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    Common Performance Metrics for Agents: Part 2

    Commonly used metrics in the call center will help managers and owners determine who the successful agents are, where the weaknesses lie, and what needs to be improved upon. There are several ways to adapt these metrics towards your company's KPIs that we discussed in the first post.

    See Part 1 of this post: Key Metrics to Manage Agents

    Commonly Used Agent Metrics


    This is key for agent performance and should be used for any call center environment. Agents who show up late or do not show up at all will not only hurt your overall call center performance, but can often create a negative environment amongst other agents when they notice agents are not showing up on time or they are frequently calling out, but are not being appropriately disciplined.

    When tracking attendance, it is important to keep track of all aspects, including:

    • Arriving on time and ready to work when scheduled
    • Returning from breaks and lunches on time
    • Taking their breaks and lunches at the correct assigned time 

    Keeping track of attendance requires meticulous records and should be sent out to the agents on a regular monthly basis.

    Quality Assurance/Call Monitoring

    Another important metric is to consistently review/monitor agents calls and fill out an appropriate quality review sheet where an agent is graded based on specific requirements they need to accomplish on every call they take. There should be a call quality checklist for every type of call an agent may receive.  A set amount of calls should be reviewed for every agent and the results should be sent out to those agents on a regular bi-weekly or monthly basis. Read more about call monitoring here.

    Average Handle Time (AHT)

    The average time spent talking to a customer per phone call can be a useful metric, however, it is not an accurate metric to grade an agent’s performance because of the various factors that an agent can't always control. However, this is an important stat that can be used when calculating how many agents are needed to take the amount of projected calls for the call center.  

    This can also be a useful stat to track as an agent that has an abnormally high AHT might need some additional training or coaching on how to best control the conversation.  An agent with low AHT could mean the agent is not providing the customer with proper support or explanation and they may also need additional training.

    Handle Percent

    Calculating the handle percent of each agent will help determine what that agent is doing throughout the day and is a helpful agent metric to utilize. Our Cloud Contact Center solution provides the ability to require your agents to mark what they are doing when they are not on the phones. Using this data, it is possible to calculate, on a percentage basis, how agents are spending their time throughout the day.  Are they spending most of their time dealing with work related matters or non-work related items? 

    A simple calculation for calculating the handle percent is as follows:

    Handle Percent = (Talk Time + Wait Time + Approved time off the phones) / (total time logged into the phone system - Time spent on Lunch)

    Approved time off the phones is when the agent is working on tasks outside of taking phone calls.  Often this can be special assigned tasks that the call center manager assigns to the agent or meetings/trainings the agent must attend.  These would all be classified as approved time.

    Since lunch is typically “unpaid”, this time is subtracted from their total time spent logged into the system.

    Using this calculation to figure out an agent’s handle time can be an excellent agent metric. It will easily provide the ability to compare agent’s amongst themselves and see how well they're performing.  All of the data involved in calculating the handle percent is within the agent’s control and the data itself can be used to run contests and help improve overall performance. This information should be sent to the agent or the whole call center each day.

    Errors Made

    Another important statistic call centers should be tracking is how many mistakes or errors an agent makes that requires time to correct. This may be used for an agent metric, but might not always make sense or be possible to use if it is relatively hard to keep track of the time involved to correct these errors. Often times these should be simply tracked by the call center manager and used to indicate which agents may need additional training or possible improvements that can be made within the system to help minimize the errors.

    Cost Per Call

    Tracking sales/transfers/upsells is an important statistic to track for any outbound call center.  When using this metric towards agent performance, it is important to make sure the numbers you're tracking are easily quantifiable. 

    Stay tuned for part 3 - Implementing these metrics into your business effectively! 

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