21. November 2018 Blog

How to Improve Call Center

Maybe the devil really does lie in details, but to make your call center operate effectively, you should rather look for details in data 🙂 If you measure your call center performance, you are on the right path towards success and customer satisfaction.

Basic metrics that are crucial in terms of customer experience include:

  • response time
  • first call resolution
  • average call handle time
  • service level

These metrics will help you easily find out what works and what doesn’t. If you want to know how to fix what doesn’t work, read this article.

1. Response time

Nobody likes to waste their precious time by waiting on hold. If a customer is waiting for his problem to be solved, it’s even worse.

One of the most important indicators that has direct impact on the caller’s satisfaction and his opinion on the company is response time – i.e. the time that the caller spends waiting to be connected to an agent.
“On average, about 35% of callers will hang up within one minute of waiting and two thirds of callers will hang up after three minutes.”
The solution is simple: make sure you have enough agents to handle your inbound calls and make sure to throw in some buffer.

How to find out how many agents you need? Monitor your call volume trends to get reliable information on your busiest times of day. For example, if you know that you receive the most calls on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays after 5pm, you can adapt the number of available agents accordingly. This will help you significantly reduce the number of dissatisfied customers who give up and hang up before the call is answered.

Abandoned call rate can also be reduced by informing the caller about the current waiting times and using the callback feature.

2. First call resolution

If a customer needs to call your hotline repeatedly because of the same problem, you’ve made yourself a frustrated customer. To prevent this from happening, provide the caller with as much valuable information as possible and wait on the line to make sure that the proposed solution, e.g. restarting the router, really works. The time needed to solve customer queries should be as short as possible. By using IVR voice menu, you will make sure that the caller is routed to an agent who can answer his questions and help him with his problem without the agent needing to refer the call to a colleague and without the caller waiting on the line forever.

3. Average call handle time

Unlike response time, for average call handle time, short does not always mean good. Excessively lengthy calls decrease agent efficiency, however, it is also crucial to provide customers with high-quality service. Therefore, you should set an optimum time per call and try to understand why some phone calls don’t meet this target time.

4. Service level

Service level represents the percentage of inbound calls that are answered within a predefined amount of time. Excellent service level and accessibility of a company depend on the company’s ability to plan their staffing strategy based on call volume monitoring. Together with response time, this is a basic metric for efficient management of a call center.

Do you want to discover more call center metrics? Read our blog post entitled Overview of selected metrics of successful call centers and see other metrics designed to boost your business potential.