Call centers are integral to delivering exceptional customer service and fostering strong customer relationships. Keeping pace with the evolving industry landscape requires a deep understanding of key trends and benchmarks.
In this blog, we’ll delve into a collection of insightful call center statistics sourced from expert analysis and industry research. From customer satisfaction and efficiency metrics to industry-specific benchmarks, we’ll uncover valuable insights that drive call center success.
Top call center statistics according to experts
Here are some of the most important call center statistics from studies around the world that can help you understand customer service quality standards worldwide.
The average U.S. customer satisfaction score is around 73% (for data till 2022).
Over half of the retail customers with an urgent issue prefer having support conversations over the phone, followed by text messaging which is preferred by about 30% of customers.
Most call centers focus on answering 80% of the calls they receive in under 20 seconds, even though efforts are being made to improve those numbers to 90% in under 15 seconds.
The average cost per customer service call observed across industries is $2.70 - $5.60.
71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions, and 76% of them get frustrated when it doesn’t happen.
Gartner projects that the rate of automation in agent interactions will increase by 5x and reach approximately 10% by 2026, compared to 1.8% in 2022.
73% of consumers feel that brands valuing their customers' time is a sign of good customer service experiences.
Almost half the users that contact a brand on social media expect a response in under 60 minutes. Also, 80% expect a reply within the same day.
58% of US customers are ready to pay more to a brand if they can provide a better customer experience.
78% of consumers have backed out on an intended purchase because of a negative experience.
Almost 62% of millenials and 75% of Gen-Z customers prefer self-service almost all the time, even when they have an option of contacting support.
Call center efficiency statistics
One of the most critical aspects of reporting is analyzing efficiency, which helps your call center identify areas of improvement. By working towards improving individual productivity, you can also improve the efficiency of the call center as a whole.
Here are some key call center metrics and some important statistics related to them:
Customer satisfaction (CSAT)
High customer satisfaction is a key indicator of call center efficiency. Meeting customer expectations and resolving their issues promptly contribute to a positive customer experience. According to a study, 80% of customer service organizations use CSAT as the primary metric to gauge and improve their customer experience.
First call resolution
First call resolution (FCR) measures the percentage of customer issues resolved on the first call. A higher FCR rate indicates efficient problem-solving and reduces the need for follow-up calls. Best-in-class call centers achieve an FCR rate of 74% or higher.
Average handle time
Average handle time (AHT) refers to the average time it takes for a customer service representative to handle a call. Monitoring AHT helps optimize agent efficiency and streamline call processes. The industry average AHT is a little over 6 minutes — 6 minutes and 10 seconds to be precise (as of date).
Occupancy rate measures the percentage of time call center agents are actively handling calls or engaged in productive work. Striking the right balance with this metric is crucial to prevent agent burnout and maintain efficiency. The recommended occupancy rate is between 80% and 85% (83% as of date).
Average speed of answer (ASA)
ASA represents the average time a customer waits in the queue before their call is answered. Minimizing ASA enhances customer satisfaction and reduces abandonment rates. The target ASA in the industry is typically around 28 seconds or less.
Service level is the percentage of calls answered within a specified time frame. It sets expectations for callers and reflects the call center's responsiveness. The industry standard service level is often set at 80% of calls answered within 20 seconds.
Call abandonment rate indicates the percentage of callers who hang up before their call is answered. High abandonment rates can signify long wait times or insufficient staffing. An abandonment rate of less than 5% is considered good for call center efficiency.
Abandonment rate heavily depends on call abandonment wait time, another critical customer service metric that measures the average time a customer waits in the queue before abandoning the call. Businesses usually observe two critical points in the call waiting journey at 30 and 60 seconds where most customers abandon the call, and it’s important to optimize your calling experience based on this data.
Learn more: What is call abandonment rate? KPIs to track
Schedule adherence measures the percentage of time agents adhere to their assigned schedule. Adhering to schedules helps maintain service levels, ensures adequate staffing and minimizes disruptions.
The recommended schedule adherence rate is 85% or higher; there is no solid industry standard that your call center has to comply with since adherence can be subjective to your organization or your team’s operating rhythm.
Call center benchmark numbers based on industry
Here are some important call center statistics based on various industry standards that can be used as benchmarks for customer service.
Financial services: The average customer satisfaction rate for call centers in the banking and financial services industry is 79%, indicating the importance of delivering quality service in this sector.
Healthcare: Healthcare call centers experience an average call abandonment rate of 7%, demonstrating their efficiency in managing patient inquiries and reducing abandonment.
E-commerce: E-commerce call centers achieve an average first call resolution (FCR) rate of 75%, indicating their focus on resolving customer issues effectively during the initial contact.
Technology: Call centers in the technology sector maintain an average service level of 79%, ensuring that the majority of calls are answered within the expected timeframe to meet customer demands.
Retail industry: Only 39% of U.S. customers feel agents at retail call centers are aware of their needs, which makes them feel unappreciated and unheard and erodes their brand engagement.
Telecom: Telecom call centers maintain an average agent occupancy rate of 80-90%, indicating a balanced workload for agents and ensuring they remain productive while handling customer interactions.
Insurance: Insurance call centers achieve an average schedule adherence rate of 80%, reflecting their commitment to maintaining agent availability as per the designated schedules.
Automotive: Automotive call centers achieve an average customer satisfaction score of 78%, highlighting their dedication to providing satisfactory assistance to customers with inquiries about vehicle purchases, repairs, or other automotive-related concerns.
Ever wondered what the future of call center performance would look like? We’ll take a quick look at some predictions of critical customer service metrics in the next section.
Call center future trends
Here are some important pointers on how the future of call center performance would look like.
Increase in adoption of voice assistants: More than 8.4 billion units of voice assistants will be in active use worldwide by 2024, mainly increasing the usage of technologies like natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML). These voice assistants would enable your business to provide efficient self-service options for customers on a large scale.
Rise of virtual contact centers: Cloud-based contact center solutions will continue to grow in adoption to a total value of $82.43 billion in 2030. The need for scalable cloud software will power this massive shift towards CCaaS solutions, resulting in enhanced, easy-to-manage customer experiences.
Emphasis on omnichannel customer engagement: By 2030, it is predicted that over the omnichannel customer engagement market will grow to a whopping $17.92 billion in revenue. Highly interconnected customer interactions across platforms would allow customers to seamlessly transition between channels while maintaining consistent and personalized experiences.
Virtual call center agent workforce expansion: The number of remote call center agents is expected to grow by 60% from 2022 to 2024, as companies riding the post-pandemic wave would increasingly leverage technology to enable remote work — providing flexibility and cost savings while maintaining high-quality customer service.
Enhanced use of sentiment analysis: According to a report by Microsoft, almost 95% of customer interactions will be processed through sentiment analysis tools by 2025 to understand customer emotions during interactions. Real-time sentiment analysis would enable agents to tailor their responses and resolutions based on active feedback and improve overall customer satisfaction.
In the next section, we’ll learn more about how you can use all these statistics you’ve learnt so far to enhance efficiency in your call center operations and also to improve individual agent productivity.
How to leverage these statistics to improve your call center?
To maximize the impact of call center statistics and drive improvements, consider following this step-by-step procedure:
Identify performance gaps. Analyze the call center statistics to identify areas of improvement, such as high call abandonment rates, long average handle times, or low first call resolution rates. Focus on addressing these gaps to enhance operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Implement targeted agent training. Utilize the statistics to identify specific training needs for your agents. Offer targeted training programs to enhance skills in areas like active listening, conflict resolution and product knowledge, enabling agents to deliver exceptional customer experiences.
Learn more: What is call center agent training?
Optimize workforce management. Leverage call center statistics related to agent occupancy rates, call volumes and average wait times to optimize workforce management (WFM). Adjust staffing levels, scheduling and break patterns to ensure adequate agent coverage during peak call periods, minimizing customer wait times and maximizing agent productivity.
Embrace technology solutions. Leverage AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants to handle routine inquiries, freeing up human agents to focus on complex issues. Implement speech analytics tools to gain insights from customer conversations, identifying trends and opportunities for process improvements.
Be an AI pro: How to leverage AI to improve productivity
Foster a culture of continuous improvement. Encourage a culture of learning and development within your call center. Regularly review call center statistics and customer feedback to identify recurring issues and implement process improvements. Foster open communication channels for agents to share insights and best practices.
Enhance self-service options. Leverage call center statistics on call volumes and customer preferences to enhance self-service options. Invest in intuitive IVR systems, comprehensive knowledge bases and user-friendly customer portals to empower customers to find answers independently, reducing call volumes and wait times.
Pro-tip: Providing a means for your customers to quickly deflect to a human agent works wonders for their self-service experience. Not only will they feel empowered enough to find solutions on their own, but they’ll also feel reassured that assistance is always a click away when needed, improving the customer experience and their trust on your brand.
Personalize customer interactions. Leverage customer satisfaction scores and sentiment analysis to understand individual customer preferences and emotions. Utilize customer data to personalize interactions, tailoring responses based on past interactions and customer profiles.
Monitor and adapt. Continuously monitor call center statistics and customer feedback to identify evolving trends and adapt your strategies accordingly. Regularly assess the impact of implemented improvements and make necessary adjustments to drive ongoing success.
Remember, each call center is unique; you need to tailor these strategies so that they constantly serve your requirements in an effective manner.
From optimizing operations and agent training to embracing emerging technologies, the key to success lies in translating these call center statistics into actionable strategies. The journey to an exceptional call center is an ongoing process of refinement, where decision making powered by extensive data analytics and a customer-centric approach pave the way for long-term success.
With Sprinklr Service, you can ensure your callers are always provided the best customer experience possible, thanks to the advanced capabilities like conversational IVR and extensive reporting that are powered by the world’s first unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform. Try it for free for 90 days!