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4 Ways To Measure & Improve Call Center Productivity


There’s a reason business owners are obsessed with call center productivity. After all, productivity and profitability are tied together.

Productivity is a crucial element in the success of any call center. However, measuring productivity can be challenging, as there are several factors to consider. For instance, should productivity be gauged by the number of calls an agent handles per day or the effectiveness of the resolutions they provide to customers? It is, therefore, important for business leaders to have a clear understanding of what call center productivity entails, how to measure it, and strategies to enhance it. By doing so, businesses can stay competitive and achieve growth in this highly competitive industry.

What is call center productivity?

Productivity is defined as the amount of input needed to produce an output. In the context of a call center, the input can be your call center agents and your output can be the number of support tickets resolved in a week.

Here’s an example:

  • Call Center A has 50 agents who can collectively resolve 500 support tickets in a day.
  • Call Center B also has 50 agents, but they can collectively resolve 1,000 support tickets in a day.

Which one is more productive? If you base it solely on those numbers, then Call Center B is the easy answer.

But what if one agent resolved three tickets in one hour while another only resolved one ticket but it had a higher impact on revenue?

Key takeaway: Productivity can’t be measured with just one metric.

So how do you measure call center agent productivity?

Though there are many factors that affect productivity, it’s important to look at the agents themselves. After all, they are at the core of your company. Here’s a quick list of call center metrics to keep in mind when identifying how to measure agent productivity.

First Call/Contact Resolution Rate (FCR)

First Call Resolution (FCR) is an important metric that indicates the number of customers whose issues were resolved during their first interaction with support agents. FCR reflects the efficiency and effectiveness of your support team in resolving customer issues promptly. A high FCR rate implies that your agents are able to address customer issues. effectively on the first call, minimizing the need for follow-up interactions. This helps in reducing customer effort and saves time for both the customer and the support team. A low FCR rate,nd, indicates that your customers may have to contact support multiple times, leading to increased wait times and frustration.

How to calculate it:
(Number of resolved calls on first contact divided by the total number of calls) multiplied by 100

Average Handling Time (AHT)

AHT is how much time a call center agent spends on any work related to customer interactions or engagements. This metric should be low—it means your agents are efficient in managing their time on calls and in actually resolving issues.

A word of caution: Don’t forget to also focus on the quality of your customer service aside from simply shortening the handling time.

How to calculate it:
(Total Talk Time + After Call Work Time) divided by the total number of calls

Missed-Call Rate

This metric refers to unanswered calls or missed calls due to any of these reasons:

  • Customer calls, loses interest while waiting, and hangs up before an agent answers
  • Customer is put on hold or in a queue, and they hang up while waiting
  • Your voicemail comes on but the customer doesn’t leave a message

So what happens after a missed call? 85% of people whose calls aren’t answered won’t call back. If a customer was calling about a sales inquiry, that revenue is as good as gone. In fact, businesses can lose up to $75 billion a year due to negative customer experiences.

Essentially, you want to keep your missed-call rate low. If it remains high, you may need to look into optimizing your processes, upgrading your tools, hiring additional in-house agents, or even outsourcing entire teams.

How to calculate it:

(Number of abandoned calls divided by the total number of incoming calls) multiplied by 100

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT Score)

The CSAT score comes from customers via a rating scale (from 1-5) sent with a survey after a call with an agent. They are asked to rate how satisfied they are with the agent and how their issue was handled.

The CSAT score is valuable because it’s a subjective score from actual customers. It puts a premium on how the stakeholders think about the agents. A high CSAT basically means your agents are doing a good job delivering solutions.

How to calculate  it:

(Number of satisfied customers divided by the number of customers who answered the survey) multiplied by 100

4 tips to improve your virtual call center’s efficiency

Improve your self-service options

Remember, not all customers want to speak to an agent right away. According to Harvard Business Review customers often prefer to have their questions answered without talking to the support team. In fact, 86% of customers now expect online self-service options, hence the reason to track the ROI of cell center training.

If customers are able to find what they’re looking for right away, that means you’re delivering a stellar customer experience. Plus, self-service frees up your agents’ time for more urgent and high-impact support tickets.

Make sure that your self-service strategy gives customers fast and easy access to the information they need. It should also display a clear path to contact an agent if absolutely necessary.

Some tips for better self-service:

  • Create a FAQ page or a knowledge base for the most common questions
  • Try automation where applicable. For example, live chat.
  • If applicable, set up a product training or service training that walks new customers through your ecosystem.
  • Continue to monitor and update your self-service strategy so it always stays relevant.

Train your team to be multi-channel agents

In today’s world, virtual call centers have replaced traditional call centers. If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, you need to provide exceptional customer service and experience. To achieve this, it is crucial to be available to serve your customers wherever they are, not just on your website.

To provide top-notch customer service, it is essential to train your support team in various communication channels, such as phone calls, emails, chat, messaging apps, and any other channel that is suitable for your business. This will not only help them develop new skills but also enhance the quality of customer service you provide. So, start training your support team today to make your customer service experience stand out.

Provide your agents with the best tools and tech stack

Over 90% of workers say that the right technology helps them work more efficiently.

Find the best call center software to empower your agents so they can perform their best every single day. Aircall’s cloud-based phone system  integrates seamlessly with most CRMs and help desk solutions—reducing lag time and delays.

Other features that can help with productivity include call tagging, filtering, call forwarding, queue management, parallel calls, and advanced analytics.

Implement continuous monitoring and training

Finally, all the tips and strategies will be of no use if you don’t monitor your call center’s productivity and progress.

It’s important to look at the analytics in your call center software, but it’s even more important to act on them. For example, monitoring calls will allow you to track performance and pinpoint specific areas of improvement. You’ll be able to craft tailored training modules based on their actual performance.

Empowered employees = successful call center

Because of the pandemic, virtual call centers have been the new norm. Of course, this doesn’t come without its fair share of challenges—remote teams and technology constraints to name a few.

Thankfully, the right call center software can help boost agents’ productivity. This will then translate to an improvement in the quality of customer service you are able to provide to your customers—setting your company up for success in the long run.

This blog post was created with our partners at LTVplus, a world-class outsourcing company that provides customer service for eCommerce, SaaS, educational businesses, gaming companies, and more. LTVplus builds, trains, and manages dedicated teams of live chat agents, customer support agents, and payment recovery specialists. It takes away the hassle of live chat, email, social media, voice, and SMS support management. As a result, you can focus on your business objectives and goals while its customer support system runs in the background seamlessly.

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