Understanding Call Center Service Level Standards

Call Center Service Level Standards

Efficient customer service and lead generation are critical to every business. They play a significant role in attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. 

Effective customer care and support involve numerous responsibilities, including promptly responding to customer queries and complaints and providing excellent service that meets and exceeds their expectations. Ensuring this allows businesses to build customer loyalty, improve brand reputation, and create positive word-of-mouth referrals.

Then comes lead generation, which is also vital for businesses. Efficient lead generation allows businesses to identify potential customers who might be interested in their products or services. 

By generating qualified leads, your can target your marketing efforts to specific audiences and increase your chances of converting them into paying customers and driving more revenue. This, in turn, will help you take your business to greater heights. 

Given how important these jobs are, businesses need to dedicate entire divisions to oversee these operations and responsibilities. For that, they turn to call center services. However, not all businesses understand what call center service level standards are, let alone why these metrics or standards are necessary. 

What Does Call Center Service Level Mean?

Usually, when talking about service level, organizations focus on the percentage of KPI goals they have managed to reach or surpass. However, in the case of call centers, service level refers to the number of incoming calls answered by the call center in question within a specific predetermined threshold. This threshold equals the minimum duration within which an agent needs to attend to their client. 

Why Do Call Centers Use Service Level as a Key Metric?

As is the case with any other type of business, service level standards can help you understand the level of your customer satisfaction and call center representative productivity. 

Service level standards highlight the number of calls attended by your agents. You can use that information to analyze factors like whether you can answer more calls, reduce customer wait time, lower the number of unattended client calls, bring in more resources to improve the efficiency of agents, and more. 

Based on how crucial these metrics are to their growth and development, it’s easy to see why call centers use service level as a key metric. 

How to Calculate Call Center Service Levels

Like most metrics that are measured to understand the overall efficiency of a service or organization, call center service levels can also be calculated using different types of formulae. 

However, what you need to understand is that the formula is technically the same in all cases, with minor additions to each formula for a more thorough calculation. 

Here are five formulae you can use to calculate call center service levels:

  • Formula No. 1: (Total number of calls answered within the given threshold / total calls answered * 100%). This formula is okay, but it doesn’t include anything about calls that have been abandoned.   
  • Formula No. 2: (Total number of calls answered within the given threshold + calls that have been abandoned within the threshold) / (total calls that have been answered + total calls that have been abandoned * 100%). This formula takes into consideration all calls, including abandoned ones. However, it also considers any abandoned call during the given time threshold as a positive. 
  • Formula No. 3: (Total number of calls answered within the preset threshold / Total calls that have been answered + Total calls abandoned*100%). This formula considers abandoned calls during the threshold as a negative. 
  • Formula No. 4: (Total number of calls answered within the set threshold / Total calls answered + Total calls abandoned after the set threshold*100%). This particular formula ignores the abandoned calls before the set threshold. 
  • Formula No. 5: (Total calls answered within the given threshold + total calls abandoned within a shorter amount of time than the threshold) / (total calls that were answered + total calls that were abandoned * 100%). This is the most accurate version of the formula for calculating call center service leads. 

Why In-House Call Centers Fail to Meet Service Level Standards

The problem with in-house call centers is that they don’t fully realize the importance of thorough research and formula implementation when it comes to analyzing service level standards. 

There are many reasons for that, some of which are as follows.

  • In-house call centers may not receive proper training as the allocated training budget is often insufficient to encompass the need for measuring these standards, let alone do it right. 
  • In-house call centers often lack a proper leader who has the necessary skills to understand the impact of ignoring certain data points while calculating service level standards. 
  • In-house call centers don’t gather a ton of the necessary data points to calculate service level standards accurately in the first place. For instance, your in-house call center agents might not keep track of how many calls have been abandoned or avoid setting a threshold for performance evaluation. 

Because of these reasons, businesses that are aware of the importance of call center service level standards will almost always opt to outsource their call center needs. 

How Outsourcing Helps Maintain the Right Call Center Service Level Standards

Outsourcing your call center needs to a third-party service provider can help you in many ways, including cost savings and efficient service. It also helps maintain service level standards in the following ways:

  • These call centers maintain thorough records of every call, including how many were attended to and how many were left unanswered or abandoned. 
  • Third-party call centers can handle larger volumes of calls, so they have more data to work on when calculating service level standards.  
  • These call centers have trained personnel and resources to oversee that every call is taken into consideration when calculating service level standards. 

In Conclusion

The points covered in this article should help you navigate the complex landscape of call center service level standards on a professional level. We hope you have a better understanding of the importance of these metrics. Of course, if you’re not willing to invest your time and resources to ensure these things at your in-house call center, you should consider outsourcing your call center operations to a third party. 

Blue Valley Marketing is just the right third-party call center service provider who can help you out in this regard. 

With a broad-based roster of American call centers, Blue Valley Marketing can help you with lead generation and customer support. At the same time, we can also assist you with call center service level standards. 

Since our company works with almost all types of industries, including telecom, B2B, education, e-commerce, etc., we can access extensive data to understand the landscape of the service level standards across these industries. Thus, whatever industry you’re working in, you can rest assured that Blue Valley Marketing has the tools and data necessary to efficiently maintain the highest standards. If you’re looking to outsource your call center needs, feel free to reach out to us at Blue Valley Marketing today.

Last Updated on April 4, 2023 by Ronen Ben-Dror

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