Contact Center

10 Best Call Center Productivity Metrics To Measure Agent Performance

Rimlee Patgiri
October 11, 2023
 mins read

Last modified on

Call center software and solutions have revolutionized the way contact centers operate, but for customer service leaders, there's a constant problem: how do you measure productivity in a call center? 

In an industry driven by customer experience, where inbound calls and efficient interactions are the lifeblood of businesses, finding the right metrics is crucial. 

In this blog, we dive into the essentials –explore the 10 best metrics that lighten up your agent's performance, helping you fine-tune your strategies, enhance the customer experience, and make the most of your call center costs.

What are Call Center Performance Metrics?

Call center performance metrics are key indicators used to evaluate and measure the effectiveness and efficiency of a call center's operations. 

These metrics help businesses assess the quality of customer service, agent productivity, and overall call center performance. Some examples of call center productivity metrics include average time in queue, service level, percentage of blocked calls, average speed of answer (ASA), and after-call work (ACW).

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10 Best Call Center Agent Productivity Metrics

“Customer satisfaction is challenging to achieve in the absence of proper communication equipment.” - Jason Mercer, RTS Operations Director at Baxtor Healthcare Corporation.

When it comes to managing a call center and ensuring your call center agents are performing at their best, you need the right metrics and technology to gauge their productivity and effectiveness.

Call center metrics industry standards
Call center metrics industry standards

Contact center metrics vary from industry to industry. If you’re wondering what is the overall call center agent productivity formula, here is a complete breakdown. 

Let's break down these 10 essential metrics:

1. First Call Resolution (FCR)

Imagine calling a helpline and resolving your issue immediately without needing callbacks or transfers. That's the essence of the first call resolution rate

First contact resolution measures the percentage of customer inquiries or issues that get resolved in a single interaction. High FCR means satisfied customers and more efficient agents.

For instance, a customer calls a tech support hotline with an overheating issue in their phone. The customer is satisfied when the agent successfully guides the customer to take certain measures and resolves the problem step-by-step on the initial call.

Formula of first call resolution rate

First call resolution formula
First call resolution formula

2. Average Handle Time (AHT)

“Average handle time”: a controversial metric indeed!! - Ashish Santhalia, CEO and founder of Convin.

AHT is a pivotal call center metric for measuring efficiency in customer service operations. But as simple as it sounds, AHT has stood controversial for its role in contact centers. 

Measuring AHT accurately in a way that doesn't pressure agents to rush through calls and considers the complexity of customer issues can be challenging.

However, it encompasses the entire duration of a customer interaction, from when a customer initiates contact until their issue is resolved. 

This includes the time an agent spends talking with the customer and any additional time spent on tasks related to that interaction, like research or documentation. A lower average handle time is often desirable as it signifies quicker issue resolution and higher agent productivity.

For example, over the course of an hour, an agent handles five calls that collectively take 30 minutes of talk time. The AHT for these calls is 6 minutes (30 minutes divided by 5 calls).

Formula of average handle time

Average handle time formula
Average handle time formula

3. Abandonment Rate


The average call abandonment rate tells you how many customers give up while waiting for assistance. High abandonment rates can indicate long wait times, leading to customer frustration

Reducing abandoned calls through this metric is crucial for customers to stay engaged and not switch to competitors.

During a busy period, 20 out of 100 customers hang up before reaching an available agent, resulting in a 20% abandonment rate.

Formula of abandonment rate

Abandonment rate formula
 Abandonment rate formula

4. Customer Effort Score 

The Customer Effort Score (CES) is a vital customer experience metric. It measures how easy or challenging it is for customers to accomplish their goals when interacting with a company.

Customer effort score providing insights on demo experience.
Customer effort score providing insights on demo experience.

On a scale from 'very easy' to 'very difficult,' CES provides insights into the level of effort customers must exert. Lower scores indicate smoother interactions, while higher scores highlight potential difficulties. 

By paying attention to CES, businesses can identify areas for improvement, streamline processes, and enhance overall customer satisfaction, fostering greater loyalty and engagement.

After contacting customer service to change a subscription plan, customers rate the experience as "very easy" on a scale of 1 to 5.

Formula of customer effort score 

Customer effort score formula
Customer effort score formula
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5. Service Level

Service level defines the percentage of customer interactions that meet a predefined response time goal

For example, if the goal is to answer 90% of calls within 20 seconds, the service level provides insight into whether that target is being met. This metric ensures that customers receive timely assistance, enhancing their experience.

A call center aims to answer 90% of incoming calls within 30 seconds. During a given day, they meet this goal, achieving a service level of 90/30.

Formula of service level

Service level formula
Service level formula

6. Percentage Of Blocked Calls

Blocked calls occur when customers cannot connect with a customer service representative due to technical issues like a busy signal or system overload. Monitoring this metric helps identify potential infrastructure problems that hinder customer access.

On a high-traffic day, 15% of incoming calls encounter busy signals and can't connect to agents, resulting in a 15% blocked call rate.

Formula of percentage of blocked calls

Percentage of blocked calls formula
Percentage of blocked calls formula

7. Average Speed Of Answer (ASA)

ASA quantifies how quickly agents answer incoming customer calls. It's crucial for gauging responsiveness and ensuring customers don't experience lengthy wait times. A low ASA indicates that customers are quickly connected to support, which is typically preferable.

The average time it takes for an agent to answer incoming calls on a particular day is 15 seconds.

Formula of average speed of answer

Average speed of answer formula
Average speed of answer formula

8. After Call Work (ACW)

ACW measures the time agents spend wrapping up tasks after a customer interaction has concluded. This can include documentation, entering notes, and preparing for the next call. A reasonable ACW time is necessary for agents to provide accurate information and ensure a seamless transition to the next interaction.

An agent spends 3 minutes after each call documenting notes and updating records in the system as part of their post-call tasks.

Formula of after-call work

After-call work formula
After-call work formula

9. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

CSAT is a critical measure of customer contentment. After an interaction, customers are typically asked to rate their satisfaction on a scale (e.g., 1 to 5 or 1 to 10). These scores offer valuable insights into the quality of service provided and whether improvements are needed to improve customer satisfaction.

After interacting with customer support, customers rate their satisfaction as 4 out of 5 stars as a result of great customer experience.

Formula of customer satisfaction score

Customer satisfaction score work formula
Customer satisfaction score work formula

10. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

NPS assesses customer loyalty by asking, "On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our company to a friend or colleague?" Respondents are grouped into Promoters (9-10), Passives (7-8), and Detractors (0-6). A high NPS signifies a loyal customer base and often correlates with business growth.

A customer is asked, "On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our product to a friend?" They respond with a score of 9, classifying them as a Promoter in NPS terms.

Formula of net promoter score

Net promoter score work formula
Net promoter score work formula
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Real-Time Improvement In Agent Productivity Metrics

Traditional scripts often fall short during critical junctures, missing opportunities and risking customer satisfaction. This is where Real-Time Agent Assist is revolutionizing the contact center game.

1. Minimized Hold Times

Efficient routing of inquiries reduces frustrating hold times. Agents access relevant information swiftly, eliminating unnecessary delays.

2. Reduced Resolution Times

Instant access to resources accelerates issue resolution. Enhances overall customer experience by minimizing delays in resolving queries.

3. Seamless Collaboration of Humans and Bots

Real-time synchronization ensures a smooth customer experience. Harnesses the strengths of both entities (humans and bots), delivering a unified and efficient service.

4. Empowering Upsell and Cross-Sell Opportunities

Identifies opportunities during live interactions for upselling and cross-selling. Agents proactively offer relevant products or services, contributing to increased conversion rates.

How To Improve Agent Productivity In Call Center?

Call center managers can effectively gain valuable insights into agent performance and customer satisfaction by closely monitoring and leveraging the ten best metrics discussed in this blog. 

However, it doesn't stop at measurement alone; continuous training, streamlined processes, the use of advanced technologies, and fostering a supportive work environment all play crucial roles in enhancing agent productivity. 

When agents are empowered with the right tools, training, and motivation, like Convin, they can provide efficient and outstanding service, ultimately leading to happier customers and a more successful call center operation. Book a free demo today!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Are The Four 4 Commonly Used KPIs Used In A Call Center?

Four Commonly Used KPIs in a Call Center:

  • AHT (Average Handle Time)
  • Service Level
  • FCR (First Call Resolution)
  • CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score)

2. What Are Inbound Call Center Metrics?

Inbound call center metrics are used to evaluate the performance of call centers, primarily handling incoming calls. Examples include Average Handle Time (AHT), Service Level, First Call Resolution (FCR), Abandoned Call Rate, and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT).

3. What Is A Call Center Agent Performance Scorecard?

A call center agent performance scorecard is a tool for assessing individual agent performance. It typically includes key performance indicators (KPIs) such as AHT, FCR, CSAT, call quality, schedule adherence, etc.

4. What is the most important KPI in a call center?

The most important KPI can vary, but Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) is often considered crucial because it directly reflects customer happiness and loyalty.

5. What Are The Call Center Metrics Industry Standards?

Contact center metrics standards are widely accepted and used across the industry, ensuring consistency in measuring performance and customer satisfaction.

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