Important call center agent performance metrics to track [+Optimization Tips]

Sprinklr Team

September 18, 202313 min read

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While the primary focus for most businesses continues to be generating sales, it's not uncommon to observe companies allocating significant resources toward upholding service standards.  

After all, delivering empathetic customer service promptly and consistently can create a positive brand perception in your customers' minds, becoming your most vital competitive advantage as you grow.  

Therefore, the role of your call center agents is critical since they are the interface between your customers and the brand you have been building.   

According to research, 82% of customers solely endorse a business due to its service quality. Therefore, it becomes imperative to monitor and assess call center agent performance metrics regularly. 

The blog provides insights into essential call center agent performance metrics, the formulas used to calculate them, industry benchmarks for each metric, and offers optimization tips. 

Table of Contents

What are call center agent performance metrics?  

Call center agent performance metrics indicate your agents' proficiency in managing daily customer calls. These metrics gauge the speed at which your agents respond and the precision with which they address inquiries.  

By monitoring call center agent performance metrics, you can gain valuable insights into areas for improvement which inform and guide your call center agent coaching and overall strategy. These interventions can help agents navigate their tasks effectively, ensuring customer interactions meet or exceed your predetermined benchmarks. 

Suggested read: Improving agent productivity with unified CXM 

Important call center agent performance metrics to track 

We’ve identified 18 key call center agent performance metrics to help you assess how well your agents are performing, discover ways to enhance your metrics and ultimately improve your service quality.

  1. Average speed of answer (ASA)  

  2. Average handle time (AHT)  

  3. Average talk time (ATT)  

  4. After call work (ACW)  

  5. Occupancy rate  

  6. First-call resolution rate (FCR)  

  7. Customer satisfaction score (CSAT)  

  8. Net promoter score (NPS)  

  9. Customer effort score (CES)  

  10. Average hold time  

  11. Transfer rate  

  12. Escalation rate  

  13. Repeat contact rate  

  14. Call quality monitoring score  

  15. Script adherence rate  

  16. Schedule adherence  

  17. Conversion rate  

  18. Average order value 

These metrics are further categorized into several groups to provide a comprehensive view of their role, how each is calculated, and the industry benchmarks.

Efficiency metrics 

These metrics measure how efficiently your agents handle customer interactions and manage their time. Check out the efficiency metrics and their key details below.  

1. Average speed of answer (ASA) 

It measures the average time an agent takes to answer a customer's call and is typically measured in seconds. 

How to calculate: Total wait time / Total number of calls answered 

Interpretation: ASA results directly impact CSAT, as faster answers lead to reduced customer frustration. 

Industry benchmark: 28 seconds or less   

2. Average handle time (AHT) 

Average handle time is the average duration of an entire customer call, from when the customer initiates the call to its conclusion.    

The calculation considers hold times, transfers and after-call work, providing a comprehensive view of the call's lifecycle. 

How to calculate: (Total talk time + total hold time + after-call work time) / total number of calls 

Interpretation: A lower AHT indicates streamlined processes and quicker issue resolution. However, excessive AHT may lead to rushed interactions and poor service quality. Hence, balancing is important.   

Industry benchmark: A little over 6 minutes 

3. Average talk time (ATT) 

It’s the average duration of an actual conversation between an agent and a customer.   

How to calculate: (Total customer handling time – hold time – wrap up time)/total calls handled 

Interpretation: Consistently high ATT might indicate detailed conversations but also suggests potential inefficiencies. However, unusually low ATT might signal rushed interactions, affecting service quality. 

Industry benchmark: Varies across industries. 

4. After call work (ACW) 

Average after call work time is determined by summing up the total time spent on after-call work by an agent over a defined period. This sum is then divided by the total number of calls handled during the same timeframe. 

How to calculate: Total after call work time / Total number of calls 

Interpretation: Longer ACW times indicate that agents ensure comprehensive and precise documentation. However, excessive ACW times could also suggest inefficiencies. 

Industry benchmark: 20-30 seconds is considered ideal. 

Suggested read: What is after call work and its benefits?  

5. Occupancy rate 

It refers to the percentage of time a call center agent spends interacting with customers on a call.  

How to calculate: (Total handle time / Total logged-in time) × 100 

Interpretation:  Should be balanced between efficiency and quality 

Industry benchmark: Neither too high nor too low. 

Effectiveness metrics 

These metrics assess how well your agents resolve customer issues and meet their needs. Let’s check them out.   

6. First-call resolution rate (FCR) 

It measures the percentage of customer issues resolved on the first call. 

How to calculate: (Total number of calls resolved on a first call / Total number of calls handled) × 100 

Interpretation: A high FCR rate implies that agents possess the necessary skills, knowledge and resources to resolve most customer issues on the first call. 

Industry benchmark: 74% or higher 

Learn More: Tips to improve your call center’s first call resolution   

7. Customer satisfaction score (CSAT) 

CSAT score is employed to measure the level of customer satisfaction during interactions with your company.  

How to calculate: (Number of satisfied customers / Total number of respondents) × 100 

Interpretation: The higher, the better 

Industry benchmark: 73% (by 2022) 

8. Net promoter score (NPS) 

Net promoter score measures customer loyalty and the likelihood of recommending your company's products or services to others.  

How to calculate: % Promoters - % Detractors 

(Note: Promoters are customers who respond with a score of 9 or 10 on the NPS survey. Detractors are customers who respond with a score of 0 to 6 on the NPS survey.) 

Interpretation: A higher positive score indicates higher customer loyalty and satisfaction. 

Industry benchmark: Above 70%, though it varies across industries.   

9. Customer effort score (CES) 

Customer effort score indicates how much effort customers usually expend during a customer service interaction.  

How to calculate: The CES survey is conducted by three different scales.  

  • 1-10 scale  

  • Likert scale  

  • Emoji scale 

Interpretation: A lower CES is highly desirable.   

Industry benchmark: Low effort (1-3) is considered ideal.   

Customer interaction metrics 

These metrics reflect the customer experience facilitated by agents. Primarily reflecting call center agent productivity, let’s check these out.  

10. Average hold time 

It refers to the average duration that customers spend on hold, waiting to speak with a call center agent or representative. 

How to calculate: Total hold time / Total number of calls handled 

Interpretation: Longer hold times can lead to frustration and negative customer experiences. 

Industry benchmark: 3-5 minutes   

11. Transfer rate 

It refers to the percentage of customer calls or interactions that are transferred from one agent or department to another within the organization. 

How to calculate: (Total number of transferred calls / Total number of calls handled) × 100 

Interpretation: A higher transfer rate suggests scope for improvement in call routing or agent training.   

Industry benchmark: 5-10% in outbound call centers   

12. Escalation rate 

It refers to the percentage of customer interactions or inquiries escalated from frontline agents to higher-level support, supervisors or specialized teams within a call center. 

How to calculate: (Total number of escalated calls / Total number of calls handled) × 100 

Interpretation: A higher escalation rate suggests that agents need more training or resources to handle complex situations effectively. 

Industry benchmark: 2-5% in inbound call centers and 5-10% in technical support centers. 

13. Repeat contact rate

It measures the percentage of customers who need to contact the call center again regarding the same issue after their initial interaction.   

How to calculate: (Number of repeat contacts / Total number of interactions) × 100 

Interpretation: A lower repeat contact rate indicates that customers are getting their concerns fully addressed without needing to reach out again. 

Industry benchmark: 5-10% in inbound call centers and 10-20% in outbound call centers 

Go beyond: Introduction to customer interaction analytics  

Quality metrics 

As the name suggests, these metrics reflect the quality of your agents' interactions with the customers and their adherence to the set standards. The quality metrics in a call center are:  

14. Call quality monitoring score 

Quality monitoring involves listening to customer interactions to assess how well your agents handle conversations, adhere to your policies and provide accurate information.  

Professionalism, empathy, the accuracy of the information, compliance with the script and problem-solving ability are critical parameters based on which you should evaluate your call center agent performance.  

Interpretation: A higher score generally indicates that agents are adhering to call center standards, demonstrating good communication skills, providing accurate information, and offering satisfactory resolutions. Lower scores might suggest areas for improvement.  

15. Script adherence rate 

This metric measures how your agents follow approved scripts or guidelines during customer interactions.  

You can calculate the script adherence rate by dividing the number of calls where agents followed the script by the total number of calls and multiplying by 100 to get a percentage. 

How to calculate:  (Number of calls followed script / Total number of calls) * 100 

Interpretation: A high script adherence rate suggests that agents maintain consistency in their responses and deliver information in line with company standards. However, you must ensure script adherence does not come at the cost of personalized interaction.   

16. Schedule adherence 

 Schedule adherence measures the percentage of time agents adhere to their assigned schedule. Adhering to these schedules upholds service levels, guarantees sufficient staffing and curtails disruptions. 

How to calculate:  (Total logged-in time / Scheduled shift time) × 100 

Interpretation: A high schedule adherence rate indicates that your agents effectively use their scheduled work hours. This suggests that they are present and actively engaged during their shifts, helping to ensure that staffing levels align with call volume. 

Industry benchmark: While the recommended schedule adherence rate is 85% or higher, it's important to note that there isn't a fixed industry standard that your call center must strictly adhere to. 

Good to know: Call center scheduling can help you forecast call volumes, determine agent availability and create schedules that align with service goals and quality standards.

Sales and revenue metrics 

Primarily applicable in outbound call centers, this category's call center agent performance metrics assess agents' ability to generate revenue. Here are a few for your quick reference.  

17. Conversion rate 

The conversion rate represents the percentage of sales opportunities your agents successfully convert into actual purchases. It reflects your agents' ability to turn potential customers into paying customers. A higher conversion rate indicates agents' efficiency and persuasive skills. 

How to calculate:  (Conversions / Leads contacted) × 100 

Interpretation: The higher, the better. 

Industry benchmark: Varies significantly based on factors such as the industry, the type of product or service being sold, the target audience, the sales process and even the quality of leads. 

Read more: How to identify your customer's purchase intent using AI 

18. Average order value 

Average Order Value (AOV) calculates the average revenue generated per sale by an agent. 

The call center agent productivity metric helps you assess agent efficiency in upselling or cross-selling, as well as the effectiveness of agents in encouraging customers to spend more. 

How to calculate: Total revenue / Total number of orders 

Interpretation: A higher average order value suggests that agents are well-trained to influence customers to make larger purchases or add additional products or services to their orders.

Industry benchmark: Varies widely depending on the industry, product offerings, pricing strategies and customer behavior. 

Role of call center agent performance scorecard  

Call center agent performance scorecard lets you delve into the intricacies of your agents' customer interactions. The scorecard equips you to assess your agents’ effectiveness in addressing customer needs and their efficiency in navigating inquiries and resolutions.  

The informed evaluation empowers you to improve call center agent productivity, make strategic decisions, offer targeted feedback and drive continuous improvement across your team.

Agent score card with Sprinklr Quality Monitoring Software

What software can help you track call center agent performance metrics? 

Since you need to measure call center agent performance regularly, you must be able to visualize and analyze the metrics in one place without juggling between systems.  

Here comes the role of the right call center software. To gauge call center agent productivity metrics impeccably, below are the key features you must consider while purchasing or migrating to a call center solution. 

1. Real-time analytics and reporting 

Call center analytics software tracks and analyzes vital call center agent productivity metrics such as average answer rate, average handle time, first-call resolution rate, average hold time and more.  

Data points are typically presented through dashboards and reports wherein you can get a comprehensive overview of how your agents perform daily, monthly or quarterly.

Real-time analytics and reporting with Sprinklr AI

Good to know – Today, with modern customer service analytics software, you can get a 360° view of the factors that impact customer experiences and analyze 100% of your conversations across all channels.   

2. CRM system 

The customer relationship management software tracks customer interactions and stores customer data. It allows your call center agents to gain quick access to customer information, including contact details, past purchases, support requests and more.   

Using this software, your agents can resolve customer queries promptly and efficiently. Additionally, you can track call center KPIs, such as call logs, customer interactions, case resolutions and customer satisfaction scores.    

3. Workforce management 

With workforce management, you can optimize agent scheduling and staffing while maintaining service levels. You can also monitor call center agent performance metrics such as schedule adherence, occupancy rates and agent availability to ensure efficient call handling. 

4. Quality monitoring  

Quality monitoring tools offer call recording, evaluation and feedback for your agents' performance improvement. You can also listen to customer conversations in real-time without alerting the customer or agent. Most call center software provides call quality monitoring as a native functionality.

Live agent monitoring with Sprinklr Quality Monitoring Solution

5. Speech analytics 

Modern contact center solutions empower users with speech analytics software that offers AI-powered speech recognition and sentiment analysis. You can identify customer intent, sentiments and agent performance patterns in real-time.   

Moreover, when your agents face any specific issue during a support interaction, they can receive relevant information and guidance through an on-screen pop-up, leading to enhanced efficiency and an improved customer experience. 

Speech analytics with Sprinklr AI

Good to know – Today, AI-powered agent desktop solutions enable agents to analyze conversations based on intent, sentiment, emotion, intensity, and time of reply. The results provide live feedback for agents, more accurate CSAT reporting, and escalate automatically to supervisors when a negative score is predicted.

Predictive CSAT with Sprinklr speech analytics software

 Read more: 11 features customer care agents need from an agent desktop 

6. Call scripting 

Pre-made call scripts guide agents through conversations, ensuring accurate information delivery and adherence to performance metrics like script adherence, call duration and issue resolution. 

With call scripting software, you can monitor real-time interactions, assessing how well agents follow scripts and address customer concerns. Upon finding any deviation, you can fix it by coaching and training. 

How can you improve your call center agents' performance metrics? 

Now that you have a fair understanding of the call center agent performance metrics, you must know how to improve these. Here are some valuable tips that can help you improve the call center agent productivity metrics of your company: 

  • Technology integration: Streamline customer interactions by integrating channels, CRM, analytics and reporting tools within a unified platform, enhancing agent efficiency and overall performance. 

  • Coaching and feedback: Bridge data insights with action through structured coaching and continuous feedback, empowering agents to identify gaps and excel in customer interactions. 

  • Comprehensive training: Elevate agent capabilities by providing centralized training in product knowledge, communication and problem-solving skills, aligning with rising customer expectations. 

  • Performance recognition: Foster a positive environment by implementing gamification and rewards, addressing the balance between customer satisfaction and business goals, ultimately enhancing agent engagement and performance.    

Navigating the challenges of maintaining a top-notch call center quality assurance program is vital for enhancing customer experience and driving business growth. However, achieving effective quality automation demands harmonious collaboration across teams and business functions, a task that often proves complex. 

This is precisely where a unified quality management software, like Sprinklr, substantially impacts. With its advanced AI capabilities, Sprinklr unveils significant gaps in your processes and performance, offering insights that hold the potential to elevate your service standards and drive enhanced customer interactions. 

Want to learn more? 

Start a 30-day free trial today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Measuring agent performance in a call center involves tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as Average Handle Time (AHT), First Call Resolution (FCR), Call Abandonment Rate, Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) scores and more. These metrics provide insights into agents' efficiency, problem-solving skills and overall effectiveness in delivering exceptional customer experiences. 

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