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The big list of call center metrics, KPIs, and benchmarks

Our big list of call center KPIs lays out all the most important KPIs for understanding and improving operational efficiency, agent effectiveness, customer experience, and compliance.

There’s a treasure trove of insights hidden in every single call that takes place in a call center. Contact center AI enables you to extract those insights from 100% of your calls and monitor a wide breadth of call center metrics, interactions and KPIs in four areas:

  1. Operational Efficiency
  2. Agent Effectiveness
  3. Customer Experience
  4. Compliance

Our Big List lays out the most important call center metrics, interactions and KPIs for each, including industry benchmarks.

📈 Operational Efficiency

Operational efficiency looks at productivity and business drivers at the organization-level and identifies areas of improvement to drive better business results. 

Average Handle Time (AHT)

Average duration of the entire transaction, from the time the customer initiates the call to ending the call, including all hold times and transfers. Read more about Average Handle Time in our deep dive.

  • Benchmark: Varies from organization to organization.

First Response Time (First Reply Time)

The average time it takes between a customer submitting a query and an agent responding. Read in detail about First Response Time here.

  • Benchmark: Under 3 minutes for phone.

Call Abandonment Rate

Percentage of inbound calls where the customer hangs up before speaking to an agent. Here's a deep dive into call abadonment rate.

  • Benchmark: Less than 2%

Average Time in Queue (Average Wait Time)

Average duration a caller waits to be connected to an agent. 

  • Benchmark: Less than 4 seconds.

Occupancy Rate

Percentage of time that an agent spends on incoming calls against idle time. 

  • Benchmark: Greater than 85%.

Agent Turnover Rate

Percentage of agents who leave the company. Agent turnover rates can be based just on voluntary turnover or can include all turnover, including termination.

  • Benchmark: Less than 37%.

Percentage of Calls Blocked (Blockage)

Percentage of callers who are not connected due to lack of agents or network issues. 

  • Benchmark: Less than 2%

Call Arrival Rate

It is the number of inbound calls in a given time period. Learn more on call arrival rate here.

  • Benchmark: Varies from organization to organization.

Average Age of Query

Average lifespan of a customer case open in a query in the event that the query was not resolved on the first call. 

  • Benchmark: Varies from organization to organization.

Active and Waiting Calls

Total number of callers against the current number of callers in the queue.

  • Benchmark: Varies from organization to organization.

✅ Agent Effectiveness

Agent effectiveness KPIs provide insights into how agents are performing on and off the phone, and provide actionable data into relevant training and coaching to improve that performance.

First Call Resolution (FCR)

Percentage of calls that are resolved the first time with no follow-up required. Read more about First Call Resolution (FCR) in our deep dive.

  • Benchmark: Between 70 and 75%.

On-Hold Time

Average duration that a caller is on hold. Callers are put on hold for a number of cases, including when the agent needs to refer to a knowledge base, talk to their supervisor, or run additional verification.

Organizations will often monitor for Hold Time Violations, when a pre-set benchmark is set and the On-Hold Time is exceeded.

  • Benchmark: Less than 2 minutes.

Supervisor Escalation Rate

Percentage of calls where the caller requests to speak to a supervisor for resolution. Escalations are caused by a lack of agent knowledge and/or service/product issues. Read more about Supervisor Escalations in our deep dive.

  • Benchmark: Less than 10%.

After Call Work (ACW)

Average duration after each call an agent takes to carry out post-call processing, including data entry and updates, scheduling follow-ups, and any other communication requirements.

In some cases, organizations will add ACW to the total Average Handle Time (AHT).

  • Benchmark: Varies from organization to organization, depending specifically on the complexity of customer queries (eg. healthcare would have a much higher ACW than consumer good support). 

Dead Air

Total duration of silence on a call. Dead air is characterized as any period of silence over 10 seconds. 

  • Benchmark: 10 seconds.

😊 Customer Experience (CX)

Customer experience KPIs provide insights into how customers feel about a brand, its service, and loyalty to the brand. 

Empathy Statements

An empathy statement is a phrase used by a call center agent to connect emotionally and positively with the caller. It’s a way for the agent to validate the caller’s feelings and show that the agent cares about and acknowledges their issue or feelings. Read more about empathy statements in our deep dive.

Customer Sentiment

An AI-determined score gauging how the customer felt on the call, from negative to neutral to positive. The most accurate sentiment analysis is tonality-based sentiment analysis, looking at words used, tone, and volume of the speaker.

  • Benchmark: Varies by industry.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

An average score of how a customer feels about service or a product. It is often presented through a question at the end of each call asking how satisfied the customer was with the call, on a scale of 1-10. Our CX expert explains CSAT in detail here.

  • Benchmark: Varies by industry, but generally above 75% is acceptable. 

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

A measure of customer loyalty. It is often presented asking “how likely would you recommend our service/product to a friend or colleague?”

NPS is an important KPI metric that you can learn more about here.

  • Benchmark: Varies significantly by industry.

Call Openers and Closers

A measure of whether the agent properly opened and closed the call based on pre-set criteria.

  • Benchmark: 100%

🔒 Compliance

Regulatory compliance is paramount across all industries, most notably financial, insurance, and healthcare. It ensures the protection of customer data, backed by strict legislation to enforce it. As a result, monitoring mandatory compliance dialogues and categorizing voice calls relevant to specific compliance regulations is mission-critical.

Benchmarks for compliance are 100%.

Customer Verification

Sometimes referred to as Know Your Customer (KYC), customer verification is the act of obtaining and verifying the identity of the caller. Customer verification is used to ensure that services are not misused and privacy isn’t breached.


When recorded calls are captured and stored, Personally Identifiable Information (PII) must be redacted to hide and protect it. Speech Analytics platform and its end users never see that confidential information on call recordings and transcripts. You can read about the different redaction methods in this detailed article.

PCI Information

Adherence to security regulations to protect a caller’s payment information during a transaction, ensuring safe handling of the information to protect against identify theft or misuse.

In addition to network security, PCI compliance includes customer verification and redaction.

Recorded Line Message

The act of an agent informing the customer that the call is being recorded.

Want to Get Started?

Contact center AI is your answer. Check out our guide on The Future of Quality Management in the Contact Center, where we dive into the most important KPIs in detail, and include best practices, tips on implementation, and choosing the right platforms and technologies.

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Joe Hanson
Growth Marketing, Observe.AI
LinkedIn profile
March 5, 2020

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