Wondering how to measure employee productivity in a call center?
Running a call center can be incredibly hectic.
While you always have tons of calls coming in and going out, modern call centers are also expanding to provide customer service on other channels like social media and email.
And with everything that’s going on in your call center, it can seem impossible to measure employee productivity rates accurately.
But when you’re growing your business, you need to know how productive your call center agents are, right?
In this article, you’ll learn how to measure employee productivity in a call center. We’ll highlight ten vital call center metrics you can use to measure productivity and give you five tips that will improve the productivity of contact center employees.
This Article Contains:
(click on the links below to jump to a specific section)
- Top 10 Metrics To Measure Employee Productivity In A Call Center
- 5 Tips That Will Improve The Productivity Of Call Center Agents
Let’s get started!
Top 10 Metrics To Measure Employee Productivity In A Call Center
You can’t just assume how productive employees are by looking at how they work, right?
You need productivity measurement tactics that will help you accurately measure the efficiency of your employees when dealing with customer calls.
Performance metrics, like a Key Performance Indicator (KPI), are measurements trusted by business owners and managers that show how productive their employees truly are.
Here’s a look at some call center metrics specifically designed to measure the productivity of call center agents:
1. Abandonment Rate
The abandonment rate shows how many customer calls are left unanswered as a percentage of the total number of inbound calls. This happens because customers hang-up before the call reaches an agent due to long hold times.
Abandonment Rate = Number of Abandoned CallsTotal Number of Incoming Calls X 100
A low abandonment rate means that your agents are productive and tending to a high number of incoming calls.
On the other hand, a high percentage of abandoned calls means your agents miss out on a lot of incoming calls — which provides a negative customer experience.
If you have a high abandon rate on customer calls, consider training your employees to be more efficient, or expand your contact centre team by hiring more people.
2. First Call Resolution Rate / First Contact Resolution Rate (FCR)
This KPI displays how many customers had their issues resolved on the first call itself.
First Call Resolution Rate = Number of Resolved Calls on First ContactTotal Number of Calls X 100
If the first contact resolution rate is high, your employees are being productive and helping customers resolve their issues during the first call itself.
However, if a customer has to call again and again to get an issue resolved, your employees aren’t doing the best they can to serve your customers the first time they contact your call center.
The first call resolution rate is a good indicator of your overall call center productivity and individual agent performance.
3. Average Time In Queue
The average amount of time in queue shows the total time a customer has to wait to get on a call with one of your agents.
Average Time In Queue = Total Wait TimeTotal Number of Calls
If the customer wait time is long, they are more likely to have an unpleasant customer experience. Shorter wait times mean your agents are more efficient, and they’re keeping customers satisfied with their service.
4. Average Handling Time (AHT)
The average handle time refers to how much time a call center agent spends on work related to a customer interaction.
Average Handle Time = Total Talk Time + After Call Work TimeTotal Number of Calls
AHT consists of the Average Call Duration (ACD), plus the average time spent on post-call work. A very low average handling time doesn’t necessarily mean your agents are super productive, as they have to dedicate enough time to actually resolve customer issues.
However, a low ACD generally means your employees are efficient while handling customer calls. Just remember to focus on improving quality while reducing the time spent on handling calls.
5. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT Score)
The CSAT score is usually generated by customers via a rating scale after their interaction with an agent.
Customers are asked to rate how satisfied they are with their call center agent on a scale of 1 to 5 (or a similar scale that ranges from “highly satisfied” to “highly dissatisfied”).
You can collect answers from several customers and measure the overall satisfaction rate using this equation:
Satisfaction Rate = Number of Satisfied CustomersNumber of Customers Who Rated X 100
A high satisfaction rate means your employees are being productive and working hard to satisfy customers.
6. Service Level
Service level is a KPI defined as a ratio of the percentage of calls answered within a given time threshold.
For example, most call centers strive to achieve an 80/20 service level — which means that the contact center plans on answering 80% of calls within 20 seconds.
You can measure the percentage of calls answered within a threshold using this formula:
Service Level = Total Calls Answered Within ThresholdTotal Calls X 100
A high service level means you’re responding to your customers fast, and they don’t have to wait long for a call center agent to tend to their queries.
7. Average Speed Of Answer (ASA)
Average Speed of Answer = Total Wait Time Total Number of Calls
Have you ever found yourself waiting hours for a customer service agent to answer your call?
Measuring your ASA is crucial since it shows you how long customers have to wait in a queue for an agent to answer their call. The longer they wait in a queue, the worse their outlook on your call center.
If you want customer satisfaction levels to increase, it’s essential to reduce your ASA and find ways to improve your agent productivity.
However, it’s important to remember that most of your team members could be answering calls at a reasonable speed while one or two agents take a long time to answer calls. This can skew your ASA levels, and once you deal with the unproductive agents, your ASA will return to a healthy level.
8. Percentage Of Blocked Calls
Percentage of Blocked Calls = Number of Blocked CallsTotal Number of Calls X 100
The blocked call percentage displays the percentage of customers that received a busy tone when they tried to contact your call center.
This can happen when:
- There are no available agents and all call queues are full.
- Your call center management software can’t handle the volume of calls.
Each blocked call represents a dissatisfied customer you miss out on serving, which decreases your customer retention rates. So always ensure your blocked call percentage is low.
9. Occupancy Rate
Occupancy Rate =Total Handle TimeTotal Available Time X 100
The occupancy rate is a key performance indicator that shows how much time your agents spend occupied with callers. For example, if an agent’s occupancy rate is at 70%, it means they were dealing with callers for 70% of their available time.
If your occupancy rate is low, your agents aren’t working for most of the time. While this could occur due to unproductivity, it can also happen if your contact center is overstaffed, has a low call volume or a poor call management system.
However, remember that a 100% occupancy rate isn’t healthy; it could overwork and stress out your call center agents, causing burnout.
10. Cost Per Call
Cost Per Call = Total Operating + Labor Expenses of the BusinessNumber of Calls
This call center KPI is critical when measuring performance of your employees.
It displays how much your business spends per call, factoring in all operational expenses like rent, utility bills and other overheads.
If your cost per call is high, it means your employees are taking fewer calls — they aren’t being productive and need to handle more calls.
A low cost per call means your worker productivity is high, your labor expenses are low, and your agents can easily turn a profit for the business.
5 Tips That Will Help Improve The Productivity Of Call Center Agents
Now that we’ve gone over how you can measure the productivity of your call center agents, here are five tips that’ll help you improve your agent productivity:
1. Focus On Service Quality, Not Quantity
When you run a call center, it’s normal to focus on increasing the number of incoming or outgoing calls you handle.
But if your agents only focus on call quantity and not how much quality they provide, your customers can end up being frustrated due to the negative customer experience.
What’s the point of handling thousands of calls if you can’t provide a high level of quality on any of them?
Think of ways you can increase agent productivity while retaining or improving your customer call quality. Use customer satisfaction surveys to judge the quality of each of your agents, then provide training on an as-needed basis to keep your quality levels high.
2. Use Metrics To Motivate Agents, Not Criticise Them
There are tons of KPIs available for you to measure the productivity of your call center agents.
You can use general productivity analytics or KPIs specifically designed for call centers, like the ones we’ve mentioned above.
However, remember that you should only use these call center metrics to provide constructive feedback to your call center agents.
If you use the KPIs to compare high performing employees with those who’re struggling to perform, you run the risk of demotivating your already unproductive employees and increasing turnover rates.
Use the contact center metrics to devise ways to improve your employee performance.
Get your high performers to share their routines and experiences with those who are struggling. This will help boost the overall call center performance.
3. Provide Incentives To Hardworking Employees
Everyone likes to be recognized for their hard work, right?
When you reward an employee for a job well done, not only do you boost employee satisfaction, but you also give out the message that other employees can be rewarded for performing well.
These gestures can help cultivate a culture of healthy competition in your workplace, which will benefit your business. Rewarding your top performers will also motivate them to focus more on their personal development to provide the best value for your business.
4. Train Multichannel Agents
The world is moving away from the traditional call center setting.
If you want to stay on top of the competition, you must think about providing the best service possible to customers. That means you’ll have to provide support on any channel that is convenient for your customers.
Train your agents to be well-versed not only on phones but also on platforms like email, instant messaging, social media and web-chat.
If you’re not available on a customer’s preferred communication channel, you risk losing that customer as they’ll switch over to a business that makes life easier for them.
Training your employees as multichannel agents will help them interact more effectively with customers — which will positively impact your level of service and quality.
5. Use The Right Software
Running a call center is no easy task, and if you try to manage everything manually, a lot of things are guaranteed to go wrong.
The first essential software needed to run a call center is the call center software itself.
These tools manage incoming and outgoing calls and evenly distribute them among your agents. They also manage caller queues and provide IVR (Interactive Voice Response) services when you need them.
You can also invest in workforce management and quality assurance software.
However, that isn’t enough to successfully manage your call center.
Most call centers are moving towards remote work, so there are tons of tools designed to help employers maintain high remote employee engagement levels.
Even if you don’t manage remote teams, you can make use of these tools to easily manage your employee groups.
You need to invest in a tool that will:
- Track what your call center agents are working on during work hours.
- Help you see if employees are being productive or wasting time.
- Produce real-time productivity reports detailing your employees’ work activity.
Fortunately, Time Doctor is an all-in-one solution for all these needs (and more)!
What Is Time Doctor?
Time Doctor is a popular productivity tracking tool used by large companies like Verizon, as well as SMBs, like Thrive Market, to measure how productive their employees are.
Time Doctor will:
- Show you how much time your agents spend on each task accurately.
- Monitor the idle hours of all your call center agents.
- Create productivity reports in real-time that detail agent performance over a given period of time.
- Help you streamline your payroll management activities.
- Integrate with a range of workplace software like Jira, Salesforce, Freshdesk, and Zendesk.
And as Time Doctor only tracks agent activity during their work hours, you don’t have to worry about running into any privacy issues. You can also customize it to make it even more employee-friendly!
Tracking contact center agent productivity can seem like an extremely challenging task.
After all, call centers are always abuzz with tons of customer calls.
But if you use the right productivity metrics, it’ll only be a matter of time until you know how productive each of your engaged employees is.
And once you pair up those metrics with the tips and tools we’ve mentioned in this article, you’ll be able to skyrocket your workplace productivity levels.
Liam Martin is the co-founder of Time Doctor—one of the world’s leading time tracking software for remote teams. He is also the co-organizer of Running Remote, the world’s largest remote work conference.