Measuring CX Success: NPS Alternatives- Metrics that Matter

Measuring CX Success NPS Alternatives Metrics that Matter
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Measuring CX Success: NPS Alternatives – Metrics that Matter.

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Assessing the performance of your call center is vital in understanding its effectiveness and pinpointing areas for improvement. Call center metrics involve collecting data from different tools used to operate your call center, including call center management (CCM) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. These metrics encompass various aspects, including monitoring the time it takes for agents to complete tasks and keeping track of the number of calls they handle per hour. By carefully arranging and scrutinizing this data, you can uncover valuable insights into the inner workings of your call center.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

When it comes to assessing customer loyalty and satisfaction, NPS stands as a highly regarded metric. The process includes posing the question to customers: “On a scale from one to 10, how likely are you to recommend this business to a friend?” Categorically, responses are classified as promoters (receiving a score of nine or 10), passives (receiving a score of seven or eight), and detractors (receiving a score of six or below). By subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters, NPS offers a numerical representation of customer loyalty and satisfaction.

While NPS is a valuable metric, it may not offer a comprehensive assessment of call center performance, especially when it comes to customer experience and satisfaction. Therefore, in this article, we will explore 10 essential call center metrics and KPIs as NPS alternatives that can help you measure and improve your call center’s performance.

Why NPS Alternatives Matter

Call center metrics play a crucial role in determining customer satisfaction, comparing support quality to competitors, and assessing resource adequacy. By providing a continuous stream of accurate data, these metrics empower you to constantly refine and modify.

Call center metrics provide a means to assess multiple dimensions of performance and highlight areas that need improvement. These assessments help evaluate the performance of each agent, identify the best performers, and reveal any technological glitches. Additionally, metrics shed light on customer experience factors, like the frustration customers experience from having to contact the organization multiple times or endure due to excessive waiting.

Call Center Metrics That Matter

Depending on its functions and goals, each call center will have its own set of key metrics. Nevertheless, certain metrics hold universal value in addressing crucial business questions and enhancing overall performance and productivity. Here are the most vital measurements to consider as NPS alternatives, providing a more comprehensive view of call center performance and customer experience.

NPS Alternative Metrics for Measuring Performance

NPS Alternative Metrics for Measuring Performance

Here are some NPS alternatives for measuring success in your call center:

Call Arrival Rate

Call arrival rate measures the volume of inbound calls over a specified period. Understanding call arrival rates helps you identify peak times and seasonal trends, facilitating better staffing and scheduling decisions. This metric is essential for predicting call volumes and ensuring that your call center has adequate staffing during busy periods.

  • Definition: The frequency of inbound calls during a specified timeframe.
  • Formula: Call Arrival Rate = (Total Inbound Calls) / (Time Period)
  • Importance: Identifies peak hours and trends, which aids in efficient resource allocation.
  • Real Data Example: A study by Call Centre Helper showed (that for many businesses) peak call volumes typically occur on Mondays and around midday.
  • Utility: By knowing your peak call times, you can optimize staff schedules to ensure enough agents are available during high-demand periods, reducing customer wait times and improving service levels. This proactive approach helps your team better manage resources and helps to prevent over staffing during low-volume periods, thus saving considerably on costs.

Percentage of Calls Blocked

This metric reveals the proportion of inbound calls that receive a busy signal. A high percentage of blocked calls can highlight issues that require resolution, such as inadequate staffing or technological shortcomings. Reducing blocked calls ensures customers can always reach your service, enhancing their overall experience and satisfaction.

  • Definition: The ratio of blocked calls to total inbound calls.
  • Formula: Percentage of Calls Blocked = (Blocked Calls / Total Inbound Calls) * 100
  • Importance: Ensures customers can reach your contact center without encountering busy signals.
  • Real Data Example: Onsip reports that 34% of customers will not call back after encountering a busy signal.
  • Utility: Lowering your percentage of blocked calls reduces customer frustration and potential loss of business. By addressing high blocked call rates, you improve the accessibility of your call center, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Average Call Abandonment

Average call abandonment tracks the number of callers who hang up before speaking to an agent. High abandonment rates may indicate problems like understaffing or inefficient processes. Therefore, minimizing call abandonment is crucial for maintaining customer satisfaction and ensuring agents can resolve issues promptly.

  • Definition: Average Call Abandonment is the percentage of callers who hang up before reaching an agent.
  • Formula: Average Call Abandonment Rate = (Abandoned Calls / Total Inbound Calls) * 100
  • Importance: Signals potential staffing or process issues that you need to address immediately.
  • Real Data Example: According to Call Centre Helper, the average acceptable call abandonment rate in call centers is around 5%.
  • Utility: Reducing call abandonment rates helps ensure that more of your customers receive the help they need (and demand), improving overall satisfaction. It also provides insights into operational issues, such as long wait times or inadequate call handling processes, that you should address to enhance service quality and customer experience.

Average Handle Time (AHT)

First Response Time (FRT)

First Response Time FRT measures the average time a customer waits before connecting with an agent. Typically, a Lower FRT leads to better customer experience and satisfaction. Therefore, quick response times are crucial for addressing customer needs promptly and effectively, significantly enhancing the customer experience.

  • Definition: The average wait time before an agent answers a call.
  • Formula: FRT = (Total Wait Time for First Response / Total Number of Calls Answered)
  • Importance: Shorter wait times enhance customer satisfaction.
  • Real Data Example: Data from Help Scout reveals that 71% of customers prioritize having their time valued as one of the most important factors in excellent service.
  • Utility: Improving FRT leads to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. By reducing the time customers spend waiting, you show you value their time, which can positively affect their perception of your service and their overall experience.

Average Handle Time (AHT)

AHT shows you the average time an agent spends on a call, including post-call tasks. It helps management in understanding operational efficiency and identifying areas for improvement in call handling processes.

  • Definition: The average time spent on a call and related post-call tasks.
  • Formula: AHT = (Total Talk Time + Total After Call Work Time) / Total Number of Calls
  • Importance: Balances efficiency with thorough service delivery.
  • Real Data Example: MetricNet reports that the average AHT for call centers is approximately six minutes.
  • Utility: By analyzing AHT, you can identify trends and patterns that point to inefficiencies or areas where agents may need additional training. Balancing efficiency and comprehensive service ensures that customers receive quick yet thorough assistance, improving their overall experience.

Agent Utilization Rate

Another useful metric, Agent utilization rate, assesses how effectively agents use their time during shifts. It helps identify areas for improvement in agent performance and ensures that agents are not overworked, which can lead to burnout and decreased productivity. Of course, agent burnout then leads to poor service and dissatisfied customers.

  • Definition: Percentage of time agents spend on productive tasks.
  • Formula: Agent Utilization Rate = (Time Spent on Calls / Total Working Time) * 100
  • Importance: Helps ensure agents use their time productively, guiding performance improvements.
  • Real Data Example: VoiceSpin reports MetricNet research shows the average agent utilization rate is around 48%. The report also states that while organizations may push for higher agent utilization rates, they must exercise care, as agent burnout increases when rates approach 60-70%.
  • Utility: Monitoring agent utilization rates can help optimize workforce management by ensuring agents are neither overworked nor underutilized. This balance helps maintain agent morale and productivity, leading to better customer interactions and overall service quality.

First Call Resolution (FCR)

First Call Resolution (FCR)

FCR measures the percentage of calls agents resolve on the first attempt, or during the first interaction, without follow-ups. High FCR rates show effective problem-solving by agents, which is critical for customer satisfaction and reducing the need for repeat contacts.

  • Definition: The proportion of calls resolved during the first contact.
  • Formula: FCR = (Total Number of Calls Resolved on First Contact / Total Number of First Calls) * 100
  • Importance: Higher FCR improves customer satisfaction and reduces repeat calls.
  • Real Data Example: SQM Group reports that each 1% improvement in FCR results in a 1% increase in customer satisfaction, as well as a 1% reduction in operating costs.
  • Utility: Increased FCR rates lead to higher customer satisfaction and reduced operational costs, as fewer customers need to make repeat calls. Additionally, this metric highlights areas where agents may need additional training or where you might streamline processes to improve first-contact resolutions.

Cost Per Call (CPC)

CPC shows the average expense associated with each call, which helps to manage call center costs effectively. Keeping CPC low (while maintaining service quality) is essential for operational efficiency and profitability.

  • Definition: The average cost incurred per handled call.
  • Formula: CPC = (Total Call Center Costs / Total Number of Calls)
  • Importance: Identifies cost-saving opportunities without sacrificing quality.
  • Real Data Example: ContactBabel reports that the average cost per inbound call in the U.S. is $6.91, which is 35% more than email and 29% more than a web chat.
  • Utility: By analyzing CPC, you can identify areas where your team can reduce costs without compromising service quality. This metric helps in budgeting and financial planning, ensuring that management allocates resources efficiently to maintain high service standards while controlling expenses.

NPS Alternative Metrics for Measuring Customer Experience

Metrics obtained from customer surveys offer a firsthand account of the customer experience. The impact of these metrics extends beyond the call center, shaping various improvements across the entire business.

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

CSAT measures customer satisfaction with their interaction with an agent and overall experience, and is derived from post-interaction surveys. High CSAT scores indicate customers are happy with the service they received, which often leads to increased loyalty and positive word-of-mouth.

  • Definition: The level of customer satisfaction with a specific interaction.
  • Formula: CSAT = (Number of Satisfied Customers / Number of Survey Responses) * 100
  • Importance: Directly correlates with customer experience, loyalty, and retention.
  • Real Data Example: The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) reports an average CSAT score of about 75 across industries.
  • Utility: By monitoring CSAT scores, you can identify service areas that need improvement and track the effectiveness of any changes made. High CSAT scores contribute to improved customer experience and retention, as well as differentiate your service from competitors, driving business growth.

Customer Effort Score (CES)

CES assesses the ease with which customers can resolve their issues with your business or its products/services. A lower effort score often shows a better customer experience. A high CES score indicates that customers find it easy to get their problems solved, which can enhance their overall perception of your service.

  • Definition: The perceived effort required by customers to resolve their issues.
  • Formula: CES = Total sum of responses / Number of responses
  • Importance: Low-effort interactions improve customer loyalty and satisfaction, as well as reduce operational costs.
  • Real Data Example: Harvard Business Review research shows that 94% of customers who report low effort said they would repurchase, while 88% said they would increase their spending with the business.
  • Utility: Reducing the effort required by customers to resolve issues leads to increased satisfaction and loyalty. By focusing on this metric, management can streamline processes and remove obstacles that make interactions cumbersome for customers, improving their overall experience.

What It Means for Your Organization

By integrating these call center metrics as NPS alternatives, you gain a holistic view of operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. Harnessing the data from call center management and CRM systems allows you to pinpoint opportunities for enhancement, empower agents to perform better, and fine-tune customer interactions. By implementing these insights, you will be able to provide exceptional customer service, enhance satisfaction levels, and successfully meet your business goals.

The above metrics can help your call center can reach its maximum potential, which ultimately leads to better customer experience. However, it is important to note that all of the metrics mentioned in this post become even more powerful when used in conjunction with the Net Promoter Score (NPS).

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Ian Tempro, COO, at IA Solutions by IA Call Center writes about his 20+ years of extensive contact center experience in leadership, client relationships, operations and specialized vertical markets.

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