Call Center Reporting: The Definitive Guide (2023)
If you were browsing for answers about how to measure the performance of your call center, you’ve come to the right place. Buckle up because we’re about to do a deep dive into the ins and outs of call center reporting. Let’s start with the basics.
What is Call Center Reporting?
Call center reporting is the process by which managers measure the performance and efficiency of their call center. It is usually made up of several critical key performance indicators (KPIs), which are derived from a multitude of data streams.
Commonly tracked data streams include those from your interactive voice response (IVR), automatic call distributor (ACD), and workforce management system (WFM), among others.
Once those data points have been gathered, they can be organized and categorized into your KPIs. We’ll get into some examples of great KPIs to track below.
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Call Center Reporting KPIs
Business Critical KPIs
- Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Similar to Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), this metric attempts to gauge your customers’ happiness. NPS has a business-centric twist, though: it measures the likelihood that your customers will recommend your product to somebody else. This is important, of course, because a high number translates to higher visibility for your product.
- Average Turnover Rate
This metric quantifies the rate of turnover among your call center agents. Call centers get a bad rap for high turnover, but it doesn’t have to be so for your operation. Placing an emphasis on cohesion among your team will lower turnover and increase efficiency. It’s a win-win!
Customer Critical KPIs
- First Contact Resolution (FCR)
This metric measures the rate at which your customers’ issues are resolved by the first agent with whom they speak. Basically, the higher this percentage is, the less frustrated your customers will be with your business as a whole. Everybody loves it when their problems are solved quickly, right?
Luckily, CloudTalk has a fantastic feature that is sure to boost your FCR rates. It’s called Preferred Agent, and it gives your contact center agents the ability to pair certain customers with certain agents. This means that if a customer and agent got along well during their first call, you can arrange for them to be directly linked the next time the customer calls your business.
- Service Level
A call center’s service level is defined by the percentage of inbound calls agents answer within a given amount of time. It’s usually given as a pair of numbers, the most popular being the vaunted 80/20 global call center standard.
Having an 80/20 service level for your call center simply means that 80 percent of incoming calls are answered by your agents within 20 seconds. It’s an easy metric to measure and one that gives a good, broad idea of the attentiveness and efficiency of your call center staff.
- Average abandonment rate
This KPI measures the percentage of customers that hang up the phone before being connected to an agent. It is very much connected to how busy and how well-staffed your call center is — the more agents there are to handle incoming calls, the quicker your customers will connect with an agent and the less likely they’ll be to hang up before speaking with someone. 5-8% is a good benchmark to aim for in regard to the average abandonment rate.
- Blocked Calls
This metric is the percentage of customers who called your company and heard a busy tone. The percentage value is directly related to how well-staffed a business is, because customers only hear a busy tone when all of a company’s agents are busy helping other people. Hearing a busy tone is frustrating for anyone, especially when they’re trying to contact a business. This number should be kept as low as possible.
- Average Wait Time (AWT)
You get this metric by dividing the total amount of time customers spent in caller queues for a given period by the number of calls that were answered in that period. It’s an easy metric to calculate and it gives you a good idea of how satisfied your customers are with the attentiveness of your agents.
According to a recent International Customer Management Institute survey, two-thirds of consumers would only want to wait two minutes or less on hold before speaking with an agent. Clearly it’s important to keep your average wait time low!
Process Critical KPIs
- Average speed to answer
This figure indicates the average amount of time it takes your agents to answer the phone, as measured from the beginning of the ringing process. Notably, this excludes the time it takes your customers to navigate through your IVR system, should you have one. It’s a pretty pure measure of your agents’ ability to handle phone calls promptly as they come in.
- Average call duration
Easy to track and understand, average call duration is one of the most important call center efficiency metrics out there. The average duration of inbound and outbound calls will give you important insight into how competent your agents are in handling their responsibilities on a day-to-day basis. If you’re consistently hitting the 4-minute benchmark for call duration, rest easy knowing that your agents are solving customers’ issues in good time.
- Call Arrival Rate
Call arrival rate gives you an idea of when your call center is fielding the highest and lowest volume of inbound calls. Tracking this KPI will allow you to craft informed, smart work schedules for your agents so you’re always adequately staffed, even on the busiest of days.
- Average Handle Time (AHT)
This metric measures the length of your agents’ interactions with customers from start to finish. The clock begins when your customer dials the phone and ends when your agent is ready to field a new call. That means it includes the time a customer spends in a caller queue, navigating through your IVR system, and speaking with an agent, in addition to the time your agents spend documenting necessary information post-call. It’s a good metric for evaluating the efficiency of your agents, but make sure you don’t place too much of an emphasis on having a low AHT — rushed agents are prone to make more mistakes and often offer a lower quality of customer service.
You should decide on a benchmark that makes sense for your business and have your agents shoot for that month-to-month.
- Average After-Call Work Time (ACW)
After every call, an agent has to attend to a variety of important quasi-secretarial tasks: completing transaction reports, updating databases, reporting issues, and the like. The time it takes to complete these tasks is measured and recorded as the average after-call work time KPI.
While it can certainly be lowered through efficiency-focused training sessions, certain call center software can help, too. CloudTalk, for example, has a number of handy features that can help your agents complete after-call tasks quickly and easily.
Call center reporting best practices
#1 Focus on the KPIs
KPIs are tracked and regularly presented for the consideration of management for a good reason: they’re the best way to identify problem areas and design targeted initiatives for improvement. As we’ve covered, KPIs can encompass a broad range of call center performance areas related to business, customer service, and work processes. They give you a grand overview of how your call center is operating and put a spotlight on those areas that could do with a bit of extra attention.
So, let them be your guiding light, and let your KPIs inform the critical decisions to be made that will shape the future of your call center. After all, an informed decision is one that offers the best chance at success.
#2 Establish benchmarks
Tracking KPIs won’t get you anywhere unless you have a set of established, industry-standards benchmarks against which you can measure your progress. Coming up with these benchmarks for your company will require a fair bit of market research, but we assure you that it’s all worthwhile. These benchmarks will allow you to frame your call center reports in the proper context and enable you to clearly identify the areas in which you need to improve.
Once you have these areas in mind, you can start to come up with a strategy for the betterment of your business.
#3 See the bigger picture
With so many metrics floating around, it can be easy to get caught up in the minutiae of your call center’s performance numbers. It’s important, though, to step back and consider the bigger picture: you want to run a call center operation that keeps your customers and employees happy and helps your company meet all of its goals in terms of revenue and growth.
There are a great many ways to achieve this — through specific training, hiring additional staff, implementing modern, cloud-based call center software, and more. The point is you should be flexible in addressing the problems uncovered in your call center reports. If you’re always open to new ideas, you’re more likely to find something that works especially well for your business.
#4 Set goals for the future — and track them!
It’s as much a certainty in call center operations as it is in life: you won’t make any progress without first setting some goals for yourself. Once you’ve reviewed all of the KPIs in your contact center report and compared them to the benchmarks you’ve established, you should set out crafting a list of goals for improvement in specific areas.
Have an exceptionally high average handle time? Schedule efficiency-focused training for your agents so they can start to bring that number down. What if your average after-call work time KPI is off the charts? Consider making use of a modern telephony solution like CloudTalk, which can help drive down the number of time agents spend on busywork after calls by automating the bulk of it.
No matter what you choose to do, be sure to track all of it over time. This way, you can quickly see what works for your business — and keep doing it!
Call Center Dashboard Reporting Examples
The best way to compile raw data for your call center reports is to use high-end call center reporting software. CloudTalk more than fits the bill here. Our complex, back-end data collection algorithms let call center managers kick back and watch the data roll in. With the burden of raw data collection off of their shoulders, managers can turn their attention to more meaningful tasks like selecting which KPIs they’d like to track for their finalized call center reports and developing improvement strategies for those areas that need the most attention.
Below we’ll get into some examples of how CloudTalk simplifies the data collection process and makes call center reporting easier than ever.
Call Center Report Sample
CloudTalk tracks several important call center reporting metrics in real time. Under the Call History tab of your Statistics dashboard, for example, you’ll find the total number of calls your agents have fielded, the total number of missed calls that slipped through the cracks, the average duration of your agents’ calls, and finally, the average amount of time your customers have had to wait during a given period.
You can use all of this data for your call center report or just bits and pieces — we leave it to your discretion.
Agent Productivity Dashboard
CloudTalk also gives managers the ability to filter call center statistics by agent, so you can scrutinize the performance of your best-performing agents, worst-performing agents, and everyone in between.
You can see the total number of calls, average call duration, and a total number of inbound and outbound calls for a particular agent. You can also compare your agents side-by-side to get a broad view of your team’s performance.
If you’d like your call center report to highlight the performance of a particular agent over a given period, the agent productivity dashboard allows you to compile that data quickly and easily.
The testing and review process
The testing and review process for contact center reports is a comprehensive, multi-step endeavor that — if done correctly — will solidify the veracity of the data you’ve gathered and the KPIs you’ve elicited from that data. Let’s get into the steps.
#1 Compile preliminary reports
The very first stage of the process is the development of your first draft, “alpha” reports. These will be a bit messy, and justifiably so — you’re gathering a great deal of raw data and attempting to categorize it into distinct (and useful!) KPIs. Once you’ve compiled your data and KPIs, you can move on to the next step.
#2 Double-check your numbers
The calculations in your reports are prone to human error because, well, they were executed by humans. It’s a normal occurrence, and it’s why the verification of your calculations and formulas deserves its own step in the process. You should circulate your contact center report throughout your design and analytics departments so people have a chance to catch any mathematics mistakes that may be present.
#3 Add graphics and design features
Once your facts and figures have been polished, you can ship your report off to the design department. Their job is to spruce the thing up — to add graphics, charts, and other design elements that make your data pop off the page. This step is awfully important in creating a presentable, easy-to-comprehend report that can offer meaningful guidance to all of your employees, regardless of their expertise.
#4 End-user testing and review
Now that your report has achieved a certain level of panache, you can send it out to a sample selection of call center managers and agents. This will be a real test of your report’s readability and will hopefully uncover any discrepancies in your data, awkward sections of text, or confusing graphics. Of course, you should also pay special attention to feedback related to the usefulness of your report. After all, wanting to craft a useful document is why you went through the trouble of compiling the thing in the first place.
#5 Dissemination and fine-tuning
Finally, you can send your report out to a wider audience. This final step will see the fruition of all of your hard work and will hopefully lead to improvement in whichever problem areas you were able to identify. Bear in mind that contact center reports are living documents, so you should stand ready and able to make any edits or adjustments to the report should the need arise.
If you’ve made it this far — congratulations! You’ve created, tested, and reviewed a document crucial to the long-term success of your call center. This industry moves fast, and your company relies on comprehensive, professional call center reports to keep up with its competition. So pat yourself on the back and get cracking on the next report!
The bottom line
Comprehensive call center reports are key to the success of any modern call center. They present a bevy of important KPIs in a digestible manner so that management can quickly understand which areas are high-priority targets for improvement. They can also aid in the improvement process, as regular call center reports can help determine whether or not a certain improvement strategy is working well or needs to be replaced.
It’s a process that takes time, and while it’s worth every minute you dedicate to it, you can make the process more efficient by using cutting-edge call center reporting software like CloudTalk. If you want to see how CloudTalk can optimize your call center reporting process, give our 14-day free trial a try (no credit card required!).