What Is Service Level in a Call Center?

What Is Service Level in a Call Center?

You may have probably heard of the service level term. But what does service level mean in a call center? Service levels (also known as Grade of Service or GOS) are among the most common metrics used in contact centers to measure the number of calls answered within a particular time window. How to calculate the call center service level? Service levels are typically represented by two numbers, such as 80/30, which denotes a target of 80% of calls handled in 30 seconds. 

Understanding the concept of service level in a call center is crucial for any business aiming to deliver exceptional customer service. However, maintaining a high service level can be challenging, especially for companies with limited resources. This is where customer support outsourcing services come into play. By outsourcing customer support, businesses can ensure a high service level without significant investment in infrastructure and personnel.

There is a direct relationship between your service levels and the number of call center employees you require. More workers will be needed if you have high service level objectives and many calls must be handled (e.g., 90% of calls answered in 10 seconds). When you have low service level objectives, such as answering 70% of calls in 60 seconds, you require fewer people. This means that service level can be a good metric for determining your target and deciding on the proper team setup for a call center. 

After establishing a call center service level target, managers will track their team’s progress toward that goal in increments (i.e., hours, days, weeks, months, quarters, or years). For example, between 9:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., a company’s service level is assessed as 80% if they answered 80 calls in 30 seconds or less and 20 calls after callers waited more than 30 seconds. The call center service level calculation may seem to be complex at first. But it is not so. Let’s dive deep so that you get an idea of how it works.

What Is the Average Service Level Objective (SLO) for Call Centers?

Although it is common to hear 80/30 (80% of calls answered within 30 seconds), there is no industry standard. The call center targets you establish must match your company objectives by asking a straightforward question: how important is it for your company if clients have to wait?

In the emergency services, service level objectives might be as high as 100/5 (100% of all calls must be handled within 5 seconds), yet in the public sector, where there may be no option for customers, service level targets can be as low as 70% in 30 minutes (yes, minutes!). In a revenue-generating center where every call might result in a sale, high service levels make business sense to avoid losing revenues.

It’s not as clear in service contact centers, but practically every study on customer experience implies that if customers don’t like the service you deliver, they’ll go elsewhere. Finally, the best service level objective for your company must consider various aspects such as customer expectations, finances, and so on.

So What Should You Target?

Determining the metrics and calculating the call center service levelmight be difficult. Every company must be able to identify abandoned calls, set realistic time intervals for each phase of the customer experience, and measure it all. Advanced reporting in call center software helps track critical KPIs and informs management about where to focus for improvements. 

Customers are more demanding than ever, and call center service levels must match those needs at a realistic and fair speed while maintaining the most significant group of quality possible.  Meeting the service level may assist a call center in improving customer happiness by responding fast and enhancing lifetime customer value by raising the likelihood of a return customer due to high satisfaction. 

assists executives and managers in understanding the customer experience, identifying faults in the customer journey, and creating chances for good interactions with consumers. It is critical in every firm to measure metrics to ensure that everyone is meeting their objectives. As part of a full report, the call center service level assists executives and managers in understanding the customer experience, identifying faults in the customer journey, and creating chances for good consumer interactions. 

The degree of service a call center provides is meaningless in and of itself. Instead, how service level agreements are met drives customer satisfaction. Expectations vary by industry – a 5-minute service level agreement for taking a call may work for a retail customer service line, but not if you have a significant health issue and require assistance.

When creating service standards, remember that exceeding them does not always imply that you provide clients with the required service. Call center service levels must be defined, but they must also be aligned with consumers’ expectations and demands. Customer satisfaction scores (CSATs) should be combined with service levels to assist you in evaluating how your team is performing against specified service levels and how happy your customers are with your service.

It is understanding the influence of call center service level on your client experience. Call center service level is a typical key performance indicator (KPI) used to assess a company’s accessibility to customers and ability to prepare for call traffic changes and implement its staffing strategy. It has been determined to be closely related to customer service quality and incoming call center performance. As such, it is frequently the cornerstone of an inbound call center manager’s metrics toolset.

How to Raise the Service Level?

Improving service quality should be a top focus in call centers. Given the importance of service quality in terms of revenue, it is critical to measure and enhance procedures that might directly and positively influence this KPI. Here are a few suggestions to improve your service level:

  • It is possible to spot patterns in call volume by efficiently utilizing historical data, which may help you allocate resources more efficiently. This data may also be used with any external circumstances, such as a new promotion, product launch, or event, to ensure you have adequate call handlers on hand.
  • Making efforts to enhance First Call Resolution, such as routing calls to particular agents who are knowledgeable about the subject matter and offering extra, automated information channels, will help reduce multiple calls from the same consumer.
  • Extend support and inquiry channels by employing various mediums like social media, automated online assistance systems, and, if appropriate, live web support.

The communications or contact center platform is a call center’s finest weapon for meeting service-level requirements. This software will assist you in being attentive to customers and calls and provide you with vital data and statistics on your SLAs.