Call center adherence standards are used to quantify the work your customer relationship team is doing for your customers. It ensures each inquiry is met with a satisfactory outcome, leaving no questions unanswered along the way.

When your customer experience is less than stellar, you often lose money in the long run. A commitment to a transparent set of call center adherence standards can help light the way for your CRM team, improving performance and providing more for your patrons.

two call center agents working

What Are Call Center Adherence Standards?

Call center adherence standards are objective metrics that provide guidelines on what qualifies as time well-spent on the job. One example is the speed with which an agent can successfully resolve an issue for a customer.

Schedule adherence is one of the most common call center adherence standards—essentially, it compares the time an agent is on the clock with the total time they’re ready and waiting for a call during this duration. The formula to use can be found below:

Schedule Adherence = (Minutes Working / Minutes Scheduled) x 100

Plug in the numbers, and you’re left with a decimal that’s been converted into a percentage indicating efficiency and the value they’re creating over the course of a given day. For example, a score of 90% means 90% of their time is being used in the service of your customers. 85–90% on average is what most call centers consider acceptable.

Where is the remainder going? Sometimes, it’s a simple matter of incident—a computer crashes or some other minor mishap. In other cases, however, it may be inefficiency, or a simple lack of organizational knowledge.

Call center adherence standards are the best way to identify areas where your team is struggling. Is it inefficiency? If an agent leaves their desk to grab an often-used tool or form every time they resolve a call, the issue costs you time and money. Why not keep things streamlined and intuitive?

There are a multitude of ways to improve the performance of your customer support team. Analyzing the data at your disposal is often the best place to start.

What Are Call Center Adherence Standards?

Imposing a draconian new conduct system is usually not the best way to create the call center adherence standards your team needs to succeed. Instead, we recommend first doing a bit of investigative work.

1. Develop Goals Relevant to Your Problem Areas

Many call centers utilize software to document every interaction with customers calling in and chatting through your site. If you run into trouble, you should look at this data. What are common denominators? What is missing?

After answering these questions, you can begin to lay the groundwork for key performance indicators (KPIs) that target where your team appears to be falling short. It’s difficult to diagnose a problem just by looking at the surface—it’s even more difficult for employees to adjust themselves with no information from an objective viewpoint.

2. Be as Transparent as Possible

Honesty really is the best policy. Once you’ve crunched the numbers, be very frank about what can change for the better.

One-on-one meetings with your employees—carried out by their immediate supervisor—are one way to discuss deficiencies and identify strategies to get them up to speed. After sharing advice, best practices, and changes to make moving forward, we recommend following up periodically to track improvements individually.

3. Incentivize Excellence

If you’re not celebrating your wins, your employees might not know when they’re on the right track. It feels good to be recognized when we excel—incentivization encourages great performance and keeps your team engaged.

Reward hard work, even in small ways. Offering a longer lunch, for example, is a small consideration that will often be greatly appreciated. Encourage star performers openly—it’s not always easy to wear your heart on your sleeve as a leader, but even a bit of compassion during a hard day can go a long way.

Why Call Center Adherence Standards Might Be Key for Your Business

The reality is: the more time it takes your team to do their job, the longer the next customer in their queue has to wait. Every day, the minutes and seconds stack up—every iota of time you shave off a task delivers support to that customer (and the next one) much sooner.

Nobody’s perfect, but there’s always something you and your team might be able to do better, faster, or more effectively. Take a deep dive into the data, and make a plan that keeps things moving all day long.