Top Call Center Metrics and KPIs to Track


The Gist

  • Elevating customer expectations. Today’s customers have significantly higher service expectations, demanding quick and accurate resolutions. 
  • Critical performance metrics. Call center metrics are essential for gauging service efficiency, effectiveness and customer satisfaction.
  • Analytics benefits. Tracking call center metrics can significantly improve customer interactions and operational efficiencies. 

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated on March 12, 2024 to include new data and information. The original content was authored by Tom Regan. 

Today’s customers have high expectations. In fact, according to a Talkdesk report, 58% of consumers polled said their customer service expectations increased. And 84% said they expect their questions or concerns to be solved quickly and accurately. That’s where call center metrics come in. 

Call center metrics help organizations better understand and respond to customer needs. But which metrics should organizations track? 

What Are Call Center Metrics?

Call center metrics are key performance indicators (KPIs) that measure various aspects of a call center’s operations and performance. These metrics are crucial for understanding the efficiency, effectiveness and overall quality of the customer service provided. These KPIs can also help organizations gauge how happy or satisfied their customers are, along with the likelihood of them becoming loyal customers or recommending the brand to others. 

How to Monitor Call Center Performance

Using call center metrics to measure performance effectively boils down to three phases:

1. Collection

Collect as much applicable data as possible from all channels, and avoid siloes by ensuring each department shares data with other departments. For instance, call center agents often can’t track resolution rates. However, centers can use customer relationship management (CRM) or analytics software to provide that data.

2. Analysis

Data by itself is just data. Organize and present it in a way that makes it easy for your team to understand and act on. Call center analytics software often includes templates you can use to create visual reports.

3. Action

Take your call center metrics calculations and use them to improve the performance of your agents and fill gaps in your customer response plan. Consider each metric you want to use to improve your call center and think about how to get the most benefit from it.

Related Article: What Is a Call Center? How They Work

Top Call Center Metrics

A lot of different factors can impact the experience a customer has with your call center. Here are some key call center industry standards metrics that every organization should track. 

Average Time in Queue

The average duration that callers wait on the line before getting connected to a service agent. A lower average time in queue indicates more efficient call center operations. 

Average Call Abandonment Rate

The percentage of calls abandoned by the customer before reaching an agent. Callers typically abandon a call if they’ve been on hold for too long, which can lead to dissatisfaction and even prompt customers to move on to a competitor. 

Average Speed of Answer (ASA) 

The average time it takes for an agent to answer inbound calls, which indicates the level of accessibility of the service to customers.

Percentage of Calls Blocked

The percentage of people who call in to the center but receive a busy tone or are routed to leave a voicemail or callback number. A high percentage of calls blocked can frustrate customers, and indicates to companies that they may need to reconfigure staffing levels during certain days or times. 

Average Handle Time (AHT)

Average handle time is the average duration of a single transaction, including talk time, hold time and time spent on related tasks after the call ends. Many businesses allow some flexibility in this metric, as some problems are more challenging to handle than others. 

The average handle time calculation

First Call Resolution (FCR)

First call resolution is the percentage of calls resolved during the first interaction between an agent and customer, without the need for follow-up from either side. 

Occupancy Rate

The percentage of time agents spend handling calls or completing work related to calls versus waiting for calls to come in. 

Average After-Call Work Time 

The average amount of time an agent spends on post-call tasks after the end of a conversation with a customer. These tasks might include updating customer records, entering transaction details, sending follow-up emails or other administrative or documentation work. 

Call Center Customer Experience Metrics

Many call center metrics can help organizations pinpoint what type of experience their customers have when they call in and interact with agents. 

First Call Resolution 

First call resolution, mentioned above, measures the percentage of calls resolved during the first interaction between an agent and customer. A high first call resolution is a sign of excellent customer service and one of the most important ways to ensure customer satisfaction. A high number also indicates a well-trained and knowledgable team of agents. 

Customer Effort Score (CES)

The customer effort score specifically looks at the amount of effort it takes a customer to accomplish a specific task or find an answer to their query. A CES survey is typically deployed at the end of a call, and might ask the customer: “Do you agree or disagree that [brand] made it easy for you to handle your issue?” 

Customer effort score is one of the most important metrics for measuring how a customer feels about the brand, as customers are often satisfied when they’re able to get resolution without much effort involved. On the flip side, if a caller has to put in a lot of work to do something simple, it often leads to frustration and a poor experience. 

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

The customer satisfaction score is a metric that measures how satisfied a customer is with the service they received. This score is often gauged through post-call surveys and may ask callers to use a ranking from 1 to 10 or 1 to 5, where 1 indicates the person is “Very Unsatisfied” and 5 or 10 means they are “Satisfied.” 

An example of what a customer satisfaction score (CSAT) survey looks like

Time on Hold

This metric measures how long a caller waits on hold before they speak to an agent. A high time on hold could mean people are more likely to abandon the call and move on to a competitor. Combining this metric with the call abandonment rate can help you determine if agents are answering questions efficiently and point to potential staffing issues. 

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net promoter score gauges how likely a person is to recommend the company to others. NPS is calculated based on the response to a single question: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?”

The Net Promoter Score Scale, showing detractors, passives and promoters

Based on their ratings, respondents are classified into three categories:

  • Promoters (Score 9-10): Loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and referring others.
  • Passives (Score 7-8): Satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings.
  • Detractors (Score 0-6): Unhappy customers who may spread negative word-of-mouth.  

NPS is then calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. The score can range from -100 to 100. 

Related Article: What Is Average Handle Time (AHT) and Does It Impact Customer Experience?

Call Center Agent Productivity Metrics

Agents are at the heart of the call center and the front line interacting with customers. A variety of metrics can help organizations determine how agents are performing and pinpoint any problems that may need addressed. 

Service Level

The percentage of calls answered within a predetermined amount of time, indicating an agent’s productivity level. This metric is often set as a target, like answering 80% of calls within 20 seconds. 

Average Handle Time (AHT)

The average time it takes to handle a call, from speaking to the caller to the end of after-call tasks. Many companies want agents to resolve calls as quickly as possible. And shorter AHTs tend to point to answering customer queries quickly and efficiently. Still, the danger with promoting short AHTs is that some agents will intentionally keep calls short to hit the desired standard without solving customer problems.

Average Speed of Answer (ASA)

This metric determines how long it takes an agent to answer inbound calls. Higher ASA times signify a greater risk of customer dissatisfaction and possible agent problems. It can also point to efficiency and accessibility issues.


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