Let’s start with the basics. What exactly are call centre reports? It is the process by which managers measure the performance and efficiency of their call centre. It usually consists of several critical key performance indicators (KPIs), which are derived from a multitude of data streams. Typically, these data streams include the interactive voice response (IVR), automatic call distribution (ACD) and workforce management system (WFM).
Once that data is collected, it can be organised and categorised into your KPIs. We go into some examples of good KPIs to track below.
Call centre reports: these KPIs must be included
The KPIs below are the basis of good call centre reporting.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS).
This is similar to the customer satisfaction rate (CSAT) and is all about the happiness of your customers. However, NPS has a business-oriented twist: it measures the likelihood that your customers will recommend your product to someone else. This is important, of course, as a high number translates into greater visibility for your product.</li
- Average turnover.
This quantifies the turnover rate among your call centre agents. Call centres often have a reputation for high turnover, but that doesn’t have to be the case for your business. By emphasizing cohesion within your team, turnover will decrease and efficiency increase. A win-win situation!
Critical KPIs for customers
- First contact resolution (FCR).
This metric measures the percentage by which your customers’ problems are resolved by the first agent they speak to. The bottom line is that the higher this percentage is, the less frustrated your customers will be with your company as a whole. Everyone likes their problems solved quickly, right? You can increase this figure through skill-based routing, which in practice means that a customer who had a positive experience with an agent last time will automatically be routed to that agent the next time they call.</li
- Service level
The service level of a call centre is determined by the percentage of incoming calls that agents answer within a given time. It is usually given as a pair of numbers, the most popular of which is the vaunted global 80/20 call centre standard. An 80/20 service level for your call centre 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 centre staff.</li
- Average abandonment rate.
This KPI should not be missing from your call centre reports and measures the percentage of customers who hang up the phone before they are connected to an agent. It is strongly related to how busy and well-staffed your call centre is – the more agents there are to handle incoming calls, the faster your customers will be connected to an agent and the less likely they are to hang up before speaking to someone. 5-8% is a good benchmark to aim for in terms of average abandonment rate.
- Blocked Calls.
This is the percentage of customers who called your business and heard a busy signal. The percentage value relates directly to how well staffed a business is, because customers only hear a busy signal if all of a business’s agents are busy helping other people. Hearing a busy signal is frustrating for everyone, especially when trying to contact a company. This number should therefore be as low as possible.
- Average waiting time
You get this by dividing the total amount of time customers spent in queues in a given period by the number of calls 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 your agents’ attentiveness. According to a recent survey by the International Customer Management Institute, two-thirds of consumers would like to be on hold for only two minutes or less before speaking with an agent. Clearly, it is important to keep your average waiting time down!
Critical KPIs for processes
- Average answering time.
This figure indicates the average time it takes your agents to answer the phone, measured from the start of the calling process. This is the time without the time needed to navigate through your IVR. It’s a pretty pure measure of your agents’ ability to handle calls smoothly as they come in.
- Average call duration
Call duration is one of the most important KPIs for the efficiency of your call centre. The average duration of inbound and outbound calls gives you an important insight into how skilled your agents are at handling their responsibilities on a daily basis. If you consistently meet the 4-minute benchmark for call duration, you can rest assured that your agents are solving customer problems on time.
- Arrival rate
This will give you an idea of when your call centre is experiencing the highest and lowest volume of incoming calls. By keeping track of this KPI, you can create thoughtful, smart work schedules for your agents so that you are always adequately staffed, even on the busiest of days.</li
- Average handler time
This measurement measures the duration of your agents’ interactions with customers, from start to finish. The clock starts when your customer picks up the phone and ends when your agent is ready to take another call. That means it includes the time a customer spends in a queue, navigating your IVR system and speaking to an agent, as well as the time your agents spend documenting necessary information after a call. It’s a good benchmark to evaluate your agents’ efficiency, but make sure you don’t put too much emphasis on low AHT – rushed agents tend to make more mistakes and often provide a lower quality of customer service. You should set a benchmark that makes sense for your business and let your agents strive for it month by month.</li
- Average working time after a call
After each call, an agent has to deal with all kinds of important quasi-secret tasks: completing transaction reports, updating databases, reporting problems and so on. The time taken to complete these tasks is measured and recorded as the average after call work time KPI. While this can certainly be reduced by efficiency training sessions, certain call centre software can also help. Steam-connect, for example, has a number of useful features that can help your agents complete after-call tasks quickly and easily.
Best practices for your call center reports
Good. You now know which KPIs should not be missing in your call center reporting, but what next?
1. Focus on the KPIs
KPIs are tracked and regularly presented to management for a reason: they are the best way to identify problem areas and initiate targeted improvement initiatives. They cover a wide range of performance areas and give you a comprehensive overview of how your call centre is performing. Things aren’t going so well somewhere? If so, you’ll see it immediately.
KPIs must be your guide. You have to get up and go to bed with them. In a manner of speaking, that is. Just make sure that you make all your decisions based on your KPIs, because a well-considered decision has the best chance of success.
2. Set benchmarks
Just keeping track of your KPIs won’t get you anywhere; you need to benchmark them against industry standards. Setting these benchmarks for your business requires a lot of market research, but it is definitely worth the effort. With these benchmarks, you can put your call centre reports in context and clearly identify the areas where you need to improve.
Once you have those areas in mind, you can begin to devise a strategy for improving your business.
3. Look at the bigger picture
With all that data to keep track of, it’s easy to get caught up in all the minutiae in the performance numbers. Take a step back and look at the bigger picture. You are running a contact department that keeps your employees and customers happy and helps your company achieve its goals.
There are many ways to achieve this – through specific training, hiring additional staff, implementing modern, cloud-based customer contact software, and more. Make sure you are flexible in addressing issues that come up in your call centre reports. Be open to new ideas, then you’re more likely to find something that works for your business.
4. Set goals and follow through
Without goals, you make no progress. Once you’ve reviewed all the KPIs in your contact centre report and compared them to the benchmarks you’ve established, it’s time to set a list of goals for improvement.
Do you have an exceptionally high average handling time? Schedule efficiency training for your agents so they can begin to bring that number down. What if your average after call work time KPI is skyrocketing? Consider using modern contact centre software such as Steam-connect, which can help reduce the amount of time agents spend on after-calls work by automating most of it.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure you track everything over time. That way you can quickly see what works for your business – and keep doing it!
Examples of call centre reports
The best way to build your reports is by using software, such as Steam-connect. With Steam-connect, managers can sit back and watch the numbers roll in. The total number of calls your agents answered, the total number of missed calls that slipped through the cracks, the average duration of your agents’ calls and, finally, the average time your customers had to wait in a given period. You can use all this data for your reports, or just what is important to you.
You can also filter your data by agent so that you immediately know who the best performing agent is. You can see the total number of calls, average call duration, and total incoming and outgoing calls for a particular agent. You can also compare your agents side by side to get a broad picture of your team’s performance. If you want to highlight the performance of a particular agent over a period of time in your call centre report, the agent productivity dashboard lets you compile that data quickly and easily.
The test and review process
Finally, we come to the test and review process. This checks the veracity of the data you have collected and confirms your KPIs. You do this in a number of 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 rightly so: you are collecting a large amount of raw data and trying to categorise it into separate (and useful!) KPIs. Once you’ve compiled your data and KPIs, you can move on to the next step.
2. Double check your figures
The calculations in your reports are prone to human error, because well… they are done by people. This is a normal phenomenon and therefore the checking of your calculations and formulas deserves its own step in the process. You should circulate your contact centre report through your design and analysis departments so that people have a chance to notice any mathematical errors.
3. Make it visually appealing
Once your facts and figures are polished, it’s time to give them a nice jacket. Add graphs and charts in your company’s branding so all the data splashes off your screen. This step is incredibly important in creating a presentable, easy-to-understand report that can provide meaningful guidance to all your employees, regardless of their expertise.
4. End-user testing and review
Now that your report is nearly complete, you can start sending out a sample to managers and agents. They will test your report for readability and hopefully pick up on any inconsistencies, awkward text or confusing graphics. Also pay attention to the user-friendliness of your report.
5. Send out & adjust
Finally, you can send your report out to a wider audience. In this last step, you will see the fruit of all your hard work, and hopefully it will lead to improvement in the problem areas you were able to pinpoint. Remember that contact centre reports are living documents, so you need to be ready and able to edit or amend the report if necessary.
Congratulations! You have come a long way. You have created, tested and reviewed a document that is critical to the long-term success of your call centre. This industry moves fast, and your company relies on comprehensive, professional call centre reporting to keep up with the competition. So give yourself a pat on the back and get to work on the next report!
The Bottom Line
Comprehensive call centre reports are key to the success of any modern call and contact centre. They present a plethora of key KPIs in a digestible manner, allowing management to quickly understand which high priority areas are for improvement. They can also help with the improvement process, as regular reports can help determine whether or not a particular 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 spend on it, you can make the process more efficient by using advanced call centre reporting software such as Steam-connect. Curious? Then ask for a free demo.