Call Center Terms and Metrics (KPI) - What You Need to Know



Agree or disagree? Your “call center” serves as the voice of your company, brand, products, and services. This is true whether your call center is located in the United States or abroad. Your overall customer experience is largely by two factors. The first, contact center agent training and performance which largely falls on systems and processes, supervisors and management. The second, equipping your agents with the tools and technologies to achieve key performance indicators (KPIs).


Why is this important? Having an average or even below average call center will put you behind the competition. Ignoring your team’s performance and applicable call center metrics can sink your brand, customer service reputation, sales and repeat customers. It’s never a good position to be in.


Delivering customer satisfaction is the business within a business. However, how can you know whether you’re really meeting your customers’ expectations? By measuring customer sentiment and how much you’re willing to invest in customer experience.

So, where do you start? If you’re new the space, a good place to start is call center terminology and key metrics used to gauge call center performance. Sure, the basic principles of the call center are the same, but it’s the underlying technology that has changed.


In this article, we will examine the Top 30 Must Know Call Center Terms and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Metrics. We’ll also look at some common call center technologies. This will serve as a great resource and a comprehensive call center terminology and glossary.


Let’s get started…


The following call center metrics are some of the most useful indicators of how well your call center is performance and how well your customers perceive your customer services. Wow!

1) Net Promoter Score® (NPS®)

Net Promoter Score is obviously a highly trademarked metric. All jokes aside, NPS is perhaps the most accurate measure of how customers perceive your brand. When you think of this metric, think of it as a recommendation. There is some math involved, but I promise it’s easy.


Here’s the main point. NPS relies on a straightforward question: “On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend our company to your friends and family?”

Promoters are those that give scores of 9-10, while Passives And Detractors provide 7-8 and 0-6.


Here’s the Formula:


(Number of Promoters ÷ Total Number of Customers in the Sample) — (Number of Detractors ÷ Total Number of Customers from the Sample)

*Remember: The best way to collect NPS is through well-timed customer surveys.

2) Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

Much like NPS, CSAT is an excellent indicator of overall customer satisfaction. A good CSAT score means that there is an upward increase in call center performance. On the other hand, a poor score means that adjustments must be made to improve customer satisfaction.


How do you calculate/figure CSAT? Great question. Unlike NPS, there isn’t a standard calculation to figure this call center metric. Ordinarily, organizations often ask for customer feedback on whether an agent has successfully resolved an issue.


Many organizations classify customer responses by Very Satisfied, Satisfied, Not Satisfied, Very Unsatisfied. The total score for CSAT is the ratio of Very Satisfied/Satisfied to the total number of survey respondents.

3) First Response Time (FRT)

This is huge so pay attention. Many of us including today’s customers want instant gratification. They get upset, frustrated and even downright angry when they have to wait too long. FRT simply refers to the “time” it takes for a customer to reach a qualified agent after making a call. This is very closely related to the service level – another important KPI for inbound call centers. How do you calculate FRT?