As a business owner, you want to make sure your customers get the treatment they deserve. This means ensuring their questions get answered and their concerns get addressed as fast as possible.
Though you can do this on your own, working with a call center makes the process easier. And believe it or not, you can measure your call center’s performance with a simple calculation.
How is service level calculated in a call center? Here’s what you need to know.
What Is Service Level in a Call Center?
Service level in a call center refers to the percentage of calls answered within a given time frame. The more calls representatives answer within that predetermined time, the less time customers spend waiting on the line and the happier they’ll be with your company.
Typically, the service level is given as a percentage. The higher the percentage is, the better the level of service. Think of service level as both a goal and a way to measure the performance of your call center customer service team.
How to Calculate Service Level in a Call Center
The easiest way to calculate service level is to look at the number of calls the agents can answer within a certain time frame after the phone begins to ring. This set time can be anywhere from 10 seconds to a full minute. Divide that number by the number of calls coming in and multiply the result by 100.
This will give you the service level percentage. Within that calculation, you can better understand the service level in customer service at the call center so you can gauge the quality of customer service callers receive.
Let’s say your aim is to answer all calls within 20 seconds. On a given day, your call center dealt with 500 different calls, 425 of which were answered within 20 seconds.
425 calls answered within 20 seconds / 500 total calls = 0.85 X 100 = 85% service level
For that day, 85% of calls were answered within your chosen time frame, making that your service level percentage. That’s a good rate!
Ways to Calculate Call Center Service Level Standards
Though the calculation for call center service level is largely the same, there are three great methods you can use to better understand the true efficacy of your agents and your current systems.
1. The 80/20 Rule
For most businesses utilizing call centers, the 80/20 rule is considered the standard or ideal service level. So, what does 80/20 mean in a call center? In this scenario, 80% of calls get answered within 20 seconds.
This calculation gives you an idea of how quickly calls are getting answered. But it tells you very little about customer satisfaction rates or how long your customers are truly willing to wait for an available agent. It also doesn’t take abandoned calls into consideration.
2. Counting Abandoned Calls
Counting abandoned calls is the best method for companies looking to provide stellar customer service every time. Each abandoned call is a missed opportunity to reach out to customers and make sure they’re happy. The more abandoned calls you have, the lower your service level will be, but the more you’ll be able to identify shortcomings so you can make the necessary improvements.
3. Look at Your FCR
If you’re trying to gauge actual customer service quality and not just how quickly calls get answered, you’ll want to calculate the first contact resolution (FCR) rate. To calculate this rate, you need to look at the number of calls that were resolved during the first phone call (without the customer needing to contact you a second time or more) and divide it by the total number of calls received in a day. The higher the rate is, the more successful the call center is.
What is a good FCR rate? It depends on your specific industry, but an FCR rate of 70-75% is pretty solid.
How Do You Maintain Service Level in a Call Center?
The key to maintaining or exceeding a certain service level in a call center is to make sure you have enough agents on-hand at all times to address the incoming calls within the preferred time frame.
For business owners looking to answer their own customer service calls, this can be challenging. You’re limited to being able to answer a set number of calls based on the number of team members you have available to answer them at any given time. Hiring more team members to take those calls will improve your service level, but it will do so at great cost to your operating budget.
The easiest way to maintain high service levels is to outsource your inbound customer service calls to a dedicated call center that can prioritize your business’ needs each day. Let ROI Solutions help. Contact our team to see how we can help you improve your customers’ experience.