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KPI of the Day – Customer Service Performance: # Longest delay in queue

longest delay


Measures the longest period a customer waited in a queue before being connected to an operator or hanging up.


It indicates what was the maximum time a customer had to wait when making a call. If compared to the average speed of the answer, it can indicate how far was the longest delay from the average delay.


The # Longest delay in queue is a real-time indicator that can be used to determine the efficiency of inbound call centers and customer support operations. It also acts as a historical performance indicator for the customer’s worst-case experience in a certain time span, for instance during the time span of a day. A speed-of-service measure, the # Longest delay in queue is strongly impacted by the # Speed of answer or # Call handling times, as well as the # Customer requests received.

Furthermore, the longest delay in a queue indicates the call with the smallest speed of answer and this can be a good indicator of customer satisfaction and loyalty. It is influenced by the volume of incoming calls at any point, which is most of the time random and cannot be projected by the call center.

# Longest delay in queue or LDQ can be measured for two specific situations.

  1. The longest delay for a customer whose service request was finally handled by an agent.
  2. The longest delay for a customer who ultimately abandoned the contact.

If the longest delay of a call in a queue is not very far from the average speed with which calls were answered, this indicates that all the incoming calls were answered in a rather acceptable time frame which was very close to the average.

If you are interested in more Customer Service-related KPIs, subscriptions provide access to +500 KPI examples.

Our dedicated Library contains relevant resources to improve your KPI practices, and if you want to further improve your knowledge, feel free to explore our latest publications – The Sales and Customer Service KPI Dictionary and The Top 25 Customer Service KPIs – 2016 Extended Edition, or enroll in our Certified Customer Service Performance Professional course.

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