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Q: Call center statistics ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Call center statistics
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: stein-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 01 Oct 2002 03:41 PDT
Expires: 31 Oct 2002 02:41 PST
Question ID: 71118
Our insurance company has a 15 person (inbound only) call center. It
serves more as a complaint center than a customer service center. I'm
interetested in data on agent turnover, employee performance measures,
compensation as well as any key performance metrics besides typical
abandon rates, time to answer, talk time, etc.
Subject: Re: Call center statistics
Answered By: lot-ga on 01 Oct 2002 08:33 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hello stein-ga 

Some of the latest research information is not available without
subscription, and some statistics expand beyond the U.S.  I have tried
to answer your points in turn:

> Agent turnover:
"Inbound centers have an average annual turnover of 26% for full-time
reps, and 33% for part-timers. Nearly half of centers said that
part-timers handle 5% or less of their total calls."
1999 Call Center Benchmark Report, Purdue University Center for
Customer Driven Quality. Call Center News

"CCNS: Can you quantify any of the costs and difficulties involved in
recruiting, including perhaps turnover rates?
AN: Yes. I have calculated the average cost to recruit and train per
agent is between $8,000-$12,000, depending on the industry. This
includes: advertising costs (newspaper/radio ads), cost for screening
recruiter salary, manager interview time, trainer salary and equipment
costs, agent salary while training and not in production, cost of
learning (mistakes) as transition to taking average number of calls.
Average turnover is reported in most benchmark studies between 25-40%.
Given this number, say we have a call center of 100 agents with 25%
turnover 25 persons), and say our cost to recruit and train is $8,000.
That would equal a cost of $200,000!"
"Q&A: Training and Retaining Good Reps" Anne Nickerson, principal of
Call Center Coach

> Employee performance measures:
from "Call Centre Benchmarking Program 2000"
Call centre survey sample size is 400 customers
Speed of Answer  39 sec.
Talk Time  201 sec.
Wrap-up Time  88 sec.
Abandon Rate  5%
First Call Resolution  86%
"Building Client Satisfaction Through Your Call Centre" SQM’s Call
Centre Service Quality Benchmarking Program (Australia)
"The first important characteristic to note is that the relationship
between the number of agents needed and the number of calls is not
proportional. For instance, for 100 calls, six agents are needed. But
for 10 times as many calls, 1,000 calls, only 39 agents are needed,
which is far fewer than the 60 agents that you may expect. Multiply by
10 again, and at 10,000 calls per hour only 341 agents are needed. If
call centers were proportional, 600 agents would be the answer —
almost twice as many!
In the lowest-volume case, six agents need to answer 100 calls per
hour. However, those 100 calls will never be perfectly distributed,
evenly over the hour. Sometimes, one or two or even three calls will
arrive at the same time. Therefore, the six agents need to be able to
handle the 100 calls even if some of those calls come roughly at the
same time. With only 100 calls per hour, there will also be times when
no calls are coming in, and the agents will be idle. The lower the
call volume, the higher the likelihood that many of the calls will
bunch together, while much of the hour will have few calls. This is
the basis of Erlang, but it comes with a penalty: because agents have
idle time, the total proportion of time they spend on the phone is
quite low. The fourth column of Table 1 shows the occupancy rate for
each scenario. In the six agent case, each agent is on the phone for
only 56 percent of each hour. But, according to Erlang, six agents are
required to meet the 90 percent service level goal. As the call volume
and the number of agents increase toward the bottom of the table, the
occupancy rate actually approaches 100 percent. At 10,000 calls per
hour and 341 agents, the occupancy rate rises to almost 98 percent.
That is almost double the occupancy rate at 100 calls per hour and six
agents, which explains the fact that only 341 agents are needed rather
than 600 agents. In such a large call center, the number of incoming
calls is so large that there is much less variation in the call
volume, and so the agents are almost never idle and therefore
extremely efficient."
Blue Pumpkin WhitePaper "Big Decisions For The Small Call Center" by
Dr. Illah R. Nourbakhsh
From the Blue Pumpkin web site

> Compensation:
"According to a survey of 771 US call centers, the 186 managers who
participated stated that the average hourly wage of top-paid full-time
agents ranged from $6.90 to $40 (median $15). The five most
competitive industries for top-paid agents' hourly wages who paid $15
and up were Computers (91%), Manufacturing (86%), Healthcare (63%),
Insurance (62%), and Telecommunications (62%), which may suggest when
correlated with other salary data from the survey that businesses in
these industries value agents once they are fully trained in the
company's products/services."
Incoming Calls Management Institute, Jun 2000 Call Center News
"Salaries for top executives have increased 25% to 30% in the past
four years at the nation's top companies, said Jim Leverette, managing
partner of Broadmoor. The results of the two-year survey show a shift
in how corporations view the importance of customer service and more
emphasis on strategic thinking, he said.
"Traditionally, customer service has been thought of as a cost center
with all the negative connotations that term implies," he said. "Now,
many companies are seeing the direct or indirect impact customer
service has on the bottom line. Salaries for seasoned executives with
customer-oriented business experience are reflecting the realization
that customer service matters."
Call centers have been hard hit by the economic downturn, and industry
giants such as SBC Communications and Verizon Communications have
announced layoffs in recent months. Nonetheless, industry experts say
a well-run call center can still garner a company several million
dollars a month in revenue. And, since the typical call center
executive runs between five and 15 call centers -- and up to 50 isn't
unusual -- an executive with extensive project management experience
is highly regarded."
"Call center executives command big bucks" by Stephanie Patrick Mar
15, 2002
"Recruiter offers scoop on call center salaries" 1999,

> Key performance metrics:
from "Call Centre Benchmarking Program 2000"
Call centre survey sample size is 400 customers
Metrics     Total Call Centres
Calls Handled by CSR  #78
Service Levels  71%
Annual Number of Calls  #1,708,379
CSR Salary  $33,865
New Hire Training Days  #19
Existing Hire Training Days  #7
CSR Turn Over  17%
CSR Length of Service  #37
Span of Control  #18
CSR Training Cost  $5,359
"Building Client Satisfaction Through Your Call Centre" SQM’s Call
Centre Service Quality Benchmarking Program (Australia)
"The availability of support centers seems to be increasing. A survey
showed that 60% of respondents currently provide round the clock
support for customers. Of those who are providing extended hours
support, 85% are staffing this time with internal staff. Only 5%
indicate they outsource extends hours support." (,
CommWeb CRM & Call Center Statistics
"Online service is getting worse. Of 250 automotive,
business-to-business, financial, health, music, packaged-goods,
retail, and travel Web sites Jupiter surveyed between Nov. 23 and Dec.
10, 2001, only 30% responded to and resolved customer inquiries within
the six-hour window in which a majority of shoppers say they expect a
reply. Although 90% of shoppers say they'd be satisfied with a
response within two days, one-third of the 75 retailers surveyed
couldn't respond that quickly. The overall response rates--even among
non-retail sites--slipped 10% from a survey conducted in August 2001.
90% of the sites have phone-routing software for handling customer
calls, but only 43% have email automation technology. (Jupiter Media
Metrix, 1/2002)."
CommWeb CRM & Call Center Statistics

Other resources:
Latest news via subscription at Call Center's benchmarking reports
Call benchmarking†
The survey on the Nottingham Call Centre industry
Call Centre Calculators
CommWeb CRM & Call Center Statistics
"Performance Measurements For Call Centers" - Dates to be Confirmed
January 1 - December 31, 2002

Search Strategy:
call center staff employed states OR america 
statistics 2002 "contact centers" staff employed states OR america 
metrics "call center" "employee performance" benchmarks
call centre performance
"call center" performance metrics
"call center" salaries
I hope that helps, 
if you need clarification of the answer, just ask. 
Kind regards 
stein-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Good start for me. Some of the stats at call center news and blue
pumpkin I had found myself, but some of the other links should round
out my search

Subject: Re: Call center statistics
From: emperor1968-ga on 27 May 2004 19:02 PDT
This posting was in October 2002, almost 1.5 years back. Do you have
any other useful links that might have added if you had done the
research today?
Subject: Re: Call center statistics
From: vinswin-ga on 01 Jun 2004 04:31 PDT
tht was a real help!!! can some one provide link to full fledged
benchmarking study of Indian call centers

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