes calls handled by agents and those handled by self-service options like IVR. It gives a benchmark for your agents to respond to calls in the shortest time possible.

Average Queue Time

Average Queue Time is the total time callers wait in call queues, divided by the total number of calls answered by agents. It is a great indicator of the quality of customer experience your call center provides. Using a call center software with smart escalations is a great way to cut down Average Queue Time.

Average Wait Time

Average Wait Time measures how long it takes for customers to connect with an agent in your call center. You can define how much time your callers have to wait in queue before they are sent to voicemail or offered a callback.

Call Abandonment Rate

Call Abandonment Rate or simply Abandon Rate is the total number of calls where a caller hangs up or disconnects before an agent answers. If your number of abandoned calls are higher than the number of missed calls, try removing an IVR menu from your call flow.

Call Disposition Codes

Call Disposition Codes are tags assigned by agents to each call during after call work — they could be the type of call, reasons for calling, or the end result. These tags help in analyzing and quantifying the outcome of calls.

Call Duration

Call Duration is the average length of time your agents are on call with a customer. You can optimize it by introducing IVR and other self-service options within your call flow.

Call Quality

Call Quality analysis, similar to Customer Satisfaction, is measured through feedback systems. It records the perceived quality of calls by your customers or callers, and is usually measured on a scale of 1-10. 

Churn Rate

Churn Rate is calculated monthly and annually. It is the number of customers who left your product or service during a particular time period, divided by the total number of customers you had at the beginning of that interval.

Cost per Inbound Contact

Cost per Inbound Contact is a great lagging metric for tracking the operation efficiency of your call center. It is calculated by dividing the total operational cost of your call center divided by the number of calls you receive.

Customer Retention Rate

Customer Retention Rate is closely related to Churn Rate. It tracks the difference between the total number of customers remaining with your business and the number of newly acquired customers.

Customer Satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction is measured through methods like CSAT scores. It is collected by running customer satisfaction surveys through your helpdesk or call center software. IVR systems are frequently used to collect CSAT scores.

Customer Call Frequency

Customer Call Frequency is a call center metric to track the frequency of repeated calls from the same customer. It helps in identifying issues that take multiple iterations to solve.

First Call Resolution

This is one of the most commonly used call center metrics. First Call Resolution measures the frequency of instances where a customer’s issue was resolved in the first call itself. FCR is also a great method to identify issues that can be solved by self-service options.

Forecasting Accuracy

Forecasting Accuracy measures the accuracy at which a call center manager performs activities like call volume forecasting. This helps in managing your workforce more efficiently.

Net Promoter Score

Net Promoter Score, or NPS, measures a customer's willingness to recommend your company’s product or services. Customer Support teams play a crucial role in collecting NPS.

Percentage of Calls Blocked

Percentage of Calls Blocked is the percentage of callers who received a busy tone when they called. This can be reduced by optimizing your work flows and implementing smart escalations.

Self-service Accessibility

Self-service Accessibility is calculated by tracking how many times calls chose the self-service options in your IVR instead of requesting for a live agent. One of our customers implemented a detailed answering system with IVR to improve their Self-service Accessibility.

Service Level

Service Level is the percentage of calls answered within a specified number of seconds. It is a great motivational tool for improving agent efficiency as well as plays a key part in any data-driven decision-making in call centers.

Total Calls

Total Calls is the number of calls handled by an agent in a given time period.



Outbound call center metrics

Outbound call center metrics help you assess how great you are at identifying prospective customers, and how effective your call center agents are at converting them.

After Call Work

After Call Work in outbound call centers is the average time taken by agents to perform wrap-up activities after a call. It can involve lead processing, documentation (call notes), sharing information with team members etc.

Call Attempts

Call Attempts is the number of (call) attempts made per agent, team, or campaign. A high number of Calls Attempts to a particular account, without success, indicates that the account should be removed.

Calls per Account

Calls per Account is the number of calls made to all records in an account, whether connected or otherwise. Similar to Call Attempts, a high number of Calls per Account, without success, indicates that an account can be removed.

Calls per Hour

It is the number of calls made per hour. Calls per Hour is a leading indicator of agent performance. However, a high number of calls with low Conversion Rate indicates that the agent needs to improve their pitch or figure out better timings to contact their leads.

Calls per Record

Calls per Record tracks the total number of call attempts made to reach a prospect in a specific campaign. Benchmarking Calls per Record depends on the nature and duration of your sales cycle. To report this metric more accurately, consider integrating your call center software with your CRM solution.

Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate, in call center parlance, is the percentage of calls that resulted in a positive outcome (sale, donation received, etc.). It can be improved by setting up a sales funnel, training your agents, and improving your pitches.

Cost per Contact

Call centers are traditionally considered to be cost centers. Every call made involves costs like hardware, software, salary etc. Cost per Contact is calculated by dividing the total operational cost by the total number of contacts handled.

First Call Close

First Call Close is the number of sales that made on an agent’s 'first call' with a lead or contact. Closing a sale on the first call is difficult for most businesses. However, tracking this metric helps in identifying the nature of successful sales pitches.

Hit Rate

Hit Rate is calculated by dividing the number of calls made by an agent by the number of those calls that were answered by a customer or prospect. If it is low, your list is not as accurate as it needs to be.

Hold Time

If you are using an automated dialer, your prospects maybe put on hold before they are connected to an agent. This Hold Time should be either zero or as close to zero as possible.

Leads Processed

Lead processing is one of the most important activities to be carried out during After Call Work in an outbound call center. Leads can be grouped under various tags like 'closed', 'junk', 'interested, needs more time', etc.

List Closure Rate/List Penetration Rate

List Closure Rate is the percentage of prospects that was closed in comparison to the total number of prospects in a targeted campaign. A low List Closure Rate indicates problems with the calling list, such as bad numbers or junk leads.

Revenue per Successful Call

As the name suggests, it is the revenue made per call that connects. It can be maximized through upselling, cross-selling etc. This is a key lagging metric for outbound call centers.

Total Agent Call Connects

Total Agent Call Connects is similar to Hit rate. It is the number of live calls that an agent was able to get on. A low number indicates problems with your contact list.

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