What is a call center service level?

A call center service level is a percentage measurement of how well standards are met for customer service. Call center service level standards are measurable KPIs for services provided to a customer within a given time period. How a call center calculates their service level metrics may vary from business to business. In general, they usually involve the percentage of calls answered, average time to respond, average handle time, average time to resolution, and other metrics used in qualifying the customer experience.

A call center’s service level agreement (SLA) is the set of internally-determined standards that the management uses to guide decisions. With these guiding parameters, decisions can be determined and implemented to enhance efficiency, save money, improve customer satisfaction, and more. For example, metrics with standard goals may include 90% of calls answered prior to four rings, 80% of chats accepted within 20 seconds, or 100% of emails responded to within one business day. Each call center must make its own determinations on what the SLAs are, and how best to achieve them. The rate at which the goals are met is the call center service level.

Determining the metrics can be quite tricky. Each business needs to be able to classify abandoned calls, determine realistic time intervals for each step of the customer experience, and be able to measure it all.

Call center software with advanced reporting helps track these metrics and lets management know where to focus for improvements. Customers are more demanding than ever and call center service levels must meet demands at a realistic and reasonable pace with the highest possible quality. Defining the service levels can be done with simple formulae (such as x percent of calls answered in y amount of seconds), but tracking each call center representative’s performance against those measures requires accurate and powerful software.

Meeting the service level can help a call center improve customer satisfaction by responding quickly, and enhance lifetime customer value by increasing the odds of a repeat customer thanks to high satisfaction.

As part of a comprehensive report, the call center service level helps executives and managers understand the customer experience, pinpoint errors in the customer journey, and create opportunities for positive moments with the customers.

How NICE can help

NICE CXone is the market leading call center software in use by thousands of customers worldwide. Our solutions help call centers deliver superior customer experiences with accuracy, efficiency and consistency. Our user-friendly reporting solutions provide the information call centers need to monitor and analyze first call resolution rates. CXone is a cloud native, unified suite of applications designed to help companies maintain and improve call center operations and meet call center service level standards. CXone includes:

Automation & Artificial Intelligence (AI) – highly advanced, intuitive technology that eliminates mundane tasks and improves customer issue resolutions for better volume and speed. It comes with solutions for self-service, agent-assisted and fully automated alerts and actions.

Omnichannel Routing – digital routing management that empowers agents to interact with customers via digital or voice channels. Our solutions include an automatic call distributor (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), interaction channel support and a proactive outbound dialer.

Workforce Engagement – unlocks the potential of your team by inspiring employees' self-improvement, amplifying quality management efforts to enhance customer experience and reducing labor waste. These solutions include workforce management (WFM), quality management (QM), recording, and performance management (PM).