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Inbound Call Center Metrics to Measure for Better Customer Service

Blog: MattsenKumar Blog

Inbound call center employees are front liners and the flagbearers of every organization. Being the first person of contact, they need to be informed, well-versed and accurate at all moments. It is indispensable to measure how fast, how accurate, and how supportive they are with the inbound customers.

Any customer that decides to call up an organization is either very stressed with a service or is in urgent need of quality information. At this moment, the customer is most vulnerable, one right pitch can either interest them in spending more or can piss them off enough to never do business with your organization.

The importance of training inbound call center agents can never be underestimated nor ignored because sooner or later it will start reflecting on the performance report. Inbound call center metrics allow managers to keep a tab on the agents’ performance. These metrics highlight all prevailing challenges and also mentions any disconnect between agents and customers.

What is An Inbound Contact Center?

Organizations that are in the business of selling products or services are required to support their customers with complaints and grievances. Since there are laws and agencies looking after the implementation of these regulations, organizations cannot wash their hands after selling a product, they are bound to help customers make the most of it.

An inbound call center is a professional establishment where distressed or curious customers can get in touch with professionally trained agents and seek support. Customers have the liberty to dial-up at all hours of the day with their queries. Often these inbound centers work 24X7 to ensure better NPS and a higher CSAT score.

An inbound call center houses agent who is:

An inbound call center has multiple metrics upon which its performance is measured. A lot of these metrics are associated with agents’ performance, while a few are reliant on changing customer behavior.

As we further with the blog post, we look at the most important metrics one by one. In this post, we will learn about the formulas, if any. We will also try to understand the impact of these inbound call center metrics.

Why Measuring Contact Center Metrics is Important?

First Call Resolution is a metric that measures the number of customers who find the relevant answer to their queries in the very first attempt. Similarly, Average Hold Time is an inbound contact center metric that measures the average time spent by customers on hold. These metrics are evaluated to understand challenges faced by customers, on further analysis, these metrics give reasons behind the delay. All the findings can be later used to improve inbound customer support, leading to better CSAT scores and more returning customers.

Some of the other reasons why measuring inbound metrics are important includes:

Top Inbound Contact Center Metrics

1. Abandoned Call Rate

Abandoned Call Rate is an inbound call center metrics that measure the number of customers who disconnected before an agent could answer the call. in contemporary times, customers are able to access quality support instantly through Live chat and social media platforms, hence they are not willing to waste them waiting for an agent to answer.

Poor IVR system, less effective navigation, and longer waiting period are among the top reasons why customers disconnect calls. A high abandoned call rate means:

How to reduce Call Abandonment Rate (ACR)?

Improving on call abandonment rate metric is necessary because it disrupts the notion of having an inbound call center if customers are unable to get through the waiting line. Some of the top strategies that can help in reducing call abandonment rate are:

2. Agent Utilization

Agent Utilization is an inbound call center metric that keeps a tab on the amount of time an agent was utilized fully during the day. A metric that strictly intakes only hours used to answer the call as input and doesn’t concern time spent on paperwork or documentation. This can be calculated by dividing the number of calls answered within the first minute by the total number of calls answered by the agent.

Agent Utilization is a primary call center metrics to focus on when trying to measure an agent’s productivity. In simple words, agent utilization is defined as the ratio of work completed by the work capacity. For example: If a contact center agent is on call for 6 hours out of a nine-hour shift, then the utilization will be 66.66% for the day. (6 hours of work produced ÷ 9 hours of work capacity).

Some practices through which agent utilization can be improved are:

3. First Call Resolution

First Call Resolution is undoubtedly one of the most important inbound call center metrics. A higher FCR represents the fact that queries of most inbound callers were resolved in the first call itself. A lower FCR means customers called one more than once to get their queries answered.

First call resolution plays a crucial role in driving customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, word of mouth, and a positive Net Promoter Score. Inbound call centers can calculate FCR by dividing the number of cases resolved in a single call by the total number of issues resolved.

Top ways to improve First Call Resolution (FCR) include

4. Average Handle Time

In 2021, customer experience is the key differentiator. How you treat customers when they come back for exchange or refund requests matters a lot. For businesses other than e-commerce, how quickly customers were provided with a solution explains if they will come back or not.

Average Handle Time is an inbound call center metric, which measures the average time spent in handling customer-related issues or transactions. The Average Handle Time includes the duration for which a customer’s call was put on hold along with the time taken to file their case and resolving it.

AHT is calculated by dividing the total number of calls handled by an agent by the total of the agent’s total talk time, total hold time, and the total after-call work time.

How to improve the Average Handle Time (AHT)?

AHT is one of those inbound metrics, which can be controlled and improved by deploying better resources and having a better customer service plan. Some of the other ways of controlling AHT includes:

5. Average Delay of Delayed Calls 

When contact centers are running with lesser employees, slow systems, or without script, they are likely to have a higher Average Delay of Delayed Calls. This inbound metric represents a sad state of affairs. A higher measurement of this metric points toward some immediate changes at all levels. This is the average duration for which the delayed calls were delayed. It can be calculated by dividing the total delay for all calls by the number of callers who had to wait in the queue.

Why Control Average Delay of Delayed Calls?

In 2021, customers have been introduced to channels and support services, which allow them to access quality information at their desired hour of the day. Organizations have built paradigms that allow customers to request a call back at their preferred hour. With other industries innovating, traditional organizations managing with traditional call centers need to at least improve on metrics like Average Delay of Delayed Calls

How to control the Average Delay of Delayed Calls?

6. Peak Hour Traffic

One look at the service or product of an organization and you can predict the hour of peak traffic. Well, an organization that streams Live matches online, will receive maximum complaints when there’s a match going Live. Similarly, an organization that offers tax filing services, will receive maximum calls in the last month of the financial year.

Peak Hour Traffic refers to that time of the day when a call center receives the maximum calls from the customers. Determining this metric helps in keeping the requisite team prepared so that it can handle the upcoming call load from the callers with ease.

Monitoring and measuring the Peak Hour Traffic (PHT) helps with

7. Call Completion Rate

Well, the call completion rate is a metric that mostly deals with outbound call centers. It is a measure of calls that were successfully connected but here we will discuss it in detail because, organizations now allow customers to “request callback”, where agents are asked to call customers. With agents calling customers after a callback request was raised becoming a status quo, we should consider this as an important metric for inbound call centers too.

This contact center metric refers to the number of calls that were connected successfully in comparison to those that failed. This rate can be calculated by dividing the total number of successfully connected calls during the day/hour by the total number of calls that were attempted during the day.

Factors that influence Call Completion Rate at a Contact Center include

8. All Trunks Busy (ATB)

With customers becoming informed, organizations are under great pressure to cater to them with quality support and information. Today, customers have evolved and they are aware of their rights and no organization can take them for granted.

With more and more customers queuing to get their queries resolved and questions answered, inbound call centers often find their systems jammed or overwhelmed with huge traffic.

All Trunks Busy is one inbound metric that helps call centers measure the period for which their systems were over-flooded with calls. Since this metric can only measure the calculated busy hours, it cannot provide access to information on missed calls.

How to control the All Trunk Busy metric?

It is indispensable to control the All Trunk Busy signal because customers often get pissed and leave your business. Here’s how it can be controlled:

9. Call Arrival Rate

Well, contact center managers will agree that Call Arrival Rate is one of the most discussed and measured metrics. This metric alone can illustrate the overall performance of a contact center. This contact center metric refers to the average number of incoming calls during a particular period. Knowing this rate helps in determining the number of calls that are to be answered or put on hold during a particular period.

How gauging Call Arrival Rate will benefit Call Centers?
What Happens when Call Arrival Rate is Not Measured?

10. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT Score)

Customer Satisfaction is perhaps the most important customer experience metric, which is generated through the CSAT Survey. In CSAT Survey, customers who have made any recent purchase or transacted recently are asked to answer a simple question like “how satisfied were you with your purchase today?

It is indispensable to measure customer satisfaction during a lockdown or when a huge number of agents are working from home because it is a direct reflection of how well agents are catering to customer’s needs. Dipping customer satisfaction means contact center agents are not performing to their optimum levels.

How Contact Centers can achieve a higher Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)?

11. Delay

For an organization with a huge audience base, the delay is one of the most important metrics to measure. This metric not only highlights that there are customers who are not being prioritized but also points towards system improvements that are required, immediately. Delay is also known as queue time, delay refers to the amount of time a caller spends waiting in queue for an agent to become available.

What does this Inbound Call Center metric reveal?

12. Forecasting Accuracy

This refers to the percentage by which the inbound customer contacts that were forecasted for a particular period varied from the number of contacts who contacted the center. In simple terms, forecasting accuracy refers to the difference between the forecasted contact load and actual contact load.

Why Forecasting Accuracy is important for every Contact Center?

Final Thoughts on Inbound Call Center Metrics

During the COVID-19 pandemic, contact centers have evolved. With incessant changes in regulations and compliance requirements, these agencies have evolved into a center of excellence. Organizations are letting agents work remotely without worrying about the data breach. The evolving technology has added speed and trust to the system and it is helping businesses gain heavily.

All these inbound contact center metrics are helping businesses become better. Gauging, improving, and re-measuring these metrics will allow organizations to minimize attrition and drive improved CSAT scores.

The post Inbound Call Center Metrics to Measure for Better Customer Service appeared first on MattsenKumar.

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