Calculating Call Center Service Level

Service Level is the metric used in most call centers to measure its performance. Upper management uses it to determine if a contact center manager is doing a good job. We will teach you how to calculate service level and how it should not be calculated as well. Hint: some managers change the method of calculating in a way that makes it look better than it in reality is.

Example calculation
In most organizations Service Level will be defined as: X percent of calls answered in Y seconds. (For example: 80 percent of the calls should be answered within 20 seconds.)

The calculation simply is (number of calls answered in Y seconds / total calls offered) * 100. (For example you have 5000 calls offered during a month and  4250 are answered within Y seconds: (4250/5000) * 100 = 85. So the desired Service Level was well met.

Defining Service Level
Defining your desired Service Level goes further than just stating: an X percentage of calls should be answered within Y seconds.
It is important to consistently reach this desired Service Level. This means that measuring this just monthly is not enough. Depending on your organizations needs one should set a more limited time period as the time-interval to measure service level.

Of course when you are operating a 911 call center it is important to reach your desired Service Level every quarter of the hour. This however is costly and for most organizations not necessary. One could choose to measure Service Level Weekly or Daily.

It is also possible to choose for a combination. For example Service Level should be met on a weekly basis and only one day a week is allowed to be lower than the desired Service Level. (The other days making up for the day that you underperformed.)


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