10 Experts Share Their Favourite Advice on Call Centre Metrics


A picture of someone holding measuring tape

We share ten tips for better using call centre metrics, which have been shared with us by industry experts.

Our First Call Centre Metrics Video

The first five tips on call centre metrics are shared with us by our experts in the video below.

If you would prefer to simply scan the tips, they are also written out underneath the video.

1. Measure What Matters

In the contact centre world, you can look up documents online that show you the “standard” things to measure in the contact centre. But you need to measure what matters, not just what everybody else is measuring.

A thumbnail photo of Dan Moross

Dan Moross

We at MOO have done many exercises over the years to determine what matters most to our primary stakeholders: our customers, employees and our shareholders.

We have thought about: what matters most to those groups?

Then, pick a small number of metrics for each of them and consider how you will go about measuring them.

Thanks to Dan Moross at MOO

For more on measuring what matters, read our article: Contact Centre Metrics: Are You Measuring the Right Things?

2. Avoid These Toxic Metric Habits

Avoid your call centre metrics turning toxic by firstly ensuring that there are no contradictions between actual performance and the numbers.

A headshot of Katie Stabler

Katie Stabler

Make sure that they actually inform decision-making. That is super important!

Also, don’t just mindlessly chase numbers and ensure that your metrics don’t become targets.

Finally, make sure that they are balanced and that you are measuring a number of things that are important to your own operation.

Thanks to Katie Stabler at CULTIVATE Customer Experience by Design

Find more advice from Katie on this topic in our article: How to Use Inbound Call Centre Metrics to Drive Performance

3. Consider the Unintended Consequences of Your Metric Choices

What gets measured, quite often gets managed. So, the first tip is to be crystal clear in the metrics that are most important to your customer journey.

At the same time, consider what some of the unintended consequences are of what you want to measure.

Quite often, for example, you’ll see Average Handling Time (AHT) being a measure, but that can have an impact on things like:

A headshot of Garry Gormley

Garry Gormley

  • How polite people are
  • How much rapport they build
  • How focused they are on listening
  • How much they rush through the call

So, think about those unintended consequences and be clear about what you want to measure.

Thanks to Garry Gormley at FAB Solutions 

4. Categorize Your Metrics

I find it really helpful to take your big collection of metrics and put them into categories because categories are a lot easier to work with, explain and understand.

The categories that I tend to look at when I organize metrics are:

  • Quality Metrics
  • Accessibility Metrics
  • Efficiency Metrics
  • Cost Metrics
  • Strategic Metrics

You can think of this as “QAECS“, which I use as a mnemonic device to help me remember.

A headshot of Daniel Ord

Daniel Ord

So, for example, if you’re looking at the quality of a live chat or call, clearly that is going to be categorized as a quality metric. If you’re looking at service level, that would go in as an accessibility metric. If you’re looking at customer satisfaction (CSat) or engagement, those are strategic metrics.

Trying to deal with long lists of metrics can be overwhelming, so my tip is to put them into these logical categories and make it easier to understand and explain.

Thanks to Daniel Ord at OmniTouch International

5. Consider the “Why” Behind Each Metric

You can measure and monitor practically everything that an agent or a customer does. But just because you can doesn’t mean that you should.

A thumbnail photo of Nerys Corfield

Nerys Corfield

My top tip is to, at least quarterly, get into a room or a video call and review all of your management information suite and determine:

  • Why do we measure this?
  • What value does it bring to the customer?
  • What value does it bring to the agent?
  • What value does it bring to the operation?

Thanks to Nerys Corfield at Injection Consulting

Our Second Call Centre Metrics Video

Here is a second set of tips for better using call centre metrics, which is ready to be shared with you.

These are once again written out below, for all of you who would like to further dissect each tip.

6. Stop Chasing Numbers

There are two things that we need to focus on when it comes to what we measure:

  1. Predicting outcomes
  2. Measuring outcomes

This is really important because it puts us in the mindset of “the outcome”. What is the thing that we hope to see as a result of our contact centre strategies?

A thumbnail photo of Justin Robbins

Justin Robbins

We should not just keep going after a number. So often, with metrics, we get into this pursuit of a score, without clearly thinking: what are we trying to drive or what are we trying to predict?

So, look over all of your metrics and put those into two categories:

  1. What helps you predict your desired outcomes?
  2. What helps you to determine whether or not you are achieving them?

Thanks to Justin Robbins at CX Effect 

7. Be Clear on Your Outcomes

What you measure is what you get. It’s human nature to work to the metrics, and therefore you need to be clear on the customer outcomes that you are looking for.

If your call centre metrics are all about AHT, volumes of calls etc., that’s all the insight that you are going to get.

A headshot of Sarah Morgan

Sarah Morgan

So, think about the customer experience that you want as well, what outcomes you want for the customer, and make sure that you have metrics that cover that element as well.

By adding these metrics and changing your focus, what you’ll end up with is a much richer experience for the customer.

Thanks to Sarah Morgan at Luceat Coaching 

8. Move Away From Standardized Reporting

Reporting is how you can build anything in a contact centre environment. What the contact centre needs is access to those metrics.

But it’s not all about access. It’s also about looking at the right metrics at the right time, when that data can make a real difference.

Analyse your metrics and create custom reports, showing the right metrics at the right time, so you can properly assess your key outcomes.

The right time is normally in real time, because you want to see it right there and then, but it’s also historical as well, so you can understand key trends.

Yet, sometimes it can all get a bit convoluted and it becomes difficult – in the world of big data – to determine what you should be looking at and how you should be looking at it.

A headshot of Jason Griffin

Jason Griffin

The key message here is not to get lost in the data, because there is a lot of data, but it’s also important to look at the right data that’s right for you.

So, you want to analyse your metrics and create custom reports, showing the right metrics at the right time, so you can properly assess your key outcomes.

Thanks to Jason Griffin at Five9 

For more guidance on how to best use contact centre reports, read our article: A Quick Guide to Call Centre Reporting – With the Top Seven Reports, Examples and Tips

9. Stop the Command and Control Leadership

We have got to get into some realism here about how the world has shifted, and how our customers and how our employees have shifted as well.

The big challenge that we have got to get our heads around and to create a really strong metrics plan around is community.

This involves thought around:

A thumbnail photo of Natalie Calvert

Natalie Calvert

  • How are we impacting our customer community?
  • How are we impacting our employee community?
  • How are we impacting our shareholder community?

So we really need to think about our metrics so that we drive the right behaviours.

Community is where it is at now. Forget command and control.

Thanks to Natalie Calvert at CX High Performance

10. Deliver Actionable Insights

When it comes to call centre metrics, it is all about measuring the right things.

Many contact centres produce many reports and what we often see is that little happens with some of those reports.

So, if a metric doesn’t drive action, actionable insight or return on effort, then I’d question why you are measuring it.

A classic example is AHT. As a management tool, AHT can be great for workforce planning. It is not, however, a great indicator of effectiveness.

A headshot of Rob Clarke

Rob Clarke

Typically in a contact centre, if you increase AHT that would be frowned upon. However, that could leverage a better customer conversation and we have a case study where doing just that creates a £60 million return.

So, increasing AHT was the right thing to do for that contact centre, which went against their previous use of the metric.

Thanks to Rob Clarke at Elev-8 Performance

For lots more advice on best using call centre metrics, read our articles:

Published On: 17th Feb 2021 - Last modified: 24th Feb 2021
Read more about - Call Centre Management, , ,



Get the latest exciting call centre reports, specialist whitepapers, interesting case-studies and industry events straight to your inbox.