Calls Per Hour

answering calls
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I have seen many Calls/Customers Per Hours discussions over the net about whether or not Call Centres should use this as a measure. Most say we shouldn’t as it is an unfair target and the agent has little control over it, however the CC I am working with have decided to bring it back. The reason for this is that AHT (one of our current measures) has been in place so long it is loosing its meaning and we can’t seem to re-inject it with life in the business despite numerous attempts.

The aim is to make this as fair as possible and use it as a guide to help agents try to increase their productivity. This will be achieved by;

  • Only using monthly data so agents on rotating shifts have had a fair number of busy/quieter shifts to average out any impact call arrival will have on CPH.
  • Targeting will not be a fixed figure but rather based on the range of CPH, the 33% with the lowest CPH compared to their colleagues will be the ones highlighted to increase the number of calls they take and so become more productive. This should close the gap of agents with high CPH against agents with low CPH giving a more even level of productivity across the CC.

All of this depends on using a fair calculation for CPH.

A true CPH calculation would be;

Calls Taken / Signed on Time

However this doesn’t take into account any un-proportionate time we have booked agents out for non-phone work, so would a fairer calculation be;

Calls Taken / (Signed on Time – AUX Time – Available Time)

By taking out the AUX time (which is monitored separately by category) we remove any differences in non-phone work and by removing the available time we are taking out any affect call arrival has on this calculation.

In effect what we are doing with the 2nd calculation is actually measuring AHT from a different perspective so really we could use this calculation to obtain the same results

Calls Taken / Call Taking Time

Can I ask for your thoughts on this, does it work logically and is this best calculation for the purpose?

Question asked by Judge

Need to Exclude Wrap up Time

Hi Judge

I think that the calculation would be OK, but you may need to exclude wrap up time (and maybe hold time) as well.

I think that there are some big flaws in using calls per hour as the key metric.

1. It fosters quantity rather than quality. For example it says that 100 bad calls are better than 70 average calls and 50 excellent calls. But the 50 excellent calls may all resolve the problem.

2. Agents will feel encouraged to rush the caller off the phone, or even worse – just disconnect a call in progress. The easiest way is to hit answer and then release (or hang up) straight answer. This does not normally get picked up in listening to calls as it is assumed that the caller hung up.

3. It could kill first call resolution and hit valid uses of wrap time. Follow up paperwork may also not get processed.

I very much doubt if this will re-inject life into the business.

If you have to look at productivity I would suggest AHT and Adherence. Much better would be to use a QA or Quality Score, coupled with something like NetPromoter.

With thanks to Jonty

Author: Jonty Pearce

Published On: 12th Apr 2022 - Last modified: 14th Apr 2022
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