A simple call center service level definition refers to a percentage that measures call center performance within a given time period. Though the metrics used to determine this percentage often vary from one call center to another, most companies choose to measure the percentage of answered calls, response time, or handling time in a set period of time.
Ultimately, call center service levels help with call center forecasting, staffing, and scheduling. Companies with a good service level demonstrate that they are accessible to their customers who call in or email the call center, while companies with a poor service level should aim to improve their accessibility to customers.
What Is a Good Service Level for a Call Center?
A service level objective is a way for call centers to set a goal for their average call center service level. Most call centers follow the 80/20 rule for setting their service level objective, meaning they aim to answer 80% of phone calls within 20 seconds.
But of course, not every call center should adhere to the exact same standards. Customer service is one of the key ways for today’s companies to differentiate themselves from the competition, and many call centers aim to have an even higher service level objective.
Still other call centers may be more relaxed on the 80/20 rule since letting customers wait longer can offer cost benefits. (Having fewer agents taking calls means the call center can get by with a slimmer staff.)
How Do You Maintain Service Levels in a Call Center?
There are many ways to maintain or improve service levels within a call center. Here are a few ideas to consider.
1. Schedule the Optimal Number of Agents
Optimizing staffing needs can be difficult, but it’s one of the best ways to maintain call center service levels. Call centers can ensure they have the right amount of agents on the schedule by analyzing call volume trends, measuring agent performance, and taking training and breaks into consideration.
2. Reduce Agent Turnover
Also known as agent attrition, employee turnover can hurt service levels in a call center. Reducing the number of employees who leave their position can improve efficiency and provide cost savings for call centers.
3. Increase Customer Satisfaction
Unsatisfied customers may spend more time on a call or even call back multiple times, which causes a dip in call center service levels. Investing resources to improve customer satisfaction will resolve this problem and positively impact other metrics, too (like average handle time and call volume).
What Is the Purpose of Service Levels?
Service levels show companies whether they are properly staffing their call center. They also demonstrate whether customers are getting their problems resolved quickly and getting connected to a call center agent within a reasonable amount of time. These metrics help companies better manage call volume spikes, improve customer satisfaction, and boost productivity.
Learn More from ROI Solutions
Now that you have a solid understanding of this call center service level definition, you can apply the principles to better maintain and improve your own service levels. Of course, one way to improve service levels is to let the experts handle it. ROI Call Center Solutions has years of experience representing countless brands with omnichannel call center support, and we can do the same for you.
Want to learn more about call center service levels? Contact ROI Solutions today to see how service levels can positively impact your call center or to see how outsourcing to ROI Solutions can improve your call center performance.