How to Calculate Customer Service Productivity
Customer service is one of the most important aspects of running your business since it can make or break your brand’s reputation. It is essential to keep track of the performance of your customer service team as well as each agent. You could have meetings to check-in to see how things are going. However, it’s always better to have actual stats on performance to get an accurate reading of how your team is doing. Your profits increase and customer experience improvement when more is accomplished each day.
Without measuring customer service productivity, you can’t be sure of what’s going right and what’s going wrong. When you have accurate data you could make adjustments to improve your service, for example, changing scripts, additional training, or increasing staff. Besides impacting company profitability, employees that are productive improve morale, increase customer satisfaction, and help create a better company culture. Without the accurate data, you will have to just guess how things are really going which means you are not able to make the correct changes to improve.
There are a few metrics that you could use to measure your customer service productivity. You could simply calculate how many calls come in but that’s just not enough. You could measure how long someone is on hold or how long the total call was. The most successful businesses go deeper with measuring productivity.
Productivity Metrics of Call Centers: Productivity and Customer Service
Call center productivity goes right along with positive customer experiences since the best customer experiences aren’t just based on the quality of service, but also the timely and efficient completion of the service. So it’s not just about answering the phone quickly and being friendly. The agent needs to resolve any problems fast with preferably only one interaction.
Customer Service Productivity Formula
There is a simple formula you could use to measure your call center productivity. The formula could also be used to measure the productivity of each agent handling your service requests over all the channels including phone, email, SMS, online chat and social media.
Occupancy rate is a measurement of how much time each agent spends working on customer-related duties which could include answering calls, order entry or data entry, additional training, etc.
The productivity formula for call centers is:
(Total Output / Total Input) x 100 = Labor Productivity
- Total Output is the amount of time the agent spends on actual tasks like time spent talking to or messaging customers and time spent performing required administrative duties.
- Total Input is the amount of time the agent has to spend—their daily work schedule.
Here’s a simple breakdown: your agent works an eight-hour shift so 8 would be their total input for the day. They spent 7 hours on the phone and performing work-related tasks. Their productivity would break down as:
7 divided by 8 = .875 x 100 = 87.5% productive
Call Center Performance Metrics - Productivity
Breaking each agent's productivity down into specific goals is more effective than labor productivity.
Here are effective ways to break it down even further:
1. Abandonment Rate
Of course, delivering great service is important but it’s also a good idea to measure the abandonment rate via call, SMS, or live chat since it shows the number of customers who tried to get service but left before they were able to reach your agent. A low rate is what you are aiming for as it means your agents are quickly making contact and handling problems efficiently. If you have a high rate it means your customers are needing to wait longer than they are willing to in order to reach an agent. This could result in unhappy customers and loss of potential sales. If your abandonment rate is high you are able to then dig in deeper to figure out what the cause is and come up with a solution to lower the rate.
This metric will give you an idea of how your team as a whole is performing. A high abandonment rate
To calculate the abandonment rate, take the total number of abandoned calls divided by the total number of incoming calls then x 100 = Abandonment Rate
2. Time in Queue
Time in queue refers to the length of time your customers are waiting on hold to reach a live agent. The longer the wait, the higher the abandonment rate. The lower the time in the queue the better the customer’s experience with your company will be so it’s important to keep this number low.
To calculate the time in the queue, take the total caller hold time and divide it by the total number of calls = Average Time in Queue
3. Handle Time
Average handle time is the total amount of time your agent is on the phone or live chat, so it's the time they pick up till the time they hang up. This is how long the agent took to effectively service your customer. When an agent’s handle time is really long, it may indicate that they are struggling with customer requests. A really low number here doesn’t always mean the agent is really good at handling customers. There’s a certain amount of time needed to effectively handle the customers without them feeling rushed or not taken care of properly.
On the other hand, a lower average handle time indicates that your agents are being more productive by taking more calls. You want to decrease average handle time to improve productivity while also keeping up total customer satisfaction.
To calculate handle time, take the total talk time + after call work time then divide that by the total number of calls = Average Handle Time
4. First Interaction Resolution Rate
This could also be referred to as the first call resolution rate but nowadays technology service is provided via online chat, social media, SMS, and email as well. The resolution rate is how many interactions it took an agent to successfully handle your customers’ requests. Customers want their requests handled in as few interactions as possible with the hopes of just one.
The more interactions it takes, the less of a positive experience with your company they will have. Also, agents that have high-resolution rates are less productive since they have to handle the same issue multiple times before it’s resolved. That typically means the agent needs additional training.
To calculate the resolution rate, take the total number of calls resolved on the first contact divided by the total number of calls = First Call Resolution Rate
5. Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is by far the most important since this is what customer service is all about - making customers happy. While call center metrics will show the areas where your agents are doing well or falling short, the customer satisfaction score is the most direct measure to tell if your call center is providing the excellent service your customers want.
There are two surveys commonly used by business owners to determine how satisfied their customers are with their brand. The first is called Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and the second is Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys. CSAT and NPS’s primary difference is that CSAT measures a customer's satisfaction with a product or service, and NPS measures customer loyalty. CSAT and NPS are both a measurement of your customers’ thoughts and opinions about your business, and they are both very different. NPS has a very defined process, whereas CSAT is more fluid.
By surveying your customers, you will be able to pinpoint your successes and areas that need improvement to attain total customer satisfaction. Happy customers turn into loyal customers, brand advocates, and great referral sources!
The Bottom Line
By measuring your customer service productivity levels you will get the data needed to know where changes should be made to improve your customer experience. By improving productivity while maintaining excellent service will allow your business to increase profits and grow. An exceptional customer experience is the end goal and should be for all involved including your customer service team.
With some of the data, you will receive from measuring productivity you will be able to make changes to processes, add additional training or make adjustments to scrips. If you don’t measure productivity then you might be unaware of issues that could be occurring that are causing an unpleasant customer experience. What you don’t know, you cannot fix.
Surviving your customers to get real feedback from them about their experience with your brand will give you additional data that you want to use to make changes as needed. It’s also a great way to get feedback on the things your team is doing well so that you could acknowledge them for a job well done which will encourage them to continue their hard work. Being known for excellent customer service will help you organically grow your business and take it to the next level.
Are you needing an exceptional service team that will wow your customers with first-class service? Call Awesome CX today and we will show you how awesome we really are!