What Metrics Matter Most For An Inbound Call Center?

One of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to inbound call center outsourcing is around metrics.
Inbound Call Center

By Kelli Barabasz, Vice President of Operations

One of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to inbound call center outsourcing is around metrics. Because there are so many metrics that are available to track internally, externally, at the inbound call center agent level and the program level, it’s no wonder people stop to think “where do I begin?” or “what are the most important metrics to measure?”.

Since there are several inbound call center metrics available to measure, let’s talk about where it makes sense to start and why.

Customer Satisfaction and the Inbound Call Center

In my experience, the companies I’ve worked for and worked with have indicated that the MOST important metric to measure and to understand is customer satisfaction. So, the question is, what is the best way to measure and track customer satisfaction?

There are many factors that contribute to customer satisfaction (CSAT). To make sure we are on the same page, customer satisfaction refers to how satisfied your customers are with the products and/or services your company provides. A way to track and measure customer satisfaction is through a Net Promotor Score.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

It is common to see businesses track their customer satisfaction by using Net Promoter Score (NPS). The NPS measures customer experience and helps predict future business growth. The NPS system is straightforward and easily understood by everyone.

With the NPS method, the score is assigned after just one question (often just 1 question) is answered; typically, something like “How likely are you to recommend our company to a relative, friend or colleague?”.

Inbound Telemarketing

A Net Promoter Score is assigned using the following methodology:

  • Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth.
  • Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings.
  • Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth.

Subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters yields the Net Promoter Score, which can range from a low of -100 (if every customer is a Detractor) to a high of 100 (if every customer is a Promoter).

Using NPS to measure customer satisfaction is, in my opinion, the most important metric. It’s important to point out that there are several other inbound call center metrics that contribute to overall CSAT and NPS scores.


Inbound Call Center Metrics That Drive Customer Satisfaction

  • Average Speed of Answer (ASA): This metric calculates the amount of time it takes to answer a call once the call has been routed to the call center.
  • Abandon Rate: The percentage of inbound phone calls that abandon before speaking with the call center agent.
  • Service Level: The percentage of calls that are answered within a specified time. For example, 80/30 means 80% of the calls offered to an agent are answered within 30 seconds
  • Hold Time: This is measured from the time the agent puts the customer on hold until the agent becomes active again
  • First Call Resolution (FCR): First call resolution is measured by what percentage of your customers’ calls were handled in the first contact. First call resolution percentages will be determined based on the type of service being provided.

There are many other metrics such as Average Handle Time (AHT), Schedule Adherence, Attrition, Cost per Contact, and Average Wait Time (AWT).

The bottom line is to really understand how the inbound call center is doing, the service being provided, and the quality delivered, the right metrics need to be in place.

If you’d like to learn more about these inbound call center metrics or for additional information on the process of assessing metrics for your organization, call us. We’d love to discuss it with you!


Kelli Barabasz is Vice President of Operations for Quality Contact Solutions. Kelli is a call center industry leader with over 25 years of experience and success with call center startups, client management, and implementations. Kelli’s detail-oriented approach is used to analyze existing operations and to implement best practices, new strategies, processes, and efficiencies, enabling her clients to achieve better outcomes. Throughout her career, Kelli has worked on both inbound and outbound B2B and B2C programs. With expertise in call center operations, training, workforce management, and client services, Kelli has an unmatched ability to get results for her clients which have included PBM SXC Health Solutions (now Optum RX), Verizon Wireless, Figis, Vermont Teddy Bear Company & Demarini Bats. At PBM, Kelli’s underlying clients EUTF, Cigna, Health Spring, TennCare, and PharMerica. Kelli speaks at call center seminars around the globe to share her industry knowledge and insights with her peers. Kelli can be reached at kelli@qualitycontactsolutions.com or 516-656-5121.


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