Vital Signs of a Healthy Inbound Call Center

It is not enough to just get an inbound call center if you want satisfaction of your customers. You must also ensure that this customer contact center is good enough! And for this, you ought to do a health check-up of the inbound call center by reviewing their vital signs. These vital signs, or the key performance indicators (KPI), will give you an insight about the real performance of the call center. These KPIs are described below:
1. Aggregate call performance
This is an aggregate score calculated after computing the average handling time (AHT). This mean handling time is calculated after adding the average talk time (ATT), hold time and the time taken in After Call Work (ACW). The aggregate call performance also takes into account the efficiency of the queue management system which is an important factor when dealing with large call volumes. The ideal duration of AHT depends on the process. For technical customer support or for multi-step order-taking services this time can be up to 5 minutes. While for non-technical customer care, it can be up to 2 minutes.
2. Agent utilization
Besides possessing superior technology, a call center must also have Agents with superior skills. Agents indeed are the primary resource for a customer support and their optimum utilization determines the performance of the entire call center. A utilization percentage of 80-85% indicates the time when Agent is actually answering the call, and in the rest 15-20% time is spent in waiting for the call, meals, meetings etc. Lesser utilization percentage may imply inefficiency while furthermore may lead to a burnout or a turnover.
3. Cost per call
It is important to know the cost borne by the call center for each call, to determine the financial health of the vendor. One needs to divide the sum total of operational costs, which includes all the bills, the salaries etc. by the total number of calls handled, in the specified period of team, to obtain the Cost per Call. For an offshore center, this cost is significantly lower, and therefore it is a more profitable proposition to outsource inbound customer support.
4. Customer satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is otherwise an intangible feature, but it can be quite accurately measured by demanding ratings from the customers themselves, through a follow-up call. A customer contact center must randomly make such feedback soliciting calls to cross-check their Agents’ performance claims.
5. First contact resolution (FCR) rate
Apart from the feedback method, another reliable indicator of the customer satisfaction levels is the FCR rate. This tells us about the number of calls that got resolved the first time a customer called, and there was no need for the customer to call the second time.