Important Call Center Metrics To Keep on Your Radar

Important Call Center Metrics To Keep on Your Radar

 When partnering with an outsourced call center, there are important call center metrics to keep on your radar. This blog explains the metrics that will help you monitor the overall performance of your call center agents.

Key Points 

  • Call center metrics help you gauge the overall effectiveness of your outsourced customer service team.
  • There are many types of call center metrics, and the ones worth measuring depend on your business and campaign efforts.
  • Each call center has its own way of measuring performance, but four common call center metrics are considered industry standards.
  • Some common contact center KPIs to keep on your radar include average call abandonment rate, percentage of calls blocked, the average time in queue, and first call resolutions.

What Are Call Center Metrics?

Call center metrics help you gauge the overall effectiveness of your outsourced customer service team. By keeping track of metrics like agent performance, productivity, and other activities, you can ensure your center operates efficiently, resulting in increased customer satisfaction and revenue for your organization.

How Is Call Center Efficiency Measured?

Outsourced call centers manage a wide range of data from various platforms, focusing on different business processes and using metrics to monitor the data efficiently. There are many types of call center metrics, and the ones worth measuring depend on your business and campaign efforts. For example, a call center specializing in direct response services might measure fundraising and donation metrics.

Call Center Metrics—Industry Standards

Each call center has its own way of measuring performance, but there are four common call center metrics considered industry standards for measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) that reveal customer satisfaction insights:

  • Customer experience
  • Agent productivity
  • Call initiation
  • Call center operations

By making sure your outsourced call center measures these four areas, you can rest assured that your agents are maximizing customer satisfaction and maintaining high performance.

Contact Center KPIs To Keep on Your Radar

Below are some common contact center KPIs to keep on your radar:

Average Call Abandonment Rate

The average call abandonment rate is the percentage of callers who hang up before connecting with a call center agent. By tracking the average number of calls abandoned, agents can develop new strategies to connect with callers before they hang up.

Percentage of Calls Blocked

This call center metric calculates the number of inbound callers who receive a busy tone. Calls are typically blocked due to a lack of agent availability. Contact centers use this KPI to ensure staff volumes are high enough to meet the needs of inbound callers.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score

The CSAT score tells you how satisfied a customer is with your product, service, or the agent they connected with. Typically measured by conducting customer surveys, the CSAT score is a leading KPI of loyalty and long-term revenue for your business. The score is often based on the following customer satisfaction levels:

  • Very satisfied
  • Satisfied
  • Not satisfied
  • Very unsatisfied

Average Time in Queue

The average time in queue measures how long inbound callers wait in call queues before being connected to an agent. Contact centers use this number to lower queue waiting times by hiring more agents or developing ways to reduce call lengths on individual calls.

Service Level

The service level call center metric monitors agent productivity in real time based on the percentage of calls answered within a specific number of seconds.

Average Speed of Answer

The average speed of answer call center metric is the average time it takes for agents to answer calls within a specific amount of time. The quicker calls are answered, the better the average speed of answer.

Average Handle Time

This metric tracks the average time it takes for an agent to complete a call, starting from when they pick up the phone to when they disconnect the call.

Average After-Call Work Time

This call center metric measures the average time it takes for agents to complete their work post call. This includes tasks like updating the system, logging the reason for the customer contacting the call center, and scheduling follow-up calls.

First Call Resolutions

First call resolutions track the percentage of calls in which the contact center agent addresses customer issues without transferring, escalating, or returning the call at a later time. If your outsourced call center has a good track record of first call resolutions, it’s a good sign that their agents are skilled at helping customers efficiently the first time they call in.

Occupancy Rates

Occupancy rates measure how much time agents spend on live calls or finishing work related to those calls.

When working with an outsourced call center, it’s important to take note of common challenges that agents and staff must overcome.

We Help You Track Important Call Center Metrics

Other call centers lack the understanding and awareness to track KPIs with a comprehensive reporting system. As an industry leader in bilingual call center services, ListenTrust’s experienced agents establish common contact center KPIs with you, helping you understand the importance of different performance metrics and how they yield success for your business.

We start by creating an optimized dashboard where you can review your metrics as they improve. Our team knows that every call impacts your metrics—that’s why we use a robust reporting system with high visibility that updates KPIs in real time. Our experienced account executives relay everything you need to know about our performance metrics, from excellent service KPIs to key areas of improvement. Contact us today to learn more about how we help you track important call center metrics to achieve optimum performance.

How To Improve Call Center Agent Performance 

How To Improve Call Center Agent Performance 

Key Points for Improving Call Center Performance

  • IVR is a tool that collects information from the caller before they’re connected to an agent to improve call center performance and increase customer satisfaction.
  • Blocking undesirable phone numbers and using comprehensive IVR menu options are two ways you can improve call center agent performance.
  • Outsourced contact centers that offer continuous training for their employees increase productivity and agent performance.
  • Another way to improve call center agent performance is motivating agents with user-friendly technology, including sales software, productivity metric reporting systems, CRMs, and help desk tools.
  • Service level, average abandonment rate, average speed to answer, first-call resolution rate, and average call duration are important metrics call centers should keep on their radar to improve call center agent performance.
  • You can improve call center agent performance by rewarding successful agents with bonuses, increased salaries, or tokens of appreciation.

Improve Call Center Agent Performance With These Tips

Whether you’re already using an outsourced call center to help grow your business or looking for a new center to help with your needs, here are a few ways that quality companies improve call center agent performance. That way, you can look for key indicators that you’ve chosen the right company:

Use Interactive Voice Response To Segment Customers

Poor inbound call distribution can harm call center performance. That’s why it’s common for contact centers to implement interactive voice response (IVR) to increase call center productivity. IVR is a tool that collects information from the caller before they’re connected to an agent. The information is shared with the agent in real time, so when the customer connects with a live representative, they get a solution faster and agents are free to resolve more complex customer problems.

Eliminate Avoidable Calls

Another way to improve call center agent performance is eliminating avoidable calls by:

  • Blocking undesirable phone numbers
  • Publishing FAQs on your website
  • Using a comprehensive IVR menu

When you eliminate calls that don’t require immediate attention, agents have more time to make customers connections on calls that benefit your business, increasing call center productivity.

Offer Continuous Training

Outsourced contact centers that offer continuous training for their employees increase productivity and agent performance. Many continuous training programs give team members the resources they need to resolve customer service issues—like how to communicate with angry customers—and grow their product and service knowledge. Training programs are also an opportunity to provide agents with individual feedback using call monitoring tools.

Monitor Calls and Share Best Practices

Call monitoring tools allow new and experienced agents alike to learn best practices for resolving customer problems. Many centers hold training sessions where they offer good and bad customer engagement examples to reinforce positive customer interactions, pushing team members to improve performance.

Empower Agents With the Best Technology

Another way to improve call center agent performance is motivating agents with user-friendly and innovative technology, including sales software, productivity metric reporting systems, CRMs, and help desk tools. Using the best technology that’s easy to navigate eliminates IT-related frustrations and motivates agents to excel in their roles.

Monitor and Analyze Your Metrics

Monitoring and analyzing productivity metrics is an excellent way to increase productivity and performance. For example, service level, average abandonment rate, average speed to answer, first-call resolution rate, and average call duration are all important metrics call centers should keep on their radar to make sure performance and productivity are always improving.

Reward Successful Agents

Research shows that 69% of employees would work harder if they were recognized for their efforts. You can improve call center agent performance by rewarding successful agents with bonuses, increased salaries, or tokens of appreciation for their hard work, like a gift certificate to their favorite coffee shop or fast food restaurant. Even a small gesture goes a long way.

Make Data-Driven Changes

The final way to improve call center agent performance is to make changes based on real-time data and metrics. By reviewing data regularly to uncover problems related to agent performance, you can help employees adjust their customer service approach, resulting in improved performance and productivity.

There are different types of call centers that operate in unique ways to help businesses grow, from inbound and outbound to automated centers.

Using Call Center Performance Management To Increase Productivity

ListenTrust uses call center performance management to increase productivity for your business. Our performance management process starts at the recruiting level, where we take the time to find employees who have what it takes to be successful as a call center agent.

During the hiring process, each candidate is asked to complete a personality and skill assessment so we can get an idea of their work ethic, skills, and behavior to make the right recruitment decisions. Our efficient process ensures that by the time an agent begins training and onboarding, they already have the foundation to succeed at ListenTrust—that’s where ListenTrust University comes into play.

ListenTrust University: Our Call Center Performance Management Training Program

ListenTrust University is our company training program that connects team members with coaches and trainers who provide feedback and areas of improvement for call center agents. This program also gives our employees the opportunity to understand specific clients and business needs.

Other ways we improve call center agent performance include QA processes like live and recorded call audits and email reviews. We point out the good and the bad, using examples of best practices executed by successful agents and not-so-great customer interactions to improve call center performance in the future. Contact us today to learn more about how we increase call center productivity to help your business succeed.

Types of Customers & How to Approach Each One

Types of Customers & How to Approach Each One

Call Center

We are all customers at some point, and we all expect different things from our shopping experience. Some prefer to browse alone, while others need constant help and assistance to be happy. IT’s important to know what your customers want, and meet those expectations every time. Let’s explore 7 common types of customers, and how to approach each one with the biggest chances of a successful interaction and ideally, a sale!

1. Lookers & Browsers

Lookers are browsing your site or store, and are likely pricing out the different options. They are interested in a product, but haven’t chosen it yet. Dealing with lookers, means making your site or store look as attractive and intriguing as possible. Make sure your copy is compelling and innovative. Remove obstacles like pop-ups, ads and even AI chat-bots, as this can turn people off to your site.

2. Discount Hunters

93% of shoppers use coupons or coupon codes to get discounts each year. These customers want what they want, and they are seeking out the best price. While you can’t always offer the best price, you can give them added benefits that might overcome this issue. Make sure they understand the value in your product, by making your copy and prices clear. Show them the many benefits you offer, like excellent customer service or even free shipping.

3. Impulse Buyers

Impulse buyers have no plan, but do have a credit card and they are ready to use it. The best way to deal with impulse buyers, is to create a seamless experience for them, removing all obstacles. These shoppers love time-sensitive deals and crisp compelling copy, that makes up their mind for them.

4. Switchers

These customers are already involved with a competitor, and are finding their service wanting. They want to consider you as an alternative, and you must make this easy. First, determine what your competition is doing to turn off their customers, and then fill that gap within your own organization. These customers are looking for a long-term relationship, so show them how easy it is to work with you with great customer service and value for their money.

5. At-Risk Customers

58% of American consumers will leave a company due to poor customer service. These customers have purchased your product, but have abandoned it because they lost interest, went to the competition or got into something new. These customers can be identified by the amount of time between log-ins or purchases. To fix this issue, get in touch with them personally to ask what they need. This type of customer generally is open to discussion of their issues and pain points, and letting your fix them if you can.

6. Referrals

Referral customers come to you through a loyal customer, and expect great things of your service, before even using it. The loyal customer has made the sale, and know you need to live up to their expectations and the new customer expectations. Have a clear onboarding plan for these new customers, making the experience as smooth as possible. Referral customers love interaction and even first-time discounts, and when treated well, are sure to be your next loyal customers.

7. Unhappy or Dissatisfied

These customers are the most difficult to handle, and are not happy with you. You can find them in call centers, making complaints, and even putting negative reviews on social media. Deal with these customers carefully by taking them seriously. Reply to their comments on social media, using kindness and professionalism. Follow up with them after first contact to make sure you solved the issue. It’s critical that you are empathetic with these customers, and think of how you’d like to be treated in the same situation.

Every customer is different and has different needs. It’s important to tailor your services, products and communication to each type of customer, to achieve the best result. For help categorizing and optimizing for the best customer experience, contact the experts at ListenTrust today.

How To Improve Call Center Agent Performance 

Different Types Of Call Centers: Inbound, Outbound, Automated — What They Are & Which Is Best For Your Business.

Different Types Of Call Centers

A call center is often the first contact a customer has with your business, and it’s critical that you choose the right kind of call center for your needs, and the needs of your customer. There are many different types of call centers, key among them inbound, outbound and automated call centers. What sets each type of call center apart, and how do you choose the right one? Let’s explore each type of call center and how they operate.

Inbound, Outbound & Automated Call Centers

Inbound call centers are commonly used to answer calls from customers as they come in. Tasks associated with inbound call center agents include payments, follow-up, tech support and basic help questions and answers.

Outbound call centers are responsible for outreach to customers, often with a specific purpose, and are sometimes called telemarketers. Using an outbound call center is great in situations where you need more lead generation, cold calling or even survey data from customers. This is also a great option if you want to do proactive outreach to customers.

Automated call centers greet customers with recorded messages and funnel them through a series of easy questions, in an effort to send them to the right representative or department of the company

Examples of Call Center by Industry

Every industry has different needs , and choosing the right call center is critical to meeting those needs. For example, the airline industry typically needs customer service agents with access to flight status, frequent flyer balances and a while array of information for each call. Healthcare call centers need to be able to set appointments, direct customers to the right physician, and know when to direct patients directly to the hospital. Retail needs agents who can facilitate a refund or return, or answer questions about company policy. No matter the unique needs of your particular business or industry, there is a call center to meet them.

The Importance of Call Centers

A Microsoft survey found that 90% of Americans factor in customer service when choosing a company to do business with. There are many reasons a company might choose to work with a call center. Perhaps they aren’t able to deliver the customer service that they want too, or they are getting too many calls per day, monopolizing time and resources. Call centers can free up staff to focus on more productive tasks, over fielding calls. In addition, most call centers operate 24 hours, meaning customers will always have a basic level of support. After you’ve decided what type of call center you will employ, it’s time to decide which service is right for your business . There are several elements to take into account when choosing a call center.

  • Size – Does the call center have enough staff to meet your business needs?
  • Security – Does your chosen call center have a good reputation and security practices to protect both company and customer data?
  • Cost – How much will the call center cost, and will you see a return on your investment? Will you use dedicated or shared agents, and how does this affect your business?
  • Experience – How long has the call center been in business and what industries have the worked with in the past? How does the call center handle reporting and data regarding day to day operations?
  • Location – Is your call center on-shore or overseas, and what languages will your call center agents speak fluently? Will agents be able to effectively communicate with your customers, leaving them satisfied after the call?

For more information on call centers, and how you can use them to boost your business and productivity, contact ListenTrust today.

Common Call Center Challenges & How to Overcome Them

Common Call Center Challenges & How to Overcome Them

Call Center Challenges

Call centers can be tough to manage, with an array of agents, scripts, clients, hours and languages. They are also a quickly growing market, expected to peak at $496 billion by 2027. When considering implying or building your own call center, it’s important to look at the common challenges associated with call centers, and how others have overcome them to create a successful and productive work environment that customers and staff appreciate.

A call center is where you expect to get answers, fast. Agents should have access to your data, and the answers you need – and they need it fast. In short, there are two main reasons to create a call center: Customer service and satisfaction and to generate more revenue. Let’s explore some of the most common call center challenges, and how they can be overcome!

1. Technology Issues

There is so much technology available for the modern call center, it’s hard to know where to start. CRM systems, management tools, auto or predictive diallers, and IVR solutions are just a few of the options you have when setting up a call center. It’s important to get the right, complementary technology that works together seamlessly, with no delay. Many call centers find that they have deployed too much technology without testing its usability, or that they aren’t making effective use of the technology they do have. The solution is simple – test out all technology thoroughly before deploying it, and work out all the bugs before your agents start using it with customers.

2. Customer Satisfaction

You could say that if your call center is suffering from low customer satisfaction, you don’t have a good call center. Customers dislike many things about call centers. Sometimes the scripts are uncomfortable and unnatural, technology slow or staff unprofessional. Sometimes staff simply isn’t trained well or doesn’t have access to the data they need to please customers and answer their questions. To fix this issue, train your staff carefully, and consider running customer satisfaction surveys, to see where you can improve. Ask your staff and customers for feedback to identify problems early.

3. Absenteeism & Unreliability

Call centers are tough places to work. You are presented with unhappy customers and issues daily, and it takes an endless amount of patience and empathy to get it right. This stress creates an environment where staff call our or leave frequently. This has become an especially big issue since the “Great Resignation” of 2021. To fix this issue, enforce strong policies around absenteeism. Be flexible with your employees with family or health issues that might cause them to be out. Some are even setting up call center employees in their own homes. Use the same empathy that you expect of your call center employees, when dealing with their personal issues (that we all deal with).

4. Productivity

A common issue with call centers is agent productivity. With a large staff, some potentially working from home, how do you track agent productivity and how do you encourage your staff? Some are overcoming this issue by establishing clear key performance indicators, or KPIs, or deploying remote agent management tools. Finally, you can’t ignore the importance of moral on a productive work environment. Find ways to motivate your staff to give excellent customer service each and every time by offering rewards, accommodations or even prizes. Recognize excellence in your staff, and elevate that person to train others.

Consumers are trending toward a huge appreciation of good customer service, with so much bad customer service available, and 80% of Americans say that a positive customer experience depends on speed, convenience, knowledge and friendliness. We are relying on call centers more and more, but without equipping your staff with the right technology and the best policies and management, you are setting yourself up for failure. Ultimately, all that matters is that you are pleasing your customers, and solving their issues – and prioritizing your customers means focusing on your staff and internal practices first.

For more information on common issues call centers face, and how to overcome them, contact ListenTrust today.

Benefits of Call Center Scripts & Best Practices

Benefits of Call Center Scripts & Best Practices

Call Center Script

Call centers are your greatest asset when providing excellent, one-on-one customer service, in an increasingly digital world. Customers will often never even visit your store in person, meaning their only interaction with your company will be online or through the phone. It’s important to maintain high customer service standards in your call center, to ensure every customer is dealt with fairly, kindly and quickly. Let’s explore how several professional call center script best practices can help you take the leap into world-class customer service.

What is a Call Center Script?

Call center conversation scripts are a pre-written guide, prepared with helpful information vital to successful customer service calls. Providing your call center agents with a well-written script is an easy way to train your call center representatives to deal with difficult customers, or to simply solve issues quickly and professionally. The use of a call center script is proven to reduce errors, and gives the agent the confidence and information to effectively guide customers through any process. Call center call scripts are also great for cold calling operations, as they make it easy and fluid to ask for customer information. But where do you start when developing an excellent call center script? Many companies choose to outsource to, or partner with, a professional call center service like ListenTrust, taking advantage of their years of experience, tried-and-tested scripts and superior call center technology.

7 Benefits of Call Center Scripts

Organization and uniformity are elements all companies hope to associate with their brand, and the right call center conversation script provides just that to your callers. Let’s take a moment to discuss the many benefits of creating a professional call center script, some of which might even surprise you!

1. Form a Better Impression

You have just moments to make a good impression when working in a call center. Most customers call with an issue or pressing question, and it’s important they are greeted with uniformity each time they call. When customers are greeted with professionalism and know they can expect excellent service when they call, they are more likely to be flexible, open up to the representative, and share more information. You have even less time to impress potential customers on a cold call, making it vital that you don’t simply launch into a sales script. Professionally researched and written call center scripts will help your customer service team make the best impression possible, every time they pick up the phone.

2. Promote Consistency

Consistency is important to the reputation of any company. Call center scripts provide a standard level of consistency, ensuring your reps have all the information they need for each call. When written and implemented correctly, a call center script can be designed to ensure you receive critical information at the beginning of the call, helping ensure all customers get the same advice, no matter what agent they speak to. This type of uniformity also helps speed up the customer service process, ensuring that each agent always has the answers they need right in front of them.

3. Improve Productivity & Effectiveness

Many businesses are asking themselves, how does using call center script improve your overall productivity and effectiveness? While empathy is important to customers, they also want their issue solved quickly and effectively. Call center conversation scripts help agents ask the right questions to get to the root of the issue fast. Having a well written call center script will improve productivity exponentially, by ensuring the answers to the most common questions, or solutions to the most common issues, are visible and available at all times. The longer call center representatives use their script, the more material they will remember, eventually making them your most valuable call center resource.

4. Boost Confidence

Agents are simply more confident when they have a call center call script or guidelines to follow. Instead of worrying about crafting the perfect response, agents can use their script to address the customer, while they get ahead of the issue. Ensuring that critical information is readily available for call center reps means they will sound more relaxed and in-control to customers, who will then trust their answers and solutions. Dealing with customer issues and complaints can be stressful, but a well written script takes away an extra stress of coming up with responses on the fly, making agents sound more professional and confident.

5. Lessen Mistakes

33% of consumers say a good customer service experience is strongly linked to resolving their issue in one single interaction, no matter how long it takes. We all make mistakes, but in a call center, when you have just moments to solve an issue and make an impression, it’s important to get it right the first time. Call center scripts help agents move smoothly past common issues and problems, and solve customer issues immediately. When agents fumble, mumble or give the wrong information, customer confidence drops like a stone, and scripts keep this from happening.

6. Reduce Training Time

Good customer service teams take the time to continuously train their representatives, helping them practice their responses in a stress-free environment. Scripts reduce the amount of time you must devote to training your team on the basics, and commonly asked questions, letting you focus your training on fine-tuning their sales or customer service skills. Great call center scripts allow agents to learn while doing, organically decreasing the time it takes to solve customer issues or make sales.

7. Improve Call Performance & Customer Satisfaction

Good call center scripts are developed based on past call performance and customer satisfaction. Be sure to review calls for good and bad elements, and bring these to the attention of the team, so they can learn. Take examples of great performance, and steadily incorporate the lessons learned into your script, which should evolve and grow as needed. Looking for guidance or a script-developing guru? For professional help crafting a customer-winning script, contact the experts at ListenTrust today.

Call Center Script Best Practices

Now that we know the clear benefits of using a call center script, we must explore the methodology behind scripting, and what elements to carefully consider when considering how to script within a call center environment.

Make it Concise & Skimmable

As the goal is to make information as readily available to representatives as possible, make sure the script is simply written, easy to read, and skimmable. The script should be simple enough for agents to eventually memorize, but should also contain all relevant information, without glossing over issues. If agents must pause, or put the customer on hold to find information, you’ve defeated the purpose of having the script. Try using bullet points, or create easy to read charts, to help agents identify and address issues quickly without the need to pause, search and read.

Revise it Often

Customer service standards and expectations change daily, and your business processes should be changing in tandem. Through trial and error, you will discover what types of issues your customers are having the most often, and what resolutions are the most effective. Your script should shift and change often, as customer needs evolve. Call centers are a valuable source of data on how customers are using and receiving their products and services. As your business uses this data to update or improve processes or products, you should be able to adapt your script to deal with new issues, or the most current questions.

Make them Adaptable

Call center scripts are not one-size-fits-all, and should be adapted for each customer and situation. Having different scripts available will help agents quickly assist customers, and will ensure a better customer experience. Take into account an agent personality when adapting scripts. If your agent sounds unnatural or forced with the script you’ve provided, work with them to adapt the script to a format that sounds more natural to them.

Be Flexible

Scripts are a critical element of setting up a productive and organized call, not a hard-and-fast rule for every agent and business. Encourage agents to throw out the script if it’s necessary to solve an issue or reach a customer. Don’t be afraid to change scripts as needed to make them more effective. For example, if your customers are experiencing a longer than normal wait time, incorporate an apology for the wait into your greeting. It’s important to let your customer service reps be flexible, as this is where you will likely get your best data on how effective your business, processes, products and customer service scripts really are.

Aren’t sure where to start when creating or updating your call center script? Reach out to the experts at ListenTrust today. ListenTrust scripting consulting services are proven to help clients optimize call center scripts and maximize on one of your most valuable resources, your call center staff.

Get Started by Contacting ListenTrust Today!

For more information, contact Tom Sheppard, VP Business Development, at: tsheppard@listentrust.com