An outbound call center team can be a key asset for your business, reaching out to customers and proactively nurturing leads. From the first call through all of your interactions, you need to achieve high levels of quality while also minimizing lost calls and abandoned calls and maximizing answer rates and conversions.
How is this done? With a process of measurement and assessment. Outbound call center metrics provide you with a direct measure of your performance and your capability. Read on to discover more about how you can measure the performance of your call center team.
Call volume and duration metrics
An outbound call center thrives upon telephone connections with customers and leads. But how many calls are your team members making, and what other key pieces of data do you need to know about?
Here are the main ones you need to track:
- Calls handled – How many calls does your team handle over a set time period? This metric can be applied to individual staff members or groups.
- Average total call duration – How long does it take on average to handle each call that is placed?
- Anomalous call durations – Are there any unusual call length durations, such as maximum and minimum durations, across the course of the day?
- Rejection rates – What is the percentage of calls that recipients reject? Understanding overall rejection rates can be useful, but aim to gain a better understanding by learning why calls are being rejected – for example, the wrong customer contact number or a customer placed within the wrong audience segment.
Conversion rates and sales metrics
While call volume is important, measuring the outcomes of the calls gives further insight. How many calls result in sales, how much is each sale worth, and how many customers return repeatedly? These are some of the questions to ask yourself.
Track the following metrics for a better sales overview:
- Total sales made – A comprehensive set of sale data, helping your team to understand call center conversion rates. Examine the total number of sales for the whole team, as well as individual team member performance levels. Measuring sales as a percentage of all calls made also provides vital insight into success rates.
- Average sale value – What is the value of the conversion on average? This should include the initial sale and the total life-cycle value for each customer on average.
- New customer conversions – The number of new customers brought in via outbound call center operations can be compared with figures from other lead generation channels for even more insight.
- Repeat purchase rates and values – How many outbound customer conversions result in repeat purchases further down the line? You may also want to measure the value of these repeat purchases.
Average handle time and wrap-up time metrics
It’s important to know how long your personnel are taking to handle each call. This is not limited to how long they spend actually while on the phone; it also examines other tasks handled by your operators.
The following might give you more insights:
- Average call duration – This is the average talk time component of the handling time metric for your call center operations or how long your operators spend on the phone with the call recipient.
- Average hold time – How long are calls placed on hold on average? This wait time should be lower for outbound call center operations than inbound ones.
- Average after-call wrap-up time – This is the average time taken to complete after-call tasks, like making notes and updating records
- Average handling time – How much time is taken to complete each call once all aspects are factored in? This is comprised of talk time, hold time and after-call wrap-up time.
Contact rate and response rate metrics
Outbound call center performance is all about reaching out to call recipients. So, you need to know how often you are making contact and how many of your leads are responding.
To measure this, track the following:
- Call attempt volume – How many calls are your agents attempting across the working day?
- Call connection rate – How many of these calls are actually connected? You may have some out-of-date information within your prospect list that results in calls failing.
- Contact response rate – How many of your contacts are actually picking up the phone when you call them? What is the average response time?
- Post-response action – What happens after you have connected with a lead or prospect? How do post-response actions measure up to your metrics and expectations?
Call abandonment rate and hold time metrics
Pursuing an outbound call strategy is not an exact science. As we’ve already touched on above, not all of your leads and contacts will answer the phone. Even those who answer the phone might not end up converting or carrying out any action at all after the call.
As you seek new ways to optimize your strategy, you can examine various metrics.
Some of them include:
- Call abandonment rates – How many of your calls are abandoned before your desired outcome is reached?
- Mean and median call abandonment times – How long do calls go on before they are terminated?
- Call abandonment reasons – Why are calls getting terminated? This could range from technical issues to disinterested leads.
- Hold times – How long are you putting contacts on hold? How often are your agents using the hold function?
Lead quality and lead scoring metrics
Some leads are going to be better than others. In other words, some leads are more beneficial to your business, while others may be difficult to nurture.
Assess lead quality by measuring these criteria:
- Conversion potential – Is your lead likely to convert into a customer? How long do you expect to have to nurture the lead towards conversion?
- Full life-cycle value potential – What product is the lead likely to buy? Are they likely to return to purchase further products in the future, extending their full life-cycle value?
- Lead scores – How does each lead compare against other leads in their audience segment? Which leads should be the priority for your business’s conversion strategy and acquisitions funnel?
Different campaigns may produce varying results. With this in mind, track specific marketing campaigns, identifying which ones are performing and which ones need work.
You can do so by measuring and analyzing the following:
- Campaign-specific response rates – How many of your contacts are picking up the phone when you call? Are any calls not being connected at all?
- Campaign-specific conversion rates – What is the rate of conversion on each campaign? What actions are contacts taking after the call?
- Campaign-specific call times and handling times – How long are your agents taking to handle each call? What are the talk time and wrap-up figures for each?
- A range of other metrics focused on specific campaigns – You can measure almost any metric on a campaign-specific basis. Take time to consider which data points are most valuable for each campaign, and then apply analysis and examination to discover more.
Customer satisfaction and feedback metrics
It’s not just about reaching leads and customers – it’s also about connecting with them on a profound level. This is where your customer satisfaction and feedback metrics come into play, giving you real insight into how you’re doing.
Such metrics include:
- Quantitative customer scores – Ask your customers to provide a score based on the quality of the call they received, as well as the outcomes they achieved after this call. This could be on a scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10.
- Qualitiative customer feedback – Request written answers regarding customer feedback. These answers provide a useful commentary to accompany the feedback scores.
- Cross-reference with conversion rates – Not all customers will leave a feedback score, but those who convert have probably had a good experience. Conversion rates are another valuable satisfaction metric, as they show you whether or not your calls are leading to successful outcomes.
Employee performance metrics
It’s important to monitor agent performance on customer calls. Your sales agents are the frontline of your customer care strategy, and you want to make sure they are performing at their best.
Use the following for your reports:
- Agent availability – Are there enough agents to handle calls at key times? It may be necessary to manage break requests to ensure this.
- Team or agent-specific metrics – What are the call abandonment and disconnection rates for specific teams or agents? This is a valuable metric as you offer training to minimize dropped calls. Team and agent-specific call quality and customer satisfaction are also useful outbound call center metrics.
- Adherence to process – Are your sales agents sticking to the pre-defined script? Are there any deviations from the set process?
Cost per call and return on investment (ROI) metrics
This is an important one – how much are your operations costing you, and how much are you pulling in in return?
Track some of the following metrics to get a handle on this:
- Cost per call – How much is each call costing your business in terms of labor and resource expenses? Cost per call measures cost efficiency and identifies where improvements can be achieved.
- Value of direct conversions – How much revenue are your direct conversions bringing in?
- Full life-cycle value – How much are customers spending with your business post-conversion? How are outbound call centers boosting customer retention rates?
- Total return on investment – Once all cost and return factors are considered, what is the ROI of each call on average? What is the ROI of the call center team over a defined time period?
Forecasting and capacity planning metrics to ensure adequate staffing levels
Moving forward, you need to know that you have the capability and capacity required to get the job done, even as your business grows. This means planning for the future.
These metrics can help your planning phase:
- Forecasted call volume growth – As your business grows, what will your expected call volume be? How much does your call volume need to grow to meet your sales and conversion targets?
- Forecasted sales agent capabilities – How many calls can each agent feasibly handle while maintaining a positive working environment and high call quality?
- Expected busy periods – Which periods do you expect to be your busiest, and which periods are expected to be quieter in terms of call volume? Track these forecasts over a typical working day as well as in the longer term, perhaps over weeks, months, or a whole year.
Data accuracy and reporting metrics for tracking and analyzing performance over time
Your teams have a lot to consider while they work. As well as placing outgoing calls, agents need to handle post-call activities, log dropped calls, and utilize follow-up calls when necessary. This makes ongoing data analysis and reporting vital as you seek to achieve the best possible service level and customer experience.
Include the following metrics in your analysis:
- Scheduled calling time vs. actual calling time – How long are your operators taking on each call against the expected calling time? Are operators spending excess time on calls, or are they ahead of schedule?
- Other expenses impacting a call center’s return – If your call center agents are taking inbound calls or handling other tasks, this will need to be factored into agent productivity calculations. Marketing costs, maintenance costs for call center infrastructure, and other expenses can influence ROI calculations and need to be considered.
- The impact of call center software – Call center software may provide automated dialing capabilities for maximum dialing efficiency, smart tools for creating calling lists of contacts, and capabilities that make post-call work much more straightforward. As you implement these solutions, you will need to track their impact on overall performance, as well as the ROI they provide.
Call center managers need to be aware of regulatory compliance and industry guidelines. These legal and regulatory compliance frameworks are designed, at least in part, to protect consumers.
While many customers and leads won’t mind receiving outbound calls and may be excited to hear about a particular opportunity or special offer, others may not be so happy to receive the call.
In order to remain compliant, you should measure and monitor your team’s performance in these areas.
Make sure all agents meet the necessary criteria:
- Regulatory compliance – Regulatory and legal bodies offer detailed frameworks for compliance. Use these frameworks as a checklist to ensure your organization meets the minimum standards.
- Adherence to guidelines – Meeting industry guidelines is not a requirement for your business. Still, these guidelines will make it easier for you to build trust among your customers and develop a strong reputation in your industry.
Get the best from your outbound call center strategies
To get the very best from your outbound call center strategy, you need to be measuring your performance. When call abandonment rates get too high, average time spent on calls exceeds certain thresholds, or when successful call and conversion rates fall, it’s vital to know what’s going on and why.
With a comprehensive set of metrics in place, you can understand your performance completely. This becomes a valuable foundation from which to grow and develop your strategy for the future.
Frequently asked questions
What are outbound call center KPIs?
Some of the most important key performance indicators for outbound call centers include conversion rate, answer success rate (calls answered), total calls over a set time period, and return on investment for all the calls your team handles.
Why measure outbound call center metrics?
Measuring sales call metrics helps you understand how much your strategy is costing you, how much revenue it is bringing in, and where you can improve.
Are outbound call center metrics different from inbound call center metrics?
The types of metrics you use will be different for outbound and inbound calls. However, you are still looking to achieve the same outcomes – for example, to increase customer satisfaction and conversions.