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Call center management: Best practices and top KPIs to elevate operations


Article Summary:Call centers play a crucial role in customer service and brand perception for many businesses.

Call centers play a crucial role in customer service and brand perception for many businesses. By optimizing call center operations through best practices and key performance indicators (KPIs), companies can improve the customer experience and agent performance. This leads to higher customer satisfaction, retention, and overall business results.

Best Practices for Call Center Management

There are several operational best practices call center managers should follow to run an efficient operation:

  • Training and development: Agents must receive thorough and ongoing training on products, policies, soft skills, and technology tools. Investing in training pays off with better performance and customer interactions.
  • Workforce management: Use forecasting, scheduling, and staffing tools to have the right number of agents available at peak times while controlling labor costs. This improves wait times, abandonment rates, and agent productivity.
  • Quality assurance: Regularly monitor agent calls through random sampling and coaching. Provide feedback to reinforce good behaviors and correct issues. QA is crucial for maintaining high service levels over time.
  • Technology enablement: Leverage systems for omnichannel communication, knowledge bases, performance dashboards, and other tools to support agents and enhance the customer experience. Advanced technologies increase agent efficiency.
  • Process optimization: Routinely review standard operating procedures and make data-driven changes to improve processes like problem resolution, return/exchange handling, and campaign management. Streamlining eliminates waste.

Key Performance Indicators to Track

To determine if best practices are effective and identify areas for improvement, managers should closely monitor the following critical KPIs:

  • Service level/wait time: The percentage of calls answered within a target time (e.g. 80% within 20 seconds). Ensures prompt customer access.
  • First call resolution: Percentage of issues solved on the initial contact to reduce repeat calls and effort for agents/customers.
  • Customer satisfaction scores: Measures of post-call customer feedback on courtesy, helpfulness, problem resolution and likelihood to recommend.
  • Agent adherence: Percentage of time agents spend actually engaged with customers rather than after-call or idle time. Maximizes productivity.
  • Average handle time: Length of successful calls to balance efficiency and customer service. Too short may compromise quality.
  • Agent attrition: Rate at which agents voluntarily leave employment which impacts training/hiring costs if too high.
  • Call abandonment rate: Percentage of customers who hang up before speaking to an agent. Indicates frustration with wait times.

By continually enhancing operations through best practices and monitoring these core metrics, call centers can deliver exceptional service while optimizing resources for maximum business impact. Regular evaluation keeps process improvement ongoing.
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The article is original by Udesk, and when reprinted, the source must be indicated:

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