Knowing that customers are satisfied with the services they receive is a top priority for many businesses. That’s why they use call centers in the first place. However, measuring the effectiveness of these structures seems to be problematic.
According to the recent ACSI research, the general customer satisfaction index has dropped over the past two years from 75.4 to 73.1. And the root of such a drastic change lies in the lack of performance evaluations of customer support systems. But how can businesses even measure their call center service levels?
Key Pillars Of The Quality Customer Experience
Call center industry standards are a broad set of key performance indicators (KPIs) that help track and evaluate how your customer support system works. The use of these metrics can vary from business to business because, despite having similar call center services, every industry has different needs.
Nevertheless, there are still some benchmarks for call center performance metrics most enterprises can use widely and freely. Thus, if you want to boost your customer support services and, as a result, improve customer experience, you should pay attention to the following set of KPIs.
Service Level And Response Time
Most call centers made an effort to adhere to the 80/20 guideline. They could respond to 80% of client inquiries in 20 seconds. Businesses are increasingly working to implement a 90/15 rule.
Nevertheless, given the variety of communication options, the level of response may differ:
- Live chat—80% answer within 20 seconds;
- Email—100% answer within 4 hours, and 80% answer within the first 15 minutes;
- Messaging Apps/SMS—a response to 80% of messages within 1 hour;
- Social Media – a 1-hour response in general.
The response time is one of the prominent industry standard call center metrics that shows the business’s level of service. In addition, it indicates whether it has enough resources to connect with its customers and resolve issues.
Average Handling Time And Other Agent Efficiency Benchmarks
With call center metrics, industry standards help support teams to maintain their success. The most important indexes are focused on measuring agents’ efficiency. Average handle time (AHT), for example, is the duration of one customer transaction, and it includes:
- talk time;
- time on hold;
- possible follow-up tasks.
On average, the AHT should be around 6 minutes long; however, you shouldn’t shorten your customer handling time at the expense of a quality resolution.
Another vital statistic is first contact resolution (FCR), which demonstrates the support staff’s capacity to address issues as soon as customers contact them. This measurement can be implemented on individual channels or over all of them together. Around 70–75% would be the “optimal” criteria.
Last but not least is the case escalation rate, which indicates how many calls are being transferred from an agent to the supervisor. Again, given that it represents your agents’ expertise, training, and experience, it should ideally remain below the 10% threshold.
Call Center Best Practice—How To Up Your Support Team Game
Ultimately, tracking metrics and following call center industry standards aims to deliver customer satisfaction, directly affecting a company’s revenue, employee morale, and general performance.
There are call center best practice recommendations that will help to ensure high satisfaction levels for your regular and potential customers:
- Constantly re-training your agents to lower the case escalation rate. In this case, call recordings may help indicate the areas of struggle and, as a result, steer the training process in the right direction.
- Ensure quick response rates and automate some responses by employing call center outsourcing forces. It will loosen up pressure from your team and boost your service level.
- To hold peer feedback sessions for call quality analysis scoring. By allowing your agents to assess each other’s calls randomly, you will eliminate conflicts with the quality department and build a culture of continuous coaching and improvement.
- Use CRM and click-to-dial-like tools to receive relevant customer information and insights to improve FCR. Using automatic call distribution (ACD) software will also be helpful as it will ensure the connection of the right-skilled agent with the specific customer.
Altogether, your customer support team’s efforts should cater to the customers’ needs and give the quickest and most valuable responses possible. So, if you are looking for such services, maybe check out the WOW24-7 customer support service. They can give you what you are looking for in a customer support team.
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