Common Call Center Metrics and their Best Practices

Gathering, analyzing, and reporting data about business performance is an essential aspect of organizational growth. Making decisions that are crucial to the enterprise requires a closer look at each of the essential segments.

In the customer service sector, it is imperative for companies to track and improve important call center metrics to understand the direction of the business and appropriate measures required for better results.

Discover some of the essential call center metrics you need to track for better business results in this post. While there are several call center metrics you should analyze, we have narrowed them to the top ten essential ones.

What are call center metrics?

Call center metrics are standards set to gauge the operational growth and development of a customer support systems of a company. In turn, operational growth is a significant driver towards the financial strength of all businesses.

The operational growth makes performance reporting with these metrics an all-important aspect to successfully managing all call centers-both inbound and outbound.

These metrics also help set clear and most important data-backed and measurable goals for the customer service agents and the entire business operations. You can also map each metric against one or more factors of the support center. This could be the operational efficiency support software or the quality of customer service offered.

Essential call center metrics

Like in all sectors, there are several metrics call centers can measure, depending on the targeted result. Here are the essential ones.

  1. First-call resolutions.

This metric refers to the percentage of issues resolved in the first call between a customer and agents. First-call resolution is a significant aspect of call centers because it contributes to the reduction of customer churn rate.

According to research by SQL group Inc., only 3% of clients who got their concerns resolved in the first service engagement are likely to churn compared to 38% of customers who are expected to churn if their issues are not solved after the first call.

Reducing call center wait times and resolving customer issues quickly is the most effective way of customer service. And the first-call resolution will guide you on how to achieve this.

  1. Customer satisfaction.

Customer satisfaction analyzes how your clients feel about your company’s customer service experience. Most companies use analytics tools such as Net Promoter Score to measure customers’ satisfaction and receive feedback.

This metric enables businesses to have a clear indication of whether their support systems are effective or not.

  1. Call availability.

This metric gauges how available are your support reps to receive calls and the amount of time they spend resolving them. Unlike customer satisfaction, call availability enables a business manager to identify employees who adhere to their schedules and those who don’t.

If this metric is low, then management can launch an investigation into their call records to see if the agent was absent or it was during peak seasons.

Additionally, this metric helps managers to identify peak operation hours in the call center. They notice when there is low availability and staff and schedule appropriately to meet the rising demands.

  1. Service level.

This is the percentage of calls that are responded to within a given period of time. For instance, customer service managers may set a service level goal of answering 80% of all calls in 20 seconds.

This metric shows whether the business has adequate resources and time to meet customer’s demands. It ensures that the calls are connected to the right departments and that they are resolved promptly.

If you lack this metric, then it may be the right time to try other support tools or employ more staff to help reduce your business’s customer service wait time.

  1. Average handling rate.

The average handling rate outlines the total time a client spends on a call with a support agent. While it usually varies across different sectors, most call support centers will always try to reduce it as much as possible.

If it is low, it means that your team is efficient enough, and you don’t need many employees on the phones. It is advisable to understand these metrics and monitor them closely on a daily basis.

Underestimating and misusing these data can prevent the support center from developing to the desired level and achieve important call center objectives.

  1. Abandonment rates.

The rate of abandonment is the percentage of terminated or dropped calls by the customer. It tells call center managers how satisfied their clients are with their customer service wait times and general call experience.

Also, it can help support systems determine whether their calling solutions are outdated and what needs to be done to keep them updated. In case you have high customer satisfaction rates alongside high abandonments, it can mean that your call system is accidentally dropping calls.

If so, you are advised to resolve it as soon as you can because call droppings can negatively impact your customer service experience leading to poor satisfaction.

  1. Contact quality.

This is the most common call center metric that is found in almost every sector. It is monitored and recorded by the quality assurance personnel who analyze call recordings randomly.

These quality assurance experts evaluate customer service agents on values like professionalism and courtesy, information accuracy, and the effectiveness of capturing customers’ information. This review enables call centers to create a consistent message and tone that the agents can use on each phone call they receive.

  1. Percentage of blocked calls.

This refers to the total number of calls that got a busy message when they called. Suppose you have a high percentage of blocked calls. In that case, it means that your reps are missing the opportunity to resolve customers’ issues and can lead to frustrated customers.

If you are meeting this metric, it may mean that you have few available reps assigned to a shift or schedule, or your business lines are in use for other reasons that are not provided form by the company.

Regardless of the reasons, find a way to free up your agents and lines to avoid turning your customers down.

  1. Average time in queue.

This is the average number of times callers wait in line for a connection to a support agent. When you subject customers to longer wait times, they may abandon the call and never call back again. This situation is a missed opportunity to serve your clients, promote your brand, and have repeat customers.

Average time in queue is a notable metric that is useful to gauge against your company since setting an acceptable wait time depends on various factors. For instance, longer wait times are not ideal for businesses providing high-demand services like food delivery. At the same time, it can be acceptable for less urgent issues like claiming an award.

This KPI is calculated by dividing the total amount of time callers wait in line by the number of answered calls. Analyze the average time in line to improve your customer’s experience.

If you realize that customers are taking longer in lines than usual, try to tell your team to lower this metric score by offering call-back services during peak hours or making them more efficient in call handling.

Travel, leisure, or recreation companies are the common sectors with a high average time in queue primarily because of the high number of inbound calls due to factors like equipment malfunction or weather patterns.

Comparatively, healthcare, biotech, and pharmaceuticals have the lowest average time in queue, indicating a more prepared and fully staffed call center that responds promptly to customer concerns.

  1. The average speed of answer.

This is the total amount of time callers wait on hold divided by the total number of calls answered. It includes calls responded to by a live agent and those answered through interactive voice response. Most businesses use automatic call distributors to measure this metric.

Suppose this KPI is too high; it means that your agents respond to calls as quickly as possible. Check what is making them keep this high level of productivity and improve on it. Anything as small as an improved work environment can result in high ASA.


A business call center operates under very stressful conditions where you are required to handle a high number of calls while ensuring a high level of excellent customer service.

To achieve all these, you need to know and understand the latest KPIs and metrics that you can measure to identify and adjust areas that need improvement for better business results.

While there is a long list of these KPIs, these top ten essential call center metrics can lead to a productive and effective team. They include the average speed of answer, first-call resolution, customer satisfaction, call availability, abandonment rates, average handling time, contact quality, and abandonment rates