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Call Center Metrics and World-Class Targets

December 27, 2021 | 2min read

What does world-class call center performance look like?

Based on SQM Group’s call center metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) tracking and benchmarking studies that we have been conducting for over 25 years, we have determined the call center metrics and world-class targets. Furthermore, based on SQM’s benchmarking studies with over 500 leading North American call centers, only 5% of them achieved world-class performance for the below KPIs.

The reason why we have identified these call center metrics and world-class targets is that many senior leaders ask SQM, “What does world-class call center performance look like?” You will notice that there are many metrics that we have identified. All these metrics do not need to be reported out on a routine basis. However, it is crucial to identify KPIs and hold call center employees accountable for their performance to KPIs.

Most of the world-class call center metrics meet at least five of the seven characteristics of an effective KPI. However, only a few of these call center metrics and world-class targets should be used to create accountability from the agent to the senior VP level.

The typical call center metrics KPIs used to create accountability at the agent level are agent Csat and call resolution. Common call center metrics KPIs at the management level are FCR, call center Csat, great service, NPS and service level, agent utilization, and customer retention.

All the call center metrics identified for employee performance accountability meet all seven characteristics of an effective KPI. The below metrics are all essential call center metrics for measuring and managing a call center’s performance but not necessarily a KPI.

World Class Call Centers

2021 Call Center Metrics and Statistics for World-Class Performance:

  • First Call Resolution = is 80% or Higher                      
  • Call Resolution = is 95% or Higher                   
  • Call Center Csat = is 80% or Higher                  
  • Agent Csat = is 85% or Higher   
  • Great Service = is 65% or Higher
  • Net Promoter Score = is 60 Points or Higher  
  • Service Recovery = (Required) is 2% or Less of Call Volume
  • Avg. # of Calls to Resolve an Inquiry = is 1.2 or Less
  • Calls Transferred = is 10% or Less of Call Volume                
  • Calls Placed on Hold = is 15% or Less of Call Volume                     
  • Service Level = is 95% or Higher for Calls Answered within 120 Seconds            
  • Abandon Rate = is 5% or Less of Call Volume            
  • Voice Menu = Navigates Customer to the Right Agent is 95% or Higher    
  • Customer Hold Time = Does Not Exceed 60 Seconds                     
  • Call-Backs = Required are Done within 1 Hour            
  • Data Errors = per 1000 Calls are 25 or Less    
  • Customer Complaints = 90% are Resolved within 24 Hours
  • Customer Retention Index = is 80% or Higher for Retaining Customers  
  • Agent Utilization = is Between 70% to 75%                 
  • Agent Adherence = to Attendance Schedule is 95% or Higher

A common question asked of SQM is whether these world-class metrics and targets are only for call centers that handle simple calls (e.g., retail) or if they can also be used for call centers that handle complex calls (e.g., financial, telcos).

It has been SQM’s experience that call centers that handle complex calls have achieved these call center metrics world-class targets. Put differently, we believe that these targets apply to all call centers, taking simple or complex calls.

Moreover, SQM research shows that customers do not judge the service quality of your call center based on the complexity of the call; instead, they judge your service quality based on if their call was resolved, and preferably on the first call.

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