CALLCENTROLOGY

50 terms of CALLCENTROLOGY

— are the basic definitions and key metrics for monitoring and successful operation of a call center. These metrics are the result of Telecontact’s re-working of the COPC standard for the operation of a modern call center. The implementation and monitoring, recommended by KPI, allow forming the work flows so that the growth of service, quality and revenue will be achieved together with reducing costs.

Telecontact does not aspire to be a “legislator” in the field of call centers, but we, as the leader in this sphere, have assumed this responsibility due to the absence of single regulatory authority in our field of activities. We are ready to discuss every point together with the interested parties.

телеконтакт, Житомир
One of the Telecontact offices in Zhytomyr.

ACD / Automatic Call Distributor

— is automatic call distribution system. The invention of the ACD technology become the turning point that made the call center concept existence possible.

ACD in the modern world is a Software (of different manufacturers) that receives a call and routes it depending on the specified logic. In the simplest case, it distributes the incoming call to a free agent (operator), in the absence of those, it queues the call. The second essential component of the ACD program is the reports on the traffic and the states of agents receiving it.

In 1958, the call distribution system looked like this, as it was not yet automated:

Call Switching Center in 1958. Photo
Call Switching Center in 1958. Photo: Wystan/Flickr

Now, half a century later, it is just a program. There are many manufacturers for every need and budget: from Avaya and Cisco, the world leaders of the area, to free programs based on the Asterisk open libraries.

ACW / After Call Work Time, Wrap-Up Time

— is after-call processing time.

This is the state to which the agent is switched automatically, immediately after the call is completed. The agent is also automatically withdrawn from this state after a specified period. No other states are allocated inside this state. Agent Status wrap-up. The Agent can take a Pause to extend this state.

Details on the After Call Work (ACW)

Agent

— has three meanings in the call center, depending on the context:

  • A call center employee processing calls. Alternatively, in case of a contact center, not only calls but also text and video. It is customary to call such employee an agent in Russian. In the articles, hastily translated from English, the Operator will be referred to as the Agent.
  • • The denotation of the agent’s function in ACD. For example, Agent Statuses: ready, talk, wrap-up, idle, unavailable.
  • • The common name of the interface for the agent’s work with ACD.

AHT / Average Handling Time

— average time (duration) of the call handling.

— a key parameter of the call center work efficiency (KPI of the inbound line and KPI of the outbound line).

The increase in AHT = lack of agents = decrease in SL and increase in % of the Abandoned Rate.

AHT is growing:

AHT = average call handling time (Total Call Initiation Time (for inbound) + Total Talk Time + Total Hold Time + Total After Call Work Time + Total Pause Time / Total Transactions Handled

The increase in AHT may be a consequence of:

  • the appearance of the inexperienced agents on the line
  • increase in the percentage of complex queries (the handling of which requires more time by default)
  • can indirectly denote a reduction in discipline among the agents.

Tip of the day:

To avoid an artificial downgrading of AHT (poor-quality advice, uncompleted sale, etc.), it is not recommended to display this parameter to the agent as a target. It is recommended to put this metric on target only for the supervising staff.

Related metrics: OCC и Ut

Details on AHT

ANI / Automatic Number Identification

— is automatic number identifier. Typically, it refers to a telephone number that is seen by the call receiver.

AR / Abandonment Rate, Abandoned Rate, Lost Call Rate

— the percentage of lost calls, out of those that should have been handled by the agent.

— a key indicator of the service level of the inbound line (KPI of inbound line).

Percentage of calls missed after IVR-Welcome in relation to all incoming calls:

AR = 100% — (CallsHandled / CallsOffered)

where

CallsHandled are handled calls (“phones picked up”)

CallsOffered are incoming calls

All types of losses are taken into account: lost after IVR-Welcome, lost in the queue (on IVR-Busy), lost when transferred to the agent (from the queue or immediately upon the offering), the absence of free ports in the queue.

Related KPI: SL

Details on AR

ASA / Average Speed to(of) Answer

— the average time (average speed) of the agent’s response to the call or the average time during which the subscriber waits on the line till the agent answers.

— a key indicator of the service level of the inbound line (KPI of inbound line).

The average response rate can be expressed by the following formula:

ASA = (IVR Welcome+ IVR Busy + Ring Time) / (CallsHandled)

where

IVR Welcome is automatic greeting and the report on where the user called. This part of the queue is often set as a mandatory beginning of the contact so that the user could know exactly where he called, or vice versa, for him to realize the mistake and did not waste time. Since this part is mandatory for “listening through” by the user, it is sometimes excluded from the ASA calculation.

IVR Busy is IVR in the queue, automatic message delivered in case all agents are busy.

Ring Time (or Reserved Time) is the time from the moment the call is transferred to the agent, until the agent answers, and the agent’s response time.

The ideal situation is IVR Busy = 0, Ring Time = 1-5 seconds

ASA is one of the elements of measuring the availability of a service. ASA is recommended for additional monitoring and analysis of the workload of agents during the day.

Attrition, Attrition Rate

also known as “turnover of employees” or “staff attrition”, requiring compensation. There are Monthly and Annualized Attrition. The AR abbreviation is not used for the Attrition Rate since “AR” in the call centers stands for the Abandonment Rate.

It is necessary to decide under what circumstances we consider the employee to be “bailed out” before starting the calculation of the attrition. Determine the points to allocate the following options:

  • An employee who switched from one project to another within the call center.
  • An employee who left the call center but continued working in the company. The call center unit is traditionally a human resources supplier for the core business.

Calculation of Monthly Attrition on the project:

Monthly Attrition Rate = Quit the project within a month, FTE/Worked on the project within a month, FTE * 100%

Monthly attrition on an annualized basis:

Annualized Attrition, % = Quit the project within a month, FTE/Worked on the project within a month, FTE * 100% * 12 or

Annualized Attrition, % = Monthly Attrition * 12

Annualized Attrition is calculated as a weighted average value of Annualized Attrition, taking into account the weights of the months:

Annualized Attrition Rate = (the weight of the month No.1 * Annualized Attrition of the month No.1 + weight of the month No.2 * Annualized Attrition of the month №2 + … the weight of the month No.12 * Annualized Attrition of the month No.12) / the sum of weights of all months of the reporting period (twelve) * 100%

You will find more detailed rules for calculating the Attrition Rate (including formulas in the Excel file), the reasons for the attrition and solutions in the following article: “Attrition in the Call Center”.

Details on the Attrition Rate

Automated Speech Recognition

is automated speech recognition.

It is mostly used at the IVR level in call centers, replacing the input of information using the “phone buttons” with the voice commands.

Available Time

— waiting, waiting time. It is the time when the agent is ready to receive the call (logged in ACD and is in the “ready” state), but there is still no call/conversation.

Available Time is in inverse proportion to Occupancy. On the average, it makes 13-32% of the total billable hours of the agent’s work (at ICS norm = 68-87%)

Waiting time is a reserve (buffer), which allows keeping the service level (SL) within the specified parameters when the number of incoming calls fluctuates at a single point in time.

Backlog

means requests received, but not yet handled. In other words, this is the scope of work that needs to be done.

— a metric for deferred transactions, a key parameter of the service level of the outbound line (KPI of the outbound line).

The processed requests are referred to as the contacts taken to task. Late Backlog is formed in case if Backlog is not processed within the Cycle Time.

Related KPIs: Cycle Time, On Time, Late Backlog

More information on Backlog

Blending, Call Blending

Agent’s work simultaneously with incoming and outgoing flows of calls. The technical blending of inbound and outbound flows using auto-redial. It is characterized by single statistics on the Agent’s status in both modes.

BPO / Business Process Outsourcing

Business processes outsourcing is total business tasks outsourcing. Closer interaction between the Customer and the Contractor than in case of simple outsourcing.

There are both simple resources outsourcing and a company BPO in the sphere of call centers. The latter can be distinguished by the presence of specialists who are not directly engaged in the handling of calls in the company or the management for handling calls. For example, the staff of a company’s BPO may include: own programming or analytics department, employees responsible for security, etc.

Telecontact is an example of a company BPO; the tasks that Telecontact preforms are beyond the ordinary: “Here are the calls, accept them, say this and that”.

More information on the outsourcing for the call center services

Call center

is an office furnished and equipped enough to handle a large number of the phone calls, using an automatic system of calls distribution (ACD), having the ability to collect and provide reports on traffic and the status of Agents. Such an office is a customer service center that functions within large organizations.

— Oxford English Dictionary

How to call it “properly”?

In recent years, there is an increasing frequency of the following spelling: call center. Yandex users are searching for a “call-” 4 times more often. Therefore, our first book published in 2008 was called «Agent of the call center: from hiring to firing», and the second one will be called “Callcentrology “(now it is available as a glossary and separate paragraphs of its articles)

As soon as something else is added to the calls (either an email, chat rooms, messengers, video communication), it is already a contact center or contact center (CC). Once all these calls, chats and videos are brought together into a single end-to-end CRM system, they form an omni-channel contact center, but the omni- is usually not used, as the omni-channel is already a self-evident phenomenon on the call center market.

The definition of the CPC is the Call Processing Center. It is used less often than any of the above names, and more often as an indication of the software (ACD).

# Spelling Showings per month according to YandexDirect data, (November 2017)
1 колл-центр 131 100
2 контакт-центр 60 227
3 call-центр 25 916
4 контактный центр 38 664
5 call-center/ call-centre 7 034
6 ЦОВ 2 797

Rare names:

Context-center — integration with social networks

Erroneous names regarding spelling and logic:

  • All previously mentioned, but without a dash (in Russian), for example: “коллцентр” or “call центр”.
  • • Kol (picket) center (if you do not mean a joke about the picket center of Ivan the Terrible)

Components of the call center concept:

  • Automatic Call Distributor technology. Automatic call distribution technology must be available on a mandatory basis. Its integral part is reporting on the status of the Agents = the basis for calculating the KPI of the outbound line and the KPI of the inbound line.
  • Script. This necessary component is the guarantee of the call processing standard and, as a consequence, the scalability. Without the scripts technology, the agent’s work gets critically hooked on the employee’s experience and personal conscientiousness.
  • IVR. Desirable component. This is an addition to the ADC technology: the routing of the call depending on the user’s question, or “useful pastime” in the queue. In case of an outgoing call, the availability of IVR is an opportunity to meet the information security requirements when dealing with confidential data (PCI DSS).

Types of call centers:

  • Outsourcing call centers or BPO are specialized companies that provide call center services. Every fourth call center in the world is an outsourcing one (IDC company data)
  • Inhouse, when the call center serves as an internal division of the company.

Completion Rate

— the number of call attempts required for working off one contact.

— a key indicator of the inbound line efficiency (KPI of inbound line).

Completion rate = Number of calls made/Number of contacts worked off.

All the calls are taken into account: busy, no answer, the answer is available, call back. All calls needed to make in order to set the final status.

Connection Rate

— redial rate.

— a key indicator of the service level of the inbound line (KPI of the inbound line).

Two types of CR are used:

  • the percentage of redialing by contacts or “by base”; the indicator is objective only at the end of the call-down.
  • The percentage of redialing by calls is an operating indicator.

CR controls:

  • the relevance of the database
  • the correctness of database processing by the agent (correct assignment of the call completion status, adherence to rules on waiting time for picking up the handset, etc.)
  • the correctness of the automatic redial settings
  • availability of the telephone line (if there is no centralized tracking)

Details on the Connection Rate

Contact Resolution

— the percentage of calls during which the user received an answer to his/her question/help in resolving the issue/the sale was carried out, and he/she did not call again with the same topic.

— a key indicator of the inbound line quality (KPI of the inbound line).

First, it makes sense to analyze Contact Resolution for each agent individually. In the event that the mass errors are made, the problem should be found in the preparation: to analyze the process of the agents’ training for the intelligibility and reproducibility of the material, as well as the content of the script for the availability of all necessary information, accessibility and ease of its use when working.

See also FCR parameter (First Contact Resolution/First Call Resolution)

Conversion Rate

— the number of transactions in which the proper sales performance level was reached (a sale or an appointment for a meeting was made), percentage-wise to the total number of transactions, or the total sales for the specified period.

— a key parameter of the sales efficiency in a call center (KPI of the inbound line, KPI of the outbound line). It always goes along with Sales per hour for an outbound line.

It characterizes the depth/quality of the database elaboration.

Influence on this parameter can be caused by marketing activity (including division by regions), routing of calls, volumes of incoming calls. Also, if the percentage of Conversion Rate is reduced, it is necessary to analyze the level of the agents’ work as salesmen (their ability to sell). In this case, it is possible that the work of supervisors with the agents (both motivating and training) will be insufficient. The non-compliance with the criteria during the selection of agents and the incorrect distribution of agents after their training is also possible.

Tip of the day No. 1

If the Conversion Rate is applied to the worked out contacts, it is essential to monitor the correctness of setting the conversation statuses, carried out by agents. For example, to track the percentage of “call-backs” revealingly. The inexperienced agents often assign the “call-back” status when the user politely refused from it, and this call-back can be repeated endlessly. Additionally, it is desirable to add the Call-back Percent to the tracked metric.

Tip of the day No. 2

If the sale during the conversation did not end with the transfer of money (for example, payment by card) then technically this is not a sale, but consent for it. In this case, it is important to keep track of whether the sale itself occurred as a result. That is, we will have two CRs: CR of consent and CR of final sale may differ significantly. The reasons can be both external: too many sales and couriers do not have time to cover them all, and internal: agents sell the meeting, not the product/service.

Conversion of the first level (CR of consent) can differ from the Conversion of the second level (CR of the final sale) by 70%, i.e., only 3 consents out of 10 received by means of phone conversation will end with a real purchase. For this reason, it is incorrect to compare the two commands only according to the figure of the Conversion of the first level (CR of consent). If it is impossible to track the transaction before purchase, you need to monitor the quality of the conversation parameters in parallel.

Tip of the day No. 3

If the different products are sold, or the product consists of several elements, it will be a good thing to control Sales Amount. as well. In this way, it will be possible to identify that the agents began selling only the simplest and cheapest products/services or do not offer “to have something else besides”.

COPC / Customer Operations Performance Center

This standard https://www.copc.com/copc-standards/ was developed in 1996 by a group of the following companies: Microsoft, Intel, American Еexpress, Dell, Motorola, Novell. This is a set of minimum operational needs for performance management.

COPC standard allows forming the workflows so that the growth of service, quality and revenue will be achieved together with reducing costs.

Basically, it consists of recommendations and rules, BUT also draws exact quantitative values for some metrics. Among other things, for Utilization, Critical Error Accuracy

Examples of processes built on the basis of COPC can be seen on any site of Telecontact.

Cost X

— the cost of X, where X means a transaction, sale, customer, a solution to the user’s problem, call, etc.

— a key indicator of the inbound line’s working efficiency (KPI of the inbound line)

Cost X = Cost of all expenses/Total amount of X.

All costs of the call center are really all costs in total: administering, accounting, recruiting, training, leasing, electricity, software licenses, or software development, furniture, PCs, communications, amortization, salaries and bonuses, reworking, taxes, etc.

Critical Error Accuracy

— a key parameter of the call center’s work efficiency (KPI of the inbound line , KPI of the outbound line), consultations, sales and other activities. It is divided into the following types:

  • End-User Critical Error Accuracy (EU CEA)
  • Business Critical Error Accuracy (BU CEA)
  • Compliance Critical Error Accuracy (CO CEA)

Details on the Critical Error Accuracy

CRM / Customer Relationship Management

— is Customer Relationship Management System. A simplified CRM is often used in call centers, see Script.

Script, Dynamic script

— a set of web interfaces with a specified scenario of transitions between them, fields for input or output of information to/from the database.

An important component of the call center concept.

Details on the Dynamic script

Cycle Time

— The time during which the transaction attending should be completed. The countdown starts as soon as the call center receives the call from the user.

— metric for deferred transactions, a key parameter of the service level of the outbound line (KPI of the outbound line)

Linked KPIs On Time, Backlog, Late Backlog

Efficiency Metrics

— Metrics of the efficiency of the call center employees’ work.

Efficiency is the ratio of costs and obtained results, that is, a figure that shows how the applied efforts or resources are correlated, and the effect obtained from this.

For example, when working on a line, agents spend some time neither in conversation and nor in call processing, but in standby mode; this is the time when the agent does nothing in fact but gets paid for that. Accordingly, the time in standby mode is our expenses. The results obtained in this case are the actually processed calls. The ratio of these two indicators is measured by the Occupancy.

We pay for the agents’ breaks, training, and technical downtimes; these are also our expenses. The result obtained is the time that the agent spends directly in work. It is measured by (Utilization).

The efficiency of the agents on sales, in the first place, is measured by the number of (Sales per hour). The expenses here will be the hours spent by the agent on the line, and the result is the actual sales.

Escalation Accuracy

— percentage of correctly transferred (escalated) calls (to another line, to another call center, to the company’s employees) from the point of view of the algorithms established on the project.

— a key parameter of the call center’s work quality (KPI of the inbound line , KPI of the outbound line)

This metric is relevant only for projects where the algorithm of transferring calls to another call center or another project line is implemented.

If the Escalation Rate estimates the number of transferred calls, the Escalation Accuracy evaluates the quality of these transfers.

The correctness of transfers (escalation) directly affects the company’s business processes. For example, the incorrectly transferred user’s call (for an improperly selected split) can increase the time of work with the user by shifting other processes in time, that in turn can lead to losses of the company, as well as to a decrease in users’ loyalty.

The following points can be assessed:

  • escalation of calls according to algorithms only;
  • escalation of calls to correct splits;
  • escalation during the fixed time periods, etc.

Escalation Rate

— the percentage of escalated (transferred) calls from all the initiated ones.

— a key parameter of the call center’s service level (KPI of the inbound line , KPI of the outbound line)

This metric is relevant only for projects where the algorithm of transferring calls to another call center or another project line is implemented.

If there is an increase in the percentage of transferred calls, it is necessary to analyze the following:

  • The quality of the agents’ work, since the reason for the increase in the number of call transfers can be the lack of the employees’ information to answer the user’s question, unwillingness to provide information, etc. (and, as a result, call transfer is the simplest way for the agents to resolve this situation).
  • Also, the reason for the increase may be an increase in requests made by users on topics that require the transfer of calls to specialists.

If there is a decrease in the percentage of transferred calls, it is necessary to analyze the following:

  • the correctness of the information provided by the agents to the users (situations when the agent tries to answer the user’s question himself are possible), and it also can indicate the growth of refusals from the required transfer.

Related parameter: Escalation Accuracy.

FCR / First Call Resolution /First Contact Resolution

— the percentage of calls from the number of the worked off calls, in which the user received an answer to his question within the first call and will not call back to the call center concerning this question.

— a key indicator of the service level of the inbound line (KPI of the inbound line).

There are several ways to measure FCR:

  1. It is possible to calculate them as the number of calls without additional transfers/callbacks to the total number of received calls;
  2. Measuring based on the questioning of subscribers using an email/callback using IVR (the numbers of customers who mentioned that the problem was resolved on the first attempt from the total number of questioned customers);
  3. Measuring by the number of calls from one ANI. It is desirable to conduct measurements on the number of calls from the original ANIs with the separation of data on the topics of resorts, the dates of calls, etc.
  4. It is not recommended to measure the FCR index using questioning with the help of the agent (who has just held a conversation), as it does not provide correct data. Nevertheless, the method is used because of its simplicity. The questioning can be conducted within the framework of the main conversation, where it is possible to clarify in the end: “Please tell me, as I have answered your question, can I help you with something else?”.

Details on FCR

Handled Calls


— received (processed calls).

Hold Time

— time for holding a call.

HOLD – call holding using ACD, usually at this moment it is customary to put on some music for the user so that he could know that the connection is available. HOLD function is used by agents while searching for information or consulting with the supervisor. Good practice rules require that the agent should return to the user and tell him that it takes more time to find information in case if the Hold Time lasts more than a minute. It is reasonable to offer a choice starting from the third minute: to wait or to call back.

Do not confuse with the MUTE function of the phone, as it is just turning off the microphone, while the user listens to silence at this moment. The MUTE function is used to short turning the microphone off, while the user will not even notice it, for example, in case if the agent is coughing

High level of the Average Hold Time of an agent can signify that he has a poor command of the information and the script.

High level of the Average Hold Time for the whole project can signify an unsuccessful form of providing information to agents (the script is not organized ergonomically or does not contain the necessary information).

Idle Time / Waiting Time

— time while the user is waiting for the agent’s answer.

IVR / Interactive Voice Responses

Interactive voice responses technology is an essential part of the call center concept. The user can call on the texts previously recorded or played back using Speech To Text by pressing the buttons of the phone or by saying simple phrases.

IVR is an integral element of information security (see PCI DSS) recommendations. This technology allows excluding the agent (the live person) from the dialogue at the moment when the user wants to receive confidential data. First applied by banks in the 70s to automatically check the balance.

However, IVR is used more often to compensate an awkward pause for a moment when all agents are busy.

For more details on IVR

KPI outbound, key efficiency indicators for the outbound calls

A set of metrics recommended by the international COPC and revised by Telecontact while taking into account twenty years of experience and thousands of large-scale projects allows to record the current situation objectively and to understand the direction for moving further. Not all of them apply to any project. It is desirable to choose from three to ten metrics relevant to your one.

Metrics are listed in the following article: KPI of the outbound line

KPI inbound, key efficiency indicators for the inbound calls

This is a set of metrics recommended by the international COPC and revised by Telecontact while taking into account twenty years of experience and thousands of large-scale projects allow to record the current situation objectively and to understand the direction for moving further. Not all of them apply to any project. It is desirable to choose from three to ten metrics relevant to your one.

Metrics are listed in the following article: KPI of the inbound line

Late Backlog

— requests not processed during the Cycle Time.

— metric for deferred transactions, a key parameter of the service level of the outbound line (KPI of the outbound line)

It must comprise no more than 1 Cycle Time or 24 hours (a shorter index is taken into account).

Related KPI’s Cycle Time, On Time, Backlog

Details on Late Backlog

Occupancy / OCC

— agents’ occupancy

— a key parameter of the call center’s work efficiency (KPI of the inbound line and KPI of the outbound line)

Occupancy (Occ) = (Transaction Processing Time/Productive Time)*100%

Occupancy allows assessing the work of contact center administrators, the efficiency of their making up the timetables of the agents.

More on Occupancy in the article: Occupancy and Utilization in the Call Center

On Time

— percentage of transactions processed within the (Cycle Time).

— metric for deferred transactions, a key parameter of the service level of the outbound line (KPI of the outbound line)

Related KPIs Cycle Time, Backlog, Late Backlog

Queued Calls


— calls entered in the queue (on IVR-Busy).

Right Party Connection

— the percentage of Contact Persons (CPs) found, in relation to the number of processed entries in the call back database.

— a key parameter of the outbound line service level (KPI of the outbound line).

This parameter is related to the Right Party Connection per hour parameter.

There can be several reasons for the decrease in the value of this parameter: internal (on the part of the call center) and external.

Internal reasons:

  1. The start/end time of the call-down is incorrectly selected;
  2. The time of callbacks is chosen incorrectly;
  3. Agents do not work out the objections of the user who picked up the phone concerning the connection with the desired customer (for example, the customer’s relative refuses to transfer the phone – the agent does not work out this objection).

External reasons:

  1. DB transferred to CC for a call-down is not relevant;
  2. The information on the time zones of customers provided incorrectly (respectively, it ends up with an incorrect output of these contacts into the call-down).

Right Party Connection per hour

– the number of Contact Persons (CP) found per hour.

– a key parameter of the outbound line efficiency (KPI of the outbound line).

Right Party Connection per hour = Number of CP found/Number of man-hours spent.

This parameter is related to the Right Party Connection parameter.

Comments on monitoring:

There can be several reasons for the decrease in the value of this parameter: internal (on the part of the call center) and external.

Internal reasons:

  1. The start/end time of the call-down is incorrectly selected;
  2. The time of callbacks is chosen incorrectly;
  3. Agents do not work out the objections of the user who picked up the phone concerning the connection with the desired customer (for example, the customer’s relative refuses to transfer the phone – the agent does not work out this objection);
  4. Surplus amount of the agents.

External reasons:

  1. DB transferred to CC for a call-down is not relevant;
  2. The information on the time zones of customers provided incorrectly (respectively, it ends up with an incorrect output of these contacts into the call-down).

Result per hour

— results per hour.

— a key parameter of the outbound line efficiency (KPI of the outbound line).

Result per hour = Number of calls with the result achieved/Number of man-hours spent

This will be Sales per hour for the projects related to sales.

Sales Amount

— Revenue from one sale, or total revenue from all sales for a certain period.

— a key parameter of the call center’s work efficiency (KPI of the inbound line and KPI of the outbound line).

The volume drop is the reason for the situation analysis, for example, the agents could make many transactions, but with the cheapest offer. It is impossible to track this while controlling only the Conversion Rate.

Sales per hour

— the number of sales carried out by the agent within one hour.

— a key indicator of the sales efficiency during an outbound call (KPI of the outbound line). It always accompanies the Conversion Rate.

Sales per hour = Number of sales carried out/Number of person-hours spent.

It is used for on-line monitoring of the efficiency of each agent’s work and the project as a whole.

Service Level / SL

— the level of service, the percentage of answered calls within a specific time (20 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds).

— a key parameter of the call center’s work(KPI of the inbound line ).

SL = CallsHandled x sec / CallsOffered

where

CallsHandled are handled calls (“phones picked up”)

CallsOffered are incoming calls

Low SL causes users’ dissatisfaction. High SL is expensive to achieve and does NOT increase users’ satisfaction (neutral attitude).

It is recommended to control the service level on a daily basis in the range from the target value. For example, while the target index for the service level is 80% for 20 seconds (80/20), it is usually set in the range from -2% to + 5% (corresponding to 78% – 85%)

Related KPI: Abandonment Rate

More on Service Level in the article “Service Level in the Call Center”

Shrinkage

— shrinkage or percentage of absence time in the workplace.

If we ask twelve HR employees, it will be possible to hear ten options for calculating the level of Shrinkage. In call centers, it is convenient to use the Shrinkage value which includes all kinds of employee absences in the workplace. Then, by calculating the necessary number of agents on the line, we take the Shrinkage into account and learn how many people we need to hire for the project.

The value of Shrinkage is usually within 24-30% for the projects with more than 30 agents:

  • 10% – vacations, finals periods, compensatory time off
  • 10% – illnesses
  • 14% – “minus utilization”, e. g. the absence of an employee in the workplace (lunch, breaks, training, etc.). At normal Ut = 86%.

Calculations of small projects are challenging. Thus, if one of the five employees is ill, it already means the absence of 20% of the stuff.

For further work, it will be convenient to present Shrinkage as two sums: planned and unplanned absences:

Shrinkage = planned absences (vacations, breaks, lunches, trainings) + Absenteeism

where
Absenteeism

— is the unplanned absences (sick pay, late attendance, early break), that is all the periods when we expected that the employee would be in the workplace, BUT he is not there.

It is possible to control only Absenteeism level to monitor the progress of the whole project (discipline, a healthy atmosphere).

The level of Absenteeism is usually within 10-20% and depends on:

  • Employees’ profile. For example, the students will have a higher level of Absenteeism than those who have already graduated.
  • Working conditions. For example, the employees who work on a half-time basis are usually less disciplined than their full-time colleagues.
  • Time of year (period of high disease incidence).

Talk Time

— the time (duration) of the call without taking Hold Time and Wrap-Up Time into account.

Telecontact

— an example of the outsourcing call center processes organization in accordance with COPC. (KPI of the inbound line, KPI of the outbound line.) Telecontact also publishes some professional books: Handbook for an elementary level of management: «Call Center Agent: from Hiring to Firing».

UR / Utilization / Utilization rate

— utilization, agents’ workload.

— a key parameter of the call center’s work efficiency (KPI of the inbound line and KPI of the outbound line)

Utilization = (Productive Time/Paid Time)*100%

Utilization allows assessing the level of the agent’s workload concerning his basic duties.

More on Occupancy in the article: Occupancy and Utilization in the Call Center