Important Call Center KPI Benchmarks by Industry

Pradeep Vasudev

Issac Thomas

May 20, 20246 min read

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Call center KPIs — sounds like a scary term, doesn’t it?  

Well, let me explain it in simple terms. 

Think of it this way: Imagine you are organizing a road trip to a faraway place. To get to the destination safely and on time, you’d choose the GPS to be your trusted friend, wouldn’t you? The GPS would display the best way to get there, the anticipated arrival time and even provide real-time updates on your location to guarantee a smooth and comfortable drive.  

Likewise, call center key performance indicators (KPIs) serve as navigational tools to drive transformation and quality in your call center’s operations, people and strategies. Every industry — such as retail, e-commerce, consumer packaged goods (CPG), technology, banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) — has its own benchmarks for each call center KPI. 

Tracking these industry-specific call center KPIs enables your business to optimize operations resulting in increased efficiency and competitiveness in your market — ultimately enhancing customer satisfaction in the long run.  

Table of Contents

Understanding call center KPI benchmarks 

Call center key performance indicators are used to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of your call center operations, while benchmarks are the numbers or percentages that these KPIs have to achieve to ensure an ideal state of operation. By benchmarking these KPIs against industry standards, your business can acquire insights into your strengths and improvement areas as compared to the competition. You get a yardstick to measure your competitive viability and improve your customer support strategies

Importance of call center KPI benchmarks across different industries 

1. Retail  

Average handle time (AHT) 
The average amount of time an agent spends on a call during a customer interaction is tracked as the average handle time (AHT). Longer wait times may cause potential consumers to forego making purchases, hence it is critical for the retail business to keep AHT around the industry average of 5.4 minutes

💡Did you know? 

You can reduce the average handle time by 35% by deflecting voice calls to live chat, routing callers to your best-suited agents for faster resolution. 

Watch how Sprinklr does this seamlessly, bringing down handle time and maintaining caller satisfaction: 

Deflection from voice to live chat in Sprinklr

Sector  

Average handle time (in minutes)  

Telecommunications  

8.8  

Retail  

5.4  

Financial services  

4.7  

Business & IT services  

4.7 

First call resolution
Retail call centers strongly emphasize handling consumer inquiries and complaints during the initial call and maintaining a high first call resolution rate. The benchmarking database maintained by MetricNet indicates that the average net FCR for service desks globally is around 74%

Learn More: Tips to Improve Your Contact Center’s First Call Resolution

Customer retention rate 
The consumer retention rate benchmark for B2B retail is between 76% and 81%. Retailers can assure client loyalty and repeat business by using call center KPI benchmarks that help focus on improving customer retention

Customer satisfaction score (CSAT) 
CSAT or customer satisfaction is a critical metric, usually the first and the most important one to be tracked in any call center environment. For e-commerce call centers, CSAT’s industry average is at 80%

Sector 

CSAT (%) 

Retail 

75 

E-commerce 

80 

Automotive 

77 

CPG 

80 

Abandoned call rate 
Call centers for e-commerce businesses receive a significant volume of inbound calls. Brands usually monitor abandoned call rates to see whether consumers are having trouble getting through to agents, which might result in a possible revenue loss. Typically, the abandoned call rate can be anywhere between 2-5%

Upsell and cross-sell conversion rate 
E-commerce contact centers, especially outbound call centers, strongly emphasize upselling and cross-selling items. In this aspect, monitoring conversion rates helps in optimizing revenue from each consumer's engagement. 

2. Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) 

Customer satisfaction score  
Call center representatives for CPG businesses must have in-depth product expertise to maximize ROI and drive customer satisfaction. KPIs strongly emphasize the veracity of the data agents deliver, ensuring that customer queries are effectively answered. Almost 26% of customers value knowledgeable advisors, which indicates a clear inclination of CPG businesses toward ensuring customer satisfaction.  

Call abandonment rate 
In the CPG sector, a high call abandonment rate might harm the brand's reputation. Making sure customers have a seamless and positive calling experience is made possible by monitoring this KPI. An abandonment rate of less than 5% is considered ideal for call centers to operate efficiently. 

First response time 
Over 50% of retail customers worldwide prefer having a phone conversation over any other support medium to resolve urgent issues — which emphasizes the need to have a remarkable first response time to address customer queries quickly. With quicker first responses, your customers feel valued and are more inclined to make more purchases with your brand.  

💡3 key call center software capabilities that help reduce first response times 

In order to improve your first response time, look for a call center solution that offers robust:  

  1. ACD (Automatic call distribution) to route incoming calls to the most appropriate agent based on various criteria such as skill level, availability or the nature of the inquiry. 

  2. IVR (Interactive voice response) to gather information from callers before directing them to the appropriate department or agent. 

  3. Skill-based Routing to assign specific skills or expertise to individual agents. When a call comes in, the system routes it to the agent best equipped to handle the particular issue or inquiry, reducing the need for transfers and ensuring faster resolution.  

Sprinklr Service boasts of these capabilities plus many more to help you beat the best in your industry.   

Skeptical? Take Sprinklr on a free 30-day trial and witness the results firsthand. 

3. Technology 

Average speed of answer (ASA) 
High call volumes are a problem for the technology sector's average speed of answer (ASA). To ensure prompt responses and customer satisfaction, ASA tracks the amount of time it takes to respond to consumer calls. The industry benchmark for ASA is often 28 seconds or less.  

Customer effort score (CES) 
Technology call centers prioritize reducing the work required by customers to resolve difficulties. The use of customer effort score (CES) as a standard helps to provide a seamless user experience. A lower score nearing 1 is considered a good standard for CES in the tech sector.   

4. Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) 

Net promoter score (NPS) 
Customer loyalty is vital to the BFSI sector's net promoter score (NPS). NPS standards are useful for assessing customer satisfaction and advocacy, which are critical for both retention and growth of your brand. The average net promoter score globally is +36 for the BFSI sector.  

Industry  

Professional services  

Technology companies  

Consumer goods and services  

Average NPS  

+43  

+35  

+43  

Median NPS  

+50  

+40  

+50  

Top quartile  

+73 (or higher)  

+64 (or higher)  

+72 (or higher)  

Bottom quartile  

+19 (or lower)  

+11 (or lower)  

+21 (or lower)  

Editor’s Pick: How to Improve Your Brand’s NPS [Tips + Examples] 

5. EdTech 

Customer churn rate 
Customer churn rate is the proportion of users that stop using the platform during a specific interval. For any business to be successful in the long run — especially for educational technology (EdTech) brands — churn reduction is essential. In 2019, the industry-standard churn rate for Edtech firms was 10.29%.  

First response time (FRT) 
FRT is the time needed to address questions from students. Quick answers are necessary to maintain students' interest and motivation for their studies. The industry standard for a live chat is 1 minute or less

6. Automobile 

Adherence to service level agreements (SLAs) 
Adherence to SLA is the proportion of calls answered within the allotted SLA time. In the automobile industry, prompt resolution of customer queries and concerns is essential. 80% of calls being answered within 20 seconds is frequently defined as the industry standard service threshold.  

Customer satisfaction index (CSAT) 
The automotive sector has an average CSAT of 77%. The call centers can focus on increasing this number by focusing on a proper understanding of the query and quick resolution, with zero confusion. 

5 Essential capabilities in robust call center KPI tracking tools 

Brands must invest in sophisticated KPI tracking systems in order to maximize call center performance and reach business goals. The following are some key advantages of using such tools: 

  1. Performance visibility: Modern KPI monitoring solutions offer real-time visibility into call center metrics, allowing managers to keep track of performance, see patterns and take rapid action when problems arise. 

    💡Sprinklr Pro Tip: Look for top call center software that offers a 360-degree view of your performance at agent, queue and floor levels, with dashboards that are easy to read and interpret. 

  2. AI-led data analytics: Call center managers can make wise decisions and put plans in place to raise agent productivity, customer happiness and overall effectiveness by reviewing KPI data. 

    ⛔A Common Mistake to Avoid 

    While vetting customer service data analytics and reporting solutions, often one overlooks advanced data like customer journey analytics and ends up picking basic tools. However, this can be a blunder if your callers tend to jump channels during interactions.  

    Why so? 

    Customer journey analytics track the customer experience at every channel, yielding insights into things like: 

    • At what point does the caller churn? 

    • What point(s) shows the scope for improvement? 

    • What's the most preferred touchpoint for callers? 

    Using these insights, you can plug gaps in the customer journey and optimize your call center KPIs effectively 😊  

  3. Agent performance optimization: KPI tracking mechanisms let call centers evaluate the performance of individual agents and pinpoint areas for development. Managers can use this information to deliver specialized coaching, training and recognition, eventually improving agent engagement and retention. 

  4. Real-time monitoring: It allows contact centers to identify growing problems and take proactive measures to solve them. Also, AI-powered customer service solutions enable agents to monitor customer-related KPIs in real time and handle issues before they escalate. 

  5. Omnichannel customer management: Modern call centers handle interactions across several channels — including phone calls, emails, social media and live chat. A customer service solution with superior omnichannel capabilities provides your agents with a holistic picture of client interactions across all touchpoints., which your agents can then use to provide a better quality of support and invariably improve customer satisfaction. 

Wrapping up

Constantly monitoring all the above-mentioned metrics manually for your business can be tedious and inefficient, but it is essential for you to deliver the best customer service experiences and keep your customers happy. With powerful customer service like Sprinklr Service, you can ensure you monitor your performance-critical metrics around the clock — and stay on top of your support game. In fact, you can rehearse how on top feels like for free for the next 30 days. How? Sign up for a full-featured trial of Sprinklr Service today! 

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