4 Call Center Agent Performance Metrics You Might Be Overlooking

Transforming your call center into a thriving hub of customer satisfaction requires the right blend of efficient agents who can effortlessly meet customer needs. But have you considered the untapped power of agent performance metrics?

These four overlooked or, at the very least, underestimated metrics hold the key to unlocking a data-driven strategy that maximizes your agents’ contributions and revolutionizes your customer experience.

1. Average Hold Time

Average hold time is a crucial metric that measures the duration a call center agent keeps a customer on hold during an inbound call. Unsurprisingly, long hold times can swiftly lead to customer frustration and a diminished experience.

When assessing agent performance, it’s imperative to investigate their average hold time and identify any red flags. Elevated hold rates may indicate a need for assistance or additional training, struggles locating essential information to assist the customer, or delays caused by sluggish or limited technology. While some hold time is understandable, consistently high hold rates warrant a thorough evaluation.

Hold times significantly impact the overall average handling time of customer interactions, a vital key performance indicator (KPI) for evaluating the center’s operational performance. Excessive hold rates can disrupt a call center manager’s ability to appropriately staff their team and effectively develop agent schedules and forecasts. Call centers can enhance customer satisfaction and operational efficiency by addressing and optimizing hold times.

2. Answer Rate

Answer rate measures the percentage of calls an agent successfully answers out of the total number of calls they are presented with. It plays an important role in determining the overall service level of the call center and provides valuable insights into an agent’s accessibility compared to their teammates.

While a high answer rate indicates good availability, it’s important to note that accessibility alone doesn’t guarantee the effective resolution of customer issues in a timely or satisfactory manner. However, analyzing answer rates can shed light on agent activity. If agents are seen to be procrastinating or engaging in non-essential tasks, leading to delays in answering inbound customer calls, it presents clear opportunities for improvement and optimization. Call centers can enhance their overall performance by addressing these issues and providing a better customer experience.

3. Average After-Call Work Time (ACW)

A call center agent’s responsibilities continue after hanging up with a customer. They often must fill out necessary fields regarding the purpose of the customer’s call, how they handled the issue, and whether further assistance from a manager was required. This post-call work, known as After-Call Work (ACW), also includes the time agents must take a breath, refocus, and prepare for the next incoming call.

By monitoring ACW, team leaders can identify agents who complete post-call tasks exceptionally quickly or slowly. This analysis can reveal valuable insights, such as discovering individuals who have found more efficient ways to handle these tasks than their peers. On the other hand, extremely short ACW times might indicate that agents are not taking detailed notes or completing all necessary after-call activities.

Additionally, excessive ACW durations can signal that agents struggle with inputting information promptly or may even intentionally avoid taking customer calls. In such cases, it becomes crucial to reassess the approach to post-call work and explore strategies to lower the averages appropriately. This might involve automating specific post-call tasks or providing retraining opportunities to help agents work more efficiently. Call centers can enhance productivity and overall performance by optimizing the ACW process.

4. Transfer Rate

Transfer rate refers to the percentage of calls agents transfer to someone else within the organization. Typically, calls are transferred when the answering agent cannot fulfill the customer’s request due to a lack of training or access to the necessary tools.

Understanding the average transfer rate of your call center provides management with a valuable metric for evaluating individual agents. If an agent has a transfer rate significantly higher than the average, it warrants further investigation to determine the reasons behind this trend. It could indicate insufficient training or knowledge to address the specific needs of calls directed to their department.

Comparing an agent’s transfer rate to their average handle time is also helpful in assessing agent productivity. A high transfer rate and a low average handle time might suggest that the agent selectively chooses calls and transfers them to other teams instead of assisting the customer. Conversely, a high transfer rate and average handle time could indicate that an agent is struggling and would benefit from additional coaching and support.

By closely monitoring the transfer rate and its relationship to other performance metrics, call center managers can identify areas for improvement, optimize agent productivity, and ensure efficient handling of customer inquiries.

Transforming raw engagement data into actionable intelligence has never been more accessible and efficient.

TCI works with call center leaders like Mitel and Brightmetrics to empower you with the convenience and adaptability to analyze and explore your UC and contact center data, allowing you to gain deep insights into your agents’ strengths and areas for improvement.

By leveraging historical and real-time dashboards, you can access intuitive drag-and-drop tools to effortlessly visualize performance metrics, plan effective strategies, and enhance agent performance and customer experience with just a few simple clicks.

Brightmetrics analytics, when seamlessly integrated with Mitel-powered systems, allow TCI clients to maximize the value of their data and investments.

Are you ready to apply agent performance metrics to re-energize your call center? Contact TCI at (703) 321-3030 or