OI Blog


Peter Iansek

CEO & Co-Founder

Peter Iansek


Oct 2023
OI Blog
Oct 2023

Call Center Metrics & KPIs to Measure in 2023

Call Center Metrics & KPIs to Measure in 2023
Peter Iansek


Peter Iansek

CEO & Co-Founder

Table of Contents:

  • Call Center Metrics vs Call Center KPIs == Call Center Metrics vs Call Center KPIs
  • Call Center Metrics and KPIs Measuring Call Center & Agent Performance == Call Center Metrics and KPIs Measuring Call Center & Agent Performance
  • Call Center Metrics and KPIs Measuring the Customer Experience == Call Center Metrics and KPIs Measuring the Customer Experience
  • Call Center Metric Best Practices == Call Center Metric Best Practices
  • Improve Your Call Center Metrics == Improve Your Call Center Metrics

Call Center Metrics vs Call Center KPIs

Metrics track and measure the performance of various business tasks and can help gauge the overall success of a call or contact center. KPIs, or key performance indicators, are measurable benchmarks used to determine progress toward predetermined business objectives. 

Metrics support KPIs. Metrics measure performance, productivity, task completion, and more, while KPIs help call center leaders track their team's progress in meeting set goals. 

Call Center Metrics and KPIs Measuring Call Center & Agent Performance

The Operative Intelligence platform analyzes 100% of inbound interactions and automatically generates call center metrics and agent performance metrics.

The following call center metrics and KPIs track the success of a call center and agent performance. 

Average Abandonment Rate

This is the number of callers that hang up or break contact before they can speak to a representative. This ideal number for this metric should be as close to zero as possible. If a center has a high average abandonment rate, it’s most likely due to recurring problems such as underperformance, understaffing, or limited call center technology. 

Active Waiting Calls

Active waiting calls are the number of calls that are currently on hold versus those that are being handled. This can help demonstrate how a call center manages different call volumes.

After Call Work (ACW)

Also known as after call work time, or ACWT, this measures the amount of post-call work and tasks agents must do between calls. These activities may include writing notes about the call, emailing potential customers about what was discussed, and entering comments into content management systems. 

ACW is also used to help calculate AHT to help track the call center's overall efficiency.  

Agent Effectiveness

“Agent effectiveness” is a unique metric provided through the Operative Intelligence platform. It assesses the effectiveness of agents and teams in terms of resolution and customer satisfaction for all types of queries. It looks at both how well customer inquiries are resolved and how satisfied customers are with the results.

agent profile

This Operative Intelligence dashboard shows the average handle time, average sentiment, average agent effectiveness score for the selected customer inquiry…and much more. Operative Intelligence harnesses the power of AI-driven customer insights to uncover the root cause of customer contacts so teams can resolve issues before additional customers experience them. 

The software evaluates 100% of inbound data across multiple channels to automatically identify: 

  • The primary reasons for contacting support at scale
  • Inquiry driver insights including volume, cost, sentiment, satisfaction, and resolution
  • The root cause of customer pain points and the associated business costs
  • Top contact center automation opportunities and the ROI for each
  • Reasons behind increases in handle times and cost and provide actionable solutions
  • Agent and team effectiveness based on resolution and satisfaction rates
  • The top and lowest performing agents by inquiry type

Learn more about Operative Intelligence

Average Handle Time (AHT)

Average handle time is a metric used to measure the complete time of a customer's call or contact from start to finish. This metric considers more than just the conversation itself; it also considers wait times, the time it takes to transfer callers to another person, the duration of the conversation, post-call wrap-up activities, and any other tasks related to resolving the customer's inquiry.

Average Hold Time

Average hold time is a call center metric used to measure the average length of time an agent places a caller on hold during a call. For example, when a customer calls, an agent may need to put them on hold in order to look at specific product specifications or to transfer them to another agent. To calculate the average hold time, the cumulative hold time is divided by the total number of calls answered. 

Average Speed of Answer (ASA)

The average speed of answer, or ASA, is typically reported at the queue level. It measures how long it takes for a call to be answered from the moment a customer enters the queue to when an agent picks up the call. 

Keeping track of the ASA helps to identify if agents need to work more quickly, reduce wrap-up time, or if the call center needs additional staff at certain times.

Average Talk Time (ATT)

The amount of time an agent spends talking on the phone before hanging up is the “talk time.”  It excludes any time the customer is put on hold or agents are conducting ACW. 

Managers can use the average talk time to assess how well their team is capable of managing customer service situations. Be aware that the intricacy of the problem can impact how long it takes for both the customer and agent to discuss and resolve the issue. 

Average Time in Queue

Average time in the queue is the average time a customer spends in the line once they enter a call or messaging queue. It's similar to the average answer speed and helps determine how many people are needed for each queue in the contact center. Ideally, customers should typically wait no longer than one minute in the queue.

Calls Answered

Calls answered measures how many calls are answered compared to the total number of calls received. Calls answered and calls offered are used to determine the average abandonment rate.

Calls Handled

This keeps track of all the calls an agent handles within a certain period of time. Many companies separate this metric into two categories: calls handled by agents and calls handled by automated systems. However, it usually doesn't take into account the calls that aren’t answered.

Calls Offered

This metric tracks how many calls or contact the call center receives and how many are left waiting for an agent to answer. Knowing this information helps determine how many personnel and resources are needed to manage the call queue.

The total number of calls offered can be used to gauge agent productivity as well as calculate other metrics, such as the percentage of calls answered. 

Cost per Call / Contact

The cost per call or cost per contact is an average figure that shows how much a contact center spends on each contact it receives. Companies often have a target CPC and strive to hit and maintain that goal. This metric can help gauge the efficiency of a call center and determine if it’s using its resources properly.

Service Level Metrics

Service level metrics often combine various measurements, such as ASA and ABN, that combine to form a service level metric. It’s the industry standard often seen on key performance indicators and customer satisfaction (CSAT) or net promoter score metrics (NPS). 

Service level measures if your business has the resources to meet customer needs. It tells us if customers are connected to team members quickly and if their problems are handled quickly. If your service level is not satisfactory, it may be time to invest in new call center software or hire additional employees.

Call Center Metrics and KPIs Measuring the Customer Experience

Operative Intelligence determines AHT, FCR, CSAT, Agent Effectiveness, and more for each query by automatically analyzing 100% of inbound interactions. 

Contact center leaders must ensure they aren’t sacrificing customer experience to improve call center and agent metrics. Here are some metrics that help them better understand how customers feel during interactions with call center agents. 

Customer Effort Score (CES)

Customer Effort Score, or CES, is a metric used to determine how much work a customer has to do to resolve their service request. Generally, the more effort the customer puts into the process, the less satisfied they are with the experience.

To measure CES, teams often send surveys after the customer has interacted with the service. 

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

Customer satisfaction score, or CSAT, measures how happy a customer is with their experience with a business. This is also usually done by sending a survey to the customer after their interaction with the company. 

CSAT helps companies to understand how their goods and services are received and can be used to inform choices about upcoming changes, including those within customer service centers.

First Contact Resolution (FCR)

When customers call a company for help, they expect their issue to be addressed properly the first time. This goal is measured by First Contact Resolution. It’s not only an important indicator of operational effectiveness but can also be a significant driver of customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Read the complete guide to improving FCR without hurting the customer experience. 

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net Promoter Score is a metric used by companies to measure customer satisfaction, loyalty, and engagement. The score is based on a single survey question asking respondents to rate the likelihood that they would recommend a company's products or services to others. NPS scores range from -100 to 100, with higher scores indicating more positive customer experiences.

Call Center Metric Best Practices

By understanding and implementing the best practices for call center metrics, you can improve customer satisfaction, reduce costs, and increase the efficiency of your call center operations. 

1. Align KPIs Across Departments 

If each department is involved and working towards the same KPIs–and measuring them using the same metrics–operations can run much more smoothly. One of the key benefits of aligning customer service KPIs across departments is the ability to break down silos and create a unified customer journey. This alignment ensures that all customer touchpoints are optimized and synchronized, leading to a consistent and positive experience for customers throughout their interactions with the organization.

Aligning customer service KPIs also promotes accountability and transparency within the organization. By regularly sharing performance data and insights across departments, they can learn from each other's best practices and leverage shared knowledge to deliver exceptional customer service.

Sharing a common understanding and focus on customer-centric metrics fosters collaboration, enhances efficiency, and ultimately leads to improved customer satisfaction.

2. Use Software Tools for Call Center Management 

Modern call centers are adopting advanced software tools to optimize tasks, streamline daily operations, improve customer experience, and save costs. If you’re looking for irrefutable data, actionable insights, and a true ROI, look no further than Operative Intelligence. 

Operative Intelligence uses AI and machine learning to analyze 100% of inbound interactions and identify the root cause reasons why customers contact support–in the customers’ own words. The system accurately captures the sentiment, intent, and emotion behind each customer interaction, providing contact centers with a wealth of actionable insights into customer needs, preferences, and pain points.

3. Don’t Sacrifice Customer Experience 

While it can be tempting to reduce average handle time or increase first contact resolution rates, it shouldn’t be done at the expense of the customer’s experience. Take into account the complexity of customer inquiries, corresponding metrics, and how the metric is measured before making any abrupt changes. 

Improve Your Call Center Metrics

Measuring and improving the right call center metrics is crucial for the success of any organization that values operational efficiency–and its customers’ experience. By continuously monitoring and optimizing key performance indicators, organizations can ensure that their call center operations are aligned with their overall business objectives, leading to long-term success and a competitive edge in today's customer-centric market.

The most efficient and effective way to do this is with the Operative Intelligence platform. This next-gen insights software empowers call and contact center managers to track metrics and KPIs so they can correctly allocate the resources required to make high-impact changes. 

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