7 Call Center KPIs that most impact customer satisfaction


Today, Net Promoter Score (NPS) benchmarks customer satisfaction. It predicts customer loyalty and a customer’s likelihood to recommend a call center. So, how does one land a high NPS? That’s dependent on several call center key performance indicators (KPIs) that enhance the overall CX.

What are call center KPIs?

Did a customer wait indefinitely, get frustrated and abandon the call, or was s/he attended to speedily? Questions such as this determine call center performance and customer satisfaction. As listed in the table below, there are several KPIs that impact CSAT as well as the overall agent/ call center productivity. This blog, while defining each, will focus primarily on customer satisfaction KPIs – what are they and how to improve them.
Note: efficient ops and streamlined workflows enable agent efficiency to impart high CSAT.

Customer satisfaction KPIsCall center ops KPIs
First Call Resolution (FCR)Average Talk Time
Average Speed of AnswerAfter Call Work
Average Time in QueueEmployee Turnover
Average Abandonment Rate
Average Hold Time
Percentage of Blocked CallsCall Dialed Per Agent
Service levelAverage Pick up/ Answer Rate

Customer Satisfaction KPIs and How to Improve Them?

First-call resolution (FCR)

FCR is defined as the percentage of calls that fulfill customer needs during a customer’s first call. It’s among the most important KPIs in determining CSAT. First impressions are lasting, making FCR crucial for an optimal customer experience. Ensure high FCR by:

  • Routing callers to the right agent skill through IVRs.
  • Cross-training agents to handle multiple call types to minimize transfers.
  • Improving agents’ problem diagnosis and resolution skills through adequate training.
  • Providing agents easy UI to transfer calls when needed.

Average speed of answer

The time agents take to answer inbound calls; how fast agents answer calls. Improve average answering speed, caller wait time, and finally CSAT by:

  • Assessing your telephony solution. Landlines or mobile phones take up to 6 seconds for call ringing. VOIP and softphones instantly hit the call to agents.
  • Improving agent training to wrap and answer calls faster.
  • Using auto answer to connect callers to agents within a second.

Read more: Your complete guide to Average Speed of Answer

Average time in queue

The amount of time customers waits in order to get connected to an agent when they call a business. This also directly impacts CSAT. Increased queue times mean an inadequacy of agent availability and high customer frustration.

Optimal scheduling by the hour of day or week of the day, etc. helps meet high call volumes more efficiently. Improve average time in queue to positively impact CSAT by:

  • Accurately projecting call volumes so staffing can be increased or paired down accordingly.
  • Training agents to resolve problems faster and wrap after call work (ACW) rapidly.
  • Setting call queue limits for each skill to route calls to. When queues exceed those limits, auto route them to other skills or agents.
  • Diverting simple transactions to a self-service IVR. Transactions that are best suited to self-service IVR include location confirmation, booking confirmation, checking ticket/delivery status, and cancellations.
  • Reducing call queues by letting callers opt for voicemail and call-backs. Deliver these voicemails to a priority inbox. Use a power dialer to automate callbacks.
  • Using Dynamic Queue Reprioritization to ensure that high value customers are never made to wait in queue. Use CTI integrations to recognize these callers and push them to the top of the call queue.

Read More: Call Queue Management

Average abandonment rate

Calls that go unanswered as frustrated callers disconnect while in queue. Unanswered or abandoned calls = missed opportunity to connect with a customer or prospect. Perhaps a lucrative sales lead was missed, or a complaint went unaddressed, or some valuable feedback fell through the cracks. Reduce abandonment rates, customer attrition, and drive superior customer satisfaction by:

  • Using skill-based routing to distribute calls optimally amongst agents.
  • Defining Call Queues for each skill. Create fallbacks such as routing calls to other skills or a self-service IVR during high call volumes.
  • Ensuring adequate staffing to keep call queues short.
  • Offering voicemail and call-backs to callers when queue time exceeds a defined limit.

Average hold time

The time a caller waits when an agent puts him/her on hold to retrieve information, speak to a supervisor, or transfer the caller. This KPI effects both CX and overall call center productivity (as it can increase or decrease the average handle time). Address high average hold times by improving training or poor transfer technology:

  • Route callers to the right agent skill by improving the IVR options.
  • Cross-train agents to handle multiple call types to minimize transfers.
  • Improve agent problem diagnosis and resolution skills.
  • Ensure that agents have easy UI to transfer calls when needed.

Read More: Use warm transfers to improve customer experience

Percentage of blocked calls

The % of calls that receive a busy (engaged) tone. Steps can be taken to ensure to minimize busy (engaged) tone when customers call.

  • Plan agent availability by analyzing call volume by time of day, seasonal busy / lull times, etc. to tweak staffing to meet the needs of cyclical call volumes.
  • Ensure efficient routing to voicemails when agents are busy.
  • Streamline ACW wrap so agents’ status can rapidly go from “busy” to “available” to attend to customer calls.

Service level

The % of calls answered within a pre-determined / specified number of seconds. Clients usually establish service level agreements (SLAs) with call centers that determine how quickly a call needs to be answered. This means high answer rates and low abandonment rates. To achieve this:

  • Use skill-based routing to better distribute calls among agents.
  • Define Call Queues for each skill.
  • Ensure adequate staffing to keep call queues short.
  • Create fallbacks such as routing calls to other skills or a self-service IVR during high call volumes.
  • Offer voicemail and call-backs to callers when queue time exceeds a defined limit.

Call Center Productivity KPIs

The following five KPIs are utilized to track the overall call center productivity. As mentioned, these are important precursors to achieving high CX. For instance, efficient call wrap ensures agent availability to attend to a customer rapidly.    

Average talk time

The amount of time on average an agent spends talking to a caller. Average talk times are used to calculate average handle times and to measure the overall contact center efficiency.

After-call work

AWC or post-call processing is the work a call center agent puts in after speaking to a customer. Tasks such as updating customer information, adding call disposition and notes, call logging, or email/message follow-up. Until ACW is complete, the agent’s status remains busy or unavailable. ACW affects agent productivity and contact center efficiency.

Employee turnover

Employee turnover is the percentage of agent attrition to seek employment elsewhere; usually a huge time sink and a setback for business productivity.

Calls Dialed Per Agent

Calls dialed per agent during outbound campaigns – manually or by using click to call from their CRM; auto or predictive dialers.

Average Pick-up / Answer rate

The number of calls dialed to connect to a contact. Average pickup / answer rates inform the efficacy of an outbound campaign in terms of timing and data quality.


Customer satisfaction is a function of the overall customer experience from the time a customer dials an 1800 number to issue resolution. Speed of response and rapid & accurate issue resolution is key. Benchmarking and periodically analyzing call center key performance indicators (KPIs) allows businesses to continually improve their CX, agent performance/wellbeing, and ROI. A robust call center software solution will provide hard numbers on each KPI to help maximize throughput. So, going back to that high NPS, take the guesswork out of the mix! Dive deep into analytics and tweak staffing, ops, and training to wow customers.

Want an industry benchmark to judge your call center KPIs? Download our Report on Call Center Performance Metrics 2020-21. Or learn about how our call center solution can help you improve your metrics today.

Subscribe Now

Get the latest industry news, upcoming webinars, whitepapers, and more straight to your inbox.

Webinar may 2021
Join Us for a Free Webinar
Learn ways to solve Customer Experience challenges & accelerate growth.