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Big Data in your call center: Managing the numbers

The data collected by your call center software encompasses a wide variety of metrics: time spent on hold, call abandon rates, transfer rates, conversion rates, and cost per call. In fact, there is so much data available within your system that it can be difficult to manage your numbers effectively. Which metrics matter? How much do they matter? How can you make changes within your center in order to produce improvements in specific metrics?

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Of the many metrics you may be tracking within your call center, two of the most important performance indicators you will come across are your first call resolution rate (FCR) and average handle time (AHT). These rates are often in conflict with each other, and your decision to prioritize one over the other should be based upon the particular functions and goals of your center.

  • For the average customer contact center, a 1% improvement in FCR would result in a $276,000 reduction in annual operational costs (Bluewolf). You can improve your FCR by providing your agents with more training and coaching to increase their knowledge and ability to solve customer problems.
  • U.S. call centers receive 45.4 billion inbound calls per year, and each call costs, on average, $5.90 (Zendesk). You can reduce the cost per call by working to reduce your AHT. Optimizing your inbound call center's script to include answers to frequently asked questions and other scenarios can help bring down your AHT.

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