How to Measure Contact Center Performance

Contact center agents having a discussion

You know why contact center performance matters. Customer service is a key factor that nearly all customers (95%) consider when making purchase decisions, according to the top customer service trends our team at Stella Connect by Medalla uncovered as part of a research study of more than 2,100 consumers in the US and UK.

How to Nail Contact Center Performance Management

Understanding contact center performance management is vital for any business. In a study we conducted of more than 2,100 consumers in the US and UK, we found that 95% consider customer service when making purchase decisions. In the same study, 67% of participants say they stop doing business with a company after only a few negative customer service experiences. That’s why effective contact center performance management is the cornerstone for success.

If you’re unsure how to measure your contact center performance, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll explain how to see what your team is doing right, where there’s room for improvement, what your customers really think of your contact center experience, and how your contact center agents are influencing customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

First, let’s review the top reasons why contact center performance management matters.

The Importance of Contact Center Performance Management

Measuring contact center performance can lead to fewer customer frustrations and more empowered employees. By investing in the face of your company, you’ll attract more customers — and retain more of your existing customers. Contact center performance management is the roadmap for problem-solving and adaptation so that you can deliver the best support and brand experience.

Here’s how contact center management ensures you’re operating cost-efficiently:

Onboarding and ongoing training

By monitoring your call center’s successes and failures, you’re able to develop best practices for common scenarios. Agents will have strong knowledge and clear pathways for policies and contacts. This can reduce lengthy customer interactions and any open or abandoned queries. Standard operating procedures allow you to hire and assign new agents faster. It also establishes expectations for agent performance.

Resource allocation 

Tracking agent performance can identify your team’s abilities, helping route customer issues to those with the most relevant expertise. You can tailor your customer interactions to improve turnaround and satisfaction.

Software updates

Contact center performance management involves analyzing the timing and relevance of agent responses. Slow, complicated systems create hurdles for customers and agents, while streamlined tools improve the speed of addressing customer concerns. Insights into performance might indicate a need for modernized technology solutions. Investing in contact center solutions for queuing, customer data management and analysis, managing agent workloads, creating virtual assistants, and smart callback scheduling  should set agents up for success.


Greater satisfaction leads to customer loyalty and encourages future orders (and/or fewer returns), and it also results in less agent turnover. Positive customer experiences motivate existing employees. 

Brand Perception 

Tracking customer interaction data can help identify the root of customer concerns to speed up resolution times. That efficiency also translates to how customers perceive your level of care. Exceptional customer service means higher and more frequent conversions.

How to Track Contact Center Performance

Your company’s public perception and its profit depend on your contact center agent performance. But to track contact center performance, you need to strategize your goals and choose data-driven benchmarks. These help to set standards, signal when you’re falling behind, and ensure that you match customer expectations (for all companies).

Agent Level:

Are your contact center agents efficient and productive? Here’s how to close performance gaps.

  • Interaction vs. Availability: Track the percentage of their day spent on resolving customer concerns, including follow-up tasks. A high-yielding “occupancy rate” means agents are just the right amount of busy, not overwhelmed or absent.
  • Response Time: Also referred to as the average speed of answer, this measures how long it takes agents to tackle a customer’s request. The average for any contact center is 28 seconds.
  • Average Handle Time: Also known as average reply time, this compares the lengths of customer interactions from beginning to end. Quick solutions increase customer satisfaction and imply a high-performing agent.


Operational Level

For the best contact center experience, agents need the right structure and tools. So to improve your contact center performance, you also need to look at the big picture.

  • Volume of Requests: Monitor the amount of customer interactions to identify peak periods, especially before launches. This way, staffing shortages are predictable and preventable. Workloads can be delegated accordingly and agents are better prepared. “Service level,” or how many calls are answered in a given period, are a common metric.
  • Resolution Rate: Pay attention to how long customer requests take to complete. There may be a recurring issue that is left open or requires multiple transfers.
    • Abandonment Rate: What percentage of customers hang up or exit a chat before an agent responds? Are emails left unanswered? Are these issues due to long wait times or the quality of agent responses?
    • Blocked Queries: How many customers are met with a full queue? Is this due to a lack of agents or lack of software capability?
  • Average Time in Queue: Waiting times are a major factor in retaining customers and agents. Data can help tie it to agent performance, product or program rollouts, seasonality, etc.


6 Key Metrics for Contact Center Performance Management

#1: Net Promoter Score (NPS®)

Organizations use this customer experience metric to improve contact center performance in three main ways:

  1. Gauge overall customer satisfaction with a company’s products or services.
  2. Assess customer service team performance.
  3. Monitor customer loyalty.

A voice of the customer program can capture real-time customer feedback to inform NPS.® Such contact center performance management software can measure customer experience by:

  • Asking customers how loyal they are, or how likely they are to recommend a given company, after a specific customer service interaction with an agent (whether via email, phone, in person, or over SMS or live chat).
  • Rating customer loyalty/likelihood to recommend on a scale of zero to 10. Customers who respond with a number between zero and six are considered “detractors,” while responses of seven or eight indicate satisfied (but neutral) customers, and those who respond with a score of nine  or 10 are satisfied, loyal “promoters.”


#2: Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

This key performance indicator (KPI) is a measure of how happy your customers feel about your company compared with their expectations. CSAT can be in reference to your products, services, or customer service interactions.

As with the NPS® score, brands can measure CSAT using real-time customer listening surveys. Ask customers to rate their satisfaction level using a sale of one (very unsatisfied) to five (very satisfied).

To improve contact center performance, this can be measured at both customer service levels:

  • Organizational level to evaluate the overall contact center performance
  •  Agent level to evaluate a given agent’s performance


#3: Customer Effort Score (CES)

This KPI determines how easy (or hard) it is for customers to accomplish something, such as get help from your organization’s customer service team. Wondering how to calculate your CES score? Companies find out their CES score by directly surveying their customers. Ask them the level of effort a given task requires on a scale of one (high effort) to seven (low effort). Do so immediately following an interaction with your contact center.

As with NPS®, these scores help reveal who your promoters are (those with a five+ rating) and who your neutral/detractor customers are (those with a rating of less than five).


#4: First-Contact Resolution (FCR)

First contact resolution rate (FCR) is another top KPI for effective contact center management. It tracks the rate at which agents address and fully resolve customer problems within the first outreach. You want the lowest transfer rate possible over the phone, email, or during a live chat session — this includes escalating the issue and offering to return the call. A fast, direct FCR prevents the customer from reiterating their concerns and adding tension.

You can measure your company’s first call resolution rate by surveying customers after a contact center interaction and asking, “Did we resolve your problem today?” AI-powered Speech Analytics and Text Analytics can also be used to automatically analyze every customer interaction and assess whether a conversation has been successfully closed out during the first touchpoint.


#5: Customer Sentiment Score

Customer sentiment is a qualitative assessment of customers’ views, attitudes, and opinions. You can measure customer sentiment of a given brand, customer experience, or contact center interaction. Here a few methods for gathering data:

  • Conducting surveys and customer listening 
  • Using AI-powered text analytics and voice analytics to evaluate whether a customer’s feelings about a given contact center interaction experience (email, live chat, SMS, phone call, etc.) are positive, negative, or neutral
  • Analyzing all of the customer feedback captured. Break down the percent of negative, neutral, and positive comments.


#6: Real-Time QA Scores

As part of their quality assurance programs, brands like, Uncommon Goods, and SmartPak use real-time QA tools to review customer service interactions — agent phone calls, emails, and chats, etc. These conversations are evaluated in the moment across a range of customer service performance scorecard measures.

Automated QA reviews are conducted to measure agent performance on soft skills and hard skills and help brands assess whether contact center agents are successfully:

  • Using the company’s greeting/sign-off
  • Personalizing the conversation by addressing the customer by their first name
  • Communicating in a clear, concise way
  • Demonstrating empathy
  • Reflecting the brand’s voice and values
  • Using a positive tone
  • Resolving customers’ issues
  • Demonstrating knowledge about the company’s policies
  • Following internal guidelines
  • Giving customers the chance to share their feedback


Conclusion: Getting Contact Center Performance Management Right

Knowing how to track metrics is just the beginning. Want to see your contact center performance take off? Get your copy of our guide to best practices: 4 Steps to Supercharge Contact Center Agent Performance. It has insights on how to strengthen your team’s performance to deliver better experiences for your customers.