Ask the Experts – February 06

The following are actual questions posed to the TRG experts. You can pose your questions on our website.

Daily Metrics


“What KPI’s or daily metrics should we be looking at to make sure we are effectively managing our center?”

Expert Response:

There is no end of reports, metrics or Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that a call center manager can look at each day. But what are the important ones and what are they really telling me?
The most common top 3 metrics viewed by most managers are;

• Grade of Service (also called Service Level) this is the percentage of calls answered within the targeted number of seconds),
• Average answer speed –the average speed with which calls were answered,
• Abandon Rate – The percentage of calls that were abandoned prior to being answered by a live agent.

From the above the manager is able to get a good ‘snapshoot’ of the day in question. How we did versus our goal; (achieved 72% of the calls answered in 20 seconds versus our target of 80%, had an average answer speed of 31 seconds versus our target of 20, abandoned 4.6% of our calls versus our target of 3%). All in all this doesn’t appear to be to bad a day, below target but not horribly off. But we need to look at a few other metrics before we get to excited; What were the actual calls versus the forecasted calls? For example if we expected 7,500 calls and received 8,500 then we likely had a good day and missed service level because of the additional volumes. But what if we only received 5,500 calls versus our forecast of 7,500, clearly we would have had very significant problems if forecasted volume of calls had materialized, and why didn’t the forecasted volume arrive?. We also want to look at Average Handle Time; did we miss our service level because our call length, wrap time or overall handle time increased dramatically, if it did so, why? What about occupancy? If we expect agent occupancy to be at 85% and yet a third of our still is under 70% do we know why? Do we know what improvement in efficiency we will realize when we get all of the staff at the targeted levels? So the additional daily metrics we would recommend would include;

 Actual Calls to Forecast,
 Actual AHT to forecast;
 Actual Talk Time to forecast,
 Actual wrap time to forecast,
 Actual agent occupancy to forecast,

Each of the top listed metrics gives you a result for the day…what happened, by assessing the bottom set of metrics you can gain an understanding of why it happened. This study of ‘why’ better equips the manager to look at target, estimates and forecasts and challenge the assumptions where appropriate and at minimum assess and understand the implications trend data that is at variance to the assumptions.

Let us know what you think of this response. How would you have answered this question? Let us know at [email protected].

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