TASKE Technology's Call Center Blog

Last month, we looked at why the telephone service factor (TSF) is one critical measure of the level of service your agents offer. The efficiency of agents in connecting with your callers has a significant effect on customer satisfaction. Another important measure of service level is the answer service factor (ASF), which helps you assess the service level provided by queues.

Determine the ASF

ASF measures the percentage of the total calls offered to the queue that are answered by agents over a specific timeframe. You calculate this service level by dividing the number of calls agents answered for the queue by the total number of calls offered to the queue. For example, if 100 calls were offered to a queue over the last hour, and agents answered 80 of those calls, then the ASF is 80%.

Similar to TSF calculations, it’s important to understand the underlying assumptions in the ASF calculation.  The value that represents the total calls offered to the queue may not actually include all calls. Because ASF is intended to reflect the service level for calls where callers expected to be answered by agents, the calculation may exclude short abandon and interflowed calls.

  • Short abandons are calls are those where callers disconnected very quickly. For example, a caller who selects the wrong option in the IVR may hang up within a few seconds of being placed in the queue.  This caller didn’t expect to be answered by an agent in this queue, and the call shouldn’t count as one that was offered to the queue.
  • Interflows are calls that were redirected elsewhere after being placed in a queue. For example, after waiting a defined period of time in a queue without being answered, a call may be interflowed to another queue for faster service.

The threshold for determining short abandons and the time to interflow (as well as the subsequent destination for these calls) are defined in the configuration of the telephone system.

Compare ASF and TSF

Comparing ASF to TSF can provide insight into the overall performance of queues. Let’s say that the TSF is 65% and the ASF is 80% over the last hour. This may indicate that agents are answering most calls, but not as quickly as you’d like. You may want to investigate why customers are waiting to be answered. Currently, your callers are patiently waiting in the queue. If this significant gap continues (or increases) over time, your callers may start to get frustrated with long wait times and abandon rates will increase.

ASF is an important measure of service level because it indicates how many calls are being connected to agents in queues, which strongly influences customer satisfaction. In addition, ASF is useful to compare to other statistics, such as the answer service factor or abandon rates, to find out more about both your agents’ level of service and customer behaviour.

See you next month.


Tags: abandon rates, ASF, business objectives, call metrics, customer satisfaction, interflow, service levels, short abandons, statistics, TSF.

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