We’ve discussed the KPIs that your dealership should track to measure success, but what about the call center? They have their own metrics they should be mindful of to ensure customer retention, good sales numbers, and to improve upon processes. To help you get started on tracking your call center metrics, here is a list of 4 key metrics to keep tabs on in your department.
Call Abandonment Rate
Dropped calls are something no customer service agent wants to have, but it does happen. It’s important to keep that percentage of abandoned or dropped calls to a minimum. The abandonment rate is the percentage of phone calls, generally inbound, made to a call center and abandoned by the customer before speaking to an agent. In fact, the general standard for a call center is to have a 2% or less abandoned call rate. If your call center is inching towards 5% or higher, that can be an issue and lead to poor customer satisfaction and in turn, retention.
To figure out your abandon rate percentage, use this equation, which discludes any calls abandoned within 5 seconds, as they may be wrong numbers:
ARP = (# of calls offered – # of calls abandoned in 5 seconds – # of calls resolved) / (# of calls offered – # of calls abandoned in 5 seconds) x 100.
Call abandonment rate can tie directly to wait times, being put on hold, and not being offered a callback. Here are some effective ways automotive dealership call centers can minimize abandoned calls.
- Maintain a full staff, especially at busy call hours in the day.
- Improve on-call messages.
- Use a call back service that gives customers an option to wait, or receive a call back when their time in the queue comes up.
- Reduce wait times, and answer within a few rings.
Average Call Wait Time
There is a Golden Rule amongst the customer service industry that says calls should be treated using an 80/20 rule. 80% of all calls should be answered within 20 seconds. 20 seconds doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but when you consider sitting on the phone for 5-6 rings, that’s a long time to wait!
Today’s consumers expect things to happen as fast as possible. With self-checkout lanes and same-day delivery on Amazon, people don’t have to wait to get what they want anymore! HubSpot Research conducted a consumer survey that showed consumer patience wears out in under 10 minutes. This only fuels the fire that the longer they have to wait on a customer service call, the less patient they will become.
With a full staff receiving inbound calls and making outbound calls, this should be completely achievable. Introducing chat and email options for contacting a call center can help alleviate some of that pressure, and it may be more suitable for managing high volumes at one time. Try it out!
Average Handle Time
Average handle time is a very important metric to track. If measured appropriately, it can help determine proper staffing needs so that a call center can run as efficiently as possible—without over or under hiring.
Average handle time (AHT) is the average duration of one phone transaction, starting from the customer’s initiation, including any hold time, talk time and post-call tasks, to the end of the call. To calculate you will add those numbers together, and divide by the total number of calls:
AHT = total talk time + total hold time + total post-call tasks / number of total calls.
How does that saying go? The proof is in the pudding? We don’t really know the origins of that phrase, but we know it means that the effort put in, should reflect the outcome. By putting in a good effort towards customers, it should mean high customer satisfaction. This could be shown in reviews, good or bad, or verbal confirmation that the call center did a good job.
If you notice reviews are going down, or more bad reviews are being left on your site, that’s not a good sign. Customer satisfaction is one of the most telling metrics a call center can utilize for how they are doing overall. It can be an overarching issue with wait times, resolutions, agents, callbacks, etc. Customer satisfaction is the name of the game, and if they are telling you something is broken, it probably is. This can be an opportunity to improve upon all of the above-mentioned metrics, which tie directly to a customer’s likelihood or coming back.
Your automotive dealership call center, or business development center, should be diligently tracking and reviewing these metrics each quarter. These numbers can help to improve processes, find ways to make customers happier and more satisfied, and bring cost savings when you can staff and plan appropriately.