How to Calculate Service Level in a Call Center?: Complete Guide

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calculate service level

Last Updated: July 2024

Creating quick and breezy responses is a skill that isn’t easily conjured up; it requires the expertise of a professional. In addition to this, if you need to calculate service level, a seasoned expert is the best choice. And this is why companies prefer managed call centers to piggyback on!

Backing it up, we have a stat stating, “50% of the customers feel that there is a major need for improvements in the customer service and support offered by most companies and 43% of customers prefer call centers and contact centers that offer bots to simplify customer service.”

Now, whilst you are toiling away to delegate your focus between revenue management and experimenting with the newborn marketing strategies, you are probably not paying much attention to calculating your call center service level.

So, if you don’t want to lose track of your customer satisfaction level, better dive into keeping a tag on your call center services and we are here to help.

In this post, we will guide you through the 3 proven methods of calculating service level in a call center.

Contents in this post are as follows:


What is the service level in a call center?

By definition, the call center service level is the percentage of calls answered within a predefined amount of time, also known as the target time threshold. 

Call center service level calculation is not bound to any time period so, it can be calculated over any given period of time. 

It also can be measured for any number of people right from a single agent to the company as a whole and it remains totally unaffected.

Why is call center service level calculation important?

  • Happier customers: The more calls your employees can answer within a given period of time, the happier your customers will become.
  • Reduced wait times: In a Helplama survey, over 60% of customers reportedly ended a business relationship with a company due to “long wait times.” Calculating service levels can reduce wait times for customers, thereby increasing the customer retention rate.
  • Increased Revenue: The higher the percentage of a call center service level, the better your customer service will be. It directly impacts your business revenue and profits.

Types of Service Levels in a Call Center:

Based on a CallCenterHelper 2019 survey, there are basically three types of service levels:

  1. The traditional service level
  2. The relaxed service level
  3. Boosted service level


  1. The Traditional type of SLA for contact centers is to answer 80% of calls within 20 seconds, and our data indicate that many contact centers still adhere to this norm. In the above graph, the largest cluster that occurred around the 80/20 point reflects the traditional (80/20) service level.

While this is the unaltered scenario, there is a large deal of diversity within and around this cluster, suggesting that many call centers are moving away from the traditional standard.

  1. Relaxed service level: This service level indicates bad response time where almost half of the calls remain unanswered due to delayed responses.
  2. Boosted service level: This service level indicates a quick response time (within 20-40 seconds) and over 90% of customer calls being answered. This level is what you should thrive to achieve.

Now let’s know how to calculate call center service level with the formula:

Also Read: How To Duplicate Products On Shopify In 2 Minutes

How to Calculate Service Level in a Call Center?

The simplest way to determine service level is to look at how many calls the agents can handle in a given amount of time once the phone starts to ring. Users can set this timer to any duration between 10 seconds and a minute. Multiply that number by the number of calls received and multiply by 100.


This will offer you a percentage of the service level. Within that equation, you can have a better understanding of the call center’s customer service level and measure the quality of service callers receive.

Assume your goal is to answer all calls in under 20 seconds.
On any given day, the call center handled 400 calls, answering 325 of them within the hour.

325 calls answered within 20 seconds / 400 total calls = 0.81 X 100 = 81% service level

Now that shows a power-packed performance and you can give kudos to your team!

3 Ways to Calculate Call Center Service Level Standards

Though the formula for calculating call center service level is generally the same, there are three excellent approaches for determining the genuine efficacy of your agents and current systems.

1. The 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 rule is like the ultimate standard or ideal service level for businesses using call centers. 

So, what originally is called the 80/20 rule in a call center? 

In this case, it means that 80% of the calls got answered within 20 minutes and this determines the efficiency of the call center.

This calculation shows you how quickly the calls are getting answered but it doesn’t indicate the rates of customer satisfaction and fails to take a count on the abandoned calls. And statistically, it also fails to predetermine how much time your customers are willing to sacrifice for an available agent.

2. Counting Abandoned Calls

If you are trying, with all that you got, to provide stellar customer service then counting abandoned calls is the best study you can consider to get an unaltered view of the customer service your call center provides.

The number of abandoned calls is inversely proportional to your call center service level i.e the lower the number here, the more triumphant the service level will be.

Each abandoned call indicates the failure to “seize the moment” of customer satisfaction. But the more abandoned calls you identify the more you will improve your service.

3. Look at Your FCR

FCR, whose expansion is First Contact Resolution, is the calculation of the rate of the issues got resolved by the first call making the customers dodge the need to come back calling you time and time again.

This gives you a deeper glance at not only how quick the responses are but also how efficient the employees are in resolving the issues faced by your customers.

How then, do you calculate the FCR rate? To calculate this rate, you must examine the number of resolved calls during the first phone call and divide it by the total number of calls received in a day.

What exactly is a good FCR rate? First of all, it depends on the goals of your industry, but on the whole, an FCR rate of 70-75% is pretty solid.

How to Improve Service Level in a Call Center?

In any call center, the key to maintaining or exceeding a specific level of service is to ensure that you have enough agents on hand at all times to handle incoming calls within the desired time limit.

This can be difficult for business owners who want to handle their own customer support calls.

Adding more team members to handle such calls can increase your service quality, but at a significant expense to your operating budget.

Apart from this primary requirement, these are some areas on which you should focus on:

  • Optimizing workforce management
  • Optimizing occupancy rates
  • Increasing schedule adherence
  • Improving call forecasting
  • Reducing agent attrition
  • Enabling agent callbacks

Instead, Outsource!

In spite of using your own in-house team of customer care agents to resolve the issues of your customers via phone, delegating it to a good third-party Call Center Company like Helplama is a wise choice that always works!

Our team takes charge of your customer support needs right away, helping you create better value in the process. 

Our USP is a team of US-based, multi-domain experts who know how to efficiently and confidently drive positive outcomes for your business, whether it is answering customer questions or closing sales.

 What’s more, we don’t sweat the small stuff – you get our 100% zero-risk guarantee for unmatched flexibility at an unbeatable price.

Contact us today to know more!



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