Call Center Metrics: Average Speed of Answer Is No Longer Enough

Attracting and retaining members through better member service has received increased attention as credit unions increasingly have to compete with larger financial institutions.


Now more than ever, businesses are managed “by the numbers.” This is a consequence of both improved management information systems, which make closer monitoring and measurement of business processes possible, and the pressures of a difficult and competitive market environment, which make quantitative-based management processes a necessity. The management mantra “what you don’t measure, you don’t control” has never been more applicable.

Attracting and retaining members through better member service has received increased attention as credit unions increasingly have to compete with larger financial institutions. As a result, the fiscal importance of the member service call center is rising for many credit unions. Achieving the level of member loyalty they need is directly dependent on implementing the right metrics for, and management of, the call center/member service operation.

Most member service centers already possess, in some form, systems capable of providing real-time monitoring. The problem lies with WHAT is being monitored. The parameters currently monitored in most call centers offer no real value in determining how satisfied members are with their experience, or the value of member service operations.

The Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) or other solution at the heart of most modern contact centers is very reliable for providing statistics and reports on parameters such as how many calls per hour are answered, how long it takes for a call to be answered (Average Speed of Answer, or ASA), and how many calls have been abandoned (abandoned call rate). These measurements adequately describe the performance of contact center operations. However, they are largely irrelevant when it comes to evaluating the business value of the contact center, its contribution to the credit union and the service a member experiences. What does ASA mean to a manager trying to determine the contribution of the call center to business operations, or the satisfaction of a member when they contact the credit union? Unfortunately, it doesn’t tell them a thing. Following is a list of questions, member service center managers are beginning to ask to determine which metrics should exist. Unfortunately many of these metrics are nearly impossible to monitor using the existing reporting systems in most credit union call centers. They include:

  • What affect would it have to member satisfaction if the average call time was reduced by 15-20 seconds?
  • What is the impact of each individual member interaction on new business?
  • What impact would employing another contact center team have on overall growth?
  • By how much could we reduce staff turnover if we employed more people with the same profile as Member Service Representative X?
  • Are our members happier as a result of their experience with the member service center?
  • Do we need more automated options for member self-service?

It is precisely here where the search for “new” contact center metrics begins. Given the importance of member service operations to the future growth of most credit unions, defining the parameters that will help measure the real business “value” of both the member service center as a whole, and the individual agents working in it, becomes absolutely essential. Likewise, it is important to define the proper metrics that will aid credit unions in determining the “value” members present to the credit union and how that may be taken into consideration when they initiate contact.

To learn more about call center metrics, and what you can learn from call center data, register for a free online seminar, “New Age Metrics for the Contact Center.” Register online at



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May 23, 2005


  • Interesting and true. Though We need To maintain the ACD and AHT(Average handle time) and ASA For Effeciency with handling large volume of calls and Effective Agent productivity. The "Value" as stated is a seperate Parameter. Some Measure it by CSAT(Customer Satisfaction Survey). There is a need to Revolutionalise the Effective and "valuable" Means of measuring and rating the Contact Center
  • Good read. Gave me some ideas. - Jef Pablo